Popular Tags Cars

2019 Lexus RX

$43,820 - $54,435
Price Range (MSRP)
Lexus RX

2019 Lexus RX Review

by Roger Biermann

Over the last two decades, manufacturers have been actively fixated on developing a crossover SUV that delivers on the premise of being all things to all people in the highly popular vehicle segment. More than three years into its fourth generation, Lexus' best-selling RX 350 may just be that well-rounded, luxury crossover SUV. It has its flaws relative to class rivals, with the Remote Touch Interface still a bone of contention, but the RX 350 delivers near-perfection in every other regard. Facing off against direct rivals such as the Acura MDX and Audi Q5, the RX 350 has a lot to prove to be deemed a model contender within the segment. With a 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 295 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque sent through an eight-speed automatic transmission, the three RX trims, the RX 350, RX 350 F-Sport, and RX 350L, are all available in either front- or all-wheel-drive.

Read in this review:

2019 Lexus RX Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 RX?

The RX range entered its fourth generation in early 2016, and since then updates and adjustments have remained fairly minimal. For 2019, Lexus' Enform Remote app receives smartwatch and Amazon Alexa integration. The Intuitive Parking Assist advanced driver feature has been removed as a standalone option and the RX 350 when equipped with the optional Premium Package receives a two-tone instrument panel with the noble brown interior as a requisite. A minor reshuffle of features sees parking sensors bundled with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a 360-degree camera.

Pros and Cons

  • Exceptional ride quality
  • Top-notch exterior and interior build quality
  • Features advanced safety elements as standard
  • Above-average predicted reliability rating
  • High levels of safety
  • Subpar cargo capacity
  • Unintuitive Remote Touch Controller
  • Third-row room in 350L is minimal

RX Exterior

With a major facelift expected for next year's model, the RX 350 remains visually identical to last year's model. Both the RX 350 and 350L are equipped with 18-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels and are fitted with Bi-LED headlamps, LED fog lamps and daytime running lights. The RX 350 features power-adjustable, heated outside mirrors, while the RX 350L receives power-folding, auto-dimming outside mirrors, and aluminum roof rails. The RX 350 F-Sport is perched on 20-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels and acquires bespoke exterior styling and a power moonroof as standard.

2019 Lexus RX Front View Driving
2019 Lexus RX Rear View Driving
2019 Lexus RX Side View
See All 2019 Lexus RX Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The RX 350 and RX 350 F-Sport share identical dimensions while the RX 350L by virtue of the addition of the third row of seats bears a few altered measurements. The Regular RX 350 measures 192.5 inches long, 74.6 inches wide, and stands 67.7 inches tall. The RX 350L measures 4.4 inches longer at 196.9 inches overall, retaining the regular model's width and measuring only a little shorter in height at 67.3 inches. All models share a wheelbase of 109.8 inches and all ride 8.2 inches from the ground. With a curb weight of 4,222 lbs, the FWD RX 350 is the lightest model, while the heaviest is the AWD RX 350L at 4,619 lbs. The RX 350 holds an approach angle of 17 degrees, departure angle of 24.9 degrees, and a break-over angle of 16.8 degrees.

Exterior Colors

A color palette consisting of 11 exterior options is available for the RX 350 and 350L including Eminent White Pearl, Atomic Silver, Nebula Gray Pearl, Caviar, Nightfall Mica, and Matador Red Mica. F-Sport equipped models are limited as to the choices of exterior color, with a palette of just eight hues. Additionally, the F Sport gets exclusive availability to Ultra White, while forgoing Eminent White, Satin Cashmere, and Autumn Shimmer. Both the Nightfall Mica and Matador Red Mica look striking and complement the RX's sporty outer character.

