2019 Lexus RX Expert Review

4.5 Overall Score
Performance 4.2 Comfort 4.5 Styling 3.8 Value 4.6

Editor's Overview

Distinctive, well-built and supremely comfortable, the 2019 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h hybrid dominate the midsize-luxury-SUV segment, where they compete against the Audi Q5, BMW X5, Cadillac XT5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Volvo XC90. If the RX has one demerit, it’s this: The back seat of the 3-row version is tight on space.

You'll Like The 2019 Lexus RX If...

“Smooth, quiet and comfortable.” That effectively sums up the 2019 Lexus RX, which also boasts a sumptuous interior and a wealth of standard safety features. Looking for excellent fuel economy? Get the RX 450h hybrid. Or something sportier? The F Sport models are aptly named.

You May Not Like The 2019 Lexus RX If...

If you’re an understated sort of person, the aggressive-looking RX, with its massive grille, might not be suitable for you. Also, the 3-row Lexus RX is best suited for five passengers because its third row is tight.

What's New

Very little has changed with this luxurious midsize Lexus SUV for 2019. Intuitive Parking Assist, a sonar-based aid that minimizes bumper dings and scratches, is no longer a stand-alone option. Also, Lexus Enform Remote (which enables smart watch and Amazon Alexa skill integration) is now standard.

Interior Features

We expect much from a Lexus interior, and the 2019 RX delivers with upscale materials, superb fit and finish and attractive modern design. The analog clock is an elegant touch. All models offer a large multimedia screen, which is operated by a console-mounted mouse-like controller that some find frustrating to use. A 12.3-inch split-screen multimedia screen is optional and part of the navigation package. The seats are plush, and there is plenty of head- and legroom in back. Cargo space is impressive, with over 18 cubic feet behind the rear seats and over 56 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. The RX 350L has standard seating for seven with a 3-across 2nd-row bench. Optional on that model and standard on the RX 450hL are 2nd-row captain’s chairs that reduce total passenger count to six. Be warned: If you regularly need to use a 3rd-row seat, the RX 350L’s power-folding bench is tight, best suited for small kids.

Exterior Features

Lexus has moved away from its plain early styling and switched to shapes that are daring, dynamic and routinely complemented by a bold spindle-shaped grille. While no one will call the 2019 Lexus RX classically beautiful, it is chiseled and distinctive. What’s more, it will not be confused for a minivan. We like how the SUV’s blacked-out C-pillars give the roof a floating appearance, while 20-inch wheels lend the F Sport a welcome dose of aggression. Notable: The RX L models are only 4.3 inches longer than the standard 2-row RX, so it’s not easy to quickly identify them on the road.

Driving Impressions

The 2019 Lexus RX 350 emphasizes comfort and confidence more than hitting apexes. As such, the ride is smooth, the interior is quiet, and you’re pleasantly isolated from the harsh world outside. With its plush interior and acoustic glass, this Lexus SUV can be driven for hours without fatigue, and when the road does start to twist and turn, the RX impresses more with its composure than with its agility. If you want sharper reflexes, opt for the F Sport. Fitted with Lexus’ selectable drive-mode system, the F Sport adds a Sport S+ setting that increases steering feedback and quickens throttle response. The RX’s V6 is powerful and smooth, mated to a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission. As for the RX 450h hybrid, it combines an electric motor with the V6 to produce more horsepower and torque while also improving fuel economy. The 3-row RX 350L drives much like the standard RX.

Pricing Notes

The 2019 Lexus RX 350 has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $45,000 for a FWD model. AWD costs an additional $1,400, while the Lexus RX 350 F Sport begins at a touch over $50,000. Hybrid Lexus RX 450h models start at around $47,000. The priciest Lexus RX is the 450h F Sport, which starts at about $52,500. The 3-row Lexus RX 350L begins just below $49,000, while the 3-row Lexus RX 450hL hybrid starts at nearly $52,000.

While adding options can increase the bottom line by thousands, the Lexus RX still undercuts German rivals such as the Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5 in price. The RX is in line with the 3-row Acura MDX, and it’s above the starting prices of the Infiniti QX50, Lincoln Nautilus and Volvo XC60. Always check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new RX.

In addition to having stellar reliability, the Lexus RX holds its value extremely well, winning a KBB 2019 Best Resale Value Award for the luxury SUV/crossover (2-row) segment. The RX also wins a KBB 2019 5-Year Cost-to-Own Award in that same vehicle class.

OK, so what's next?
I'm interested in the newest version of this car. What's for sale near me?
I'm interested in this car, and I'd like to trade in my current car while I'm at it.
Then again, maybe I should be thinking about a used car.

