The 2011 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 lifeless driving dynamics.
When it comes to luxury crossover SUVs, the 2011 Lexus RX 350 delivers what the vast majority of shoppers want: pleasant driving dynamics, plenty of space for people and cargo, high-tech features, impeccable interior materials and solid build quality. While there are some shoppers who desire more than five seats or more athletic performance, there is no shortage of alternatives for that minority. As it stands, the RX 350 fits quite nicely into that Goldilocks zone with broad appeal that seems just right.
After a redesign last year, the Lexus RX 350 returns essentially unchanged, and that's a good thing. With this crossover you get pretty much everything Lexus is typically known for, including a class-leading interior that surrounds passengers with top-notch fabrics, leathers and rich wood trim. It's also exceptionally quiet on the freeway and has a ride as smooth as Barry White's voice. For power, the RX 350 has a 275-horsepower V6 that provides snappy acceleration and respectable fuel economy.
Besides providing blissful transportation, the RX 350 will please the pragmatic as well as tech-loving early adopters. There's plenty of cargo space for trips to the local home improvement superstore or for a long-distance family road trip. Some options, though costly, add a 21st-century flair. Lexus' Remote Touch interface utilizes a mouselike controller with tactile feedback – a more elegant setup than the more complicated systems found in competing vehicles. Entertainment options like an audiophile-pleasing Mark Levinson sound system and rear-seat video screens round out the RX 350's impressive portfolio.
As impressive as the 2011 Lexus RX 350 is, you still might want to check out a few alternatives. The 2011 Lincoln MKT, 2011 Mercedes-Benz R-Class and 2011 Volvo XC90 can provide a third row of seats for those with bigger broods. And if you want a crossover SUV with spicier performance then the 2011 Acura MDX, 2011 BMW X5 and Infiniti FX35 would all likely be better choices. But overall, we think most shoppers will find the RX 350's combination of luxury, comfort and utility to be very appealing, indeed.