Used Lexus RX350 review: 2009-2010
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NEW - The rise of the SUV has been remarkable. It's not that long ago that families were given little choice in what they drove, it basically came down to a large sedan or an even larger station wagon.
Today there is an amazing choice with every carmaker jumping on the SUV bandwagon. The SUV craze started with an idea that you could have a station wagon that would be handy around town, but come into its own when the black top ran out. That idea soon faded, but the appeal of the SUV has boomed. Instead of beating around the bush, the vast majority of SUVs stay within the city limits, and that's just fine with their owners.
They never really wanted to see the Outback anyway. What they did want was a wagon that afforded them a view of the road they got with an off-roader, and the safety they perceived they had with a large wagon. Enter the SUV. Today's SUV, such as the Lexus RX350, come with all the bells and whistles. There's nothing you can't have with them.
The RX350 was a heavily revamped version of the RX launched back in 2003, and was conceived to rival the likes of the BMW X5, Mercedes- Benz ML350, and the Audi Q7. It begins with a reasonably attractive wagon with slick lines and smooth shapes, with the choice of three levels of equipment starting with the Prestige and climbing through the Sports to the ultimate Sports Luxury.
The 3.5-litre V6 engine was improved and now put out 204 kW and 346 Nm, and was linked to a new six-speed auto with sequential shifting. Overall the RX350 used a little less fuel, a good thing because it used the more expensive Premium Unleaded.
Final drive was an on-demand all-wheel drive system, which means it was a front-driver most of the time, until it felt the front wheels slipping when drive was dispatched rearward to correct the situation. While all that's comforting SUVs are more about comfort and convenience, and the level of clever gear they pack is as important to buyers as anything else.
Comfort is well taken care of with power seats, a folding rear seat, and a power tailgate takes care of the convenience. As for equipment there isn't much that the RX350 doesn't have, if there's anything at all. On the road the RX350 drives much like a car, it handles well, rides comfortably and boasts plenty of zip when the right pedal is depressed.
With the RX350 being launched just three years ago the earliest will be showing around 50,000 km on the odometer, which makes it an ideal choice for those buyers who are happy to buy second hand and avoid the depreciation that comes with a new car. Those early RX350s will be coming off lease around now, which adds to the attraction of buying now.
We have had virtually no reports from owners with any complaints about the car, which suggests they are a contented lot. That's good news for those about to step into RX ownership. Look for a service record, which shouldn't be an issue on such a new car.
Also make the usual visual checks of the bodywork looking for any signs of a crunch that might detract from a car's appeal. Be aware that the RX350 requires Premium unleaded petrol, which will bump up running costs.
Well built, solid SUV with all the bells and whistles. Should be on your shopping list.
Lexus RX350 2009-2010
Price new: from $82,990
Engine: 3.5-litre 6-cylinder, 204kW/346Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto AWD
Economy: 10.8 L/100 km, CO2 254 g/km
Variants: Prestige, Sport, Sport Luxury
Safety: 4-star ANCAP
|Year||Price From||Price To|
Range and Specs
|RX400H Hybrid||3.3L, Hyb/ULP, CVT AUTO||$12,500 – 18,040||2009 Lexus RX 2009 RX400H Hybrid Pricing and Specs|
|RX450H Prestige||3.5L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$11,300 – 16,610||2009 Lexus RX 2009 RX450H Prestige Pricing and Specs|
|RX350 Special Edition||3.5L, ULP, 5 SP SEQ AUTO||$9,800 – 14,740||2009 Lexus RX 2009 RX350 Special Edition Pricing and Specs|
|RX350 Sports||3.5L, ULP, 5 SP SEQ AUTO||$9,600 – 14,410||2009 Lexus RX 2009 RX350 Sports Pricing and Specs|