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2009 Lexus RX

Overview
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2009 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 FX50, 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 2009

Other than addition of some new colors, there are no major changes for the Lexus RX 350 for 2009.

Driving the RX

Driving Impressions Given its primary mission as a luxury-oriented carryall, the 2009 Lexus 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.

2009 Lexus RX Details
2009 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

Consciously avoiding the harder angles and squared-off edges favored by traditional SUVs, the 2009 Lexus 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 2009 Lexus 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 2009 Lexus 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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2009 Lexus RX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 486 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

My dream car, plush, quiet, luxurious

By on Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 73,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "A joy to drive, good gas mileage"

Cons: "None that I have found"

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

2007 Lexus RX350, Tan Leather Interior

"This vehicle has beautiful leather interior, low mileage at 73,000, drives and handles like a dream. I was surprised by the gas mileage: 26-28 mpg on the highway and 21-22 combined city and highway. Holds an amazing amount of cargo especially with the back seats down. Love the power lift gate; opens with the push of a button to load groceries or other cargo. Just a luxurious vehicle."

2007 Lexus RX350, Tan Leather Interior

Bets I've ever owned after a long line of Mercedes

By on Monday, June 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 95,000

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: "Quality, ownership costs and fuel mileage."

Cons: "Minor issues with keys breaking."

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

"A wonderful car with reasonable care costs. I've owned several Mercedes Diesels and one gasoline powered Mercedes since 1975. While I love the appearance of the Mercedes the cost of maintaining them was very high. The dealership experience at Lexus has been quite good with a few exceptions. Again, in contrast the Mercedes dealerships have been arrogant and very free with my money. Lexus cars are plain vanilla in appearance versus Mercedes, however."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Very easy drive; very safe

By on Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

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

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

"This car has a smooth drive, a high level of safety. The interior is in excellent condition. It also has bluetooth capabilities."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best vehicle I have ever owned and driven.

By on Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 223,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Comfort, styling, efficiency, overall value."

Cons: "Better fuel economy would be desirable."

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

"Extremely reliable and practical vehicle for both commuting and travel. Lowest maintenance cost over 10 years of several I have previously owned and driven. Exceptional value-for-money, regardless of kilometers."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

in the shop many times in year 3-4

By on Thursday, May 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "economical to drive"

Cons: "lots of mechanical problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"lots of mechanical problems years 3-4 my first year owning it and it came to me with a clean bill of health and had been dealer maintained"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Very best ever owned-EVER!

By on Saturday, May 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,341

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 Fun Car to travel in-Outstanding Gas Mileage"

Cons: "Absolutely-NONE!!!!!!!"

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

"The best Vehicle I have ever owned. I have owned 5. Far exceeds epa's est. fuel mileage from day one and continues. 21.2-22 city mpg- 27.8-29 Hwy. Mileage. Best handling vehicle ever owned and or driven. Car is showroom new inside out. Whoever gets this vehicle is getting a new vehicle at a used price to LOVE and ENJOY for years to come and has OUTSTANDINGly Very Very LOW Mileage on it. Always Garaged and Adult driven. 100% Dependability and Reliability vehicle since new. Just put in First New Battery with 7 years warranty and 3 yr. over the counter exchange warranty on it. I am trading at my dealer for a 2015 Rx again. Will be my 6th RX Vehicle. Doug"

16 people out of 21 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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