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2009 Lexus RX

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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 545 Ratings for the 2004 - 2009 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

9.5 years and going strong

By on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 136,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Luxury, great resale, super dependable."

Cons: "No backup camera, but it's an older car!"

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

"I have owned my 2007 RX 350 for 9.5 years, and it's the best, most reliable and luxurious car I have ever owned. The only reason I am thinking of trading it in, is because I have a bad neck and would like the ease of a rear camera. I can't believe how great the resale value is....a sign of what a fine car it is. I have had very little problem with the car, and have personally driven it 135k miles. The rack and pinion and oil hoses are my only repairs, outside of normal maintenance. I plan to get another RX 350."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

love this car

By on Saturday, January 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 190,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "very confortable in the summer heat or winter cold"

Cons: "gas mileage could be better"

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

"you can take this car anywhere and not worry. there are no mechanical problems and has had 200000 mile maintaince completed. it is totally reliable in the snow, rain or desert driving. Fantastic car for comfortable driving around town or on long distance drives. OK on gas consumption for an SUV, getting around 21 miles per gallon. this car has had recommended maintanence regularly completed at the Lexus dealers and no accidents. this is a one owner car."

wonderful luxury SUV that I have thoroughy enjoyed

By on Monday, December 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very comfortable car with great options"

Cons: "minor scratches (not in paint) on sides"

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

we have loved this car, great luxury SUV

"Great Lexus RX hybrid mid-sized luxury SUV loaded with extras. New tires, new battery, new brakes, towing package, rear entertainment system, silver color, garage kept, maintenance records available, clean title, no accidents, and great gas millage. Selling to purchase 2916 RX hybrid. Available immediately, located in Harrisburg, PA. (sorry, couldn't get picture to load right side up)"

we have loved this car, great luxury SUV

2008 Lexus RX400h hybrid - loaded with options

By on Wednesday, November 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 85,000

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: "Excellent quality, durability, and resale value."

Cons: "Can't think of any"

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

"Our 08 Lexus is fully loaded RX with about every option available, navi, Levinson stereo, blue tooth, leather, heated seats, tow package, (highest premium package), backup camera, etc. etc. Has many other features, too many to mention. We absolutely love the car. We wanted a 4WD SUV (snow in winter), and this car has more than filled the bill. We had hybrids previously, and weren't afraid to go with the 400h. It's getting 25 in town, without trying to hard to maximize economy. We already knew the technic's of how to properly drive a hybrid, so we got good mileage right away. (It will coast like no other car we ever had.) We use 87 octane with out ethanol, and actually got better mileage with the non-ethanol 87, than premium ethanol. Use full synthetic oil. It's simply a pleasure to drive. Handles tight and firm, but in a luxurious manner. Kind of hard to describe, but it's just nice to drive. My wife has claimed the car as hers. She won't drive anything else. Bit I sneak it out occasionally. In a word quality. Our next car will be another hybrid RX. Our friend has a 2000 RX with 175,000 miles, and has maintained it well, and see's no end to driving his until the wheels fall off. Highly recommend for excellent quality, reliability durability, and resale value. Lexus has the best service at dealers than I have ever experienced."

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

When cared for, it's one of the most reliable vehi

By on Tuesday, October 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Dependable!"

Cons: "Pricey, but in this case you get what you pay for!"

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

"I have purchased new and owned at least two each of Fords, Buicks, Volkswagens, and Nissans over many years. However, I have also owned four new Lexuses since 1992 and and still have two. I have always had my cars maintained regularly and I have felt Lexuses provide a high level of safety and confidence on the road beyond all the others."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

LOVE THIS CAR!

By on Friday, September 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Only down fall is that it dents easy so park it in the back of parking lots away fron the socker moms with carts!!"

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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