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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.
Favorite Features

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 473 Ratings for the 2004 - 2008 models.

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

Unreliable - Computer problems

By on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
5/10

Cons: "Very unreliable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Purchased this 2004 RX 330 and loved it until the battery started going dead soon after I got it. Went through 6 batteries with one auto store. Was referred to another and purchased a name brand battery. 1 yr later went back with what was thought to be a bad battery and he replaced it. Next time I went in with battery trouble he referred me to Lexus dealership. Took it there and explained trouble I was having. They checked battery and said it was ok. I ask them what was causing it to go dead at random times. Said he didn't know and gave me 800 # to call. Told me to bring it back once a month and have Lexus check it. It only does it randomly. I only live 100 miles away so this was not an option as I explained to them. I also know of another person with same car and is having same problem. Mechanics say something in the computerized system is pulling battery down on this make car. If you google this car, many others have had same problem. They can get no help from Lexus dealerships either. Stated they just keep jumper cables in their car. For the price of this car I certainly would expect issues like this to be looked into. The dealership should stand behind it until they find a solution."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Best I've Ever Owned!

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great ride, great features, terrific visibility"

Cons: "Mileage not as advertised for this hybrid"

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

"I love to drive, and had always had sports car before acquiring a very large dog that forced me into an SUV. As a height-challenged female (5'0"), I needed a car that "fit" me, and I opted for luxurious features as well. This car is comfortable, reliable, rides well, is quiet, and I love the heated seat and lumbar support. My visibility is fantastic, and the rear camera is now a "must have." It's easy for me to enter/exit. The mileage isn't as great as promised for this hybrid (I get between 21 and 23 mpg). I'm now spoiled by all the power features and voice commands. The engineering on this car is superb, and I'll likely be driving it for many years to come!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

2008 Lexus Rx 350 very Low miles 46000 Nav Loaded

By on Monday, March 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,600

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very Low Miles 46000"

Cons: "None"

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

"2008 Lexus Rx 350 Extremely Low Miles 44600, Champagne in Color, changes in sunlight, Premium Package, Leather Seats, Navigation, and Very clean. Six Disc CD, XM Radio, AM FM, Hands Free Blue Tooth Cell phone, Premium wheels, every option available."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

This has been a perfect car.

By on Wednesday, March 19, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Low mileage, well cared for and lives in a garage."

Cons: "No negatives about this car."

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

"This is a Thunder Cloud Edition. There were only 6,500 made so it is somewhat rare. It is Thunder Cloud grey metallic. Michelin Energy tires 5,000 miles ago. Air conditioning repair one time. It has been well maintained and has lived in a garage it's whole life."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Excellent suv, never have had a days trouble .

By on Sunday, March 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 77,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "I can not say enough good things about my lexus."

Cons: "basically, I have no issues."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I purchased this car when my husband became confined to a wheel chair and I needed an easy way to load and unload the chair by myself. I had previously owned 2 lexus automobiles, both sedans and loved them too. I would highly recommend it to anyone that has the need for a mid size suv that offers all the bells and whistles."

I test drove this car

By on Friday, March 14, 2014

I don't own this car

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "sturdy, lots of features"

Cons: "positive shift"

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

"I test drove this car with 142k miles. I can't wait to buy it. It would replace a 2006 Kia Sportage. (I dont hate that truck but hey, this is a Lexus Jack). The car felt very sturdy. There were a couple of kinks in it but I think those are wear and tear items so I am not too worried. The only thing I didn't care for was that it seemed like it had positive shift. I have owned Accords before (they are famous for this) and I am very familiar with positive shift. That would not stop me from buying the car, I just wanted to mention it. My 12 year old daughter was easily and quickly able to figure out the radio and A/c controls as well as the power seat on the passenger side. I have her approval to buy this car. Lol."

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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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