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2013 Lexus RX 350 F Sport Review & Test Drive 6
Aug
Posted by Harvey Schwartz in Automotive, LEXUS, Lexus RX350, Lexus RX350 F-Sport, SUV, Test Drives on 08 6th, 2013
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Beauty Right Done Small

2013 Lexus RX F Sport Beauty Right Done Small

‘PUTTING MORE PERFORMANCE INTO THE BEST SELLING LUXURY SUV’

The Lexus RX 350 is the #1 selling mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle.  It is about time that Lexus brings to its many enthusiasts a RX with higher levels of performance and sharper exterior styling with interior sporty cues.

The new F SPORT is available only in all-wheel drive and features an eight-speed automatic transmission with razor-sharp responding paddle shifters, an F SPORT-tuned suspension to keep the exclusive 19X8 inch split five-spoke wheels in a Dark Graphic finish solidly planted on the ground.  In the front are an aggressive front bumper, HID headlamp clusters, and a deep mesh grille with the new signature chrome spindle design. Down below is a splitter and foglamps at the sides. Inside are a host of exclusive sporty cues making it even more fun to be piloting the new RX 350 F SPORT.

2013 Lexus RX F Sport Engine Done Small

The new RX 350 F SPORT combines the standard 3.5 liter, DOHC, 24-valve, all-alloy V6 engine that generates 270hp at 6,200rpm and 248lb.ft. of torque at 4,700rpm.  Dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) is used to control both intake and exhaust camshafts independently; optimizing engine performance at many speeds and loads.  I would have liked to see a significantly increase in horsepower to really make the F SPORT go faster off the line.  It only got to 60mph from a standstill in just under 7 seconds, which is about the same for the regular RX 350.  The RX SPORT’s eight-speed automatic is only available in the new F SPORT and comes with fun-to-use paddle shifters.  It gave me quicker shifting response with help from miniature high-flow linear solenoids that allowed for more precise clutch operation.  The torque converter uses a low-speed lockup damper to enable lock-up from first to eighth gear to help fuel economy.

2013 Lexus RX F Sport Beauty Side Done Small

All of the torque is transferred to all four wheels with an electronically controlled Active Torque Control AWD system.  Active Torque Control AWD uses an electronically controlled coupling ahead of the rear differential to vary torque distribution anywhere from 100:0 to 50:50 front to rear, depending on driving dynamics and road conditions.  When accelerating, or at launch on a low-grip surface, torque is quickly provided to all four wheels.  At steady speeds, torque is sent to the front wheels, enhancing fuel efficiency.  The new F SPORT gets 18mpg/city and 26mpg/highway.

The fully independent suspension gets tuned for more aggressive driving.  The tuned MacPherson strut front setup includes coil springs, an anti-roll bar and monotube shocks.  The rear setup is a double-wishbone setup with coil springs, anti-roll bar and monotube shocks.  The firmer shocks and springs gave me a more engaging driving experience.  A unique lateral performance damper system absorbs and minimizes body vibrations, resulting in a more linear steering feel from the electric power-assisted rack & pinion system and enhanced ride comfort.  It responded to my inputs quickly with no wavering.  In lieu of conventional fixed bracing, no front strut tower brace, this system features a front performance damper and a rear damper connecting the left and right sides of the rear structural frame.  VDIM handling technology is standard on the RX 350 AWD F SPORT and has been recalibrated for the more aggressive handling F SPORT.  VDIM anticipates loss of vehicle control and governs all of the vehicle’s dynamic handling systems-the ABS Braking System, BA, EBD, Vehicle Stability Control and Traction Control-with the electronic throttle control system.  The system employs them collectively and seamlessly to help make corrections while allowing high dynamic capability for more aggressive driving on curving roads.

Slowing the new RX 350 F SPORT down from speed are large, four-wheel power-assisted steel disc brakes.  Up front are 12.9 inch vented discs clamped with dual-piston calipers and 12.2 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear.

