2016 Lexus RX 350

Newly Creased, Not Quite Edgy. A sleek and sporty 5-door sport utility vehicle.

  • Likes
  • Good overall value for a premium car
  • Dislikes
  • Turning radius

Twenty six years into the brand's history, it's time to tame the 2016 Lexus RX 350. Lexus’ 2016 volume-selling RX crossover gets an exterior makeover that brings it in line with the brand’s current, outré design theme. Now boasting a “spindle” grille reminiscent of the polarizing 2014 and up Lexus IS 200t and IS 350, the RX is definitely a more eye-catching ride than it was before. In the case of the RX, any change is a potential risk. However, it was one of the brand’s top selling cars, and one of the only luxury vehicles to top 100,000 units in the United States.

A mid-sized crossover, the RX 350 has plenty of space and very comfortable seats. In this way, the new model very much sticks to Lexus tradition. If anything, the interior of the 2016 RX 350 is more Lexus-like than ever. Quality has gone up a little as well, with some of the hard plastic surfaces now covered with stitched leather and faux leather. The gimmick analog clock remains, and the Mark Levinson audio system is plenty powerful. Some 2016 RX 350 models will have a third row of seats, enabling this crossover to take over minivan-like people moving duties.

The 2016 Lexus RX 350 still uses a direct-injected 3.5-liter V6 that has been around for over a decade, but now it makes a little more power -- 295 vs 270 horsepower -- and can run in Atkinson-cycle mode for increased fuel economy. Expect low to mid 20s mpg in mixed driving. An available hybrid, the RX 450h, should do much better, especially in city traffic.

If not totally head turning, the new styling will at least cause some head scratching. You can’t say that Toyota isn’t brave. Despite the makeover, visibility is actually improved a little, thanks to the lower dash line and slightly thinner pillars. Navigation is optional, as are a host of driver assist features like blind-spot monitoring and cross traffic alert. Lexus Enform coupled with a large 8-inch display will make your connected drive a pleasant experience. Our silver lining metallic 2016 Lexus RX 350 came with a suite of options and F Sport treatments that give this SUV a more aggressive stance and dynamic ride. That said, the vehicle felt long and sometimes tricky to maneuver in tight parking lots.

Rest assured that your Lexus RX will be as comfortable appearing at an opera venue as it would on trips to the soccer field and Costco warehouse.

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, 5-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty, 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion warranty

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Specs

Base Price: $41,900

As Tested: $41,900

  • 20 / 28 mpg
  • EPA
  • 7.7 sec
  • 0-60
  • 295 hp
  • Horsepower
  • 124 mph
  • Top Speed
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Horsepower: 295 hp
  • Torque: 268 lb-ft @ 4,700
  • Transmission: 8-speed Automatic Electronically Controlled Transmission
  • Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs
  • Wheelbase: 109.8 in
  • Length: 192.5 in
  • Width: 74.6 in
  • Height: 67.7 in
  • Brakes: 12.9-in ventilated front discs, 13.3-in solid rear discs
  • Suspension: (FRONT) Independent MacPherson struts with coil springs (REAR) Independent double-wishbone with coil springs
  • Traction: Automatic Traction Control System
  • 0-60 mph: 7.7 sec
  • Top Speed: 124 mph
  • EPA City: 20 mpg
  • EPA Highway: 28 mpg
  • Combined MPG: 23 mpg
  • Seating Capacity: 5
  • Safety: Four-wheel power-assisted discs with four-sensor, four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist

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