It is laborious to believe the Lexus RX SUV was initial introduced in Australia manner back in 2003, because the RX330. There square measure still lots of these vehicles on the road, and to the common punter they most likely seem like the newest model – launched in early 2009.
Lexus’s RX designers appear to possess taken the Porsche 911 route in terms of solely subtly evolving the posh SUV’s look over the years.
Nearly 3 years on from the latest-generation RX’s launch, the model is troubled compared to the tip of 2009 once it absolutely was the second-best-selling model in Australia’s luxury-SUV phase.
RX sales born thirty one per cent in 2011 to depart Lexus’s smallest SUV (it additionally offers the LandCruiser-based LX570) trailing variety of alternative luxury SUVs, together with the Land Rover Discovery four, Audi Q5 and each BMW X model except the niche X6.
The entry level RX350 Luxury – from $77,400 – kicks off the range with the F-Sport as tested starting from $85,400. The top of the range Sports Luxury starts from $93,900.
The standard features list is impressive and includes features like live traffic enabled satellite-navigation, reversing camera with guide assist, electric adjustable leather seats, power rear tailgate, digital audio, 12-speaker audio system, 19-inch alloy wheels and daytime running lights.
The RX 350 kicks things up a notch from the 4-cylinder RX 270 with the smooth V6 petrol engine pumping out a very useful 204kW of power and 346 Nm of torque. Thanks to multi point injection power figures are decent and performance is respectable for an SUV weighing more than two tonnes. The 0-100kmh dash can be done in 8 seconds according to Lexus — and it probably feels a little quicker off the mark than those figures suggest.
Fuel consumption is quoted at 10.8L/100km for the combined cycle but in predominantly city traffic you can expect to chew through about 15L /100.
The smooth transmission is a highlight. It’s well-matched with the engine and doesn’t sound noisy or trashy when accelerating. Sound insulation in the cabin obviously helps and it’s one of the things Lexus is renowned for.
The revamped RX range shares the signature face of the rest of the Lexus fleet. With its spindle grille and more aggressive F-Sport front bumper design, mesh grille and distinctive F Sport badge this RX350 stands out. The daytime running lights also help to make the front end look sporty.
The interior looks good and is comfortable and spacious, with plenty of room for cargo and passengers. The dash design is shared with the new generation Lexus GS range while the remote touch system is easy to navigate. The F sport also scores sports pedals and steering wheel to underscore its sporty aims.
There are ten airbags, including side airbags on the rear outer seats, as standard. Additional safety features include stability control and traction control, hill-start assist control, anti-lock braking and associated technology such as electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
Also notable is the Lexus active cruise control system employed in the RX range. It’s works with the a radar system detecting other vehicles up ahead and adjusting speed accordingly. It makes for smoother more relaxed freeway driving.
The engine responds well to the pedal and has plenty of urge for the in-gear acceleration needed for overtaking between 80-110kmh – particularly considering the size and weight of the car.
This Lexus is equally at home taking the family around the city as well as relaxed travelling on freeways but don’t expect it to tow a heavy load or handle offroad terrain – it might be 4WD bit it just wasn’t designed for serious offroading.
While it does handle better than the entry level RX – and the engine and transmission are a smooth combination – fuel consumption can be a bit disappointing in city driving but it makes up for that with its performance considering the size of the vehicle.
The Lexus RX 350 F Sport is a car that will appeal for those looking for sportier family transportation, a quality interior and better performance and handling than your average SUV. As with other Lexus cars one of the reasons to consider it over some of its rivals is the fact that most of the optional extras are included as standard.