2018 Lexus RX 350L Luxury

Susan Frissell
Editor, WWW

Equipped nicely and without want, the 2018 Lexus RX 350L has grown in size and feels much larger than the original RX. And women like driving this? It seemed large to this writer. But, the ever-popular Lexus RX still reigns and is sought after, despite its high price tag.
Our 2018 LX Luxury edition came at a cost of $61,660 total vehicle price, with a couple of options. To be sure, there isn’t anything wanting, and the options add up to high numbers.

For instance, options included were Blind Spot Monitor with Rear-Cross Traffic Braking and Intuitive Park Assist ($1,065), Cold Weather Package (windshield deicer, headlamp cleaner, $200), Triple Beam LED Auto Leveling Headlamps w/washers, cornering large LED front turn signal lamps and rear combination lamps, $1515; 12.3-inch Navigation System Mark Levinson 15-speaker Premium Audio Package, Lexus Enform Destinations (1-year trial), subscription, Lexus Enform App Suite, $3,200.

I guess one can expect to pay upwards of $50,000 today for a premium, large SUV. And because Lexus tops the market, it may be a fair ask. We enjoyed driving the RX but found it too large for our taste. Are consumers really wanting a much larger SUV these days? Guess so.

Our test Lexus RX came equipped with all that’s expected, including a powerful V6 engine, Full-Time Active Control All-Wheel-Drive, ABS, Brakeforce Distribution/Brake Assist, Rain-sensing wipers, Lane Departure alert w/steering assist and lane keep assist, Theft Deterent system, Scout GPS Link, Rear Door Sunshades, 12-way power semi leather-trimmed front seats, heated wood steering wheel, Aluminum roof rails, LED ambient illumination, power back door, power tilt/slide moonroof, Push button stop/start, and 4.2 Multi-information Display with Lexus personalized setting, among other goodies.

We thought the driver’s seat sat tall, although adjustable. It felt as though we were steering a large ship, and noticed at times, it didn’t always hold the road as well as expected. It’s hard to fault a Lexus product, and often there isn’t much that’s negative to note. However, we didn’t enjoy driving the RX as much as other Lexus products.

Seats are large and accommodating for all body types. Controls are fairly intuitive and don’t’ take a large learning curve, which is staying a lot for this writer. Skipping some of the extras (options), buyers can expect pricing to hover around the low $50,000-mark, but discounts do exist.

The RX is a refined third-row luxury SUV based on the Toyota Highlander/Kluger, and offered since 1998. A hybrid version is also available. It’s, as expected, quite and smooth. However, we noticed more wind noise than expected this time around. A fault of this particular press car, or are they getting sloppy? We also noticed when taking corners, the RX felt heavy. And third-row seating isn’t always what you think it’s going to be; meaning, adults will be snug.

Frissell Fido Friendly Rating

The Frissell 4 rode back/forth to Chicago from Indy. Huddled In the adequately covered back seat, mostly sleeping. Space is plenty and the Chihuahuas took to curling up on the floor, which offers a wide space between front/back seating areas. Height proved an issue for the little ones, as well as our 12-year old Whippet, meaning, they were air-lifted in/out of the RX. If time hadn’t been tight, a great picture of them all looking into the front seat from the back would have been taken.

Generally, the 4 behave quite well. If I owned the RX would I allow them to travel in it? Not sure. Would like to think the RX would be the one car that would be kept pristine. Generally, good choices for toting dogs, SUV’s closely follow the smartest car on the road, the Minivan.

Fuel economy isn’t stunning, but this is a heavy vehicle at over 4,000 pounds. So averaging 23-25 mpg. On the highway was about standard. We weren’t complaining.

We’ve noticed a return of the Heads-Up display in vehicles. Is this due to the aging population of drivers? I do have a 2003 Corvette that has a Heads-Up display, and although in the past, I regarded it as ‘silly,’ I’ve begun to rely on it. The color heads-up display in the RX ($600) may not be needed by all drivers, but like all special options, once you become accustomed, you rely on it.

Competition for the RX 350 includes Acura MDX, and Infiniti QX60, among others. Leather seats are not standard on the RX, a surprise at this pricing point.


MSRP: $54,085; total vehicle price $61,660; destination $995.
Pricing: $43,470-$50,520
Engine: 3.5-liter, 290 hp., 24-valve V6 with Variable Valve Timing
Transmission: 8-speed automatic Drive Mode Select, Full-time Torque control AWD
Wheelbase: 109.8 in.
Width: 74.6 in.
Length: 192.5 in.
Curb Weight: 4,222 lbs.
EPA fuel economy: 18/25 mpg. , 21 mpg./ avg.
Wheels: 20-inch supper chrome alloy wheels with color inserts
Tires: 18-inch
Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.2 gal.
MPS: 17/20 mpg
Competition: Lincoln MKT, Infiniti Q60, Acura MDX
Warranty: 4 yr./50,000-miles basic coverage; 5 yrs./70,000-miles powertrain; 6 years/unlimited mileage corrosion perforation coverage

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