2012 Lexus RX 350

The 2012 Lexus RX 350 is a luxury midsize SUV. It has been one of the most visible luxury vehicles you’ll find all over the place.

This is a market segment in which the Japanese manufacturer has been quite successful in recent years, and most reviewers feel that the 2012 model has continued this success.

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Luxury SUV Base Price: $39,310.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 19.2 gallons (72.5 liters) MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 187.8 in. (477 cm) Wheel Base: 107.9 in. (274 cm)
Height: 66.7 in. (169.5 cm) Width: 74.2 in. (188.5 cm)
Curb Weight: 4178 lbs (1895 kg) Ground Clearance: 7.3 in. (18.5 cm)
Luggage Capacity: 40.0 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 3.5L V6 DOHC Compression Ratio: 10.8: 1
Horsepower: 270 HP Max RPM: 6200 RPM
Torque: 248 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm Transmission: 6-Speed Auto ECT-i
0-60 mph: 7.7 seconds 1/4 Mile: 16.1 seconds
Max Towing Capacity: 3500 lbs* (1588 kgs) Maximum Speed: 112 mph (180 km/h)

*with optional tow package

Available Trims & Engine
Option:RX350 AWD MSRP: $40,710; MPG: 18 city / 24 hwy
Option:RX350 F Sport MSRP: $47,000; MPG: 19 city / 25 hwy

Engine

This SUV is available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive configuration. Both versions are powered by a 3.5-liter, V8 engine producing 270 horsepower, so customers can select the style they prefer without having to worry about making trade-offs. The AWD model has very slightly worse fuel consumption, but the difference is no more than 1 mpg.

Performance

Some reviewers have found the car to be less enjoyable to drive than a few of its rivals, so it would be more suited to buyers for whom luxury and comfort take precedence among their requirements.

Exterior

The RX 350 has a fairly conservative exterior appearance, making it unlikely to cause any offense - but also making it less suitable for drivers who like to be the center of attention. However, it does look classy, and is likely to be popular with those who need to project an image of calm assurance.

This is definitely an SUV that would be at home in an executive parking lot. As it is a midsize model, it is not unduly difficult to maneuver in city traffic, allowing the Lexus to be used as a true multi-purpose vehicle.

Interior

Lexus has chosen not to stuff this car's interior with every possible feature and gadget, so some of its rivals in the marketplace do offer a little more in the way of creature comforts as standard. However, an extensive range of options is available for those buyers who do want to make their journeys as luxurious as possible.

Even on the standard model, there is plenty of leather and wood trim. Lexus has a reputation for taking the approach that its drivers require quietly assured luxury, and many testers have reported that the RX has a very comfortable ride.

Safety

The RX was named as a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In government testing, the Lexus earned a rating of the maximum five stars in the side impact test, while it scored four stars in rollover and frontal crash tests.

Average for SUVs in this class, the RX 350 has ten airbags, but it also boasts a crash mitigation system which can reduce the seriousness of collisions that do occur, as well as active headrests in the front. One drawback noted by some reviewers is the car's mediocre visibility to the rear, caused by its thick pillars. A rear-facing camera system is available as an option.

Reliability

J.D. Power predicts a reliability score of 4.5 out of five for the 2012 Lexus RX 350, and the company has a good reputation for building reliable cars. In common with other Lexus models, the RX is covered by a four-year, 50,000-mile warranty, with the powertrain receiving an extended cover period of six years or 70,000 miles.

There is also a six-year corrosion warranty. The SUV performs very well in terms of fuel consumption, as it is one of the most economical SUVs in its class. Its government figures of 18 mph in city conditions and 24 mpg on the highway compare very favorably to most of the Lexus's rivals, and contribute to low running costs.

Competition

There are other SUVs that the RX350 that have been compared to, the Mercedes Benz ML350 (MSRP $49,865; 17 city / 22 hwy), the BMW X3 (MSRP $37,995; 19 city / 25 hwy), and the Acura MDX (MSRP $43,925; 16 city / 21 hwy).

Overall Rating
78 out of 100

What others say:

“The 2012 Lexus RX 350 is relatively responsive and refined, but not at all exciting or nimble, and it's abundantly clear in even a short drive around the block that performance takes the second (or third) stage to comfort and refinement.”Car Connection

“Agile handling is not the RX's forte, but both RX 350 and 450h are competent enough on twisty roads.”Consumer Guide

“The 2012 RX is a stylish and comfortable luxury crossover that offers an interior that's as intuitive as it is spacious.”KBB

“The 2012 Lexus RX 350 leads when it comes to providing a plush ride, a luxurious cabin and everyday utility. For most buyers, those attributes should be enough to overcome its rather uninspiring driving dynamics.”Edmunds