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Driving Notes

2016 Lexus RX350

July 15, 2016, by - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Lexus' RX mid-size luxury SUV arrives for 2016 with a few smartly chosen enhancements, including a new available safety technology package, more powerful engine, and 8-speed transmission.

As the brand's top-selling nameplate, the RX doesn't need seismic changes, and the enhancements are more substantial than you may expect.

Lexus is offering two models of the RX — the RX 350 and hybrid RX 450h — that are available with the F Sport package. F Sport provides a tuned suspension with front and rear dampers, upgraded interior and exterior trim, and 20-inch wheels.

The new 3.5L V-6 adds some minimally felt power, and now produces 295 hp. On the F Sport model, Lexus pairs the engine with an 8-speed transmission and paddle shifters.

The Lexus Safety System+ can be had for $2,250, and it includes a pre-collision system with automatic braking, dynamic radar cruise control at all speeds, 10 airbags, lane keeping assist and a land departure alert, a back-up camera with dynamic gridlines, and a blind-spot monitor with a rear cross-traffic alert.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

Perhaps the vehicle's boldest update comes in the form of an optional 12.3-inch center monitor that optimizes the rear-view camera by displaying a triptych image of the rear bumper, 360-degree overhead view and map positioning in a combined image. It's an example of joyous visual information overload.

Inside the RX, you'll find sumptuous leather surfaces and carpeted floor mats that suggest a homey almost living room aesthetic. The F Sport front seats offer ventilation for heating and cooling.

Lexus has tweaked the exterior styling of the RX, which gives it a more aggressive look that's all angles, especially in the rear of the SUV.

The 2016 RX retails for at least $49,125. Our tested model would retail for $59,975.

Related Photos: Lexus' 2016 RX350

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