Lexus RX 350 F SPORT 2016 Review | TestDriveNow

Lexus RX 350 F SPORT 2016 Review | TestDriveNow


The wildly popular Lexus RX takes a bold turn
for the 2016 model year taking the best-selling luxury crossover to new levels of excitement
including this F SPORT model designed for those who crave an edgier experience. An enormous grille, 20” wheels, blacked
out appearance…what on earth is going on over at Lexus these days? Since its launch in 1998, the RX has been
hugely popular clearly distinguishing itself as the brand’s most important model but
its design has never been very stimulating. This all-new rendition, which is longer and
taller with more ground clearance and increased rear seat room also benefits from an upgraded
engine resulting in more power and slightly better fuel economy. Choices begin with the front-wheel drive RX
350 with a starting MSRP of $42,840. But if you love the dynamic design of this
model as much as I do, it’s the F SPORT you’ll want to investigate. With standard all-wheel drive and a number
of special visual and performance features, the F SPORT treatment presents the naughtiest
RX yet. This combo of F SPORT-exclusive Ultra White
and black really packs visual punch while the Adaptive Variable Suspension imparts a
greater level of handling precision. Deep cuts and creases, lots of LED bling,
10-spoke wheels…this isn’t your mama’s RX. This one is a standout. A 3.5-liter V6 remains the sole engine for
gas models but it’s been updated with Toyota’s latest cylinder head design and combo fuel
system which utilizes both direct and port injection. This takes horsepower from 270 to 295 and
torque from 248 to 267 pound-feet, mated to an 8-speed auto resulting in usable, energetic
performance. Its 0-to-60mph time of 7.9 seconds feels even
quicker from behind the wheel. It’ll run on regular too to the tune of
19mpg city/26mpg highway. The F SPORT is more about the performance
look than the drive yet with a SPORT S + mode that tailors the steering, suspension, transmission
and engine for a racier feel, this RX plays with far more controlled exuberance than before. It is fun to drive and buttery smooth over
compliant pavement. But when the road gets choppy the F SPORT
transmits a level of harshness that may make most Lexus buyers uncomfortable. And there’s a palpable level of understeer
baked in here that keeps me from completely loving the sporty side of the drive…I always
end up having to crank the steering wheel just a little bit more after turning into
a corner. These Michelin Premier LTX tires also are
very unforgiving. Other F SPORT touches include a sound generator
to enhance engine sounds during acceleration, a very cool looking, exclusive instrument
cluster, wonderfully supportive quilted seats that wrap comfortably around the upper back,
a 3-spoke steering wheel, aluminum trim and drilled pedals. The screen is huge and finally the bonking
sound has been made less annoying yet this mouse like control setup still falls flat. Other than the sometimes overly firm ride,
this is my biggest hang-up over the new RX. I’ve never been a big fan of this non-touchscreen
setup and this mouse is the answer to a question no one ever asked. It’s difficult to use to the point where
I often avoid it. The features are solid but other than the
sheer size of it there’s nothing groundbreaking here. The optional color heads-up display is excellent
though, the around view camera is a big help, the automatic heated and cooled front seats
are perfect, and the panoramic moonroof is an added touch of class. Further safety tech such as the Pre-Collision
System is optionally available but mine is stocked with simply the 2 most tangible bits;
a blind spot monitor and rear cross traffic alert. The rear seats are noticeably more spacious
both in head and leg room and the seats slide and recline. No USB port back here or other fancy features,
however. The heaviest doors I’ve ever seen. One noticeable bummer is the reduction in
cargo room. The 40/20/40 rear seats fold easily though
not completely flat with these levers but the 2015 model boasted over 80 cubic feet
of luggage space while this one comes in at just over 56. For some perspective that’s considerably
less than a RAV-4 and only slightly more than their own NX; the price you pay for more passenger
space and cool design. This RX 350 F SPORT AWD begins at 50 grand
and goes out the door like this for $57,000. I very much like the direction Lexus is taking
the brand and though this RX isn’t a home run it’s a slide in triple.

