By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Mike Hanley takes a look at the 2010 Lexus RX 350 and Lexus RX 450h. It competes with the Mercedes-Benz GLK-Class and Acura MDX.
<v Narrator>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm Mike Hanley with Cars.com and we're here at the Detroit Auto Show, and this is the 2010 Lexus RX Luxury Crossover.
Lexus has redesigned this model for 2010 and they've mostly honed and refined it, but it also is available with new technology features. If you're familiar with the previous RX, you're going to recognize this model because it has a similar exterior look including this dramatically sloping rear D pillar here, and it has now what Lexus calls Elephant S styling, and they've applied that to other cars like the LS Flagship Sedan, and basically what it means, it's a smoother look overall, and that's what you see here on the RX. It comes with standard 18 inch wheels. You can get 19 inch wheels, optional. and, this right here is an RX 350, but the RX 450h Hybrid has a couple exterior differences including different front headlights than the, than the gas only model, a different front badge, And some hybrid badges on the outside. Lexus has redesigned the interior of the RX, and they've given it a pretty dramatically different dashboard design. It uses a lot of nice soft touch dash materials, which has a pretty premium feel to it, but one of the biggest changes to the cabin is this new remote touch interface for the optional navigation system. It uses a joystick on the center console, and there's also some hard keys here to go quickly to menus, and on the side of this hand rest are enter buttons, so you can make selections. It's kind of a different system to use, and it takes a fair amount of concentration, so when you're driving, it's not probably the best to use when you're in motion, so the passenger might have to use it for you instead. One of the nice changes Lexus has made to the back seat of the RX is they've moved the lever to recline it up from up high on the rear back rest to down low on the side of the seat cushion. It's much easier to reach and recline the seat from that position, so that's a big improvement for rear passengers. Some of the available technology features in the RX include this dual screen backseat entertainment system, and also for the driver there's a head-up display, which projects some vehicles specs right in front of the driver when they're looking forward through the windshield, and there's also a wide-view side monitor system, which is designed to help when parking. It shows a view of what's on the front right corner of the vehicle in the navigation display when you're going at slow speeds, Even though we're at the Detroit auto show, we had a chance to drive the RX 350 and RX 450h earlier and overall it offers a pretty refined experience that a luxury crossover buyer is going to expect when they're looking for a vehicle. The 350's V6 is a strong engine. The suspension overall is definitely on the firm side, but it's still comfortable. It's not to the point of being harsh, and it's a very easy car to control. Overall, it's a low effort driving experience that seems like it's going to appeal to a luxury crossover buyer. The 450h offers a little bit of a different driving experience than the 350, even though it makes more horsepower, it doesn't feel quite as strong as the gas-only model. The steering's a little tighter, but it does offer some really good hybrid breaks. Now, breaking is where some hybrids have had tough time getting the natural feel you expect from a traditional hydraulic braking setup, but the 450h really got it right. The RX 350 goes on sale in February 2009, and the RX 450h comes available in the spring time, and overall, these two models offer the refinement and luxury buyers are going to expect in this class, and they also have the tech features for those who want it. The previous RX has been one of the most popular models in this segment, and this new one looks poised to continue on that tradition. <v Narrator>For more car related news, go to Cars.com or our blog Kickingtires.net.