KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
The RX 350 continues to be the gold standard by which other luxury SUVs are measured, a claim bolstered by its status as one of the all-time best-selling luxury SUVs in the country. For 2007 the RX 350 (formerly the RX 330) receives a new engine and a host of new features to help keep it attractive to both new and repeat Lexus customers. Built on the same platform as the ES 350 sedan, the RX 350 offers the ride, handling and safety features of a premium luxury car with the tall ride height and all-wheel-drive versatility of a mid-size SUV. Outstanding repair records and top-notch resale values, combined with unrivaled build quality and customer service, explain why so many Americans flock to the RX 350.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you're looking for the premium features of a flagship luxury sedan with all-weather traction and generous interior space, you should consider the RX 350. It offers many characteristics of larger sport utility vehicles, without sacrificing comfort or convenience.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're looking for a luxury SUV that can also be taken off-road, the RX 350's optional all-wheel-drive system is no match for the Land Rover LR3 or Jeep Grand Cherokee. Those looking for a more sporty ride and V8 towing power should investigate the rear-wheel-drive models from BMW or Infiniti.
What's Significant About This Car?
For 2007, the RX 350 gets a larger V6 engine and a new name. The previous 3.3-liter engine is replaced by a 270-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine to give the RX 350 an increase of 47 horsepower over its predecessor. Luxury upgrades include a quieter interior, upgraded audio and an improved voice-recognition navigation system.
We found the RX 350's ride and handling above average, but the somewhat soft suspension failed to return the same level of sharp, responsive cornering we've experienced with the BMW X5 or Cadillac SRX. The RX 350's five-speed automatic transmission includes a snow setting that allows starting from a dead stop in second gear, thus minimizing wheel spin. We found that the five-speed works smoothly, though it does pause longer before completing a downshift than we might sometimes prefer, as when wishing to pass slower traffic in a hurry. This was not something that happened often, however, and overall the transmission's operation was as effortless as you might expect of a Lexus. The fifth gear meant relatively low engine speeds during highway cruising, which enhances fuel economy and reduces interior noise.
Optional Adaptive Headlamps point in the direction the steering wheel is turned.
Power Glass Moonroof
The RX 350's optional huge multipanel power glass moonroof opens most of the cabin to the outside world.
The RX 350 can seat up to five passengers, with ample head and legroom for front and rear-seat occupants. The rear seats recline and the 40/20/40 configuration allows the narrow center section to be folded while still retaining seating space for two persons. Up front, you'll find very comfortable cloth seats, complete with individual folding armrests. A clever touch is the RX 350's rear cargo cover that automatically retracts when the hatch is opened.
The RX 350 retains the basic silhouette of the RX 330, but features a few minor updates to the front and rear fascias as well as new wheels and new colors. Long rear doors make for easy entry and exit, as well as accessibility to the cargo area when the rear seats are folded down. Exclusive features such as the optional adaptive headlamps, power rear liftgate and power moonroof over both the front and second-row seats place the RX 350 above the competition.
Notable Standard Equipment
The RX 350 is nicely equipped and includes dual-zone automatic air conditioning, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), driver's information system, fog lights, garage door opener, cloth bucket seats with 10-way power driver's and passenger's seats, automatic headlamp control, dual heated power mirrors with auto-dimming day/night feature, AM/FM stereo with six-disc in-dash MP3-compatible CD changer, power rear liftgate, front side-impact airbags, left-hand knee airbag, front and rear head-curtain airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, cruise control, traction control, rear wiper/washer, leather-wrapped tilt steering wheel and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Notable Optional Equipment
The RX 350 offers a number of options, including heated leather seats, all-wheel drive, power moonroof, power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting System, air suspension, rain-sensing wipers, voice-activated DVD navigation system, Mark Levinson audio system, rear DVD entertainment system, Dynamic Laser speed control and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Under the Hood
The RX 350's new 3.5-liter V6 is both unobtrusively smooth and capably powerful. Its variable valve timing contributes to it producing good torque at lower speeds for dealing with heavier loads, and usable horsepower at higher speeds for competent, swift highway performance. The previous generation RX had an excellent repair and reliability record for both the engine and transmission, and we suspect the 3.5-liter V6 in the new RX 350 will live up to the same high standards.
270 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/25 (FWD), 19/24 (AWD)
The front-wheel-drive RX 350 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $38,095, while the all-wheel-drive model is $39,495. Once you begin adding packages, the RX 350's price climbs quickly, and it's not difficult to add enough options for the final result to be well over $50,000. Despite its premium content, the RX 350 does not necessarily command a premium bottom line. A look at the Fair Purchase Price shows that the prices consumers are actually paying at dealerships are about $2500 above dealer invoice. The RX 330 shows strong resale figures and is expected to retain an impressive 68 percent of its value at 24 months and 52 percent at 48 months (deduct three percent for front-wheel-drive models).