2013 Lexus RX F Sport Beauty Rear Done Small

Adding to the more aggressive handling prowess are the meaty Dunlop 235/55VR19 inch Grand Trek Touring A/S performance tires.  The wrap around aggressive 19X7.5 inch split-five spoke Dark Graphite finished alloy wheels.

The new exterior styling shows that this RX 350 F SPORT is more aggressive on the road.  The new distinctive and contemporary front fascia is highlighted with Lexus’ signature chrome spindle grille and a bolder sport bumper, featuring an F SPORT exclusive mesh grille.  The upper edge of the grille is set lower than the upper edge of the HID headlight assembly to establish a more aggressive look.  Standard LED daytime running lights and combination rear LED lamps reflect the ‘L’ design motif.  Foglamps are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia that also includes a centered splitter.  Pronounced front fenders flow into the doors, and integrated rear fender flares neatly sweep around to pull together the taut rear corners of the vehicle.  The lower bodykit emphasizes the standard 19 inch wheels and tires.  Distinctive F SPORT exterior badges are seen on the top of the front fenders.  The profile shows steeply raked windshield A-pillars, a full perimeter chrome strip around the greenhouse, a chrome strip below the doors, aero-styled heated/self-dimming/power-folding rearview mirrors, pull-out door handles and an aluminum roof rack.  The rear fascia features a spoiler on top of the power opening/closing liftgate, a step-up bumper with a rubber pad.  Down below is a diffuser to help better manage the airflow out the rear underside.  There is one exhaust tip hidden under the bumper to give it a cleaner look but I would have liked to see dual exhaust pipes spaced at each end for a more aggressive look from behind.

2013 Lexus RX F Sport Dashboard Done Small

The interior combines the regular RX 350 luxury and convenience features with the F SPORT exclusive cues.  These include perforated black leather-trimmed, 10-way powered front bucket seats that are very comfortable and supportive with white perforation holes.  White contrast stitching accentuates the seats, center console with dual cupholders/storage bin/armrest, and door armrest.  A new Ebony Bird’s eye Maple trim is found on the center console and switch plates thus adding a touch of sporty elegance.  A black headliner, sporty perforated leather-wrapped/power tilt/telescopic steering wheel feels great in my hands and shows the ‘F’ logo on the bottom.  There is also aluminum pedals with rubber inserts to finish the sporty interior character.

The new RX F SPORT can accommodate a variety of music sources, providing auxiliary and USB inputs, Bluetooth audio wireless connectivity and a standard integrated SiriusXM satellite radio receiver.  Standard voice recognition and Bluetooth technology allow phone calls to be made and received once paired with a compatible smartphone.  When an iPod is attached via the USB port, information such as artist name, track and album can be displayed on the available navigation or headunit, while the iPod can be controlled through the audio system.  The large center console storage box easily accommodates a variety of electronic devices while keeping wires out of sight.

2013 Lexus RX F Sport Cluster Done Small

Standard features not mentioned above in the new RX 350 F SPORT include the Lexus Premium Audio system, automatic sound levelizer with in-dash single feed 8-disc CD auto-changer, USB iPod/MP3 control, Bluetooth technology, XM satellite radio, auto dual zone climate control with air-vents, reclining/sliding 40/20/40 split rear seat with pull down dual cupholder/storage tray, cruise control, power sunroof, heated/ventilated front bucket seats, electroluminescent rallye gauges, Lexus HomeLink Universal transceiver, SmartAccess Passive entry, LCD screen for ventilation, audio settings, multi-media display with Lexus personal settings, trip computer and outside temperature display, all express up/down windows, dual map lamps, grab handles above each door, variable speed wipers/washers, rear hidden wiper/washer, map pockets behind the front seatbacks, rear tonneau cover, floor mats, dual lighted vanity mirrors, and a leather-wrapped stick shifter.  There is storage in each door and in the large, locking glovebox.