41 Comments on “Lexus RX 350 F SPORT 2016 Review | TestDriveNow”

  1. I know they are incredible vehicles and maybe i'm just old, but the exterior looks of the new style lexus just hasn't grown on me. Really enjoy your reviews. Thanks.

  2. Looks like you got the cargo capacity figures from online…Lexus actually changed how they measure the cargo capacity which makes it seem less than what it really is.

  3. Enjoy your reviews Steve! Could you please comment on how this compares to the new Mazda CX-9 (i.e., ride/handling, acceleration, interior noise, cargo capacity)? Thanks!

  4. Every mag and car reviewer gets this model, but 90% of people don't buy RX F-Sports, so I don't see the point of this review. The standard model is the one to test. This model comes off as trying to hard to be edgy. The standard model is much more attractive.

  5. The RX is still the leader in this segment. However, the Cadillac XT5 and Lincoln MKX are worthy competitors to the Lexus. Speaking about the Caddy, when will you try the new XT5?

    Add Mercedes GLE (the vehicle formerly known as M) and long in the tooth BMW X5 as Lexus' competition for their top selling crossover.

  6. Lexus gave me an RX350 to use while we wait for a Takata airbag replacement. They say it cuold take 6 months to a year! The grille is awful, I don't know if it's to plow snow or to catch cows!

  7. My coworker drives one (non F Sport), it's a very comfortable car but I have a hard time thinking this is better than an XC90 T5 R Sport at around the same price.

  8. I don't understand why catering your cars towards elder people is something that Lexus should be ashamed of. I know a fair amount of elders who are switching from Lexus to Cadillac because of the newer Lexus styling. And I've noticed that the younger crowd tends to prefer the styling and sportier driving dynamics of BMWs and Audis over Lexus anyways. So Lexus is really only hurting themselves with this new customer mindset that they have.

  9. I think the "reduction" in cargo capacity is mostly from a new measurement methodology that not all vehicles have migrated to yet.

  10. Please I need to buy it. Can you suggest any good 4×4 luxury suv for me. ( if someone has idea about good luxury SUV. Please I need to buy one)

  11. All Lexus' now look like locomotives with stupid spindle grill. The exterior designer should be publicly executed.

  12. In regards of the Lexus "mouse", which is worse? The "mouse" or the strange TouchPad found in the NX… I dunno which is worse.

  13. Nothing but Stellar Reviews from Steve! This looks like a Storm Trooper vehicle in the white and the hard design lines. I like kind of like it. And love the interior but think I would cross shop heavy first.

  14. In this F Sport trim. Best looking SUV in its class. The side profile is so eye catching the triple beam LED headlight are eye catching ( this model didn't have it ) everything about this RX embodies Japanese design.

    The interior is beautiful and well made. Add in the best reliability and it's class this thing is a home run. Great engine too it.

  15. I'm on my 3rd RX- got the Hybrid- best car I've ever owned. Love the new styling- especially the F-Sport. Nice job on the review- concise, and to the point. Keep em coming!

  16. Lo siento por los detractores, pero los # hablan por si solos,es un éxito de ventas,la fiabilidad,durabilidad y confort son un hecho,a llorar a maternidad

  17. What's the difference between the 2016 and 2017 models? The local Lexus dealer is offering $6000 below msrp (I assume they'll pile on the junk fees) for the 2016 and saying it's to clear up inventory.

  18. Good review. I never looked at the RX 350 until this year with the FSport model. I purchased one in May. I absolutely love this vehicle. I agree that on really bumpy roads it's not as smooth as other models in line up. However when you want sporty you want the feel of road, otherwise it's really smooth and has great sound dampening.

  19. Can’t believe the spare tire is bummer for you , I’m looking for vehicles only that have spare , all the runflats not for me

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