  • Eminent White Pearl
  • Nebula Gray Pearl
  • Silver Lining Metallic
  • Atomic Silver
  • Obsidian
  • Caviar
  • Nightfall Mica
  • Matador Red Mica
  • Satin Cashmere Metallic
  • Autumn Shimmer
  • Ultra White

RX Performance

The FWD RX 350 may lack the big brawny V8 engine of some rivals, but is still no slouch, demonstrating a 0-60 mph sprint of 7.7 seconds in FWD guise, while AWD derivatives are two tenths slower to the same mark. The heavyweight RX 350L AWD is the slowest of the lot, making do with the same 295 horsepower, 267 lb-ft of torque as the rest of the range from the V6 engine. The RX is one of the slower crossover SUVs in this segment, as rivals are capable of breaking into the six-second region due to potent turbocharged engines. However, the V6 and eight-speed automatic gearbox mesh well, working cohesively to deliver the impression of swiftness. The pairing also enables towing of up to 3,500 lbs, less than class leaders like the Acura MDX which manages 5,000 lbs.

2019 Lexus RX Front View Driving
2019 Lexus RX Side View Driving
2019 Lexus RX Engine

Engine and Transmission

In the RX 350 and 350 F-Sport models, the 3.5-liter V6 engine generates maximum outputs of 295 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, sending outputs to either the front or all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. Despite the extra weight and internal hauling capacity of the RX 350L, outputs are decreased to 290 hp and 263 lb-ft, while it makes use of the same gearbox. The engine's power delivery is impressive, with decent amounts of torque dealt throughout the rev range. Responses are typical of a naturally aspirated motor - snappy and eager - and the automatic transmission doesn't add much of a delay to the process either. Whether from a standstill or when on the move, a prod of the throttle yields appropriate gear selection and a smooth surge forward, making overtaking maneuvers an easy affair. Acceleration off the line is robust and from there onward consistently smooth and sufficient.

The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts gears smoothly and readily downshifts in response to throttle inputs. Unfortunately, it does occasionally exhibit some delay in response to requests for power and would rather upshift as soon as the gas pedal is momentarily released. Activating the Sport drive mode sharpens things up substantially, but at the expense of fuel economy.

  • Engine
    3.5-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmission
    8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

In general, ride quality from the RX models is soft and smooth but well-composed. The odd bumps and road abrasions can be felt through the suspension and the body can exhibit some business on particularly broken pavements. However, most imperfections are filtered out well, and with superior insulation, the RX keeps occupants separated from the road without being entirely divorced.

What is impressive is the way the RX 350 handles. While it's no performance SUV, it manages to handle corners and curves with aplomb. The body roll enters the picture gradually and in a communicative fashion, while the body is still supported well and handles changes of camber impressively. Changes of direction don't send the RX heaving, nor do they disrupt the overall sense of balance and composure, while mechanical grip remains high even on FWD models.

Steering in the RX is weighted adequately and driver inputs are met with accurate responses. Tire position and road feedback are however communicated vaguely through the steering wheel, which isn't the worst thing for a large SUV. The RX 350 F-Sport receives sport-tuned electronic power steering which adds effort to the steering for better response and control. Braking in the RX is assuring overall, the pedal is unduly light but responds steadily and predictably and thoroughly feels consistent.

RX Gas Mileage

The most fuel-efficient model in the lineup is the FWD RX 350 with EPA estimates of 20/28/23 mpg on the city/highway/combined driving cycles. The FWD RX 350L subsequently trails with EPA estimates of 19/26/23 mpg followed by the AWD RX 350 with estimates of 19/26/22 mpg. Lagging behind is the AWD RX 350L with mileage estimates of 18/25/21 mpg. With varied driving conditions and the 19.2-gallon gas tank filled up with premium unleaded gas, the FWD RX 350 and 350L can achieve a total range of 442 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    19.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 20/28 mpg
* 2019 Lexus RX 350 FWD

RX Interior

As is with all Lexus vehicles, the standard level of overall build quality and craftsmanship of the RX is of the highest standard. The cabin exudes a sophisticated feel and attention to detail in every regard and the use of high-quality materials and soft-touch elements offsets the small number of hard plastics that are present. Overall in-cabin ergonomics are appeasing, the seats are positioned for comfortable use of the armrests and in reach of any relevant features. The front and second-row seats are more than adequately spacious and the seats are well-cushioned and appreciably adjustable. The third-row seats in the RX 350L, however, offer minimal headroom and pretty much no legroom, although the actual seats themselves are comfy.