2013 Lexus RX F Sport Back Seats Done Small

My new Lexus RX 350 F SPORT came with these options: Blind Spot Monitor, a great Head’s-Up Display, the awesome Mark Levinson Premium Audio Surround Sound system with a single DVD/CD Player, HD radio with iTunes Tagging and 15-speakers, the Lexus Navigation System with Voice Command, Lexus Enform, Lexus Enform screen multi-media display & Lexus Enform with destination assist and eDistination, App Suite, Sirius XM NavTraffic, NavWeather, Stocks, Sports and fuel prices, Intuitive Parking Assist and Cargo net.

Standard safety features include dual advanced front airbags, driver/front passenger knee airbags, front & rear side curtain airbags, front & rear seat mounted side airbags, Smart Stop Technology, 3-point safety belts for all five seats with front pretensioners/load limiters, , vehicle theft deterrent system with engine immobilizer, automatic headlights, daytime running lamps, tire pressure monitor and front/rear crumple zones with steel beams in each door.

The new 2013 Lexus RX 350 F SPORT is an excellent AWD performance sport utility vehicle that gives the driver more levels of performance in handling when driving on curving roads or straight ahead at high speeds on the highway.  It is a good first start to liven up the best-selling luxury sport utility vehicle but I would like to see more power to go along with the excellent handling capabilities.

2013 Lexus RX F Sport Beauty Right Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Beauty Left Up Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Beauty Side Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Beauty Rear Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Dashboard Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Cluster Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Back Seats Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Door Trim Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Engine Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport F Badge Done Small
2013 Lexus RX F Sport Badge Done Small

COPYRIGHT: 2013: HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: $47,000.00/$53,029.00 as tested
  • Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6 24-valve 270 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm / 248 ft-lbs. torque @ 4,700 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 107.9 inches
  • Total length: 187.8 inches
  • Total width: 74.2 inches
  • Total height: 66.3 inches
  • Track: f/r-64.2/63.8 inches
  • Headroom: f/r-39.1/37.7 inches
  • Legroom: 43.1/36.8 inches
  • Total interior volume: 139.7 cu.ft.
  • Cargo volume: 40/rear seats up/80.3cu.ft. rear seat folded
  • Curb weight: 4,510 pounds
  • Maximum towing: 3,500 pounds
  • Fuel capacity: 19.2 gallons
  • Turning circle: 40 ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.8 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 21mpg/city, 26mpg/highway

 



2013 Lexus RX350 F-Sport Review & Test Drive 11
Apr
Posted by Malcolm Hogan in Automotive, LEXUS, Lexus RX350, Lexus RX350 F-Sport, SUV, Test Drives on 04 11th, 2013
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport

The new design language of Lexus has been spiced up to attract a larger enthusiast base and now tricked down to their prided RX350 SUV with a new F-Sport package for the 2013 model year. The all-new 2013 RX350 already embodies Lexus’ pursuit to put their best refined luxury attributes forward. Now, Lexus is attempts to demonstrate a sportier side of the spectrum with the new RX350 F-Sport sharing subtle sporty design traits and refreshed chassis dynamics to match its new sporty look.

The new 2013 Lexus RX350 is already a traditional luxury SUV in the sense of finding one in just about every other garage in traditional American suburbia. Exuding a lineage of remarkable quality, reliability, and fit and finish, the new 2013 Lexus RX350 is all about meeting the expectations of a mid-sized luxury crossover vehicle with a salted dash of performance and sporty looks in the new F-Sport trim.

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-side

The new 2013 Lexus RX350 F-Sport retains most aspects of a normal trim RX featuring the same 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 270 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 248 ft-lbs. of torque at 4,700 rpm. What is different in the RX350 F-Sport from the normal RX is a new 8-speed automatic transmission added in place of the 6-speed auto. Adding the 8-speed auto box along with a standard all-wheel-drive system makes the RX350 F-Sport an attractive package for those who want to nudge out an extra bit of adapted performance. To complete the added performance of the F-Sport package is a standard set of darkened 19-inch wheels wrapped in 235/55 all-season tires and sport-tuned suspension.

