2012 Lexus RX 350
Starting MSRP $39,075–$40,475
Lexus' popular five-seat RX crossover shares a lot of components with the Toyota Venza crossover. All-wheel drive is optional. Rivals include the Acura MDX, Buick Enclave and Lincoln MKX.
The RX comes as a gas-powered RX 350 or gas-electric hybrid RX 450h. The latter model is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.
New for 2012
The RX 350's 3.5-liter V-6 engine is now rated for regular gas, and a new Appearance Package features 19-inch seven-spoke wheels and darker headlight housings.
The RX 350 has a downright wagonlike stance. In back are frosted taillight effects. Exterior features include:
- Standard 18-inch alloy wheels
- Optional 19-inch wheels
- Water-repellant front door glass
- Automatic on/off headlights
The RX's interior has swooping panels and futuristic controls. Chief among them is Lexus' Remote Touch system, which uses a knob to navigate menus with a mouselike cursor on the dashboard screen. Other features include voice-recognition software that Lexus says will pick up conversational prompts rather than formal, specific commands.
High-tech options include a head-up display with LED lighting that's purportedly bright enough to read even on a sunny day. Interior features include:
- Cloth seats are standard; leather is optional
- Real wood interior trim
- 10-way power front seats
Under the Hood
A 275-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 is standard; it works with a six-speed automatic transmission. Maximum towing capacity is 3,500 pounds, a rating the MKX can match and the MDX and Enclave can beat. Mechanical features include:
- Standard front-wheel drive
- Optional all-wheel drive
- Automatic transmission features clutchless-manual mode
Ten standard airbags include four in front — the two required chest airbags plus two knee airbags — as well as seat-mounted side-impact airbags for both rows of seats. Head-protecting side curtain airbags cover both rows, too.
Lexus' Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system, which better integrates the electronic stability system with various other systems, is optional. So is a radar-based Pre-Collision System that can cinch the seat belts and prime the brakes for maximum response should it detect an imminent impact. An optional side-mirror-mounted camera system gives drivers a wide view of the adjacent lane. Additional standard safety features include:
- Active front head restraints
- All-disc antilock brakes
- Traction control
- Electronic stability system
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