2019 Lexus RX Dashboard
2019 Lexus RX Dashboard
2019 Lexus RX Driver Seat
See All 2019 Lexus RX Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Maximum seating capacity in the RX 350 is set at five occupants, but the longer RX 350L can seat seven by virtue of the addition of the third row of seats. The front and second-row seats in all the RX models are comfortable and supportive enough for pleasant long journeys. The RX 350 F-Sport receives even more comfortable and supportive sport front seats with enhanced bolsters. It's when it comes to roominess that the comfort of the third-row seats comes into question, with almost zero legroom and minimal headroom, the third-row seats are barely accommodating even for children. Room throughout the rest of the cabin is otherwise abundant for all adults, with only driver's taller than six-feet-tall having any impact on the legroom of taller rear passengers. By virtue of the ten-way power-adjustable front seats and a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, finding an optimal driving position within reach of the controls and with clear overall visibility is a cinch.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

For the RX 350, a Black or Stratus Gray NuLuxe upholstered interior is complemented by black trim, while the same colors can be had in leather upholstery, paired with either Espresso Walnut trim or Gray Sapele wood with aluminum trim. Alternatively, the Parchment leather interior can be paired with either Matte Bamboo trim inserts or Gray Sapele wood with aluminum trim. Finally, the Noble Brown upholstery is optional with either Matte Linear Dark Mocha wood trim or Gray Sapele wood with aluminum trim.

The RX 350 F-Sport can be adorned in either Black, Stratus Gray, or Rioja Red leather upholstery all of which are complemented by bespoke Scored Aluminum trim inserts. It also receives aluminum pedals and door-sill scuff plates, and a black headliner.

RX Trunk and Cargo Space

Trunk, cargo capacity and overall versatility in all RX models are subpar compared to direct rivals. There are only 18.4 cubic feet of trunk space available in the RX 350 which will fit a couple of sets of golf clubs but you'll need the 56.3 cu-ft of space with the 40/20/40 split-folding and reclining second-row seats stowed if you plan on taking a disassembled golf cart with. The RX 350L, by cause of the third-row seats, offers a mere 7.5 cubic feet of trunk space, meaning you'll have to throw your friend's golf clubs in the back seat if they accompany you to the greens. Collapsing the power-folding and reclining 50/50-split third-row seats, however, opens up a larger 23 cu-ft of space on a slightly higher trunk floor, making for easier loading and offloading of larger and more oddly shaped items. Conveniently, the trunk is hands-free and power-operated.

In-cabin storage is decent, comprising a cavernous center console, expandable door side pockets, dual cupholders, and a reasonably sized glovebox. In the second row are decently sized door side pockets, two seatback map pockets, and a small storage cubby and dual cupholders in the center seat backrest. The second-row in the RX 350L receives an armrest storage compartment with two USB ports and the third-row has dual cupholders.

2019 Lexus RX Trunk Space
2019 Lexus RX Trunk Space
2019 Lexus RX Trunk Space with Seat Folded

RX Infotainment and Features

Features

Notable standard features in the RX 350 includes SmartAccess with push-button Start/Stop, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, dual-zone automatic climate control, and Drive Mode Select with Normal, Eco, and Sport driving modes. The RX 350 F-Sport receives performance-inspired instrumentation, heated and ventilated sport front seats with enhanced bolsters, perforated leather-trimmed sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, LED ambient illumination, and a cold-air intake with a sound generator and the addition of a Sport+ drive mode. For the RX 350L, additional standard features include two additional USB ports in the second-row seats, three-zone automatic climate control, and Lexus' Memory System for the front seats. A range of driver assistance features is also standard and available, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision mitigation.