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-engine

Power from the silky smooth V6 engine, more of a proven and refined workhorse for many Toyota and Lexus vehicles, comes on strong and is only as good as the 8-speed automatic it is mated to in the RX350 F-Sport. The 8-speed auto has a rather smart adaptation to your driving style where as it tends to go into a virtual sport mode under brisk driving. Conversely, the transmission seems to have a split second hick-up for selecting the proper gear when the need arises to upshift under mid-range throttle inputs. During abrupt full-throttle selections the 8-speed box has no qualms about quickly selecting the proper gear. A manual shift mode with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles is takes much of its programming from the Lexus IS-F allowing you to rev-match down-shifts near redlined rpm levels. Additionally, the transmission actually holds gears in manual mode without automatically up-shifting under heavy throttle.

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-rear-angle

The new sport tuned suspension, unique to the RX350’s F-Sport package, is basically a change in the dampening of the shocks along with two braces to bridge the front and rear chassis rails. Surprisingly, the ride is noticeably firmer over a normal RX350 though the spring rates remain unchanged from the normal RX350. What is claimed as a true sport-tuned suspension in the RX350 F-Sport really changes its road-going feel with somewhat of a firmer dampened ride and better turn-in. 0-60 mph times remain around 6.8 seconds, mostly unchanged from the previous 2 years.

On the road the new 2013 Lexus RX350 F-Sport provides a smooth ride but does transmit an extra bit of stiffness when going over moderate to large sized road bumps. However, the RX350 F-Sport continues to remain civilized and extremely quiet with only a slight growl transmitting into the cabin from the V6 engine under power. Fortunately, Lexus now offers the ability to burn regular 87 octane fuel, something of value for those wanting to save a bit at the pump and still nail the 18 mpg city and 25 mpg highway estimated fuel economy figures. During my week-long drive consisting of about a 50/50 ratio of city and highway driving I came away with 19.5 mpg on average and reached 24 mpg on the highway.

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-wheel-tire

The new 2013 Lexus RX350 F-Sport’s front end exterior styling along with the darkened 19-inch wheels and F-Sport badging, outside and inside, are the only visual giveaways of the F-Sport being something ‘different’ from the normal RX350. The front end bumper is highlighted by a mesh-style grill projecting the new spindle grill design iterated throughout the rest of the new Lexus lineup of vehicles.

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-dashboard

On the inside the new 2013 Lexus RX350 F-Sport is virtually the same as the normal RX350. Though, normality already has had its bar set in a high position when it comes to Lexus’ luxurious interiors. The new RX350 is nothing short of what is expected from Lexus. Most dashboard interior pieces look to have a luxurious look with only a couple places filled with hard plastics. The electroluminescent gauge cluster is brightly lit while all controls are easily accessible in their traditional location.

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-front-seats

The latest version of Lexus’ Enform suite of apps to integrate with your cell phone work well through Bluetooth synchronization. The Lexus remote touch system, which uses a mouse-like tracking device to navigate through the high-resolution center color LCD screen, takes a while to adapt to. The force feed-back of the tracker when rolling over on-screen buttons is a benefit to helping keep your focus on the road when making function selections. Other dashboard controls, such as a dedicated button panel for ac/heater and audio controls is a welcomed change-up from using the mouse-type tracker control.

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-rear-seats

A full range of luxury options are available of the new 2013 RX350 F-Sport, such as a top-level Luxury package adding LED headlights, 10-way power front seats, heated steering wheel and smog-sensing climate control. The new standard LED running lamps, heated mirrors, power liftgate, dual-zone auto climate control, eight-way power front seats, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, sliding and reclining rear seats, auto dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, iPod/USB interface, satellite radio, Entune app suite and 12-speaker sound system with HD radio are all value-added features that make the RX350 an attractive buy as it comes.

