RX marks the sweet spot
Bulletproof quality and a huge list of kit are Lexus hallmarks
SUVs such as the Lexus RX350 come with all the bells and whistles. There’s nothing you can’t have.
The RX350 was a heavily revamped version of the RX launched in 2003, conceived to rival the likes of the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz ML and the Audi Q7.
It begins with a reasonably attractive wagon with slick lines and smooth shapes, with the choice of three levels of equipment starting with the Prestige and climbing through the Sports to the ultimate Sports Luxury.
The improved 3.5-litre V6 engine now puts out 204kW/346Nm linked to a new six-speed auto with sequential shifting.
Overall the RX350 used a little less fuel, a good thing because it needed expensive premium unleaded.
Final drive was an ondemand all-wheel drive system, meaning it was a front-driver most of the time until it felt the front wheels slip and drive was dispatched rearward.
While all that’s reassuring, SUVs are more about comfort and convenience.
That’s taken care of with power seats and a folding rear seat, while a power tailgate takes care of the convenience.
As for equipment there isn’t much that the RX350 doesn’t have. On the road it drives much like a car — it handles well, rides comfortably and boasts plenty of zip when the right pedal is depressed.
With the RX350 launched just three years ago, the earliest models will be showing around 50,000km, which makes it an ideal choice for those buyers happy to buy second-hand and avoid the depreciation slug. Lexus’s four-year warranty still applies.
Those early RX350s will be coming off lease around now, which adds to the attraction. We have had virtually no complaints from owners.
Look for a service record, which shouldn’t be an issue on such a recent car.
Make the usual visual checks of the bodywork, looking for any signs of a crunch that might detract from a car’s appeal.
Be aware that the RX350 requires premium unleaded petrol, which will bump up running costs.
Well-built, solid SUV with all the bells and whistles. Should be on your shopping list.
Good value: Early RX350s will have 50,000km on them and the previous owner will have dealt with the depreciation