Does the Lexus RX350 Live up to its Premium Pricetag?

March 25 2020

Manufactured on home soil in Ontario and one of Canada’s best-selling vehicles, the Lexus RX 350 is undoubtedly a luxurious and prestigious mid-size crossover that comes as a hybrid and a conventional gas-powered model. It’s sleek, comfortable and rather easy on the eye, but does it live up to its premium price tag? With prices starting at an eye-watering $56,000 for 2018’s model it certainly leaves a hole in your wallet the size of Lake Louise. However, if style and luxury is what you look for when buying a new car and you have a good-sized budget, then the Lexus RX 350 may be the very thing that you’re looking for.

The quality of the Lexus becomes apparent the moment you lay eyes on it. It demands attention, and considering its relative rarity, it gets it. It’s big, bold and boasts contoured lines are rarely seen on a crossover. When it comes to its interior few match the quality of Lexus, and the RX 350 is no exception. Every dial and button oozes class and its new and improved 8-inch touchscreen (although this can be upgraded to 12.3-inch) can still be used with the typical Lexus touchpad for those with a nostalgic tendency. Lexus designers must have listened to previous grumblings about how far the infotainment screen was too far from the front seats because they have repositioned the screen 6 inches closer. They also finally added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard equipment for the 2020 model, which has given their tech cred a serious boost.

Under the beautiful exterior the Lexus is equipped with the familiar 3.5-litre V6 that purrs when accelerating. It kicks out 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. A smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic delivers power to the front wheels. The race to 60 mph takes a rapid 7.7 seconds and tops out at an impressive 124mph. The powerful V6 has no issue spinning the front tires from a stop, particularly when turning. Torque steer is present, though it’s not harmful to the overall driving experience. The brakes are equally remarkable, hauling the RX to a stop with certainty. 

As previously mentioned, the Lexus RX 350 is not exactly cheap. Many of its competitors such as the Lincoln Nautilus, Nissan Murano and Volvo XC60 are all priced noticeably cheaper, and considering the difference in pricing, there isn’t much difference between them. The RX 350 still holds firm as the most popular car in its class so it’s clearly doing something right, whether it’s the top of the range powertrain, excellent safety features and reputation as an extremely reliable car, it's certainly got its fans. There must have been a few feedback forms directed to Lexus in 2018 regarding the cost because the prices from 2018 to 2019 were cut, the 2019 model was released with a price tag of $55,350 whereas 2018 was a whopping $1,150 more. This move by Lexus would have surely won over some haters.

Many Canadians are shifting away from all-out SUVs for a more subtle design, aka a crossover. The combination of comfort, better handling and stability, mixed with the spacious and rugged SUV traits are an obvious appeal for Canadian families. The Lexus RX 350 ticks all these boxes and more, you want a car that’s both dependable and stylish without losing out on a powerful engine and cutting-edge features. The only hindrance is the pricing, but if you believe in paying for quality then the RX 350 is the car for you. Make no mistake, it may break the bank, but it’ll keep a smile on your face.