Lexus RX350 F Sport Review (2016)Feb 11th, 2016
Say hello to the all new, completely redesigned 2016 Lexus RX 350.
From top to bottom, inside and out, Lexus completely over hauled the RX. And praise the powers that be, because the 90s was calling and they wanted their styling back. But no more!
Gone is the dated exterior and antiquated amenities. The RX is up to date and ready to play ball against its European counterparts. And you know where that starts…right here with the massive 12.3-inch screen. Which is standard on every model. But before I get into that, take a quick look at the outside. Lexus hasn’t gone too far off the reservation, continuing with the RX’s previous design language, adding some sharper angles and most notably this almost rear window. Now, our RX 350 was outfitted with the F-Sport package, as by now you might have noticed the mesh like grill and 20-inch F-Sport wheels. But that’s hardly the core of the F-Sport package.
This also means the addition of the F-Sport leather trim and the F-Sport variable suspension that will adapt to the road. And for those with a penchant for racing, or perhaps just spirited driving, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s been tuned by the same team that tweaked the LFA’s suspension. Yes, the Lexus Supercar.
And yes, the proof is in the pudding when you drive the RX. Flip it into Sport+ mode, and while the suspension doesn’t stiffen to the same degree the throttle gets more sensitive, it is a discernible difference from normal or eco mode.
That in mind, the all new RX is powered by a 3.5l v6 producing 295hp. 0-60 is 7.7 seconds. Opt for the AWD version of the car (or F-Sport in this case) and things slow, albeit slightly, by .2 seconds. Chalk it up to weight, which is 4,387lbs, or 4,222lb if you want to less traction but a slightly faster straight line. The AWD RX gets 19/26mpg city/hwy, or 22 combined. The FWD 20/28 or 23 combined. Again, moot.
What isn’t moot, though, is that for those that opt for the AWD version of the RX there is an Active Torque Control all-wheel drive system that monitors the vehicle and road conditions to predict what’s coming next. Then, if necessary, it can deliver up to 50% of torque to the rear wheels.
Now, going back to that interior. Yes, the leather is from the company’s F-Sport package. How it differs from the standard package I don’t know, but I’m sure it’s more opulent. The center screen has two parts, with the right part being smaller and can very easily be modified by choosing any one of five icons.
Controlling the action is the now familiar mouse system derived from LFA tech – make sure to adjust it to the firmest settings for the best experience, as we quickly discovered that the default setting is too soft and causes user error. All of this complemented by not only an optional 15 speaker Mark Levinson speaker system, but a color HUD that can display audio choice, direction of travel, RPMs, speed and next turn when navigation is enabled.
Those looking for even more tech there is the Lexus Enform Remote app that connects to the vehicle allowing you to remotely start the engine, lock and unlock doors, check the status of doors and windows as well as your fuel level, and can help find your vehicle’s location in a parking lot. Add that to the voice activated controls, which allows you to say things like “it’s too hot in here”, which lowers the carstemperature, and you’ve got a 2016 vehicle.
And, if your son, brother, or wife borrows the RX, you can track track them. Well not really. But you can receive instant alerts if they exceed a set speed or mile limit. Cameras ecompass the car, allowing for a bird’s eye view of while you parallel park. Sadly there is no automated parking feature, but there is adaptive cruise control on top of a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and intelligent high-beam headlamps.
You can also waive at the back of the RX to open the boot.
So that’s the all news RX 350 with F-Sport package. Sure, it was in desperate need of an update. But despite that, this RX stands tall on its own, regardless of comparison to previous iterations. Our RX, with all its features, costs $59,325 with a starting base of $49,125.