2014 Lexus RX 350 new car reviews

The name Lexus has been synonymous luxury for quite some time. It even shares some of the same letters with the word. Is this sleek SUV worth the price tag? You decide.

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Joe Gearin Joe Gearin

The Lexus RX series has long been the standard for mid-sized luxury utes. Easy to drive, comfortable inside, and smoother than a cream pie, these elevated minivans set the bar high as far as refinement and build quality are concerned. It shouldn't be surprising that these slick, but inoffensive machines have proliferated like horny rabbits throughout America's upper-income neighborhoods. They are the top choice for those brave enough to venture to the other side of town to try a new nail salon, or explore an unknown shopping mall.

What is surprising is that Lexus has decided to add their "F-Sport" moniker to this creampuff grocery getter. Lexus would like you to think "AMG, or BMW-- M" , when you see the "F" added to one of their offerings. Unfortunately, the "Sport" title conflicts with what has made this machine so successful. While the RX 350 F-Sport accelerates with gusto, and offers good grip, no amount of tuning can mask this machines size weight and height. It is composed, but some of the magic-carpet ride has been lost as an offering to the "Sport" Gods. This machine does everything you ask of it with uncanny refinement, but asking it to play "Sport" is like asking Peter O'Toole to play a roughneck wharf worker. Sure he could do it.....but why?

I suppose Lexus decided they needed to add a bit of testosterone to the RX350 as it's image may be a bit feminine, a bit too "nice". It's a shame, as the standard RX is perfectly suited to it's job, while the "F-Sport" suffers from an identity crisis. Is it a butch sport-ute? No, it's too wobbly, and imprecise for that. Is it the creampuff that suburbia has grown to love? No-- the F-Sport has made it twitchier and rougher riding than it was. Every car doesn't need to be a race car. In trying to amp up the sportiness, Lexus has made the F-Sport uncomfortable in it's own skin. That's a shame, as the standard RX feels totally at ease with itself, and it's mission.

David S. Wallens David S. Wallens
Editorial Director

I admit that I only covered a few miles in this one, but if you're looking for an upscale SUV, then Lexus is worth a check. Yes, there's less expensive options out there, but Lexus does bring together the entire package.

Alan Cesar Alan Cesar

This machine is far better than it has to be. It's powerful. It's quiet. It's smooth. It's firm. The automatic trans shifts quickly enough to be usable in manual mode.
The Lexus RX350 F-Sport is actually fun to drive. It accepts being chucked into a corner, and doesn't cry about it. The Lexus relishes it, and asks for more. I'm wondering what it would be like on a track day, with just a little more rear bar to bring the tail around.

J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

The Lexus RX350 does absolutely everything well, except get me excited. It's comfortable, has plenty of space, the engine and trans work well together, and the chassis even has decent balance for a sport-ute. Maybe it's too good. Maybe I'm just unable to think of a vehicle like this as anything but a truck, and I assume all trucks will be forced to make some compromises. The RX350 makes very few compromises.

Sure it probably can't tow very well, but who's going to buy one of these to tow with? The swayback is a little too well-appointed to throw in a bunch of dirty bags of mulch, but who's ever going to throw bags of mulch in their $60k luxury SUV?

Honestly, this is a vehicle that more people should probably be driving. It's got wagon utility, good visibility, but not the hulking road presence of a full-sized behemoth. It's perfect for someone. Just not for me.

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