2018 Lexus RX 350 Review
2018 Lexus RX 350 Review
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Used RX 350 for sale
Edmunds' Expert Review
Reviews EditorTravis Langness has worked in the automotive industry since 2011. He has written thousands of car-related articles and tested and reviewed hundreds of vehicles over the course of his career.
- Attractive cabin with top-quality materials and construction
- Ride quality makes almost any road feel smooth
- Advanced safety features come standard
- Wide cargo bay makes it easy to load luggage and groceries
- Optional tech interface is distracting to use while driving
- Less overall cargo capacity than competitors
- The 2018 RX 350 is unchanged
- Represents the second year of the fourth-generation RX
The 2018 Lexus RX 350 is one of our top recommendations for a luxury crossover SUV. Chief among the RX's appealing qualities is its overall quality. From the premium materials in the cabin to the comfortable seats to the solid construction, the RX gives you the impression the Lexus paid attention to the details. A smooth ride, an easy-to-drive nature and a long list of standard features for a relatively affordable price round out the RX 350's appeal.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2018 Lexus RX 350 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.36 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
RX 350 Base
Avg. Midsize SUV
The RX 350 isn't without a few flaws. The infotainment interface is often distracting to use and is a big letdown when compared to user-friendly rival systems from Audi and BMW. The RX 350 is a little short on cargo space for larger families, too. (Interestingly, Lexus has introduced the roomier three-row 350 L this year to help out.) Overall, though, the 2018 RX 350 will be a great choice if you're shopping for a five-passenger luxury crossover.
Notably, we picked the 2018 Lexus RX 350 as one of Edmunds' Best Luxury SUVs for 2018.
Edmunds' Expert Rating
The 2018 Lexus RX 350 is one of our top recommendations for a luxury crossover. Interior quality is excellent, the ride quality is smooth, and standard and optional luxury and safety features abound.
The RX 350 comes in just two versions, although it can be optioned in many ways. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Lexus RX 350 base model (3.5L V6 | 8-speed automatic | FWD).
The 3.5-liter V6 and eight-speed automatic make a great team. The RX 350 chassis also steers, handles and brakes with poise and balance unless you push it quite hard. It's engaging enough for most people but stops short of being a truly sporty SUV.
The strong 3.5-liter V6 doesn't waste any time when you merge onto the highway or pass on a two-lane road, and the eight-speed automatic transmission is a willing partner. It sprinted to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds at our test track.
The brakes give a reassuring and secure vibe in daily use, with a steady response and consistent feel. We did, however, observe more nosedive and pull than expected in our 60-0 mph panic-stop tests at the track. Braking distances were a little longer than average.
The RX responds accurately to inputs, with steering effort that's neither too high nor too low. It nicely isolates road vibrations, too. But it can also feel vague, lacking some of the feedback that helps one judge how much to turn the wheel.
You'll feel stable and secure in the RX 350, even when hustled on mountain roads. Body roll is gradual and smooth, and there isn't that much of it until you push it hard. It's not a sports car, but it's certainly no marshmallow either.
The eight-speed transmission delivers smooth and predictable shifts, yet it will still readily downshift as needed in response to throttle inputs. That's an increasingly rare trait in a world concerned with fuel economy.
It's easy to see the RX 350 as a pleasant place to spend a long road trip. It has comfy seats with available intelligent heating and cooling, the cabin is quiet and serene, and the ride is mostly smooth. We say "mostly" because this current-generation RX favors control over pillowy softness.
We never tired of the sumptuous leather seats, which offer many adjustments and feature excellent heating and cooling with a unique automatic setting. The usual RX seat side bolsters are less prominent than those on the F Sport seats.
Noise & vibration
You won't find much in the way of wind rush or road noise, and the engine sound is refined. It's not that there's no noise at all; it's more a case of fairly low levels that are balanced with one another so no single source of noise stands out.
This easy-to-master cockpit is a spacious and comfy place to pass the miles. Overall it's excellent, but the huge rear entertainment screens should give you pause, and the cargo area isn't as versatile as those of some rivals.