I found the interior room to be plentiful for 5 passengers while the rear seating area’s sliding and reclining feature adds to the versatility of the RX. Rear cargo, accessible through the standard power liftgate, gives you about 40 cubic feet while folding down the rear seats gives you about 80 cubic feet.

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-emblem

It would be outlandish to really think that Lexus serves up a complete performance package with the RX350 F-Sport. The F-Sport package is more of a trim-level with a few sporty traits just to give enthusiasts a better appetizer with the same main course and dessert that the normal RX350 offers. Pricing for the all-new 2013 Lexus RX350 starts at just $39,660. The new 2013 RX350 F-Sport package raises the starting price to $47,350. Adding on just a few options packages will quickly raise the price point to beyond $52,000 with the F-Sport package.

2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-front-turn
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-side
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-rear-angle
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-front
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-rear
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-dashboard
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-guage-cluster
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-front-seats
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-rear-seats
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-front-seat-vent-heaters
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-steering-wheel-emblem
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-tracker
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-awd-diff-lock
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-door-trim
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-rear-cargo-seats-up
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-front-grill
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-emblem
2013-lexus-rx350-f-sport-engine

Copyright: 2013 AutomotiveAddicts.com

SPECIFICATIONS

  • Price: Base RX350 $39,660 / Base RX350 F-Sport package $47,350 / As-Tested RX350 F-Sport $53,924
  • Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6 24-valve 270 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm / 248 ft-lbs. torque @ 4,700 rpm
  • Wheelbase: 107.9 in.
  • Total length: 187.8 in.
  • Total width: 74.2 in.
  • Ground Clearance: 7.3 in.
  • Total height: 67.7 in.
  • Track: f/r-64.2 in.63.8 in.
  • Fuel tank: 19.2 gallons
  • Headroom: f/r-39.1 in./37.7 in.
  • Legroom: f/r-43.1 in./36.7 in.
  • Cargo capacity: 40.0 cu.ft. all seats in place / 80.3 cu.ft. rear seats down
  • Turning circle: 38.8 ft.
  • Curb weight:  4,510 lbs.
  • 0-60 mph: 6.8 seconds
  • EPA mileage: 18 mpg/city, 25 mpg/highway


2010 Lexus RX350 Sport Review & Test Drive 11
Aug
Posted by Harvey in Automotive, featured, LEXUS, Lexus RX350, Test Drives on 08 11th, 2010

Lexus RX350 Sport – ‘ADDING SPORT TO THE LUXURY’

The original, mid-size luxury crossover is still perfectly blending luxury with multi-activity functionality, and continues to raise the bar for design, engineering and luxury innovation to the segment it first introduced way back in 1998.  The sport package with front-wheel-drive that I tested adds more aggressive looks and driving capability to the mix.

The RX350 teams a 3.5 liter, all-aluminum, DOHC, VVT-i engine with a six-speed multi-mode automatic transmission for an output of 275hp at 6,200rpm and 257lb.ft. of torque at 4,700rpm with 90% of peak torque available from 2,300 to 6,100rpm.  That’s plenty of get-up-and-go power at launch.

The intake and exhaust manifolds have been tuned for enhanced performance and fuel economy.  An insulated engine cover, styled in the shape of two cylinder banks, conceals the V6 to help ensure a quiet cabin while easy-access points facilitate routine service.

Dual variable valve timing with intelligence is used to control both intake and exhaust camshafts independently; optimizing engine performance at all speeds and loads.  Refinements to the valvetrain, including roller rocker arms and slimmer valve stems, reduce friction and weight to further improve fuel economy.  Also helping to enhance torque is the improved Acoustic Control Induction System (ACIS), which varies the intake runner length in response to engine speed and throttle position.  The ETCS-i (electronic throttle control system with intelligence) softens throttle response during initial acceleration for smoother launch and to help reduce wheel spin and torque steer.

