Lexus RX-Series Review and Specs

Lexus RX-Series Review


  • Combines luxury and convenience in a 4X4 layout
  • Great all-around build quality and reliability
  • Very quiet and smooth on the road


  • Limited off-road capability
  • High prices, even on the used car market
  • The styling, once considered modern, now seems a bit out-dated
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Overview, Look, and Feel of the Lexus RX Series

The RX Series is Lexus’s solution to the luxury 4X4. Sold from 1998 to the present by the venerable Japanese automaker, the RX Series has established itself at the forefront of its segment, with impressive performance, great kit, and renowned durability (not to mention Lexus’s legendary service). One of the earliest luxury crossover vehicles on the market, the RX has inspired many other brands to create similar vehicles. Sitting below the GX and LX in Lexus’s line-up, RX is said to stand for either Radiant Crossover, or Recreation Cross Country, depending on whom you talk to. The RX Series has proved to be mightily successful for the Lexus brand, outselling competitors’ vehicles in nearly every market worldwide. The success of the RX is undoubtedly due to its superior quality, drive, and overall build.

The RX Series has gone through three generations since its launch in 1998. However, the car was only available here starting with the second generation of the vehicle, the RX 330. This second generation was on the market from 2003 to 2009. In 2009, the third and present generation of the RX Series was launched, with many styling and performance changes from the previous iteration. A facelift in 2012 further enhanced the RX Series, leading to the highest-quality RX Series ever put on the market, available new today. Throughout their production run, RX Series models were always offered with a wide array of trims and engine options, giving used car buyers plenty of options from which to choose.

From the start, the RX was praised for its advanced handling, quiet and comfortable ride, and serious luxury. Any vehicle from the RX range should perform well on the road, especially in urban settings. Powerful engines throughout the run have attracted auto enthusiasts, while luxury kit and elegant interior and exterior styling are sure to please even the pickiest car owner. Reliability and customer satisfaction among RX owners is unmatched, and the Japanese automaker is well known for their commitment to maintenance and service. Despite being a rather large car, the RX has great handling. The interior cabin is roomy, with foldable rear seats that can significantly increase boot space. What’s more, the RX has class-leading fuel economy, so the running costs won’t be sky-high. Today, many RX Series vehicles can found in great condition on the pre-owned market.

Lexus RX Series Engine Specs and Performance

In 2003, the RX was launched. That first generation featured a 3.3L V6 engine with 172kW of power and 328Nm of torque. In 2006, Lexus changed up the engine. Newer models (RX 350s) came with a 3.5L V6 engine with an output of 203kW of power and 341Nm of torque. The current generation of the RX Series, released in 2009, features an RX 270, RX 350, and RX 450H. The 270 has a 2.7L inline-four engine with 138kW of power and 252Nm of torque. The current RX 350 comes with a 3.5L V6 with 205kW of power and 346Nm of torque. The RX 450H is a hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle featuring a 3.5L V6 engine with 183kW of power and 317Nm of torque. The electric engine alternative boasts an output of 123kW.

Standard Equipment and Options for the Lexus RX Series

Throughout the range, the RX Series has always been upheld to Lexus’s high luxury standards. No matter what RX model or trim you decide to purchase, trust that the car will feature impressive kit. There have been many trims offered over the years, such as Luxury, Prestige, F Sport, Sport, and Sports Luxury,. However, each trim shares several standard features in common. From the beginning, all RX models came standard with LED tail lamps, wood trim, leather seating, dual-zone climate control, power tilt/telescopic steering column, and power windows. Standard safety features included 8 airbags (with dual front airbags), vehicle stability control, and a tire-pressure monitoring system. Available options include an 11-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system, DVD-based satnav, backup camera, moonroof, and an adaptive front-lighting system. Standard features on the newer RXs include Bluetooth connectivity, keyless entry and ignition, voice recognition, and UV-reducing glass. It’s clear that the RX Series has always been at the forefront of cool car tech.

Lexus RX Series' Competition

The RX Series inspired a host of competitors to try their hand at making a luxury 4X4 vehicle. Competitors include the BMW X3 and Land Rover Freelander 2. The X3 from BMW currently features a 2.0L inline-four with 135kW of power and 380Nm of torque. The Freelander 2 features a range-topping 2.2L engine with 140kW of power and an impressive 420Nm of torque. It’s clear that the RX Series from Lexus beats out the competition in terms of power and performance.

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