Exemplary Lexus build quality; comfort; ever-reliable powertrains; efficient hybrid model; safety equipment
Remote Touch interface can still be a challenge
The big news is the introduction of the extended-wheelbase RX 350L and RX 450hL, with three rows of seating for up to seven occupants. The regular RX 450h has seen its price drop, but loses some standard equipment in the process. Most of those items can be reinstated with a new Premium bundle, others are individual options. And the Enform Safety and Service Connect features (similar to GM's OnStar) are now free for 10 years. See the 2018 Lexus RX models for sale near you
F Sport models seem a little redundant because the RX is no driver's dream. The RX 450h has the most power and best fuel economy, so that's a good bet if the budget is available. You'll have your own view on whether you need three rows of seats.
The 2018 Lexus RX has a choice of regular or hybrid drivetrains in "base" or F Sport versions, and a choice of 5-seater or longer 6/7-seater body styles. The longer-wheelbase version can be fitted with two captain's chairs in the second row for a total of six occupants.
The entry level RX 350 ($44,265) includes a rearview camera, premium vinyl upholstery, powered tailgate, keyless entry/ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, 8-way power-adjustable front seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, LED lighting, leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, 8-in center screen with Remote Touch controller, 9-speaker audio system, USB port, CD player, HD radio, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and forward-collision warning with automatic braking and pedestrian detection.
The F Sport variant ($49,915) features 20-in alloy wheels, enhanced exterior styling, re-tuned suspension with extra drive modes, paddle shifters, plus a dedicated interior trim and leather upholstery with heated/ventilated front sport seats.
The RX 450h ($46,690) and RX 450h F Sport ($52,050) are equipped similarly, but use the hybrid drivetrain.
A new Premium package brings rain-sensing wipers, leather upholstery, wood accents, driver's-side memory settings, self-dimming side mirrors and roof rails. A further Luxury package (for the RX 350) includes all those items and adds finer leather, heated/ventilated front seats, heated and powered fold/recline rear seats, a heated steering wheel and sunshades for the rear passenger windows.
Both models also offer a larger (12.3-in) center screen, rear DVD entertainment system, navigation, wide-angle rearview camera, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and a panoramic sunroof.
All-wheel drive is an extra $1,400.
The RX 350L starts at $48,665. There's also the RX 350L Luxury ($53,680), which is like the RX with the Luxury package, but Lexus has made it a separate trim level in this case. The RX 450hL is priced from $51,615.
With the rear seats in place, cargo space in the regular RX 350 is a generous 18.4 cu ft. This expands to 56.3 cu ft. with the rear seats folded down. The regular RX 450h has extra hardware to accommodate, resulting in 18/55.9 cu ft.
The RX 350L has 15.3 cu ft. behind the third row, 34.1 behind the second and 58.5 with both rows folded down. Lexus claims the same figures for the RX 450hL.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||6 Years/70,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||6 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||1 Years/10,000 Miles|
2018 Acura MDX -- A close competitor to the RX in terms of pricing, plus a third-row seat. No hybrid variant, though.
2018 Lincoln MKX -- Similar fit, finish and comfort to the RX. But with stronger performance and arguably less polarizing styling.
2018 Volvo XC90 -- More expensive than the RX, but offers great technology and a finely crafted interior.
Used BMW X5 -- Stronger performance than the RX, along with better handling and cornering capabilities, plus the cachet of the BMW name. But prices are a lot higher, so a used model might be the way to go.