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2008 Lexus RX

Overview
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2008 Lexus RX Review

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One of the most successful crossover SUV offerings in the history of the genre, the mid-size RX series continues to attract buyers with its distinctive combination of style, luxury, comfort and safety. This line of car-based five-passenger family haulers includes both the volume-leader RX 350 and the RX 400h Hybrid (reviewed separately), and offers V6 power in both front- and all-wheel-drive configurations. Key RX 350 competitors in the prolific mid-size premium SUV/crossover segment include the Acura MDX, BMW X3 and X5, Cadillac SRX, Infiniti FX35 and FX45, Lincoln MKX and Mercedes-Benz ML350.

You'll Like This Car If...

With its luxury-sedan sophistication, SUV versatility, first-class creature and safety features plus a premium Lexus pedigree, the RX 350 deserves serious consideration from anyone shopping for a single vehicle with a truly multifaceted personality.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those who regularly plan to head off-road would be happier with a more SUV-like alternative like a Land Rover LR2 or Mercedes-Benz ML350. When towing duties matter most, the Acura MDX and BMW X5 both offer greater maximum capacity.

What's New for 2008

The RX 350 receives only detail changes for 2008, including two new exterior colors, chrome door handles and a revised grille design. Inside, black bird's-eye maple wood trim is now available with the light grey interior and a positive shutoff switch has been added to the standard Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) system.

Driving the RX

Driving Impressions Given its primary mission as a luxury-oriented carryall, the RX 350's cabin is well isolated from wind and road noise. With chassis tuning focused more on ride comfort than precision...

handling, it's also better suited to effortless cruising than to attacking a twisty two-lane. However, a relatively compact 37.4-feet turning circle makes the RX 350 fairly easy to maneuver in tighter confines, while the available four-position air suspension can raise itself to clear obstacles, lower itself for cruising and even dip for easier entry and exit. A viscous center coupling in the optional all-wheel-drive system can transfer power fore or aft from the normal 50/50 split to instantly compensate for changing traction conditions. All RX 350s come with an effective Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) package that gets a new positive cutoff switch to indulge more enthusiastic drivers and the anti-lock disc brakes excel in short, drama-free stops.

Power Rear Liftgate
This thoughtful standard opens and closes the RX 350's large one-piece liftgate at the touch of a button on the key fob or the dash, making it quicker and easier to load and unload the cargo bay.

Optional Multi-Panel Moonroof
Available in place of the conventional power moonroof, this three-element alternative is 150 percent larger and lets in 250 percent more outside light but creates no additional wind noise. It comes in a package that also includes leather upholstery, corner-following bi-xenon Adaptive Headlamps and a power tilt and telescoping steering column.

2008 Lexus RX Details
2008 Lexus RX photo Interior

Living up to its Lexus heritage, the RX 350's space-efficient cabin has a quality appearance with an impressive level of fit and finish. Standard cloth upholstery, signature Optitron electroluminescent gauges and real wood trim are complemented by a major assortment of comfort and convenience touches. This sophisticated five-passenger transporter pairs supportive 10-way power seats with a 40/20/40 rear bench that splits, folds, slides, reclines, and will comfortably handle two full-size adults or a trio of kids. Accessed by a power liftgate, the RX 350's cargo bay can hold 38.3 cubic feet of your carry-on items with the rear seat up and 84.7 cubic feet with the seatbacks flipped forward and down.

Exterior
2008 Lexus RX photo

Consciously avoiding the harder angles and squared-off edges favored by traditional SUVs, the RX 350 celebrates its crossover character by matching rounded body contours with well-defined accent lines and passenger-friendly proportions. Its smartly raked windshield and large glass area help improve driver sightlines while both front and rear doors are large enough to ensure easy access to all seats. Crystalline head- and tail-lamp covers, subtle chrome highlights on the grille and door handles and S-rated 225/65 all-season tires on handsome 17-inch alloy wheels emphasize its upscale personality.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Passenger-pleasing appointments abound in the RX 350, starting with ivory-colored cloth upholstery, walnut or bird's-eye maple wood accents, a mega-roster of power assists headed by 10-way power seats and a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control and an eight-speaker AM/FM/CD unit with six-disc changer. Other highlights include a driver information system, cruise control, numerous modest storage cubbies plus a large locking glovebox, dual 12-volt powerpoints and an anti-theft system. Leading the list of safety features are Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control (TRAC), antilock disc brakes with Brake Assist (BA) circuitry and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags plus a driver's-side knee airbag.

