In a luxury SUV, style is a major consideration.
I was going to focus this review on all the style in the updated 2020 Lexus RX350 F Sport. Because it is luscious. And in the F Sport trim it has even more stylish details, and drive modes add excitement, with adaptive suspension that creates a tighter drive experience when you want it or a more comfortable one. But I kept falling for the intuitive details, especially the technology, added to this car!
However that’s not to undersell the style factor. Lexus’ designers modernized the lines on the front grille and headlights. Inside, the feeling is all Lexus: luscious leather seats, controls at your finger tips and small details, like dark carpets outlined in white so as a passenger you don’t feel like you’re lost in a dark sea. It’s a haven even before you press the starter and let it carry you away.
But, as the brand’s #1 selling model, attention to detail was paramount in refreshing the car’s design for 2020. Designers focused on adding more human-centric features, but most of the changes are tech-focused: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were added (your phone must be plugged into the USB port inside the arm rest to access these connected phone systems), the infotainment screen is now a touch screen but the the touchpad controller remains, too (which I like), two more USB ports were added (for 6 total!), a motion activated lift gate was added, Lexus Safety System + 2.0 is now standard and you can connect to your home Amazon Alexa for even more convenience.
Last fall we took a test drive in the RX450, the hybrid version of this car, which offers all the same features as the RX 350. The 450 adds a hybrid motor system ($2,650) which increases fuel economy by about 7 MPG and reduces emissions to near zero.
What We Loved
It starts with how the RX line is packaged: you choose from standard, hybrid or L, which has a third row, then add all wheel drive if you need it, and choose from among the options you like. Our test model was very nicely outfitted; this is what I really loved:
- Head up display – for $600 why not? It’s not just a cool feature but it helps keep your eyes on the road
- Premium navigation and Mark Levinson sound system – this is a pricer option but it integrates with the HUD so you get turn by turn directions projected on the windshield in front of you as you drive and that is awesome
- The motion activated lift gate
- NuLuxe leather seating
- 6 USB ports
- Lexus Safety System + 2.0 with adaptive cruise control, pre-emergency braking, lane departure warning and assist, adaptive highbeam headlights, all together work to take the stress out of driving
- Panoramic sun roof, a fantastic feature and at $500, why would you skip it? The RX350’s sun screen did a great job of keeping the car cool when I didn’t want the extra sun
- The F Sport trim is not just beautiful, but sporty too. It makes you smile every time you see the car
What This Car Costs
I like how the RX series is priced: pick your model —standard, hybrid or L with a 3rd row— and add the options you want. On average expect to spend about $60,000 on this car. This is how pricing breaks down:
- The standard model with front wheel drive, a V6 engine with 295 horsepower that averages 23 MPG (20 MPG city/27 MPG highway) starts at $44,150
- Add all wheel drive, $1,400
- Add the F Sport performance package $3,800
- The L model adds a third row, $3,150
- Add hybrid to the standard, F Sport or L model, $2650
- Add blind spot monitors and park assist, $1,865
- Add head up display, $600
- Triple beam headlights with corner illumination, LED turn signals and fog lights, $1675
- Panoramic sunroof and roof rails, $500
- Premium navigation and Mark Levinson sound system, $3,365
- Motion activated lift gate, $150
- Price of the model we test drove, about $61,000 with delivery
I can appreciate why the RX350 and its hybrid sibling are so popular –– they are the #1 model in the lineup— and why buyers love them; they are easy to look at, a delight to be inside and fun to drive. And I can appreciate how hard it must be to tinker with your top seller. But the addition of needed tech upgrades to this beautiful luxury SUV were perfect. And make me love this car even more.
What We Listened to in the Lexus RX350
A great sound system that is part of the interior design of the car and engineered to sound like a concert hall is a fantastic thing. Yes, the system in the Lexus is pricey, but your time in the car is precious. This is what we loved listening to during our test drive.
Disclosure: Lexus provided the 2020 RX350 F Sport for this test drive. All opinions are my own.