The RX350’s six-speed automatic transmission yields a quick shifting response with help from miniature high-flow linear solenoids that control transmission-fluid line-pressure.  The torque converter uses a low-speed lockup damper to enable lock-up from second to sixth gear to help improve fuel economy.

When applying the throttle rapidly during kick-down, the direct-downshift control allows the transmission to directly shift from sixth to third or fifth to second, skipping the intermediate gears to achieve the quickest response.  Under normal kick-down pedal application, downshift control uses the intermediate gears to ensure the smoothest shift is attained.  ‘Shift-shock’ is further reduced.  In automatic mode, the transmission is fun and easy to use whether you are going straight-ahead at speed, traveling up or down hills, or when you are maneuvering around slow city traffic.

The Multi-Mode Automatic Transmission allows you to shift manually when desired by first moving the gated shift lever to the ‘S’ slot and then pushing it forward (+) to up shift and backward (-) to downshift.  An artificial Intelligence shifting (AI-SHIFT) control sets shift patterns based on the vehicle speed and throttle position and estimates road conditions and your input to automatically control the shift pattern.  For example, when driving in hilly areas, AI-SHIFT can prevent unnecessary shifting.  When descending hills, the transmission prevents up shift to achieve more engine braking.

Lexus offers its RX350 luxury utility models with a choice between front-wheel drive (FWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD).  The RX350 AWD features an electronically controlled active torque control AWD system.

My test RX350 came with FWD with the Sport Package for enhanced looks and more responsive handling.  The Sport Package includes 19X9in. 7-spoke alloy wheels wrapped with 235/55R19in. Michelin all-season radial tires, firmer springs, struts, gas-charged shocks and a thicker front stabilizer bar, plus a re-calibrated VDIM (vehicle dynamic integrated management system).

Lexus engineers provided the RX350 with an engaging driving experience with a smooth, quiet ride by engineering a rigid body structure, using vibration canceling engine mounts, strategically located sound deadening materials, an acoustic glass windshield and refined aerodynamic shape.

A key factory in the RX350 Sport’s handling agility is the uniquely designed double-wishbone rear suspension.  Inversely wound front coil springs compress in opposite directions, preventing the negative effects of suspension compression of steering.  The ‘sport-tuned’ suspension features MacPherson struts, coil springs and stabilizer bar up front and double wishbones, coil springs, gas-charged shocks and a stabilizer in the rear.

The suspension is firmer and more responsive to my inputs and I was able to ‘tweak’ the tires at launch with little torque steer getting in the way.  The sport package comes with the VDIM handling technology that anticipates loss of vehicle control in many driving in many directions.  VDIM governs all of the vehicle’s dynamic handling systems-the ABS, BA, vehicle stability control (VSC), which can be shut off, and traction control (TRAC)-employing them collectively and seamlessly to make corrections while allowing higher dynamic capability.  VDIM also interfaces with the electronic throttle control system.

The system’s enhanced VSC function adds steering assist torque to help aid handling on a split-friction surface.  The VDIM system also provides a limited slip differential effect.

The standard electric power steering system contributes to agility and better steering feel while eliminating the parasitic losses of a hydraulic steering pump.  Eliminating hydraulic oil also provides an environmental benefit and reduces maintenance.  When driving conditions involve little steering input, energy consumption is reduced, improving fuel economy by nearly 3%.  Steering assist is automatically adjusted in response to vehicle speed, with great assist at low speeds and greater feel at higher speeds.  In addition, maneuverability in the RX350 is easy with its 40ft. turning circle.  Steering response was very quick and on the mark as I easily maneuvered around slow city traffic, felt very stable when driving at speed on the freeways, and totally responsive when I was tackling curving roads in the mountains.

Quickly slowing the RX350 down from speed are big, power-assisted steel disc brakes. Up front are 12.4in. vented discs clamped with big dual-piston calipers and 12.2in. solid discs clamped with big single-pistons calipers in the rear.  When using the brakes the feel was very linear and my foot always felt in control of safe braking distance.  Braking control is enhanced with standard ABS, BA, and EBD. The RX350 Sport’s 19X8in. tires and wheels further enhanced my handling control with a larger footprint during launch and when cornering.

