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Car reviews - Lexus - RX - RX350 Sport Luxury 5-dr wagon

Overview

The new Lexus RX350 is a softie, but one with plenty to offer

Lexus logo13 Aug 2009

By LUCIANO PAOLINO

LEXUS is having another lunge at the luxury SUV segment it helped define more than a decade ago, with the latest, third-generation RX. And what an improvement it is over the flaccid old one, bringing worthwhile strides in driveability, safety and refinement, while losing none of the cushiness or value that helped make the previous model a big success. Tested in top-line Sport Luxury guise, the RX350 won’t light a wick beneath keen drivers, but for everybody else there is plenty to savour.
Model release date: 1 March 2009 to 1 May 2012

Previous model

Lexus G2 RX330/350

Released: May 2003
Ended: February 2009
Family Tree: RX

UNBELIEVABLY, Lexus’s first car-based crossover/SUV (after the gargantuan LandCruiser 100-series derived LX series) is closely related to the underrated first-gen Toyota Kluger, but you would never know that from its prodigious body roll, comatose steering and general dynamic malaise. A lovely and smooth 3.3-litre V6/five-speed automatic combination (upgraded to a more powerful 3.5-litre unit in 2006), in conjunction with a superbly designed and appointed interior, make the grade, however, as does Lexus’s usual top-drawer quality and craftsmanship. A BMW X5 or Mercedes ML320 might run rings around the Japanese luxury crossover to drive, but as an ownership experience, they can learn a thing or two from the RX.

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