Ease of use
The seating position is great, and the controls are easy to use. A nice mix of knobs and buttons. The massive 12.3-inch navigation screen is easy to read, and though the tech interface's Remote Touch joystick has been improved, it's still not an ideal interface.
Getting in/getting out
Neither too tall nor too low, the seat height of the RX is about optimal. The wide-opening doors provide easy access, and the doorsills are cut in fairly close to the seats. The power-memory steering wheel swings away to provide more clearance.
There's plenty of room up front, even with the panoramic sunroof present. The rear offers copious headroom and elbow room, but knee and toe space can be tight behind a tall driver.
The view forward and to the sides is unobstructed, and the rear three-quarter blind spot is moderate. The outside rearview mirrors are a nice size. The excellent (and optional) 360-degree camera system even has a perimeter scan feature.
Although Lexus isn't immune from quality-control gaffes, the Japanese brand is so incredibly consistent with overall quality, fit and finish, and detail that you'll be impressed by how well it holds together, even with extensive miles on the clock.
Bold styling comes with a cost: reduced cargo capacity. Bulkier items are less likely to fit, and the rear seatback doesn't fold totally flat. Unless you're looking for max cargo and max luxury, don't consider it a deal-breaker. The optional hands-free liftgate is a nice touch.
Befitting a luxury crossover, the RX 350 offers a generous set of standard safety and convenience tech. A robust list of options also covers a wide range of priorities, including a glorious panoramic sunroof, audiophile sound quality, heated surfaces, and decadent interior trim and upholstery.
Audio & navigation
The nice standard nine-speaker audio system includes a CD player, USB, Bluetooth and an 8-inch display. Twelve- and 15-speaker upgrades and the optional navigation system come with an excellent 12.3-inch display but also the clumsy Remote Touch mouselike controller.
The Lexus Enform App suite includes now-common apps and services such as Facebook Places, iHeartRadio, OpenTable, Pandora, Slacker and Yelp. Other services include fuel station and price search and real-time traffic, sports and stock information.
Includes a nice complement of standard safety tech and driver aids such as a rearview camera, forward collision warning with automatic braking, and lane departure and lane keeping assist. Helpful upgrades include a surround-camera view, blind-spot monitoring, and front and rear parking sensors.
Which RX 350 does Edmunds recommend?
The RX 350 is available in just two versions, and we think it's worth spending a bit more and upgrading to the F Sport trim. The F Sport, despite its name, isn't as sporty as some vehicles in the class such as the Porsche Macan, but it does bundle several desirable options together, including the adaptive suspension dampers and heated and ventilated front seats. The F Sport also gives the RX a more aggressive look and 20-inch wheels as standard.
2018 Lexus RX 350 models
The 2018 Lexus RX 350 is a five-passenger luxury crossover available in base and F Sport versions.
The base RX 350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine (295 horsepower, 267 pound-feet of torque), an eight-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional. It's equipped with 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights (with automatic high beams), rear privacy glass, a power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a 40/20/40-split rear seat and a rear cargo cover.
Also standard is a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, Safety Connect emergency communications, a suite of drive safety aids (the Safety System+ package, including lane departure warning and intervention as well as forward collision warning and mitigation with automatic emergency braking), Bluetooth, an 8-inch display screen, a smartphone-integrated navigation system and a nine-speaker sound system.
The F Sport is our pick in the RX lineup, and it includes sportier exterior styling, 20-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, enhanced engine sound, transmission paddle shifters, unique gauges, heated and ventilated sport seats, leather upholstery and unique interior trim. The F Sport is also available with all-wheel drive.
Options are generally grouped into packages with the RX, but there are a few stand-alone items, too, and availability can depend on the trim level and region in which you live.
The Premium package is available on non-F Sport models and adds roof rails, auto-dimming side mirrors, automatic wipers, driver-seat memory functions, leather upholstery, wood trim and a rear armrest storage compartment. The Luxury package (also only available on base RX models) includes the Premium package items and adds heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, rear door sunshades, upgraded leather upholstery, four-way lumbar adjustment for the front seats, heated rear seats, power-folding and -reclining rear seatbacks, and 20-inch wheels with your choice of color inserts.