Infotainment

Infotainment tech in Lexus vehicles has for a long while been substandard to that offered by rivals and expected from today's luxury vehicles. The 2019 Lexus RX models are still equipped with the infamous Remote Touch Interface without Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. The setup consists of Lexus' Enform App Suite installed to an eight-inch multimedia display hooked up to a nine-speaker sound system. It features Scout GPS Link with TurnStream mode complimentary until 2023 and is compatible with Bluetooth, voice command, and Siri Eyes Free. The center front console holds a 12-volt outlet and two USB ports for device charging along with an auxiliary input for connectivity. The RX 350L receives two additional USB ports in the center seats backrest storage cubby. 12- and 15-speaker sound system upgrades are available, as is a larger 12.3-inch display which features onboard navigation.

RX Problems and Reliability

There have been few complaints lodged against the Lexus RX 350 in recent years, and adding to the general sense of reliability, there hasn't been a major recall for the RX since one related to 2017 models due to a brake assist vacuum pump malfunction. J.D. Power otherwise gave the 2019 RX 350 range an above-average predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five. All Lexus RX models are covered by a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is favorable coverage compared to rivals.

RX Safety

The NHTSA scored the 2019 RX 350 an overall crash test safety rating of five out of five stars, while the IIHS evaluated the 2019 Lexus RX 350 and scored it top results of Good almost all tests.

Key Safety Features

All RX models are equipped with Lexus Safety System+ which comprises a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, all-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with lane keep assist, and intelligent high beams. All models also feature a rearview backup camera and airbag concealment of ten standard airbags. The Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Service Connect aids are complimentary for the first ten years of ownership. A blind-spot monitor with intuitive parking assist and rear cross-traffic alert, power-folding outside mirrors, and panoramic

view monitor is available as a standalone option along with premium triple-beam LED headlamps with washers, dynamic auto-leveling, LED turn signals, cornering lamps and taillamps, and an adaptive front lighting system.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Lexus RX a good SUV?

The 2019 Lexus RX 350 is an average vehicle for the class, with rival luxury crossover SUVs offering sportier driving experiences, better cargo capacity, and superior features and simultaneously manage to deliver the same level of value and quality, and similar or better fuel economy ratings. But none of them manage to bundle it all into one all-inclusive package as Lexus has done with the RX. In a crossover obsessed world, Lexus has managed to create something more than the sum of its fairly average-to-impressive parts. The only real standout flaws are cramped third-row seating in the 350L and a frustrating infotainment system across the range, and perhaps if the latter was fixed, the RX350 could truly be the best SUV of its ilk. In this day and age, the lack of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay is nearly unforgivable, something which we hope will be rectified in next year's refreshed model. Until then, the RX is a great all-rounder, but one that feels just a little lost in time against newer rivals.

What's the Price of the 2019 Lexus RX?

With a starting MSRP of $43,820, the FWD RX 350 is the most affordable model in the lineup. Prospective buyers can expect a starting MSRP of $48,020 for the FWD RX 350L while the RX 350 F-Sport will entreat a starting MSRP of $49,470. Opting any of the models with AWD will cost an additional $1,400. None of the given amounts include tax, registration, or licensing fees and don't include Lexus' delivery, processing, and handling fee of $1,025. Individual dealerships may offer dealer-specific incentives and price eccentric vehicle configurations.

2019 Lexus RX Models

The 2019 Lexus RX range comprises three models, the base RX 350, RX 350 F-Sport, and the stretched three-row RX 350L. All RX models are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces a maximum of 295 hp and 267 lb-ft driven by an eight-speed automatic transmission to either the standard front-wheel or optional all-wheel drivetrain.

The RX 350 is the entry-level model of the lineup, it's a two-row SUV that seats a maximum of five occupants. It's fitted with 18-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels and is equipped with the base level range of vehicle features including dual-zone automatic climate control and a Drive Mode Selector with Normal, Eco, and Sport drive modes.

The RX 350L is also a standard level model but features a power-folding and reclining 50/50-split third-row of seats to accommodate a maximum of seven occupants. It also measures slightly longer and boasts a considerably smaller initial trunk capacity than the two-row RX 350. The RX 350L also receives three-zone automatic climate control, Lexus Memory System, a second-row armrest storage compartment with two USB ports, power-folding, and auto-dimming outside mirrors, and aluminum roof rails.

