2011 Lexus RX 350 Review by Auto123
These are stressful times. Severely taxing even. If cancer rates, gas prices and unrest in many parts of the world weren't enough, according to some scriptures, we just made it through the “End of the world” at the end of last May. Let's not start on December 2012...
An unfortunate by-product of that are people who are increasingly looking out for themselves. In a way, it helps to maintain a certain level of sanity when we attempt to shield ourselves from the outside world.
One of the most important of escapes is when we set foot in our cars. We feel safe, secure and empowered. As an extension of our person, our cars also say a lot about who we are.
Luxury brands have been playing the identity card for a number of years and have proven so successful that “lesser” brands are following suit. One such high-end make is Lexus, and it masterfully galloped into the luxury brand stable as an intelligent, elegant alternative to the establishment. In some twenty years, Lexus has held on to that aura, principally thanks to vehicles such as the RX.
Now in its third generation, the current RX has not deviated from its roots as a true mid-size luxury CUV. Unlike the BMW X5 which has grown exponentially, the RX remains a comfortable, manageable size.
And that is a large part of its appeal. Its non-gargantuan dimensions, crisp lines and distinctive front fascia are almost refreshing in a segment where being armagonnacomeandgetya-looking has become a designer’s primary goal. Not so with Lexus, although their newer products such as the CT 200h is coping some attitude.
The right proportions outside translate into properly-sized living space on the inside. Four occupants are regally catered to, whereas five, where three would seat in the rear, may consider their neighbours more of a royal pain.
Seats are cozy and relaxing, much in line with the vehicle's demeanour. Trunk room is generous, capable of taking on three golf bags with little or no effort.
The dashboard itself, which is built from quality materials and expertly assembled, is very dry and plain. Functional, to be sure, but it alienates lovers of techie and innovative design. On the subject of innovation, Lexus created their own interface gizmo to navigate through various menus. Called Remote Touch, it features a mouse/joystick-like controller than is impressively intuitive to use. The downside is that it robs the centre console of important storage room, relegated mostly to the small door bins.
For certain, comfort and serenity are in abundance in the RX's cabin. Extremely quiet and cocoon-like, nothing but the worst offending Civic with stove-pipe exhaust noises penetrates the Lexus' inner sanctum. Shutting the door, with a satisfactory thud, isolates passengers from all of the ugly.
To get away from it all, the Lexus depends on the tried and true 3.5L V6. Generating 275 hp, it easily whisks the CUV to speed without ever uttering more than a pleasing and demure grunt. Smooth and creamy, the 6-speed autobox slides from gear to gear in an almost imperceptible manner.
The non-hybrid RXs make use of an Active Torque Control AWD system which automatically adapts to changing road conditions. Sounds like an old wife's tale, but it actually works well. It adjusts front and rear torque, always searching for optimum traction.
It's not often that I'll agree with or refer to a commercial, as they are obviously biased. The exception to this rule stars the RX and a little girl staring out the rear window as her father navigates through ugly city traffic and construction. As I was cruising around in the RX, I often thought back to how very representative the commercial is.
Full Review At: http://www.auto123.com/en/lexus/rx/2...4&artid=131659