Lexus RX sharpens edgy styling
Lexus has never been shy about avant-garde styling.
For 2016, the up-scale automaker delivers a bold new look to its luxury crossover sport utility line with the redesigned Lexus RX 450h (hybrid) and Lexus RX 350.
Fronting RX’s radical appearance is an oversize spindle-shaped grille edged by razor-sharp headlamp and fog light treatments with bright surrounds that mimics angles of the Lexus badge.
Lexus RX bulks up with two inches added to the wheelbase and an overall length that casts a shadow five-inches longer than previous models.
Emphasizing the “sport” in sport utility is Lexus RX 350 F Sport featuring unique body cladding arched by muscular wheel houses that crown 20-inch multi-spoke smoked alloy rims.
Power is punctuated by a spirited 3.5 liter V6 engine with 295 horsepower mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that delivers 19 miles per gallon in town and 26 mpg on the open road.
The Lexus RX 450h builds off the 3.5L engine accompanied by an electric motor for a total output of 308 hp. Mileage ranks 30 mpg/city and 28 mpg/highway.
I tested the 2016 Lexus RX 350 F Sport 5-door with standard full-time active torque control all-wheel drive coupled to a sport-tuned suspension with front and rear performance dampers.
F Sport’s handling is exceptional, courtesy of the Lexus Adaptive Variable Suspension system that adjusts steering communication and responsiveness to suit road conditions and the operator’s driving style.
Enhanced cabin space is the benefactor of RX’s larger exterior dimensions with real-world head, knee and leg room for four adult occupants.
The reclining split second row is belted for three riders and easily accommodates a trio of child booster seats. When unoccupied, rear seatbacks fold into the cabin for increased cargo capacity.
A power operated rear liftgate is standard.
Lexus RX 350 F Sport comes with exclusive leather interior trim accented by aluminum gauge surrounds, shift knob and pedals for a sporty cockpit feel.
An F Sport-specific steering wheel is a low-cost option, while heated and ventilated front seats are standard.
Other popular options include blind spot detection system with cross traffic alert and panoramic view monitor.
Navigation with a 12.3 inch multimedia display, power moonroof, adaptive headlamps and intuitive parking assist also are available.
Base price for the performance-driven 2016 Lexus RX 350 F Sport crosses the bottom line at $49,125 followed by the RX 450h for $52,235. Add $950 for freight.