In 1990, Lexus managed to get ahead of the Germans when it launched the RX. The car surpassed brands such as Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz which were building sedans and coupes. This all-weather, all-purpose wagon still remains an understated piece with a loyal group of buyers. Although the 2014 Lexus RX 350 is not one of the best cars in the world, it is more affordable, practical and reliable than environmentally irresponsible sports cars or SUVs.
Since 2010, the RX has received a light refresh. The 2014 Lexus RX 350 has a new spindle grille. The blunt purposefulness combined with soft elegance makes the new-generation car’s design to look less menacing. New updates include new rear taillights, LED running lamps and some new exterior colors. Although the RX is not the luxury brand’s most exciting model, it’s a well-made comfort filled car that provides a smooth ride. Moreover, it has the cargo capacity and seating position of a crossover. All-wheel drive is optional, but automatic headlights, a power liftgate, front-wheel drive and LED daytime running lights are standard.
The 2014 Lexus RX 350 can accommodate 5 passengers and is available in two models, the RX 350 and the hybrid RX. The RX 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that delivers 270 hp and 248 lb-ft torque. The engine is paired with a standard six-speed automatic and the F Sport models with an eight-speed. EPA rates the 2014 Lexus RX 350 at 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway and the F Sport at 18 city and 26 highway. Although it is not among the best cars in the world, the RX can reach 60 mph in 7.7 seconds and 7.8 with all-wheel drive. The price for the F Sport starts at $48,360.
The F Sport package includes a sport-tuned suspension for more aggressive styling cues, bigger 19-inch wheels and a blacked-out front grille. However, the F package delivers slightly better numbers than the standard model. The tuned dampers used instead of fixed mounting pieces helps absorb shock better and the steering feel is also improved.
On the inside, options are pretty much limited to top-notch infotainment systems and include navigation with real-time traffic, leather, a USB port, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a Mark Levinson sound system. The center console and steering wheel have been re-contoured and some new leather and wood combinations are available. Although it is exciting to sit in the cabin of the 2014 Lexus RX 350, anyone trading their 2012 model will immediately feel at home.