My friend (and next-door neighbor) Jane has a 2000 Lexus RX 300. She has two very tall sons, 12-year old Sean is about 5′ 9″, and 16-year old Kyle is 6′ 4″. Jane, her sons, and her husband (who is also 6′ 4″) fit comfortably in the RX. They even like to take it on a couple of camping and road trips each year. Jane mentions that they did not want to buy a full size SUV for just a few trips a year and aside from the fact that they have to use a rooftop cargo carrier (affectionately known as “the turd”), they really like the car. The turd and a set of rotten cup holders are cited as the reasons they merely like their car, not love it. Now, I’m not one to completely dismiss a vehicle based on its cup holders but the one in Jane’s RX are flimsy and infuriating. If I’m going to spend that kind of money, I’d like to know that RX wouldn’t be improved with a purchase of those cup holders from Auto Zone that fit in the slot between the window and door. Anyway, that was the first thing Jane inspected, saying that she would not get a new RX unless this fatal design flaw had been fixed.
Rest assured the 2007 RX350 has stunning cup holders. Jane was actually plotting and scheming how to get hers replaced with the ones that come in the 2007 model. There are lots of them too (seven). They are all covered by lovely, wood-grain doors that camouflage them when they are not in use. See if you can find them in the picture! Other happy features include heated seats, and armrests built in to the front seats. I really dig the fact that I’m not resting my arm on the center console; it makes me feel like the car fits me that much better. There is a bit of space in front of the console below the gearshift to store a small to medium-sized purse, a feature that always wins a thumbs-up from me.
I love the fact that the RX will grow with your family. Infants, toddlers and youngsters in car seats fit wonderfully in the RX350, and the kids can climb in easily by themselves. Well, not the infants, obviously. As Jane knows, teenagers fit very nicely too. I like that this car doesn’t feel like a family truckster but performs like one, handling various errands and tight parking spaces with ease and grace. My husband can hang out in the RX350 and not feel like he’s in a mom car or chick car. No evading errands for him if we owned one!
If I owned one, I might just pick the same color paint as the one on my test car. The dark grey-green is gorgeous. Hey, speaking of green, the RX350 comes in a hybrid version, the Lexus RX450h. That’s a family friendly feature I’m on board with too! Luxury and hybrid? What’s not to love? That’s a different review for a different time.
In any case, the RX350 leaves no stone unturned with its appointments. Leather, sunroof, and a DVD system that’s easy to use are just the beginning. I love the quiet ride and the good acceleration as well as the air suspension that has four different settings. I can set it on “Access” to ease getting in, or low, medium or high depending on my needs. Nice. And, of course, one of my all-time favorites, a power rear door. It comes standard on the RX350! Yay! Car seats are a cinch to install, and there is plenty of room for strollers in the cargo area.
The crazy feature that takes a little getting used to is the Adaptive Front Lighting System. When I turn the steering wheel to the left, the left headlight turns to the left and the right one stays pointing forward. Turning to the right (obviously), the right headlamp turns to the right and the left one stays forward. The road in front of me is more illuminated this way. The eerie sensation that I’m driving with eyeballs instead of headlights fades quickly as I grow to love it. It adds a human touch to the vehicle.
With all the love in the RX350, it’s still a family car for smaller families. As seen in Jane’s case, it needs a little help for larger journeys. It is a flexible car, handling almost anything and doing it well. I really enjoy my time in the RX, Grande Mocha included in its beautiful cup holder.
*For more information on the 2007 Lexus RX350 and its safety features visit Cars.com.
LET’S TALK NUMBERS
LATCH Connectors: 2
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5
IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair-Ample
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Good Times