2017 Lexus RX 350 F Sport Review: A Luxury Crossover With Style

2017 Lexus Rx 350 F Sport Review

A Sophisticated and Luxurious Crossover

The 2017 Lexus RX 350 F Sport is a luxurious crossover with sophistication and class. From the F Sport leather interior to the 8 speed automatic transmission, this crossover was made for women who love to drive. Offering everything from ambient lighting to a handcrafted trim, the RX exudes captivating comfort. This five passenger crossover is a smooth ride, and will be the talk of every parking lot.

The instant the RX350 was dropped off at my house, the design won me over. The automaker took a chance on a bold angular design that starts with the grille and extends to the rear of roof and liftgate, all accented by headlights and tail lights that are like lightening in motion. The design really paid off in terms of the eye-catching appeal: It not only makes the crossover stand out, but it also hides some of the safety cameras and sensors.

On the interior, this design makes the driver feel in control. From the over-sized digital dashboard with a mouse that operates the infotainment screen (no touch screen!) to the classy design, the driver will feel exactly like she should feel while driving a $50,000-plus Lexus.

2017 Lexus Rx 350 F Sport Review

The red leather interior was bold, like the exterior car design of the RX 350 F Sport. Photo: Jenn Greene

IF YOU ARE IN THE MARKET FOR A HYBRID CROSSOVER, TAKE A LOOK AT THE LEXUS NX300H.

Who the 2017 Lexus RX 350 F Sport is For 

• Singles or Couples
• Empty nesters who want to downsize, or finally get that luxury car!
• Drivers who want a luxury crossover
• Drivers who occasionally have rear seat passengers

2017 Lexus Rx 350 F Sport Review

The aluminum trim stands out against the leather interior for a very modern feel. The infotainment mouse controller sits at the end of the arm rest so you can easily rest your arm and control the information on the screen. Photo: Jenn Greene

What It Costs

  • Base price: $50,320.00
  • Optional Equipment (blind spot monitor, parking assist) $1,065.00
  • Panorama Moonroof $1,600.00
  • Navigation $2,120.00
  • Price of the model we drove: $55,105.00

2017 Lexus Rx 350 F Sport

With Luxury Comes Safety

I live in my car. OK, well I don’t actually live in it, but I do spend A LOT of time in the car and safety is a priority for me. With the most comprehensive safety system ever offered on the RX 350, safety and security come standard.

Smart Stop Technology  is designed to automatically reduce engine power when idling, like at a traffic light. The intuitive parking assist was the most comprehensive system I have experienced. This safety feature utilizes sensors in the front and rear bumpers that are designed to detect surrounding objects. Using audible tones and an indicator on the multimedia display, the system can notify you of a detected object’s location and proximity. This feature gave me an extra set of eyes on the ground to see what was around me before leaving the parking space.

It rained the entire week I had the RX 350 F Sport and the vehicle stability control was put to the test. This system can detect slipping of the wheels while cornering, and helps to control it using modulation of engine power and selective application of individual brakes. It works in conjunction with the Anti-lock Braking System and Traction Control to help improve driver control under some adverse conditions. The car handled beautifully in bad weather, and I never lost traction even in a total downpour.

2017 Lexus Rx 350 F Sport Review

The chiseled front end of the Lexus RX 350 F Sport hides the safety sensors. Photo: Jenn Greene

Standard Safety Features

  • 10 air bag system, with front, side and knee airbags
  • Blind Spot Monitoring with rear cross traffic braking allows you to change lanes with confidence. The Blind Spot Monitor is designed to detect and warn you of vehicles approaching or positioned in the adjacent lanes. For added peace of mind, the Rear Cross-Traffic Braking system will assist you when backing out of a parking space by notifying you of vehicles approaching from either side.
  • LED Cornering Fog Lamps give you visibility even when taking corners by lighting up the turn as you go into it.
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect is roadside assistance and free for the first year of ownership.
  • Rain Sensing Wipers
  • Windshield Wiper De-Icer
  • Full LED Headlights

The 2017 Lexus RX 350 F Sport has an overall five star safety rating, which is the best rating for all vehicles given by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

LOOKING FOR A SAFE CROSSOVER WITH LESS LUXURY, THE 2017 SUBARU FORESTER 2.0 XT TOURING MAY BE WHAT YOU NEED.

