All About Lexus Rx300, Rx330, Rx350 SUVs.
The Lexus RX is a mid-size luxury crossover SUV sold since 1998 by Lexus, the luxury division of Toyota. Originally released in its home market of Japan in late 1997 as the Toyota Harrier, export sales began in March 1998 as the Lexus RX. Four generations of the Lexus RX have been produced to date, the first being compact in size, and the latter three classified as mid-size. Both front- and four-wheel drive configurations have been used on the RX series, and several gasoline powertrain options, including V6 engines and hybrid systems, have been offered. In the Lexus model lineup, the RX sits below the larger GX and LX body-on-frame SUVs, and above the smaller NX crossover. The RX name stands for Radiant Crossover. It has also been labelled as “Recreation Cross Country” in some markets.
The first-generation RX 300, fitted with a 3.0-liter V6 engine, began sales in 1998. The Japanese market Toyota Harrier released in 1997 also offered a 2.2-liter inline-four, later uprated to 2.4-liters. The second-generation RX 300 (3.0-liter V6) and RX 330 (3.3-liter V6) models went on sale in 2003, with both variants supplanted by the more powerful RX 350 (3.5-liter V6) in 2006. Like the previous series, a 2.4-liter inline-four engine was sold alongside the 3.0-liter V6 in the Japanese market Toyota Harrier. In 2005, a hybridized gasoline-electric version of the 3.3-liter second-generation model was made available as the RX 400h in export markets and as the Harrier Hybrid in Japan. For the third and current iteration released in 2009, both RX 350 (3.5-liter V6) and RX 450h (3.5-liter V6 hybrid) models were initially offered, with an entry-level RX 270 (2.7-liter inline-four) offered by Lexus in some Asian markets, including in Japan, since 2010. Since the release of the third generation, Japanese sales have occurred under the Lexus RX name as opposed to Toyota Harrier as had been the case previously.
2017 Lexus RX 350.
The Lexus RX, which has reigned as the best-selling Lexus model and the top seller among all luxury crossovers and SUVs for nearly two decades, went under the knife for some major work in 2016. It kept the passenger-car mechanicals, raised seating position, posh interior, and cargo-friendly five-passenger SUV body style but cranked the styling volume up to new heights with an outsize snout, a floating roof, and a riotous surface treatment. Voting with their wallets, the car-buying public seems to prefer this new RX, as sales have increased versus the more sedate-looking previous version.
For 2017, the RX350 is available in well-equipped base or sporty F Sport trim, the latter boasting 20-inch wheels, adaptive damping, an engine-sound enhancer, quilted sport seats with more bolstering, and an even more expansive grille. Also offered is the RX450h gas-electric hybrid. All are available with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
What’s New: After the major redo last year, the fourth-generation RX350 rolls into 2017 with minor tweaks to its standard and optional equipment. Optional last year, rain-sensing wipers and the Lexus Safety System+ now are standard fare, the latter adding a pre-collision warning system, automatic high-beams, automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure alert, and lane-keeping assist to the RX’s already lengthy list of safety gear. (The RX450h hybrid now brings standard blind-spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic alert system with automated emergency braking.) Also, the F Sport trim is now available with front-wheel drive, not just all-wheel drive as before.
How Much Does the Lexus RX 350 Cost?
The Lexus RX 350 has one of the lower base prices in the luxury midsize SUV segment, with a starting price of $43,120. The performance-oriented F Sport trim starts at $49,020. All-wheel-drive is available as a $1,400 option in both trims. The RX 350 delivers a lot of features and rates well in the categories that drive our rankings.
Should I Buy the RX 350?
The RX 350 is a midsize luxury SUV that’s popular, in part, because of its $43,120 starting price. For the money, you get a lot of features: a rearview camera; an infotainment system with a large, 8-inch display; and a nine-speaker sound system are all standard, as is the Lexus Safety System.