2019 Lexus RX

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2019 Lexus RX Review

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:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 6 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 7 /10
  • Reliability 10 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 10 /10
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2019 Lexus RX Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 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

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.

Best Deals on 2019 Lexus RX

2019 Lexus RX Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
RX 350
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
RX 450h
3.5L V6 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
RX 350L Premium
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
RX 450hL Premium
3.5L V6 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2019 Lexus RX Trims and Specs

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.

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 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

Acura MDX Acura
Audi Q5 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.

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