2012 Lexus RX350

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2012 Lexus RX350 Review

Comfortable and reliable -- but bland

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview
The RX was Lexus' first entry into the luxury crossover category, and was originally known as the RX 300. Since then, the luxury crossover category has become much more crowded, and as the competition has heated up, Lexus has continued to refine and improve its RX models.

The last major revisions to the RX came in 2010. Little has changed since then, and the RX 350 still comes standard with a 275-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6; the RX 450h, a hybrid with that same engine, plus two electric motors, makes 295 horsepower. The dimensions are the same for both models. The RX comes in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

There are no significant changes for 2012, but the latest-generation RX has plenty of technology, including Lexus' new voice-activated Enform infotainment system. The RX comes with 10 airbags standard and offers five passengers a quiet, luxurious cabin.

The Range

Body style: SUV
Engines: 3.5-liter V-6, 3.5-liter hybrid V-6
Transmissions: six-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: RX 350, RX 450h

What's New

Both the RX 350 and RX 450h are carryovers for 2012. Lexus reduced the cost of ownership by dropping the RX's fuel requirements to 87-octane. Lastly, Nebula Gray Pearl replaces Smoky Granite Mica.

Exterior

The current generation RX is a conservative-looking, pod-shaped SUV. It has a short nose and hood, flared fender arches for 18-inch alloy wheels, and a sharply raked back. Select bulges and chrome accents add brawn to the chic flair.

Interior

Driver and front passenger get 10-way power adjustable and heated and ventilated seats. The interior comes standard with real wood trim and leather accents. Nine-speaker audio and Bluetooth are standard, and a Mark Levinson audio system and voice-activated infotainment display are optional.

Performance & Handling

The RX 350 and 450h are smooth and competent vehicles, but hardly engaging. The steering is somewhat numb and despite the power, the RX feels heavy. Braking performance is not great, but all models, including hybrid, get from a standstill to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds.

Safety

The RX comes with driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, brake assist, stability control, and traction control.

EPA Fuel Economy

RX 350: 18 mpg city/24-25 mpg highway
RX 450h: 30-32 mpg city/29-30 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Attractive interior
  • Great hybrid fuel economy

You Won't Like

  • Numb steering
  • Expensive hybrid

Sum Up

Comfortable and reliable -- but bland

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Acura MDX
  • Audi Q5
  • BMW X5
  • Lincoln MKX

See the New 2015 RX350.

Front & Driver Side View
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