The Navigation package adds a navigation system, the Remote Touch tech interface, a larger 12.3-inch display, voice controls, the Lexus Enform App Suite and a 12-speaker sound system.
Other options include a blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and automated braking, a panoramic-view backup camera, either a regular or a panoramic sunroof, a towing package (with an upgraded cooling system), front and rear parking sensors, a hands-free liftgate, upgraded LED headlights (with 18 individual LED accent lights), a color head-up display, a heated steering wheel and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
3 out of 5 stars
Many great features but. . .
2018 Lexus RX 350 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
This was my first Lexus and I was excited about purchasing the 2018 RX 350. It had been a leased vehicle at the dealership for a year. I love many things about the car -- it has a nice ride on the interstate, love the design and overall looks. My biggest disappointment is the erratic nature of the transmission as you try to accelerate, especially at lower speeds. I had my car serviced … several times for other things (recalls, scheduled maintenance, etc.) and always had them look at why my acceleration was not smooth. Finally, after having them look at it for a third time, the service manager was honest with me and said they had changed the engine/transmission on the 2018 and later models. He explained that the engine was designed to constantly be looking for the best gear/speed/rpm, etc. to get the best gas mileage. I had been given a 2017 RX 350 courtesy car while mine was in the shop and I'll have to say that I felt it was a much smoother ride, smoother acceleration, quieter engine and it even felt heavier. I still enjoy my 2018 but I will certainly be much more careful if I purchase another Lexus. I wasn't prepared for it to be a somewhat disappointing experience after paying what I felt was a premium price.
5 out of 5 stars
Great, comfy, premium SUV
2018 Lexus RX 350 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
We bought this 2018 RX350 in June of 2018 so we've had it for almost 4 months and 3000 miles. My wife is the primary driver but I drive it about twice a week. The reason I give these details is because while shopping for a car for her, we agreed that I also had to like it. We test drove the 2019 RDX with SH-AWD and the 2018 Q5 with Quattro. We opted for the RX because it has a great … interior design and quality of built in all areas. This is my second new Lexus and have owned new Acuras, BMW's and Audis. So far, Lexus has been our best ownership experience and together with the interior, we opted for the RX. Audi offers better exterior design but their reliability is poor in my experience and we want to keep this car past its initial warranty where Audi just falls apart. The RDX had the best drivetrain and handling but I couldn't get over the interior and center stack. Our RX comes with the premium sound, premium interior (I forgot the name of the packages) but it does have the wood accents and nicer leather as well as the Navigation package. It's a FWD. We live in sunny California and the AWD system of the RX is a snooze compared to Quattro and/or SH-AWD and only activates upon slipping so not much use for us that justified the premium pay.
