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Lexus RX 350 2017

Lexus RX 350 2017

$418.00 / month

39 MONTHS   /   $0 DOWN   /   7500 MILES PER YEAR

*** Price Reflects TIER A Credit Approval, All Incentives Applied For Qualified Customers. Prices Are For BRAND NEW Vehicles, Pictures Are For Illustration Purposes Only. Price Excludes 1st Month Payment, Local Taxes, Bank Fee & DMV ***nWE DELIVER, CALL NOW FOR DETAILS. LIMITED TIME OFFER ONLY.

  • What's New for 2017

     

    For 2017, the Lexus RX 350 includes some previously optional safety features as standard equipment. The F Sport trim is now available in front-wheel drive.

     

REVIEW

One year after going under the knife, the 2017 Lexus RX 350 is growing on us. In a bold move, the Japanese luxury brand transformed its sensible crossover into a creased and muscular new shape that looks forged from the shadows of Blade Runner. It was a shocking makeover that put off buyers fond of the older designs, but there's no mistaking it for anything else in the class.

The overhaul wasn't limited to exterior design, however: Lexus also opened up the RX 350's cabin, lifted the ride height and reshaped the roofline. There's still plenty of headroom and legroom in both rows of seating, but it's all wrapped in a sleek profile that feels more sedan than SUV.

The RX 350 still uses a 3.5-liter V6 under the hood. It makes 295 horsepower and pairs with a smooth eight-speed automatic transmission. Handling is better than in previous RX generations but still not what we'd call sporty, unless you opt for the F Sport with its sharper steering and adaptive suspension. The F Sport is aimed at mildly sporty rivals such as the Acura MDX rather than more performance-oriented models such as the BMW X5 or Audi SQ5.

As interesting as the RX looks, it isn't the automatic choice it once was. Its clumsy Remote Touch tech interface, modest acceleration and limited cargo capacity put it behind class leaders including the X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class and Volvo XC90. And if you want three rows of seating, the Lexus still doesn't offer it as an option.

BODY STYLES, TRIM LEVELS, AND OPTIONS

The 2017 Lexus RX 350 is a five-passenger, midsize crossover SUV available in two versions: regular and F Sport. The RX 450h hybrid is reviewed separately.

The RX 350's standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, automatic LED headlights and high beams, LED foglights and running lights, rear privacy glass, a power liftgate, keyless ignition and entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats (with two-way lumbar adjustment), a leather-wrapped, power-adjustable steering wheel, a 40/20/40-split rear seat and premium vinyl upholstery.

Also standard is a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, Safety Connect emergency communications and the Safety System+ package (see more in the Safety section), Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, the Display Audio tech interface, and a nine-speaker sound system with CD player, HD radio, auxiliary jack, two USB ports and a media player connection.

The F Sport 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.

Options are grouped into packages or are stand-alone items. The Premium package adds roof rails, automatic wipers, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, wood trim and a rear armrest storage compartment. 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.

The Luxury package includes the Premium package items and adds 20-inch wheels with choice of color inserts, 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, and power-folding/reclining rear seatbacks. A rear-seat entertainment system can be added to the Luxury package and includes two 11.6-inch adjustable screens, a DVD player, an HDMI port and a 120-volt household-style power outlet.

Options that require the Premium, Luxury or F Sport packages include blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a panoramic-view backup camera, and either a regular or panoramic sunroof.

Other options include front and rear parking sensors, a hands-free power 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.

POWERTRAINS AND PERFORMANCE

The 2017 Lexus RX 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine. It's rated at 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque and sends power to the front wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional. Both regular and F Sport models offer selectable drive modes that adjust steering, accelerator and transmission response. (The F Sport offers additional degrees of adjustment.)

In Edmunds testing, a front-wheel-drive RX 350 accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds, a pace slightly slower than many of its luxury competitors. Properly equipped, the RX 350 can tow up to 3,500 pounds.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg combined (20 city/27 highway) for the front-wheel-drive RX 350 and 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway) for all-wheel-drive models.

SAFETY

The 2017 Lexus RX 350 comes standard with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. A rearview camera is also standard, as is Lexus Enform Safety Connect, which includes automatic collision notification, an emergency assistance button and a stolen vehicle locator. The Safety System+ package is also standard; it bundles adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.

Optional safety features include an overhead visual display, a blind-spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert and the Lexus Intuitive Parking Assist system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the RX the best possible rating of Good in its moderate-overlap and small-overlap front-impact tests, as well as a Good rating in the side-impact, roof strength and seat/head restraint (whiplash protection) tests. It also earns a Good rating for ease of child seat anchor use, as well as a Superior grade for its crash prevention technology.

In Edmunds testing, a front-wheel-drive RX 350 came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet, a few feet longer than average.

INTERIOR DESIGN AND SPECIAL FEATURES

With a low seating position and a driver-focused dashboard design, the 2017 Lexus RX 350 is more carlike than the earlier-generation models. Rest assured, you'll still get that elevated view of the road that makes crossovers so popular. The overall design is also visually appealing, especially in the available two-tone color schemes, and the quality of materials and the fit-and-finish are on par with its more expensive competitors.

There's plenty of headroom in the cabin despite the dramatically raked roof line, although it feels a tad tighter than the airy Volvo XC90. The sliding and reclining backseat is wide and comfortable, with abundant legroom even for taller passengers. Optional power adjustment is a bonus. The front seats were supportive during our test drives, but larger drivers could find the F Sport's sport seats a bit too confining.

One of the RX 350's few deficits is its cargo capacity. That radically raked roof line doesn't leave much space above the cargo cover, meaning bulkier items are less likely to fit. Furthermore, the 40/20/40-split rear seatback doesn't quite fold flat. Listed cargo capacity is 18.4 cubic feet behind the second row, which is several cubic feet less than most of its competitors.

Another downside is the optional Remote Touch tech interface, which uses a small joystick to control a cursor on a large central screen. Although it operates like a computer mouse, the ultra-sensitive controller is clumsy and distracting to use while driving. If tech features are important to you, we recommend playing around with Remote Touch before you check it on the options box. If there's a silver lining, it's that Lexus bundles Remote Touch with the upgraded and high-def 12.3-inch display, which is easy to read.

DRIVING IMPRESSIONS

Although the current RX is far more athletic than previous versions, it's still geared toward comfort above all else. Its engine is smooth and quiet with enough power for most passing situations, and the refined suspension filters out all but the most jarring bumps and potholes. It's a setup that makes for a serene environment in the city or out on the highway. If you're looking for a slightly more engaging feel, consider the RX 350 F Sport. It has sharper steering, a more responsive suspension, and larger wheels and tires that make the RX feel more like its competition. We were surprised to find that the F Sport is perfectly pleasant to drive even in the suspension's firmest setting (Sport S+). Unless you're after the softest ride possible, it's worth considering the F Sport for its more balanced overall feel.

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