2018 Lexus RX 350 5-door SUV

1250 Lexus RX 350 Front

2018 Lexus RX 350 5-door SUV

An Automotive Love Affair
By Joe Mavilia

Overview:

This is the 2018 Lexus RX 350 5-door SUV. The general thought is that the RX has grown larger, heavier and longer in a negative way. Some miss the smaller cute version. Well, although I also didn’t see its classification as ‘small’ it is rather midsize to me, and I like the new more spacious size.

Surely it is a lovely and classy vehicle that is priced very well and is in a class with a lot of competition. Demand for SUVs has continued since the popularization of the ‘station wagon’ in the late 1950s and 1960s. They were then touted as a utility wagon for moms’needs and they even suggested dads could use it for fishing and camping trips. Jeep, of course, took rough and tumble adventures to a new level. That was shortly after and the adventurous embraced utility vehicles with a kinda pioneer spirt of a few generations before.

I suspect all these luxury models as noted here have more to do with consumer image rather than areal desire for the outdoors.

A U.S. News magazine article some 4 years agoexplained, “The rugged individualist has traded in his boots for a comfortable pair of Rockports.” And they also concluded the baby boomers have stopped pretending to be off-roading daredevils and SUV popularity would end soon.

Well, it looks like they got it wrong and SUVs continue to be highly prized even if it is the image that is the real draw. The SUVs of the past decade have gotten prettier and although the 4X4 versions are capable and sophisticated engineering marvels, they are rarely used off-road. You may remember my mentioning that only about 5% of SUVs will ever get off-road.

General Information:

Assembly- Cambridge Ontario Canada; Classification is- Small-Standard SUV; Vehicles from Lexus- CT, ES, GS, GX, IS, LC, LS, LX, NX, RC, RX.

Handling & Performance:

Super comfortable ride for your Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive shopping trips. Fast and quiet.

Styling:

Elegant classy look.

Fit and Finish:

Outstanding assembly, which is rightfully expected these days. Squeaky components are rare but as luck would have it,my personal truck came with an annoying whistle no one seems to know why it does that. My response: “Well it is a Ford, after all”.

Cost:

You can get into a new Lexus RX at the low $40,000 range but with all the bells and whistles and luxury packages you’ll be right at $50,000. Or you could put a down payment on a house and continue to drive the old reliable clunker a few more years.

Conveniences and comfort:

Very well equipped and with options available for even higher tech features and more luxury features so thatyou’ll want for very little.

Scout® GPS Link is a part of the equipment on this RX which is to connect your car to your smartphone and to the cloud. I like that because it would allow me to eliminate the Nav system built in. Most cell phones have nicely advanced navigation capability.

Consumer Recommendations:

Wow, this is a great field but also a lot to be considered. I have no favorites here. SUVs are here to stay and with nearly half of all vehicles on the road being SUVs and Pickups they will continue to dominate the market for some time to come (in my opinion).

New 2019 models are emerging in August and September, so I suggest if you’re interested in finding a new car, go for the 2018 model year and you can realize great savings.

Recognized Competition:

Brand $$$ Cost MPG Avg Seating Doors Country of Origin Assembled
Lexus RX 350 50,000 23 5 4 Japan Canada
Lincoln MKT 50,000 17 7 4 USA Canada
Dodge Durango 50,000 21 7 4 USA USA
Acura MDX 50,000 22 7 4 Japan Canada
Cadillac XT5 49,000 21 5 4 USA USA
VW Atlas 49,000 19 7 4 Germany USA
Toyota Highlander 50,000 28 7 4 Japan USA
Jeep Grand Cherokee 49,000 21 5 4 USA USA
Buick Enclave 49,000 21 7 4 USA USA

Good News:

Comfortable quiet ride, priced well in class.

Bad News:

N/A

Standard Equipment:

3.5 liter 285 HP V6 engine, direct injection and VVT (Variable Valve Timing), 8-speed auto trans with Drive mode select, 18” Aluminum alloy wheels, 10-airbags, safety system with pre-collision and pedestrian detection, smart cruise control, auto high beam headlights, lane departure alert with steering assist and lane keep assist, Power ABS disc braking system with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), fog lights, daytime running lights, auto on/off headlights, theft deterrent system with engine immobilizer, electronic parking brake, Lexus Enform safety connect and service connect, back up camera, 9-speaker display audio system, HD Radio with iTunes tagging, dual USB ports, Sirius satellite radio, Scout GPS Link, rain sensing wipers, climate control, 10-way power front seats, power tilt and telescopic steering column, 40/20/40 split folding rear seat, power back door, smart access with push button start/stop, Bluetooth hands free phone and audio streaming.

Gas Stats:

20 City and 27 Highway MPG

$3.49/ Gal avg. July 22, 2018

www.fueleconomy.gov
for more information.

Pricing:

MSRP $43,270 plus.

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