4 out of 5 stars
Nice, comfortable ride with a few minor flaws
2018 Lexus RX 350 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
Coming from 2016 Accord V6-EX sedan, which is already a very feature packed vehicle, the first impression on 2018 RX 350 AWD is the much smoother and cushy ride. Accord had a very jerky transmission I had to fight with and an aggressive fuel savings (25-35 MPG on Accord vs 15-20 on RX) from which the gear switching and the ride comfort suffered. RX seems to have a much better sound … system - at least it has the mids, comfortable and more adjustable seats - compared to the headrest tilting too much forward, and a large 12 inch entertainment screen (comes with NAV) - though it is not a touch screen and the controls are awkward and sluggish as compared to the touch screen and nearly perfect integration with smartphones as well as fast response time on the Accord. RX has a much larger and versatile storage / hauling capabilities, although the two are not in the same category. Looking further, the RX has a working Sport mode, where on the Accord the sport mode seems to ride two gears down from where it is supposed to be - driving at 4-5k RPM at 40-60mph makes one look like an idiot on the Accord. The Accord seems to have better dash and door materials and they are not as marr prone as on RX where after a week you can definatelly notice dust and smudges in places you touched them with your hands. No wonder my neighbors are washing and cleaning their RX every week. Paint seems much better and thicker on the RX where as on the new Accord models it is skin deep - after two years of driving on the highway, the front is littered with paint deeps and chips from tiny road dirt. One thing however that is not acceptable from Lexus is the requirement to pay to use the remote starter ($80-96/yr, even though it is already installed with push start) and the fact that once the vehicle is remotely started the vehicle shuts off as soon as you enter it - some safety nonsense. Accord also has a remote starter built in and it works at get go from the key fob; you can get into the car and press break+start to continue without the car ever shutting off - again this is the ideal implementation here and shame on Lexus for making us pay for a half baked nickel and dime solution. If you leave the remote inside Accord, the car won't let you lock and will beep at you, while the Lexus does none of that. Another thing to note is how loud the engine is on the RX from outside compared to the other new cars which are barely audible when new. There is also some loud knocking heard from the engine while parked as well as some whining when driving at 70 mph or higher and slightly holding the gas pedal - it generates noise similar to engine being revved up and let go (like it is running out of gas), all the while you are pressing the gas pedal consistently. Read some reviews and some suggested to wait a few thousand miles at which point the noises should disappear. Until then, these are my observations. To be continued.
5 out of 5 stars
Well rounded vehicle
2018 Lexus RX 350 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A)
Extremely quiet and comfortable. Insulates driver from the drama of city driving. Love the aggressive styling. Mileage ratings not accurate. I'm getting 17 to 18 mpg in pure city driving, and 30 to 32 mpg pure highway. Carving canyons is the lowest priority for me, much prefer a luxurious ride and a car that can easily go 200k miles with a line of folks waiting to pay top dollar to buy … it from you when you get there.
Features & Specs
- Base MSRP
- MPG & Fuel
- 20 City / 27 Hwy / 23 Combined
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.2 gal. capacity
- 5 seats
- Type: front wheel drive
- Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic
- V6 cylinder
- Horsepower: 295 hp @ 6300 rpm
- Torque: 268 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
- Basic Warranty
- 4 yr./ 50000 mi.
- Length: 192.5 in. / Height: 67.7 in.
- Overall Width without Mirrors: 74.6 in.
- Curb Weight: 4222 lbs.
- Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 18.4 cu.ft.
Our experts like the RX 350 models:
- Lexus Safety System+
- Bundle includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation and automatic braking, and lane departure warning/lane keeping assist.
- Lexus Enform Safety Connect
- This system can automatically alert emergency services in the event of a crash or distress. Also includes a stolen-vehicle locator.
- Panoramic Rearview Camera
- Maximizing the 12.3-inch widescreen display, the panoramic rearview camera gives a broad look at what's behind you before you back up.
NHTSA Overall Rating4 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover17.9%
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
- Side Impact TestGood
- Roof Strength TestGood
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
More about the 2018 Lexus RX 350
Used 2018 Lexus RX 350 Overview
The Used 2018 Lexus RX 350 is offered in the following submodels: RX 350 SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A), 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 8A), F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl 8A), and F SPORT 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl 8A). Pre-owned Lexus RX 350 models are available with a 3.5 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 295 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2018 Lexus RX 350 comes with all wheel drive, and front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2018 Lexus RX 350 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2018 Lexus RX 350?
Price comparisons for Used 2018 Lexus RX 350 trim styles:
- The Used 2018 Lexus RX 350 Base is priced between $30,500 and$42,750 with odometer readings between 13305 and101931 miles.
- The Used 2018 Lexus RX 350 F SPORT is priced between $39,998 and$46,998 with odometer readings between 21291 and42083 miles.
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Which used 2018 Lexus RX 350S are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Lexus RX 350 for sale near. There are currently 38 used and CPO 2018 RX 350S listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $30,500 and mileage as low as 13305 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2018 Lexus RX 350.
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Should I lease or buy a 2018 Lexus RX 350?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.