Optional Equipment

The RX 350 offers several grouped upgrades, beginning with a Premium Package that includes leather upholstery, a power moonroof, power tilt and telescoping steering column and memory for the driver's seat, mirrors and steering wheel. The Premium Plus Package adds bi-xenon Adaptive Front Lighting (AFS) to that mix while the Performance Package brings special 18-inch wheels with V-rated 235/55 tires, four-mode air suspension and a five-speed sequential automatic transmission. Other extras include an oversize multi-panel moonroof, 11-speaker/210-watt Mark Levinson premium audio system, voice-activated navigation system with rear backup camera, rear-seat DVD entertainment system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, distance-maintaining Dynamic Laser Cruise Control and a towing package.

Under the Hood

Both front-drive and all-wheel-drive RX 350 models use an identical 3.5-liter all-aluminum V6 that features Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) to help bolster low and mid-range responsiveness. Smooth and free-revving, it makes a very enthusiastic 270 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is an equally efficient five-speed automatic, and included in the Performance Package is sequential shifting. That matchup allows both front and all-wheel drive RX 350s to run from zero to 60 miles per hour in less than 7.5 seconds and still earn class-competitive fuel economy numbers from the EPA. Step up to the optional towing package and the trailering capability on either RX 350 variant jumps from 2,000 to 3,500 pounds.

3.5-liter V6
270 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/23(FWD), 17/22(AWD)

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2008 Lexus RX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 504 Ratings for the 2004 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    9.3/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.2/10

Best car I've ever owned...and I've owned many.

By on Saturday, October 25, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, good-looking and fast"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Got this SUV when it was 2 yrs old. It was preowned and certified. I have never had to use the warranty for any reason and I still own it today."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Engine Oil Sludge problem that Lexus refuses 2 fix

By on Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Cons: "Engine Oil burning- Sludge problem"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Car never needs an oil change anymore as it burns 1 qt of oil per week - New Toyota mode with recall not covering enough years. Ride, comfort great but Lexus dealer recalls ruined rotors by torquing lugs to nearly 280 ft lbs, caused warped rotors, oil sludge recall for Toyota 6 cylinders from 1997 to 2003 should have covered 2004 models as CARMAX tore the engine apart and agreed that oil sludge problem is severe in this engine. Toyota/Lexus had recall on 97- 03 but were hit with allot of replacement engines. Car was fun but using synthetic oil is too expensive with adding 1 qt per week and on start ups, it blows out a cloud of smoke. Had a new engine from Toyota in a 1998 Camry but dealer did not lock down radiator so that got damaged with vibration. Toyota/Lexus do not really stand behind their products and refuse to reimburse for damaged rotors nor will they offer new engine. Will go to Honda most likely."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

A great car.

By on Monday, October 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 155,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fantastic reliability and a very comfortable ride"

Cons: "Slightly underpowered."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I have 155,000 miles on my 2005 Lexus RX330. No service whatever except normal wear items and routine oil changes. The only slight negative I would say is that it is slightly underpowered but unless you really like to stomp the pedal to the metal, not really an issue. I believe this car will go at least another 100K miles with just regular maintenance service. The newer models are called RX350's so maybe they increased the horsepower a little which would likely correct the under power issue. You can not go wrong with these cars - certified pre-owned Lexus' have a 3 year 100K warranty which certainly doesn't hurt."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Love this SUV and want to replace with newer model

By on Friday, October 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 145,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very well made. Extremely reliable."

Cons: "Very light upholstery and carpet. Expensive."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"We have had this car for approximately 8 years. We bought it used with between 30 and 40 thousand miles. It still drives like the day we bought it and it now has over 140,000 miles. We have only had to do normal maintenance on this car...brakes, tires and one other issue with the back wheels that was not overly expensive. The interior and exterior have held up very well. The drivers sear near the door is the only thing really showing much wear (creases in the leather close by the door.). People are always shocked it is a 2004."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great road car, smooth and quiet, high cost repair

By on Saturday, September 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 242,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, smooth on road, quiet and efficient"

Cons: "High cost to repair"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Car has been very reliable, quiet and smooth on the road, but very expensive to do dealer repairs. Still running and driving well at almost a quarter million miles, without any transmission or engine major repairs."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Love it

By on Friday, September 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Easy to drive, great looking, reliable"

Cons: "Cost is high to buy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my Lexus and if I ever need another car I will buy another Lexus. Bought this one used and have never been disappointed. I lived in Massachusetts until recently and it is excellent in snow. Conveniences are great. Lexus repair/maintenance is outstanding."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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