2014 Lexus RX 350 Road Test and Review: Introduction
Believe it or not, the 2014 Lexus RX is an aspirational vehicle for lots of people, and for no other reason than it is a “Lexus suv.” You can easily imagine one of your friends replying with those exact words if you asked them what kind of car they would drive if they could drive anything, can’t you? Since the RX is the only crossover suv in the Lexus lineup, and is the least expensive Lexus SUV, it is easy to deduce that if they were in a position to buy their dream car, the Lexus RX 350 would be it.
There is merit to this response. While the Lexus RX isn’t the most exciting vehicle to drive, and certainly isn’t one of the better looking examples of the luxury crossover breed, it successfully combines practicality, safety, quality, and dependability with a plush, quiet interior and a measure of genuine style inside and out. Whether or not you find the overall packaging appealing is entirely up to you.
Evidently, many people do, making the Lexus RX the best-selling vehicle in its class, and by a massive margin.
Last year, Lexus restyled the RX to incorporate the brand’s new spindle-style grille, which works better on some Lexus models than others. The RX also gained a new F Sport Package intended to make the SUV a little more exciting to drive, as well as a number of additional mid-life improvements. This year, Lexus adds Siri Eyes Free technology and upgrades the optional Pre-Collision System with a forward collision warning system and a pre-brake feature designed to help reduce vehicle speed in advance of an unavoidable collision. Next year, the 2015 Lexus RX gets an improved Remote Touch controller, a new audio system, a standard reversing camera, a new 19-inch wheel option, and available LED headlights.
The vehicle shown here is not the upgraded 2015 Lexus RX 350. I tested a 2014 model, which is basically the same thing, and which is on sale as Lexus clears lots in advance of an early launch of the 2015 model.
If you decide that the upgrades planned for 2015 aren’t of interest, you can choose from three different flavors of the 2014 Lexus RX. There’s the racy-looking version with the F Sport Package. There’s the fuel-efficient hybrid version called the RX 450h. And there’s the standard RX 350 that everybody buys, and that I just spent a week driving.