On the outside Lexus RX models blend a dynamic version of L-finesse design to create a sleek profile and wide stance that is accentuated by broad shoulders for an athletic yet elegant look.  Bright finish side-windows moldings follow a subtle concaved line across the ‘A’ and ‘C’ pillars, extending at the front and rear ends.

The Lexus design cue of placing the grille lower than the headlights, along with sharper headlight graphics, yields a strong frontal expression.  The RX350 offers standard halogen and optional HID headlights.  The plated upper edges of the front grille extend toward the headlights to draw the front features together.  The lower edges of the grille forma unique arrowhead design.  Subtle surface movement can be seen in the sculpted vertical bars that change shape as they spread upward.

The flared fenders flow into the doors, and integrated rear fender flares neatly sweep around to pull together the taut rear corners of the RX350.  The lower body aero-bodykit emphasizes the 19in. wheels and tires.  The passenger doors extend below the aluminum entry sills, helping keep out dirt and moisture.  The side mirrors feature integrated LED turn signal lamps and a wide chrome strip runs just below the unique scalloped lower door panels.  The rear spoiler’s primary function is to help lower the vehicle’s coefficient of drag, but also conceals the rear wiper and houses the AM-FM radio antenna and high-mount stop lamp.  The lower diffuser helps manage rear airflow.  The total look of the new RX350 Sport is low and sleek, unlike any other luxury mid-size crossover sport utility vehicle on the market.

The interior is also based on the Lexus L-finesse philosophy, the dramatically designed interior clearly separates into two distinct zones-the ‘display zone’ to provide information, and the ‘operation zone’ for interaction with controls.  The shoulder of the door trim comfortably envelops the occupants, the clear line of the trim beginning inside the cabin and tapering outward toward the exterior.  The design imbues a feeling of continuous line encircling the occupants and defining the controls and displays.  Neatly sculpted metallic surfaces, especially on the asymmetrical center stack, showcase a bold contrast of shadow and light.

A high-contrast white Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) is used for the multi-information display located next to the speedometer.  Vibrant white characters are sharply displayed on a high-contrast black background for ease of use and a luxurious appearance.  Blue LED lighting covers the instrument cluster and looks fresh at night.

All RX models are equipped with the SmartAccess keyless entry with push-button start. When opening the wide doors the instrument panel lighting gradually fades in.  When the engine is started, the instrument gauge needles and markings illuminate, followed by the multi-information display.  When exiting the RX350, the lights fade out at different intervals.

All RX350 models come with a power tilt/telescoping steering column.  To easy entry and exit, the seat automatically slides up to two inches rearward and the steering wheel tilts upward and slides forward when the engine is switched off.  Upon pushing the On switch, the seat and steering wheel return to positions pre-set by the driver using the three-position memory system.

The comfortable and supportive 10-way power front seats are shaped to accommodate arm movement when operating the optional Remote Touch.  Both seats also feature power lumbar adjustment.  The shape and texture of the armrests and switches offer an ideal combination of tactile feel and functionality.  The leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel features integrated audio controls and a unique cross-section that is designed to provide a more nature grip than a conventional round-section wheel.  An optional leather and wood-trimmed wheel is available for added luxury.

The center console box provides 0.75cu.ft. of storage capacity, enough space to comfortably store CDs and DVDs.  Dual cupholders are found below Bird’s-eye Maple wood veneer that is also found on each door trim plate.  The chrome-ringed gated shifter is above the bottom the center console for even greater ease of use.

The three-part 40/20/40 rear seats can slide fore and aft, recline, and fold down using the one-touch levers mounted n the luggage compartment.  Compact rear-seat headrests help improve your rear visibility.  The rear also features air-ducts behind the center console and a pull-down armrest with dual cupholders below Bird’s-eye Maple wood veneer and a wide storage compartment.

