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2013 Lexus RX

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2013 Lexus RX Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.6

The Lexus RX was the first mid-size luxury crossover vehicle when it debuted for the 1999 model year, and near-countless competitors have followed in the years since. Now in its third generation, the 5-passenger 2013 Lexus RX is the best-selling car for Toyota's luxury division, and it's easy to see why. The RX has the serene ride quality and superb interior craftsmanship long associated with Lexus sedans, yet has the storage capacity, seating flexibility and commanding view of an SUV. The RX model range includes a fuel-efficient hybrid gasoline-electric model and the new F Sport, which aims to inject a measure of sportiness in a model long known for its soft ride.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want the feel of a luxury sedan yet desire the cargo capacity and ride height of a mid-size SUV, the Lexus RX is an excellent choice. RX ownership is further enhanced by the Lexus reputation for quality and its lofty resale value.

You May Not Like This Car If...

A corner-carver the 2013 RX is not, even with the firmer suspension of the F Sport. If driving excitement is your thing, look to the BMW X3 or Audi Q5. Those who need a luxury vehicle with off-road ability might opt for a Land Rover LR4 or Volkswagen Touareg.

What's New for 2013

Like other Lexus vehicles, the RX's front end is now graced with the sportier "spindle grille," and LED running lights and a power rear liftgate are standard. The RX F Sport is a new trim level with stiffer suspension and 8-speed transmission.

Driving the RX

Driving Impressions Soft and smooth is the name of the game for the 2013 Lexus RX. The vehicle doesn't just roll over roads as much as it floats on them. Dynamic, sharp...

steering and snappy handling are not the RX's forte, though the F Sport model does feel a bit stiffer thanks to a firmer suspension. Like past RX models, visibility is very good, the driver's seat height is just right and cargo space is generous and found in unexpected places. The RX is not particularly fast but, with a zero-to-60-mph time of 7.7 seconds, it's not achingly slow. Front-wheel drive is standard in the RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid, with all-wheel drive standard on F Sport models and optional on the others. Hybrid models now have a "sport" button that enables livelier acceleration, and the RX F Sport boasts paddle shifters for those occasions you want to pretend you're in a race car.

POWER REAR DOOR
When you're juggling groceries, kids and keys, you quickly run out of limbs and digits for opening doors. For the 2013, a power opening-and-closing rear door is standard on the Lexus RX. If only those groceries would load and unload themselves with the touch of a button.

REMOTE TOUCH CONTROLLER
Think of this available console-mounted controller as a computer mouse for the car. With it, you can control commands for navigation and more on the center screen.

2013 Lexus RX Details
Interior

The RX's cabin is warm, polished and cozy, but not quite as sophisticated as some European rivals, such as the Audi Q5. Still, amenities abound, from the plush seats to the power tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Starting and stopping the Lexus is done with the press of a button, and even the base audio unit is impressive with its nine speakers. Rear passenger legroom is good, and the 40/20/40-folding rear seat is able to recline and slide to accommodate people or cargo. Likewise, the innovative storage bin up front slides and has dual power outlets. With the rear seats folded, cargo capacity expands to an impressive 80.3 cubic feet.

Exterior
2013 Lexus RX photo

The 2013 RX takes on a more aggressive nature with its new grille, but the rest of the SUV is similar both to past designs and its many imitators. From the side, the Lexus is defined by its steeply-sloped rear window line. That sloping motif then extends to its nicely-angled rear. Hybrid models are distinguished with a subtle blue-hued L Lexus badge in front. The RX rides on 18-inch wheels, and F Sport models are on 19-inchers. It all adds up to a pretty if not cutting-edge profile, which should please the majority of buyers.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even a base 2013 Lexus RX 350 boasts plenty of luxury touches and comfort amenities to make day-to-day driving easier and more enjoyable. Dual-zone automatic climate control, power rear door, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power driver's seat and 9-speaker premium AM/FM/satellite audio unit with 6-disc changer and auxiliary input are all included. F Sport models include heated and ventilated front seats, leather trim and roof rails. F Sport and RX 450h Hybrid models also feature the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system for improved traction control.

Optional Equipment

The Lexus RX can further be upgraded with packages that bundle items such as color LCD display, dual-screen rear entertainment system, navigation, backup camera, 12-speaker audio system and the Lexus Enform suite with apps for everything from streaming music on Pandora to making restaurant reservations with OpenTable. Leather seating is also optional, as is a heated wood-and-leather-trimmed steering wheel. Those who spend copious amounts of time crawling in traffic should consider the smog-sensing automatic recirculating climate system.

