Several Lexus vehicles have been delivered to me for testing since 2010, and the latest was a 2019 RX-350 “F Sport” luxury, mid-size, crossover SUV. It came in “ultra white metallic,” and inside, it had red leather interior with black trim, headliner and carpet.
M.S.R.P. for this car was $61,315.00, and it included a radio/navigation package ($3,225.00), heads-up display ($600.00), cold-weather package ($315.00), Mark Levinson 835-watt, premium stereo ($995), and intuitive parking assist ($1,865.00).
The packages added such things as a panoramic moon roof, xenon headlights, rain-sensing wipers, 20-inch alloy wheels, heated mirrors/seats/steering wheel, roof rails, back-up camera, Lexus Enform multimedia display, satellite radio and illuminated scuff plates.
Standard Lexus equipment included electric tilt/telescope, power windows and locks, radar cruise control, privacy glass, a hands-free power tailgate, 10-way power bucket seats and power mirrors. Seating was for five and luggage space behind the second row of seats was 40 cubic feet. That number doubles when the back seats are folded down.
During a cool week, I found that the heated steering wheel delivers its comfort only when gripped at the 9-o’clock and 3-o’clock hand positions, so that’s the way I drove it. For safety, said wheel vibrates when lane lines are crossed, and the accompanying audible signal sounds like a duck, according to my wife. I’m not much of a fan of lane-keep assist, but this one kicked in at speeds over 32 mph.
The ride was suitable on the RX, and I liked the handling and guidance, along with the enhanced visibility from quarter windows that allow the driver to see both ahead of and behind the outside mirrors.
The styling of the RX is a Lexus hallmark, and the body style iteration is in its fourth generation. Dual chrome tailpipes were present at the rear, and the wheels, window styling and black outside mirrors present a sharp visage. Up front, the car features Lexus’ “spindle,” a pinched-in, somewhat-massive grill design with chrome surround.
Power for this car is provided by a 3.5-liter, 295-horsepower (268 foot-pounds torque) V-6 with an EPA rating of 19/city, 22/combined, 26/highway miles per gallon and a 19.2-gallon tank. I observed 20.6 mpg during my week driving around in the RX, which, according to the manufacturer, goes from zero to 60 in 7.8 seconds. Behind the power plant is an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Drivers can choose from several driving modes in the F Sport model. “Normal” comes as advertised, “Sport” puts an edge on powertrain responsiveness, and “Eco” mode adjusts for maximum fuel efficiency. “Sport S” mode enhances throttle response and acceleration. The F Sport adds “Sport S+” mode, which activates a firmer suspension setting for flatter cornering, and with “Customize,” I was able to combine powertrain and chassis settings. The RX is, of course, an all-wheel-drive configuration, and the wheels are 20-spoke, graphite-gray alloys fitted with P235/55R20 Bridgestone Ecopia 422+ all-season radials.
It’s not a surprise that the RX is the top-selling Lexus model sold in America. I very much enjoyed my week with the RX-350 F Sport.
Stu Wright is an automotive writer and photographer, a 35-year resident of Greeley and a member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press.