The RX 350 F-Sport model is simply the base RX 350 equipped inside and out with sportier styling and endowed with sport-tuned adaptive variable suspension and sport-tuned power steering for better handling dynamics at the limits.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
RX 350
3.5-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$43,820
RX 350L
3.5-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$48,020
RX 350 F Sport
3.5-liter V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$49,470
See All 2019 Lexus RX Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Available additional packages include a $1,110 Premium Package which includes leather interior upholstery and espresso walnut, matte bamboo or matte linear dark mocha wood interior trim, a rear armrest storage compartment, Lexus Memory System for driver's seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel, power-folding, auto-dimming outside mirrors, and a power tilt-and-slide moonroof. This package costs $810 for the RX 350L and only includes the interior material and trim addition and the power moonroof.

The $4,235 Luxury Package ($5,015 for RX 350L) comprises the Premium Package's features and adds a heated wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel, power cushion extender for driver's and front passenger's seats, semi-aniline leather interior trim, gray Sapele wood with aluminum interior trim, manual rear side-door sunshades, LED ambient interior illumination, LED-illuminated door sills, 20-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels with Superchrome and machined finish.

The $2,145 Navigation Package upgrades the RX with a Navigation System with 12.3-in high-resolution split-screen multimedia display including Lexus Enform Destination Assist complimentary for the first year of ownership and Remote Touch Lexus Enform Remote app and Amazon Alexa compatibility complimentary for the first year of ownership. A 12-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System and dual-zone climate control with smog-sensing automatic recirculation mode are also added. For $3,225 the Navigation/Mark Levinson Package includes all that plus a Mark Levinson 15-speaker premium surround sound system.

What Lexus RX Model Should I Buy?

Considering that the RX isn't the sportiest of SUVs, at least in comparison with class rivals, we don't suggest the F-Sport model. That leaves a base RX 350 or its long wheelbase counterpart, the latter hardly being a true seven-seater by virtue of the cramped third-row. That leaves the base model, which in our opinion is a perfect base on which to apply a number of options. AWD is a must for those in cold-weather climates, and we'd also recommend the addition of the tow hitch and the $2,145 Navigation Package for the larger infotainment screen, built-in navigation, and the 12-speaker premium sound system.

Check out other Lexus RX Styles?

2019 Lexus RX Comparisons

2019 Lexus RX
2019 Lexus RX CarBuzz

2019 Lexus RX vs Acura MDX

With models ranging from $44,300 - $60,050 in the massive 2019 Acura MDX lineup its difficult to tell where one would receive more value for money in comparison to the RX 350 lineup. Both the RX and the MDX are equipped with identically-sized engines that produce the same power and torque outputs. The MDX is faster to the 60 mph mark by almost a full second, and on the go, the engine seems to be more usable, even if retarded by a somewhat dimwitted transmission. Where the MDX may take the lead is with the adaptive suspension dampers that are featured on the MDX from the base level which bring the MDX's ride quality to an impressive level in comfort but at the same time, makes it far sportier than the RX. Techwise, the MDX boasts luxuries like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and although the Acura infotainment setup is frustrating, it's better than Lexus's system. Lastly, in favor of the MDX, it offers fairly usable three-row seating, whereas the RX 350L's rearmost seats are very cramped. With a wider range to choose from and more in its favor, we'd opt for the MDX.

See Acura MDX Review

2019 Lexus RX vs Audi Q5

The 2019 Audi Q5 features a less powerful but more torquey turbocharged two-liter engine and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, resulting in potent performance, also owing to its relative lightweight. The Q5 is admittedly a little smaller than the RX, and there's no three-row option available. Audi dominates in the technology department as well, featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality as standard, and an MMI infotainment system that proves to be one of the best in the industry by virtue of its simple layout and intuitive menus. Trunk space is slightly greater than that of the RX's and the Q5 holds a maximum towing capacity 900 lbs more than that of the RX. The Audi Q5 may be marginally more expensive than the RX, but it clearly delivers more value in almost every regard and is thus the obvious pick.

See Audi Q5 Review

Lexus RX Popular Comparisons

See All 35 Comparisons

2019 Lexus RX Video Review