Under the Hood

The Lexus RX 350 utilizes a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 270 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. The engine is linked to a 6-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. The fuel-efficient RX 450h hybrid combines the same V6 engine with an electric motor for higher power (295 horsepower channeled through a continuously-variable automatic transmission) and efficiency (32 mpg in the city for the front-wheel-drive RX 450h, 30 mpg in the all-wheel-drive form). The RX 350 F Sport adds no horsepower but does have two additional gears in its 8-speed transmission. Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds for models equipped with the prep package.

3.5-liter V6
270 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 mpg (FWD), 18/24 mpg (AWD) 18/26 mpg (F Sport)

3.5-liter V6, 123-kW electric motor
245 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (gasoline engine alone; 295 total system horsepower))
234 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm (gas engine only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 32/28 mpg (front-wheel drive), 30/28 mpg (AWD)

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2013 Lexus RX Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.6
Out of 10

Based on 153 Ratings for the 2009 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.3/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

best car I ever owned

By on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 76,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "nice driving car its excellent on snow"

Cons: "needs leather seats"

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

"My car is gray with tinted windows 450h very good driving in town and on highway so far 76000 miles no problems it looks good and feels good hve 19"" tires."

6 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Great car !

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I bought the car when it was two years old. I made the mistake of buying the extended warranty, so I paid too much for the car overall. If I had not purchased the extended warranty, this would have been my best care ever."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

BEST SUV

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Safety Features"

Cons: "Limited Sirius and Enform Memberships"

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

"Have owned several different SUV's and the Lexus RX 350 is the BEST BY FAR in quality, reliability, appearance, and performance. I have never bought the same SUV twice but I would buy this one again."

4 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Has not met expectations...

By on Sunday, July 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Great radio. Nice Power."

Cons: "Ride is rock hard. Arkward placement of powerports"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I was really psyched to purchase this vehicle after owning 4 Mini-vans prior. I did include upgrades with the vehicle. I guess my biggest complaint is the ride of this car. My vehicle came with the Bridgestone Turenza 400 tires which have to be the worlds worst.Shortly thereafter, Lexus changed the line to a Michelin tire which is much softer and more comfortable riding, but not my car. In fact all my other cars have Michelin. Its amazing how a terrible tire can change the entire dynamics of a ride. I also am dissapointed on some of the display features on the dashboard, which I expected in this SUV. Information is austere and not as comprehensive as much less expensive cars, i.e. digital number display of speed. I am 1 year into my lease and am already counting the days until it is up. Incidentlly, I also have a Toyota Camry, which has a 10 times more comfortable ride. I'm not sure what "they" are referring to when they say this car has a plush ride...Already have rattles in the interior."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

"Great vehicle, pleasant to drive, technology lag"

By on Tuesday, June 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "car-like ride, storage and utility, gas mileage"

Cons: "Not as sporty to handle as some"

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

"The title of my review quotes a previous reviewer. I don't understand how this person can say Lexus's technology lags if he really owns this vehicle. The RXH has all the technology you claim it doesn't, blind spot monitoring, pre-collision, etc., albeit some at additional costs. Lexus has always been on the forefront of technology but has incorporated this so flawlessly inside their vehicles that some are not immediately noticeable. As the owner of my 4th Lexus which includes 2 LS's and my second RXH, I am surprised by your review. The newer Lexuses have a hard drive for the navi and no longer uses a DVD. It is possible to gain access to the listings in the phone book and previous destinations. You just wont be able to run through the entire nav features due to safety. Although I have been sometimes tempted to try other cars, I generally come back to Lexus because of their exceptional reliability, dealership experience for maintenance, quality, and how flawlessly everything works once you are in the car."

