Car Review: 2014 Lexus RX 350

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There are certain vehicles that you know are special from the first time you see it, and that’s exactly how we felt regarding the 2014 Lexus RX 350. There’s no question that Lexus created the blueprint for the luxury crossover utility vehicle 15 years ago with the original RX models. The 2014 RX 350 maintains its segment leadership by evolving that original and admired formula.

EXTERIOR

From the bold, brand-signature spindle grille, to the classy 19-inch alloy wheel with all-season tires, the 2014 Lexus RX 350 arrives in style. The distinctive skin of this SUV makes an impression with sharp LED daytime running lamps, Xenon HID headlamps, rain sensing wipers, power folding electrochromic heated outside mirrors with blind spot monitor and roof rails. The silky smooth skin is highlighted with a rear taillights and hatch that blend in so discreet that they look like one piece of sheet metal. The styling has evolved from the early days of the RX 350, but the overall shape hasn’t drifted too far from the original, and that’s what you call staying power in the marketplace!

INTERIOR

The upscale ambience in the Lexus RX 350 cabin is just the beginning of a customized experience every time you set foot in the fabulous interior. Lexus interiors have set new standards in design, materials, standard features and details, and the RX 350 shows why. The 10-way power front seats, ebony or espresso bird’s eye maple and dual-zone automatic climate control system set the tone for the luxury found throughout the cabin. The RX 350 upholds another Lexus tradition: the inclusion of true premium audio as standard equipment. The nine-speaker Lexus Premium Audio System offers a multitude of music source choices, including a CD player, SiriusXM Satellite Radio capability with a 90-day trial subscription included, Bluetooth audio streaming and USB/iPod control. The seats are truly made for each individual driver and passenger, enhancing the driving experience for all.

The Display Audio/Rear Backup Camera Package upgrades the audio system to 12 speakers. For the ultimate in mobile sound, Lexus exclusively offers Mark Levinson audio systems, a brand revered by audiophiles. The RX 350’s as-tested 15-speaker Mark Levinson Surround Sound system will delight discerning ears, no matter the music choice. The system delivers 330 total watts of power through a 15-speaker array with an incredibly low 0.1 percent total harmonic distortion (THD). Clearly one of the finest audio systems we experienced in a review vehicle.

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Car Review: 2013 Lexus GX 460 Premium

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This true-to-form, full-size luxury SUV makes quite a first impression! Full-size SUVs are hard to find anymore, and one with all of the appointments of the 2013 Lexus GX 460 Premium are even rarer. Whether on-road or off-road, this beast of a vehicle will take care of business.

EXTERIOR

A goal of the designers was to have the vehicle create the impression of being sculpted from a single block of metal. This is one tough-looking ride, and there aren’t many blocks of metal that want to get in the GX 460’s way. The distinctive grille features three horizontal bars and, upon closer inspection, intricate detail and texture that conveys renowned Lexus attention to detail. The front bumper features standard integrated fog lamps and functional design elements like low-profile roof rails and an acoustic insulation windshield that helps reduce wind noise. The 18-inch, 6-spoke liquid graphite wheels were large enough to look good on the GX 460. Some of the exterior premium features included adaptive front lighting system, high intensity discharge headlamps, headlamp cleaners and illuminated front door sills.

INTERIOR

The luxurious Lexus GX 460 luxury utility vehicle carries over into 2013 with its quiet cabin and a long list of standard features and options that make it a versatile choice for city and off-road driving. Our loaded Premium model came with these and other options:

• Standard features include: ten-way power-adjustable, heated/ventilated front seats; automatic dual-zone climate control; leather trimmed seats and surfaces; steering wheel audio controls; rain-sensing windshield wipers; power moonroof; memory system for the driver’s seat, steering wheel and outside mirror positions; and integrated HomeLink transmitter.

• The versatile passenger-side second row seat slides 4.1 inches fore/aft to maximize passenger and cargo carrying ability.

• The foldable and reclining second row seats also feature a 60/40 walk-in function to access the standard power fold-flat third row seats.

• The rear door window has a flip-up glass panel for added convenience.

• Equipped for family multimedia entertainment, the GX 460 comes standard with a Lexus Premium nine-speaker audio system with iPod/USB connectivity, Bluetooth hands free phone capability and music streaming, and an integrated SirusXM Satellite Radio receiver (complimentary 90-day trial subscription included).

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Car Review: 2013 Lexus RX 350 F SPORT

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There aren’t a whole lot of luxury SUVs that can compare in looks to the 2013 Lexus RX 350 F Sport, and after driving one for a week, the rest of the vehicle is also enviable to competitors. The RX 350 F SPORT features an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, F SPORT-tuned suspension, unique sport front bumper and mesh grille, 19-inch split five-spoke wheels in a Dark Graphite finish, and exclusive interior enhancements in a way that only Lexus could deliver!

EXTERIOR

The new distinctive and contemporary front of the RX F SPORT is highlighted with Lexus’ signature spindle grille and a bolder sport bumper, featuring an F SPORT exclusive mesh design. The upper edge of the grille is set lower than the upper edge of the headlamp assembly to establish a more aggressive look. The standard LED daytime running lights and combination rear lamps reflect the “L” design motif. Fog lamps are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia.

Pronounced front fenders flow into the doors, and integrated rear fender flares neatly sweep around to pull together the taut rear corners of the vehicle. The lower body emphasizes the standard 19-inch wheels. Distinctive F SPORT exterior badging adorns the sporty exterior. Together, these improvements mark a serious improvement from past models, as the RX 350 becomes the vehicle it was intended to be from the start. The new emphasis on design from the folks at Lexus is really paying dividends with the RX 350 F Sport.

INTERIOR

The cabin of the 2013 Lexus RX 350 F SPORT is nothing short of amazing in the quality of the materials, overall luxury feel and high-end technology features. The buttons and knobs are elevated from other luxury SUVs and the leather surfaces are extraordinary comfortable. The RX F SPORT features a unique interior design treatment with perforated black leather-trimmed seats with white perforation holes. White contrast stitching accentuates the seats, center console and door armrests. A new Ebony Bird’s Eye Maple trim adds a touch of sporty elegance. A black headliner, a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel showcasing the “F” logo, and aluminum pedals complete the interior enhancements.

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