The dual-zone, climate-control system is very quiet and offers quick cooling and warming.  An optional smog sensor is designed to detect harmful particles in other vehicle’s exhaust emissions and automatically switch from fresh air and recirculation modes.

The RX350 can accommodate a variety of music sources providing auxiliary and USB inputs, Bluetooth audio wireless connectivity and a standard integrated XM radio receiver.  Standard voice recognition and Bluetooth technology allow phone calls to be made and received while driving.  When an iPod is attached via the optional USB port, information such as names for the artist, track and album is displayed on the available navigation or headunit, while the iPod can be controlled through the audio system.

The RX350 comes standard with the Lexus Premium Audio System with a powerful amplifier, 9-speakers with a six-disc changer.  Creative placement and angling of the speakers perfectly cross-channel sound to the occupant on the opposite side of the vehicle to transform the cabin into a crisp, clear acoustic environment.

Standard equipment not mentioned above includes cruise-control, rain-sensing wipers, washers, one-touch up/down express windows, automatic door locks, Lexus Homelink Universal Transceiver, rear black privacy glass, premium roof rails, LCD screen for ventilation and audio settings, multi-information display with Lexus personalized settings, trip computer and outside temperature gauge, tonneau security cover, sliding center console, grab handles at each door, dual map lamps, lighted vanity mirrors, pull-out storage slots in the front doors, lighted glove box, and carpeted floor mats.

Standard safety features include dual advanced front airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, front and rear seat mounted side airbags, 3-point safety belts for all seating positions, front seat pretensioners/load limiter, front adjustable seatbelt anchors and front active headrests, front/rear/side crush zones, vehicle theft-deterrent system with engine immobilizer, auto on/off headlamps, daytime running lights, variable front intermittent wipers, tire pressure monitoring system, tool kit and first aid kit.

My test RX350 Sport came optioned with the Lexus 12-speaker Premium Audio System for navigation with auto sound levelizer, in-dash 6-disc changer, heated/cooled front seats, Hard disc drive with voice command, back camera, XM NavTraffic and NavWeather, leather trimmed interior, one-touch open/close moonroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and heated outside mirrors.

The new 3rd. generation RX350 mid-size luxury crossover sport utility continues to lead the segment in styling, performance, luxury amenities and safety.












COPYRIGHT:2010:HARVEY SCHWARTZ

SPECIFICATIONS

Price: Base FWD $37,625 As-Tested $43,976
Type: Midsize SUV
Where Built: Canada/Japan
EPA Class: Sport Utility Vehicles

Dimensions

Exterior
Length: 187.8 in.
Width: 74.2 in.
Height: 66.3 in.
Wheel Base: 107.9 in.
Ground Clearance: 7.3 in.
Curb Weight: 4178 lbs.
Gross Weight: 5560 lbs.

Interior
Front Hip Room: 55.6 in.
Front Shoulder Room: 58 in.
Rear Head Room: 37.7 in.
Rear Shoulder Room: 57.6 in.
Rear Hip Room: 54.5 in.
Front Leg Room: 43.1 in.
Rear Leg Room: 36.8 in.
Luggage Capacity: 40 cu. ft.
Maximum Cargo Capacity: 80 cu. ft.
Maximum Seating: 5

Performance Data

Engine Number of Cylinders: 6
Engine Size: 3.5 liters
Engine Type: V6
Horsepower: 275 hp
Max Horsepower: 6200 rpm
Torque: 257 ft-lbs.
Max Torque: 4700 rpm
Maximum Payload: 1382 lbs.
Maximum Towing Capacity: 3500 lbs.
Drive Type: FWD (AWD Optional)
Turning Circle: 38.8 ft.

Fuel Data

Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.2 gal.
EPA Mileage Estimates: (City/Highway/Combined)
Automatic: 18 mpg / 25 mpg / 21 mpg
Range in Miles:
Automatic: 345.6 mi. / 480 mi. / 403.2 mi.







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