An Interior that Makes a Statement

The interior draws you in as soon as you sit in the drivers seat. The F Sport trim’s 10-way adjustable seat with thigh cushion extender made it easy to find the perfect driving position. The USB equipped center console was crazy awesome. Featuring an armrest, storage bin, mini-jack, accessory power outlet and USB connectivity to charge portable devices, all while offering convenient playback access through the on-board audio system. It was more like mission control for this connective family!

This is also a great place to store your purse! My Coach bag fit comfortably in the center console, and this never happens!

2017 Lexus Rx 350 F Sport Review

This center console serves as mission control for connectivity! Photo: Jenn Greene

For a crossover, the front cabin felt smaller than most, more like a sedan, and with the lack of third row, even if just a jump seat, passenger seating is limited.

Cargo space isn’t huge, either. There is only 18 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row; that is enough for a trip to get groceries but not much else. With the middle row folded down, space increases to 56 cubic feet.

Clever features fill out the RX 350 F Sport interior 

2017 Rx 350 F Sport Review

The backseat is more like a sedan than a crossover. Photo: Jenn Greene

Just some of the things we loved in this car:

  • Dual zone climate control: My hubby and I fight over the temp all the time; this ended those arguments.
  • Heated AND ventilated front seats
  • Panoramic moonroof
  • Self Gripping Cup Holders: With a unique grip design,  you can unscrew your beverage lid with a single hand.
  • Lexus Memory System allows multiple drivers to personalize and recall the settings for the driver’s seat (except lumbar), the outside mirrors and the steering wheel position. Normally you can only save the seat position. This was mind blowing, I wont even lie.
2017 Lexus Rx 350 F Sport Review

Many extra interior features set the RX 350 F Sport apart. (left photo seat memory, top right dual temp controls, bottom right infotainment console) Photo: Jenn Greene

Sporty and Fun

The RX 350 F Sport is a quick little car. I say that because it will get up and go without a lot of prompting from the driver. I had it out on the highway and looked down to see I was doing 70 mph and it barely felt like it. Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6,with 295 horsepower. It’s got a little giddy up under there. With an 8-speed transmission I was able to get up to cruising speed pretty fast. The paddleshifters made changing gears a breeze when I had the car in manual mode.

All-wheel-drive is standard in the F sport.  The all-wheel drive F Sport has an EPA fuel rating of 19 miles per gallon in the city, 26 miles per gallon on the highway and 22 miles per gallon combined. During my week with the RX 350, I was able to get a combined rating of 21 miles per gallon. Not too bad for a car in the crossover category.

2017 Lexus Rx 350 F Sport Review

The 2017 Lexus RX 350 F Sport Monroney

2017 Lexus RX 350 F Sport Overall

There is so much to love about the 2017 Lexus RX 350 F Sport: soft leather seats give the interior a stylish look, and the bucket-style seats suck you in for a comfortable and relaxed time behind the wheel. And there are plenty of conveniences: front gripping cup holders, front door pockets and seat-back storage.  The panoramic sunroof added tons of light, once the rains finally stopped I couldn’t get enough. The paddleshifters give you control when you want to take advantage of the 8 speed transmission. And we all know, controlling that engine is just what you need after a challenging day!

There were only a couple of  inconveniences.  The back seat was small for my seventeen year old, who is 6 feet tall. I can’t see fitting a car full of friends in the back seat for very long periods of time. But your girlfriends will be comfortable for a girls’ night out, and if you’re the designated driver, they won’t care if the back seat is small.

The 12.3 inch media display was too much for me; while it was crystal clear and easy to see, it was huge and difficult to navigate; the mouse on the model I test drove is very touchy, but I understand that the sensitivity level can be adjusted. I also didn’t love that it sticks up out of the dash rather than being recessed into the dashboard.

2017 Lexus Rx 350 F Sport Review

The large display screen was certainly easy to see, but very touchy to use. Photo: Jenn Greene

The Lexus RX 350 F Sport was much like the single girl on a mission: It handled the roads with control, stood out in the crows and oozed class and style.  If I were single girl on a mission, I would certainly be eyeing up this beauty for my driveway.

Disclosure: The Lexus RX 350 F Sport was provided for this test drive. Opinions expressed here are all my own.

Mom, Wife, Writer and Avid Traveler Jenn wears many hats. She grew up in the car industry and has... More about Jenn Greene

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