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2011 Lexus RX

Overview
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2011 Lexus RX Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.8

Some cars change radically from model year to model year, while others simply evolve. Evolution seems the safer course of action, but it also helps to build brand image among consumers. The 2011 Lexus RX 350 is such an evolving vehicle, easily recognizable at any distance and sharing a strikingly similar profile with the original RX that debuted more than 10 years ago. Consumers must like the design because RX sales continue to grow, even in the face of newer and more sophisticated designs such as the Audi Q5, Cadillac SRX and Mercedes Benz GLK 350. That the RX 350 continues to attract repeat customers is every bit a testament to the car's abilities as it is to Lexus' pampered treatment of its customer base. From the comfortable purchasing experience to the solid long-term reliability to the excellent resale figures, in the automotive world, buying an RX 350 is about the closest thing you can get to a sure thing.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a luxury crossover that doesn't require a degree in physics just to operate the radio, the simple yet elegant RX 350 makes a fine choice.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a hard charging, corner-devouring driving machine in CUV form, the BMW X3 or Audi Q5 might make a better choice.

What's Significant About This Car?

After a mild refresh last year, the only change of note for the 2011 Lexus RX 350 is the addition of Lexus' Smart Stop technology. Smart Stop is an override system that cuts engine power if the throttle and brake are being depressed at the same time.

Driving the RX

Driving Impressions The 2011 Lexus RX 350 may not be able to corner like a BMW X3, but it won't punish your kidneys on bumpy surfaces, either. The RX delivers a soft,...

quiet and comfortable ride, with just enough feedback from the electric power steering unit to qualify as sporty (as opposed to numb, a trait we attributed to RX steering setups in the past.) The double-wishbone rear suspension not only helps the RX 350 to handle better, its compact design also allows for more interior cargo space. Power is provided by a 3.5-liter V6 engine and routed to the wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with direct-downshift control, which allows the transmission to skip over gears, thus producing a more immediate response when needed. The powertrain is amazingly responsive, whisper-quiet and impressively fuel-frugal.

Remote "Haptic" Touch
Somewhat like a keyboard mouse, this system, operated by a controller mounted next to the driver's seat, allows for the movement of a cursor across the dash-mounted display, giving sensory feedback when the cursor hovers over a clickable "button." The feeling is somewhat like rolling a marble over an indentation.

Easy-to-read Organic white Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) Display
Housed in the Multi-Information Display between the dash gauges, the OLED display is comprised of a thin film of organic molecules that create light with the application of electricity. It operates on less power than a conventional light-emitting diode (LED) display, and offers vibrant white characters that are easy to read from any angle.

2011 Lexus RX Details
2011 Lexus RX photo Interior

The RX's interior is a blend of the old and the almost new. The design is clean and uncluttered, especially the upwardly-sweeping console and high-mounted shift lever. But there are bits and pieces that feel eerily Toyota-like, such as the steering column-mounted cruise-control stalk that is difficult to see and nearly impossible to find at night. Nitpicks aside, the RX interior is a fluid blend of soft-touch surfaces, warm wood inlays and supple leather seating surfaces. And, when equipped with the available navigation system, the RX also gains a nifty remote touch controller that operates very much like a mouse. The driver need only rest his or her hand on top of the device to control the screen menus for climate, navigation, audio and phone. Front-seat comfort is first-rate while, in back, the second row is roomy enough for three adults and, when folded down, allows for 80.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

Exterior
2011 Lexus RX photo

The familiar RX silhouette is no accident. Lexus wants the RX to look similar to previous versions so that former and new customers alike can easily identify the vehicle. Sure, an up-close inspection shows more modern details, such as the striking halogen projector-beam (or optional HID) headlamp housings, the swept-back tail lamps and that faint hint of Lexus' L-Finesse design language that appears around the grille and hood. But, for the most part, the RX's shape breaks no new ground in the areas of styling. New colors and bright 18-inch alloy wheels are about the only improvements over last year's model, which speaks volumes about the excellence of last year's model (and the year before that, and the year before that, etc.)

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2011 Lexus RX 350 comes well-equipped with a selection of features to make driving a comfortable experience. These include heated side mirrors, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with lumbar support, reclining and sliding second row with 40/20/40 folding seats, automatic dual-zone climate control, a full complement of automatic up-and-down windows and a premium audio system with six-disc CD changer, Bluetooth streaming audio, XM Satellite Radio, a USB port and nine speakers. Standard safety features include 10 airbags, brake assist and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) with Traction Control.

Optional Equipment

If you'd like to up the sportiness of your RX, the Sport Package, with its sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch Superchrome wheels and electronic stability and traction control system with cutoff switch may be for you. If luxury is what you're after, the aptly-named Luxury Package includes a semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior, LED-illuminated front-door sills, power liftgate, headlamp washers, 19-inch alloy wheels and a wide-view side monitor to facilitate parking. Stand-alone options for the RX include a head-up display, HDD navigation system, heated and ventilated front seats, a Mark Levinson 330-watt premium sound system, all-wheel drive, Lexus' Enform telematics system, Intuitive Parking Assist and a Pre-Collision System with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Lexus RX 350's 3.5-liter V6 produces 275 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to an efficient six-speed automatic transmission that uses direct-downshift control to allow for quick shifting when needed (such as rapid acceleration) from sixth to third or fifth to second, skipping gears for a more immediate response.

3.5-liter V6
275 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
257 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 (2WD), 18/24 (AWD)

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2011 Lexus RX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 121 Ratings for the 2009 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    9.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Good HP for Lexus, gets up quickly, good milage

By on Saturday, July 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,500

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, very smooth"

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

"I've owned three other Lexus Suv's but this one is only front wheel drive (precious were AWD). MPG is best against the ratings of all, matter of fact consistently outperform the sticker ratings. The pickup from zero can be scary if you punch it."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Very comfortable vehicle on trips.

By on Thursday, July 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great ride; very comfortable"

Cons: "Navigation system not worth it; low gas economy"

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

"We love our '13 Rx. Much better equipped than our '02 RX. Navigation system is practically useless to us. We prefer navigating with our iPhone because its so hard to put an address into the Lexus system. The Lexus system is only updated when you buy a subscription ($135+), whereas the iPhone is updated constantly, and $10 per year. Fuel mileage is not as high as we would like, but it uses regular gas which our '02 does not."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

On my third one now. Never had any problems

By on Sunday, June 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Quiet"

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

"Had a 2003 RX 300, 1006 RX400h and a 2010 RX350 and loved them all. A bit pricey but you can't beat the reliability - never had any problems with any of the 3 and the last one is at 91,000 miles"

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Never had a problem with this vehicle.

By on Saturday, May 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,000

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
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "reliability, comfort, reputation"

Cons: "auxillary ports, and premium fuel only"

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

"The ONLY issue I would mention, would be the configuration of the console area in front (on my 2010). The phone charging/MP3 ports are in a hard to reach place. I HAVE HEARD THOUGH,THAT THE NEWER MODELS HAVE FIXED THAT ISSUE. OVERALL, I LOVE MY RX."

10 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Great Vehicle

By on Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Very comfortable"

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

"This vehicles offers the most features and options for the lowest price compared to all other luxery brands."

8 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Exclellent car. My second RX in a row.

By on Saturday, April 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,500

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
10/10

Pros: "Spacious , relatively inexpensive to service ."

Cons: "Engine could be a bit more powerful , but not inad"

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

"Always in style. I live in a community with upscale cars including rolls Royce, Bentley, Mercedes, BMW and Lexus. Lexus is equivalent of a ford here. The RX 350 is still considered a. Upscale vehicle ."

1 person out of 6 found this review helpful

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