5 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Great vehicle, pleasant to drive, technology lags

By on Monday, June 29, 2015

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

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
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable, driveability, roomy"

Cons: "Technology lags others, somewhat pricey"

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

"This is my second hybrid vehicle, the first being a 2008 Rx400h FWD. Lexus gets a lot of things right in their vehicles but they are pretty conservative when it comes to adopting new technology, which is my biggest complaint. My next vehicle will definitely have some options that weren't available in June 2013 unless I wanted to wait another 3-4 months: adaptive cruise, blind spot, lane change, cross traffic alert, pre-collision alert (a lot of the safety features available on other makes). MSRP on my Rx450h was $61K - a bit on the pricey side. Bottom line: I will probably buy another Rx450h in a year or 2. I'd really like to try a Tesla Model S P85 but the price tag is just too high. The AWD hybrid experience: The Rx450h is a pleasure to drive. It has good acceleration with electric motor assist up to about 20 mph. The electric motors kick in during normal driving which do help MPG. If you drive it like you would any other vehicle the MPG won't be great. The AWD version has a sticker average of 29 for combined city/highway driving but you need to baby it a bit to get that. Ignoring any change in driving habit still yields 27-28 in my experience, which is 2X what my 2007 Chevy Suburban was getting. (That was my primary justification for the hybrid.) Another nice feature is how quiet this thing is when at a stop light. Assuming the hybrid battery is not low on charge the engine will shut down and run on just the battery, making the vehicle very quiet. All you will hear is the AC fan and the radio. It takes a little getting used to for someone who is "aware" of your car's noises when you feel the engine shut down. Most all vehicle systems are electric. One important implication of this is that when the engine shuts off the AC continues cooling like it would on the highway with a non-hybrid vehicle. You can turn on EV (Electric Vehicle) mode and move pretty quietly as long as you stay under 25 mph and don't accelerate quickly. Around 2013 Lexus added a ghostly whining sound whenever the vehicle is moving so people can hear you coming...so much for stealth mode! Infotainment systems: I am a tech guy and would rate this area only average. The Nav system uses a DVD for map data and was out-of-date the day I bought it. Lexus needs to update this area specifically to use more available technology like Google Map data. In the area where we live there are many areas that have built up over the past 3-5 years that show as blank spaces on the Nav map where whole neighborhoods and new schools now exist. Upgrading the map DVD costs about $200 which I also think is ridiculous given that you can pull out your smart phone and have a map app show you exactly where you are and where you need to go. I also detest the waypoint instructions in the system. Every time you near a major exit on a freeway it pops up instructions to go straight. I'm not stupid and have turned off all voice communication when I'm using the Nav guidance because it's just annoying to hear "in 1 mile continue going straight." There needs to be an option to turn off those waypoints and just tell me turns and exits. My biggest beef with the Lexus system is that it literally disables every useful thing you can do when the vehicle is in motion. About the only thing it lets you do is change the radio station. OK, I'm exaggerating, but only slightly. You can't scroll thru previous destinations or your address book, you can't change the destination or even go to an eDestination folder (like an online address book you setup) that is on the next screen. Consequently I have to use the Lexus Destination Assist and have one of their humans download the address I need, even tho I have it already in one of my folders. And, of course, Dest Assist has an annual subscription fee. I will say that I have become spoiled and use it quite a bit to find restaurants and other locations but I could just as easily live with the BlueLink system in my wife's 2015 Hyundai Sonata where you just say a destination name, it looks it up somehow and presents the address on the Nav screen. An annoying tech limitation is the number of phone contacts it will download when you connect via BT. The limit is 1,000 which sounds like a lot unless you have 2500 contacts in your phone. The 1,000 contact limit also restricts you to 3 phone numbers per contact. If you have 4 phone numbers it requires 2 contact slots. When I first discovered this limitation I talked to the tech guru at the dealership who thought they should be able to raise the limit because they weren't using even a third of the hard drive space in the system. He raised the issue with engineering 3 years ago and nothing has happened since. The result is that I can only voice dial about a third of my contacts. Other features: One option I really like is the Heads-Up Display. While pricey, it does present animated Nav info on the windshield so you don't have to glance down at the main display. It also shows speed and drive gear (not sure how useful that is) as well as radio info whenever you change stations. I would like to see a lot more info in the HUD or the ability to select what I want to see. I would love to have the power meter up there because when you're trying to keep the vehicle running on battery that's the only indicator of when you're about to engage the engine. Driving experience: My only complaint about drivability is road noise. Wind noise is pretty acceptable but road noise definitely detracts from the highway driving experience. Obviously blacktop roads are quieter than concrete. The vehicle needs a lot of additional soundproofing for the highway. The speed-controlled-volume setting does not do much in the ON position to overcome road noise. In fact, I can't really tell much difference at all and have to manually adjust radio volume to overcome the road noise."

4 people out of 10 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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