In a world dominated by crossovers, manufacturers are struggling to make their own stand out from the crowd. If you’re passively driving down the road, you’d be hard pressed to remember which one you’ve just passed. Lexus basically invented the luxury crossover segment with the RX in the late 90s. Some twenty years later, it was time to shake up the segment. Lexus redesigned the RX to take a stab at the cookie cutter mindset by using some seriously distinct lines and styling.
First impressions – massive grille and angular lines. This is not necessarily a criticism though, as the high beltline and floating roof design help give the RX a sleeker appearance than ever before. The F Sport package upgrades the wheels to 20 inches and changes bits and pieces of the exterior trim. With this redesign, it appears Lexus is aiming for something more car-like. But the outside-the-box design may split the RX fan base a bit.
Lexus is very consistent. You can expect and get quality. The interior is comfortable and aesthetically pleasing with no stitch out of place. The craftsmanship is impressive. The previously mentioned roof line does not compromise passenger room, however it did cut out a chunk of cargo space. It’s limited to 18 cubic feet with the rear seats up. The 12.3 inch display is one of the largest in the business. It’s the go big or go home infotainment system. Instead of the overly frustrating touch pad, they’ve opted for a new interface known as Remote Touch. It is an improvement, but is still not user friendly. It requires a considerable amount of concentration and has the potential to act as a distraction for the driver.
The 2016 Rx 350 is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 which offers 25 more horsepower compared to the last generation. Surprisingly the 295hp (and 267 lb-ft torque) feels a bit sluggish compared to other vehicles in the same segment. The engine is now paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission in an effort to boost fuel economy. By doing so, it went from 18 mpg city and 26 highway to 19 mpg city and 26 highway. During our time with the RX 350, we managed 21 mpg. For more power, Lexus continues to offer an RX 450h.
Overall ride quality is very good. Lexus certainly understands the engineering and importance of a quiet and comfortable ride. The suspension has been redesigned and engineers have greatly improved the steering feel, especially for the RX 350 F Sport. There’s a new sense of confidence when making quick maneuvers which the last RX lacked. The adaptive suspension certainly makes a difference as well. Not to worry, though, there is no setting too stiff.
Individuality is important to us on many levels. Many of us appreciate individuality when it comes to what we drive too. Lexus fights back with the all new 2016 RX 350. If you’re a fan of the segment and of Lexus’ new styling, there’s nothing you won’t like about the newest RX.
|2016 Lexus RX350 F Sport
|Blind Sport Monitor w/ Cross Traffic Alert||$1,300|
|Cold Weather Package||$315|
|Color Heads-Up Display||$600|
|Touch-Free Power Rear Door||$200|
|Navigation System with 12.3″ display and Lexus Enform||$2,180|
|Intuitive Park Assist||$500|
|F Sport Heated Steering Wheel||$200|
|As Tested MSRP||$56,960|