The Lexus RX invented he luxury crossover vehicle class, and it's now in its third generation of trendsetting success. While others have joined the fray, the Lexus RX models continue to set the standard for engineering, luxury and style among five-passenger luxury crossovers.
The RX is available in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variations of both RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid models and for 2011, the safety of the RX increases by the addition of Smart Stop brake override technology. When the brake and accelerator pedals are simultaneously pressed, engine power is automatically reduced.
Styled to clearly be a Lexus, the RX has a raked-back profile with a strong stance. Standard 18-inch wheels anchor the RX, and the L-Finesse design themes give the RX a stance that leans forward, suggesting motion. Style has been blended with functionality, too. The doors extend below the rocker panels to seal out grime more effectively. Integrated LED signal lamps are built into the side mirrors as well.
Standard halogen headlamps light the way and High Intensity Discharge headlights are available as part of the Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS). AFS directs the high beams into turns, aiming the light at the point the system predicts the car will be in three seconds. Putting the light exactly where you're going enhances safety, and intelligent high beam headlamps are available to make driving further safer and more convenient.
Front-wheel drive RX 350s start at an MSRP of $38,375 and offer the well-equipped, luxurious outfitting that is the backbone of the Lexus brand, along with the utility of a roomy cargo area made possible by a low-profile rear suspension. RX 350s sporting all-wheel drive expand on those positives and carry the Active Torque Control all-wheel drive system. The AWD system can vary the torque split anywhere from 100 percent front to 50/50 front to rear. The AWD hardware is also lighter by 35 percent than the previous generation, and 30 percent more efficient, too. There's also a LOCK function to enhance traction when starting off on rough, slick or sandy terrain.
The list of standard equipment is long with either drive system. Lexus SmartAccess and its start/stop button and touch sensitive door handles is standard equipment, making fumbling with keys a thing of the past. A standard dual-zone climate control system uses a filter to purify interior air, and the Lexus Personalized Settings allow your RX to be tailored to your liking. Rich wood trim in espresso bird's-eye maple or brown walnut is used in the handsome interior. Leather trims the steering wheel and shiftknob, and two different grades of leather upholstery are available in colors that complement the exterior paint. The most luxurious option is glove-soft perforated leather on seats that feature heating and cooling functions. Driver and passenger have 10-way power adjustability for the front seats and the second row reclines in a handy 40/20/40 split for cargo flexibility. The rear seats also recline and slide so occupants can find optimal comfort.
To the high level of standard equipment, buyers can add several option packages and standalone upgrades. The standard Lexus nine-speaker Premium Sound System includes iPod or mp3/wma integration, Bluetooth® hands-free and audio streaming and XM Satellite Radio capability. A large LCD display is pressed into action when the optional Hard Disk Drive Navigation system is specified. An optional Mark Levinson® audio system introduces owners to the world of high-end car audio and an optional rear-seat entertainment system expands the entertainment abilities even further.
RX 350s pack a well-proven 3.5-liter V6 with 275 hp at 6,200 rpm and 257 lb/ft of torque, teamed with a smooth six-speed automatic transmission. The engine utilizes dual Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) for a broad torque spread. Also improving torque delivery is the Acoustic Control Induction System, which changes the intake runner length to take advantage of resonance tuning.
The RX 450h includes the luxury and capability of the RX 350 and enhances them with Lexus Hybrid Drive for an EPA estimated 30 mpg combined fuel economy. The RX 450h’s 3.5-liter V6 is paired with an electric propulsion system that can operate in EV mode for short distances or team with the gas engine for 295 total system hp. Fuel economy and reduced emissions come with very little penalty in the RX 450h, and there is even an all-wheel drive version of the hybrid that uses a third motor/generator to power the rear axle without the need for a driveshaft.
Safety is paramount for all versions of the Lexus RX. Dynamic Radar cruise control that uses millimeter-wave radar is available to maintain a consistent following distance effortlessly, and integrate with the Pre Collision System that attempts to avoid collisions or mitigate the effects of a crash. The RX contains a segment leading 10 airbags (including front, front and rear side and side-curtain airbags, and knee airbags for front-seat occupants) along with active front headrests. Lexus Safety Connect is a standard feature that automatically alerts aid when it detects airbag deployment, and a trial subscription is included with the purchase of an RX.
Lexus Enform with Safety Connect adds driver-aid telematics and XM services like NavTraffic and Stocks and Sports, and a trial subscription is included on vehicles equipped with the capability.
Lexus doesn't sit on its laurels, and it keeps making the luxury-crossover segment the place where innovation occurs. The RX crossover is equipped with a laundry list of standard features, and Lexus offers plenty of options and packages to personalize and enhance the experience. The Lexus ownership experience, stellar build quality and exceptional refinement seal the deal.