Used Car Review

2011 Lexus RX 350: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Joe Tralongo October 2014

As the vehicle that started the midsize luxury-crossover segment, the 2011 RX 350 doesn't stray too far from the formula that made the original RX such an overwhelming success. The RX 350 is an easy choice to live with due to its low maintenance cost, excellent repair and reliability record and outstanding resale value. Inside, the 2011 Lexus RX 350 has room for five passengers and a cabin that is elegant without being overly complex or ornate. Unlike some luxury makes, the RX's instruments are relatively straightforward and easy to operate, so you won't have to dig through the owner's manual to figure out the simplest task. For 2011, Lexus added Smart Stop Technology, which cuts engine power if the brake and accelerator pedals are depressed at the same time.

In the RX 350, buyers will find a handsomely styled crossover with a soft, comfortable ride, a luxurious and quiet interior, and respectable power and fuel economy. The RX is easy to drive, park and maneuver, and there is even a hybrid model, the RX 450h, for those who want even better fuel economy. The RX is not a sporty crossover, however, so if you're looking for a dynamic driving experience, a BMW X3 or Infiniti FX might be a better choice.

What We Like

Smooth ride; excellent reliability and resale value; quiet interior; good power and fuel economy; lots of luxury features; hybrid model; highly regarded dealer network

What We Don't

No third-row seat option; not much fun to drive; no V8 or turbocharged engine option; stalk mounted cruise control switch isn't backlit and is hard to see at night

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2011 Lexus RX 350 is powered by a silky smooth 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces a respectable 275 horsepower and 257 lb-ft of torque. A 6-speed automatic with direct downshift control sends power to the front wheels, but all-wheel drive is available as well. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the RX 350 at 18 miles per gallon in the city and 25 mpg on the highway, with the all-wheel-drive model earning a slightly lower 18 mpg city/24 mpg hwy. The RX 450h adds an electric motor to the 3.5-liter V6, upping the horsepower to 295. The RX 450h earns an EPA-estimated 32 mpg city/28 mpg hwy (30 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive). The city number is actually better than the highway figure due to the electric motor's ability to run solely on electric power at speeds under 25 mph.

Standard Features & Options

The RX 350 comes in one well-equipped trim, but offers a number of upgrade packages. Standard equipment includes Smart Access keyless entry and push-button start, 10-way power adjustable driver's and passenger seats with power lumbar support, heated outside mirrors, reclining and sliding second-row seat, 7-inch LCD display for HVAC and audio controls, power tilt-telescopic steering column, premium audio with USB port and 6-disc CD changer, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control and 18-in wheels. Standard safety equipment includes electronic traction and stability control, brake assist and 10 airbags that include rear outboard side airbags and a front knee airbag.

The RX 450h features the same standard equipment as the RX 350 but adds integrated front fog lights, hybrid badging and additional hybrid monitoring instrumentation inside the instrument cluster.

Options for the RX include a choice of soft leather or semi-aniline leather seating, HID adaptive headlights, a power rear lift gate, power sunroof, headlamp washers, all-wheel drive, heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, 15-speaker 330-watt Mark Levinson audio, voice-activated hard drive navigation, rear backup camera, Lexus Enform telematics with Safety Connect (requires subscription), rear seat DVD entertainment system, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Intuitive Parking Assist (which parallel parks the car), and 19-in wheels. A Sport Package adds a sport-tuned suspension, 19-in chrome wheels and a cut-off switch for the electronic traction and stability control.

Pricing

When new, the 2011 RX 350 sold for between $38,000 and $60,000; the RX 450h sold for between $45,000 and $62,000. The RX holds its value well, so you can expect to pay more than you would for a comparably equipped BMW, Cadillac or Mercedes-Benz SUV. To get a good idea of the RX's price range, we suggest using the used car values at KBB.com. You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2011 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h:

A recall was issued for a possible problem with the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system. The right front wheel may not be controlled properly during anti-lock brake or vehicle stability control actuation, resulting in longer stopping distances.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

As for safety, the 2011 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h score high in NHTSA's crash tests, scoring five out of five stars for the driver and passenger in the frontal crash test, five stars for the driver and four stars for the front passenger in the side-impact crash test, and four stars in the rollover test. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the RX its highest ranking, Good, in the frontal offset crash test, the side-impact crash test and the roof-strength test.

The 2011 Lexus RX 350 left the factory with a 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a 6-year/70,000-mile drivetrain warranty. The hybrid model includes an additional 8-year/100,000-mile warranty for the hybrid components. If you purchase your RX through an authorized certified pre-owned program, Lexus extends the warranty to 3 years/100,000 miles from the time you purchase the vehicle. It also includes complimentary roadside assistance, loaner car coverage and Trip Interruption insurance that will reimburse you for food and lodging for up to three nights should your RX break down while you are away from home.

Other Cars to Consider

Infiniti FX -- The FX is sportier and more powerful than the RX, but its interior is smaller, its ride rougher and its cargo hold is smaller.

BMW X3 -- The X3 isn't as comfortable or roomy as the RX, and its resale and reliability ratings are not as impressive. But the X3 is a better driver's car.

Acura RDX -- The RDX has equally good reliability and resale values, offers a turbocharged engine and is more fun to drive, but the RX has a bigger interior, a softer ride and gets better fuel economy.

AutoTrader's Advice

Unless you need the added traction of all-wheel drive, we think a nice front-wheel-drive RX 350 with the Premium Package (leather seats, sunroof, power rear lift gate and iPod interface) and the Navigation package is a very nicely equipped RX at a reasonable price. Those looking for a sportier drive should seek out the RX with the optional Sport package.

Find a Lexus RX 350 for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
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Used 2011 Lexus RX Models AWD
Used 2011 Lexus RX Models
$16,583
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Lexus RX Models AWD
Used 2011 Lexus RX Models
$15,486
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Lexus RX Models AWD
Used 2011 Lexus RX Models
$16,980
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2011 Lexus RX Models AWD
Used 2011 Lexus RX Models
$22,000
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2011 Lexus RX 350: Used Car Review - Autotrader