Notable Equipment

The 2019 Lexus RX is generously equipped. Consider what’s standard on a base RX: LED headlights, a power tailgate, a 10-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, 10 airbags, a power-adjustable steering wheel, a faux-leather interior, rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, a rearview camera, a HomeLink garage-door opener, 18-inch wheels, and Lexus Safety System+, which includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, auto high beams and lane-departure alert. Standard infotainment offerings include an 8-inch command screen, 9-speaker audio with USB, Bluetooth, Micro SD card slot and auxiliary input, and Siri Eyes Free for Apple iPhones. Unfortunately, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remain unavailable. Lexus Enform Safety Connect, complimentary for 10 years, includes an SOS button, roadside assistance, automatic collision notification and stolen-vehicle notification. Lexus Enform Remote, complimentary for one year, lets the RX owner remotely lock or unlock the doors, start the engine, adjust climate controls and even check the fuel level via a smart watch or an Amazon Alexa-enabled device at home.

Notable Options

All-wheel drive (AWD) is optional on the new RX 350 and standard on the RX 450h hybrid. F Sport models come with front-wheel drive (FWD) as standard, but are also available with all-wheel drive. Other options, bundled in various packages, include leather seating, a sunroof, a heated steering wheel, heated/ventilated front seats, a touch-free tailgate, navigation, a larger 12.3-inch screen, and a fantastic-sounding 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. F Sport models add 20-inch wheels, paddle shifters and adaptive variable suspension, plus unique front and rear fascias. A rear-seat DVD entertainment system with dual screens, a Head-Up Display and a 360-degree Panoramic View Monitor are also available. There’s even an available towing-prep package, which includes a heavy-duty radiator and oil coolers for the engine and transmission. A hitch receiver is available as an accessory, along with running boards and roof-rack cross bars.

Favorite Features

LEXUS SAFETY SYSTEM+
The Lexus Safety System+ is standard on all 2019 Lexus RX models. The state-of-the-art system includes Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keep Assist and Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist, Intelligent High Beam Headlamps (IHB) and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

ADAPTIVE VARIABLE SUSPENSION
Standard only on the F Sport models, AVS automatically adjusts the shock damping according to driving conditions, which helps explain why this version of the 2019 Lexus RX feels so much more composed on twisty roads.

Under the Hood

The 2019 Lexus RX 350 uses the company’s proven 3.5-liter V6 that produces 295 horsepower on 87-octane regular unleaded gasoline. The stout but smooth V6 works with an excellent 8-speed automatic transmission, which gets paddle shifters on the F Sport. The RX 350L, of note, uses the same V6, but it produces only 290 horsepower because it has a single exhaust vs. the standard model's dual setup. As in 2018, the most efficient Lexus RX is the 450h hybrid, which delivers class-leading fuel economy. Available only as an all-wheel-drive (AWD) model, the RX 450h hybrid pairs the 3.5-liter V6 with a battery-electric powertrain and an electronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The RX hybrid does not need to be plugged in, but premium gasoline is recommended. Its EPA-estimated driving range of 516 miles compares favorably to the 422 of the standard AWD RX. The RX 450h and the RX 450hL have a total system output of 308 horsepower, and the 2-row hybrid returns 31 mpg in the city. Towing capacity (of the standard RX and the RX hybrid) is 3,500 pounds.

3.5-liter V6 (RX 350, RX 350 F Sport)
295 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
267 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 mpg (FWD), 19/26 mpg (AWD)

3.5-liter V6 (RX 350L, RX 350L F Sport)
290 horsepower @ 6,300 rpm
267 lb-ft of torque @ 4,700 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (FWD), 18/25 mpg (AWD)

3.5-liter V6 + 123-kW electric motor (RX 450h)
259 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (gasoline engine only)
Total system horsepower: 308
247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm (gasoline engine only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 31/28 mpg (AWD)

3.5-liter V6 + 123-kW electric motor (RX 450hL)
259 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm (gasoline engine only)
Total system horsepower: 308
247 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm (gasoline engine only)
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/28 mpg (AWD)

Editors' Notes

It’s a carryover year for the luxurious 2019 Lexus RX, which continues to sell very strongly in the midsize-luxury-SUV segment. Two models remain available: the V6-powered RX 350 and the RX 450h hybrid, a fuel-economy class leader. The 3-row 7-seat variant that made its debut last year will continue to be sold in 2019. Folks seeking sportier looks and a more aggressive driving experience should consider the RX F Sport. In addition to a sport-tuned suspension, Lexus RX F Sport models get paddle shifters, a black headliner, larger wheels and tires, a bold mesh grille, sport seats and electronic gauges with additional instrumentation. Regardless of model, all 2019 RXs offer a silky-smooth ride, a remarkably quiet interior and proven Lexus reliability. The RX also leads its class with its high resale value. Competitors include the Audi Q5, BMW X5, Cadillac XT5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Volvo XC90.

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Owner Reviews

5

1 Reviews

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Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

It is very comfortable and has heated and vented seats along with a sunroof

i don't have any complaints. The car is very comfortable and a smooth ride

- Samantha L