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2011 Lexus RX

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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 New for 2011

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
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 170 Ratings for the 2010 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Best car I've ever owned

By on Thursday, April 28, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

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
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Very comfortable to drive, amazing reliability."

Cons: "Can't think of any."

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

"Car is 5 years old, never needed any repair of any kind, just routine maintenance. Very comfortable to drive and ride in, luxurious interior, has the styling that every other brand copied in their SUV's. This is not a sports car. I have owned BMW's that were more fun to drive but not nearly as reliable as this Lexus. My son had an identical RX350, got in a huge high speed freeway accident, rolled 4 times, looked like it had been used for an artillery target, all air bags deployed with no shrapnel, and he crawled out through the sunroof with nothing but a temporary headache. I call that good safety. He bought another just like it."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Thoroughly reliable, quiet, comfortable.

By on Saturday, April 16, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

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
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Quiet, comfortable, dependable, roomy"

Cons: "2010 so no blind spot indicators"

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

"Always pros and cons with cars but in my opinion the RX 350 is the best combination of the factors that are most important to me....Reliable, quiet, very comfortable, everything works and has worked flawlessly for 4 years."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

A Very Fine Luxury SUV For the $ !

By on Friday, February 26, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,850

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quality, reliable, great looks, nicely appointed"

Cons: "none I can think of...truly"

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

"I compared those I thought were close to this RX350... Mercedes, Volvo, Acura...I will say the closest was the Acura...however, I had owned a Honda Pilot for 10 years, and the transmission always shifted 'iffy'...searching for the right gearing when going up a slight incline. I couldn't believe it, but the brand new Acura seemed to do the same thing the Honda did! So I thought it was time to change to 'the other side'. The Lexus has been nothing but bullet proof so far!"

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

I Love this car

By on Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, reliable, looks good"

Cons: "Price (for the hybrid)"

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

"This is actually my second RXh. I had the 400rxh and 2 years ago bought the 450rxh and I have loved them both - they are comfortable to drive (and I've driven this one almost across the country and back), I have never had a mechanical problem with it - although I was hesitant to buy a hybrid after reading some of the reviews about the batteries - but I had no problems with the first one and have no problems with this one - in fact I barely remember it has batteries under the back seat. I absolutely love this car."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great car!

By on Saturday, December 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,250

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"We traded a Volvo XC 90 in for this vehicle and we were not disappointed one bit! Very comfortable to drive and easy to maintain. Dealership has been wonderful and an experience upon itself with food bar, work stations and the ability to wander around all the new and used Lexus automobiles. Considering a new car but with low mileage and great care we really enjoy the 2010 RX 350 we have. We have never owned a 5 year old vehicle but it is a keeper!"

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great to drive

By on Saturday, December 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "easy to drive, quiet and well constructed"

Cons: "Narrow seats and outdated NAV"

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

"I had a 2013 RX and traded it in on the 2015 RX as the 2015 is loaded and a great deal. I was waiting to see the 2016 and became very disappointed in it. The 2016 seems to be cheapened up compared to the 2015. There are 2 things I don't like; narrow seats (sat in a 2016 F Sport and the seats are even narrower)and an outdated NAV. The menu is not organized very well. The vehicle is very quiet (quieter than the 2013)and easy to drive. You have to get the RPM's up to get power. I like the blind spot monitor, the parking assist,(drives me crazy in the drive through)and the heated/ventilated seats. (they are only for the fronts seats, not the rear) It took me a while to figure out the rain sensing wipers; sometimes they come on when it's not raining. I think it is moisture. Overall the vehicle is really nice, well constructed and holds it's value really well. I think the 2015 will hold it's value even more now that the 2016 is out."

17 people out of 21 found this review helpful

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