2016 Lexus RX350
The 2016 Lexus RX350 is a significant update the already popular RX lineup. Most notably, the emergence of the “spindle grill” which updates the looks of the RX to match the rest of the Lexus sedan offerings. Love it or hate it, to me it gives a bit of attitude to an SUV market that can be downright boring. But, does the RX350 provide enough new pizzazz to produce similar sales numbers of past RX models?
The exterior of the RX350 is for sure eye-catching, but the spindle grill is a bit overdone in my opinion. The edgy and sporty feel of the Lexus sedans does not translate well to the SUV chassis. I think the previous model year struck the perfect balance of brand recognition without a simple copy-paste adaptation of the sedans front grill. That being said, the rest of the RX350 has been modernized accordingly, providing fresh styling and a bit more edginess to one of the brand's top sellers. If you are looking for a bit more look and style, the F-Sport trim option offers an even more aggressive front grill and headlights, plus other sporty styling cues.
The interior treatment is all very classically Lexus. You have your handy-dandy mouse type mater control with force feedback . The entertainment system was easy to navigate and sounds crisp, but nothing to really write home about. Its interior is almost too good to deserve the ground up animal crackers and apple juice spills it will encounter. But, for the adults the leather is plush and the ergonomics are just right for long road trips.
I am relieved that this vehicle has a proper gearbox and not some CVT nonsense. The power is properly put down though an 8-speed automatic transmission with push button 4-wheel drive. A slight increase in horsepower makes the RX350 feel snappy and spirited, but still far from being described as sporty. Overall, its a good balance of fuel economy and power at 16/26 mpg. If you desire a hybrid option the RX450H might be the right choice for you, of course it will cost you a little bit more upfront as well.
I really like the RX350 overall, the upgraded space and power handle common issues I had with previous model years. The edgy redesign is half good and half bad, but without a doubt distinctive and edgy. If I had a small family the RX350 would be a vehicle I would highly consider.