Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Affordability and Lexus Come Together with the 2015 RX

Lexus has built a great reputation of offering its luxury cars and SUV’s at prices that are much lower than the competition and packed full of even more features and equipment to enjoy.  The 2015 version of the Lexus RX is no different coming in with a ton of great features and equipment to enjoy and a much lower starting price than all if its competitors.  As a mid-sized luxury crossover offering, the RX is the prescription the doctor ordered for anyone needing a great luxury SUV at a very easy to live with price.

Competing in a class that includes the Cadillac SRX, Acura RDX, BMW X3, Audi Q and Infiniti QX50 (a veritable alphabet soup of competition), the RX shows off with everything an owner wants in their vehicle long term, reliability, resale value, versatility and comfort.  Adding to this, the RX offers a version for both the power hungry with the F Sport, and the fuel savers with the RX hybrid model to appeal to a varied audience.  The RX adds a rearview camera, a seven-inch touchscreen, a 12-speaker audio system, and replaces the six-disc CD changer to a single one, all standard for the 2015 model year.

Taking a drive in the Lexus RX offers a sporty handling and aggressive power to go along with a serious road dampening suspension, perfect whether you're out in the mountains of West Virginia or cruising the streets of Washington DC.  The handling is achieved through an advanced and highly responsive steering system that accepts even the slightest driver input.  The suspension has been refined and redesigned to stick the SUV to the road, or trails depending on where it is taken.  The cabin is very quiet and peaceful, until the occupants start to blast their tunes inside, but the musical enjoyment will not be interrupted with road noises at all.

The RX lineup is powered by two engines, the 3.5-liter V6 that brings in 270 horsepower and 248 lb.-ft. of torque for the RX 350 and F Sport offers the power that many owners will be looking for.  This engine is paired up with a six-speed automatic transmission that features direct downshift control for a faster shifting when needed.  This power train offers fuel efficiency that comes in at 18 city/25 hwy mpg for the front-wheel drive, 18 city/24 hwy mpg for the all-wheel drive and 18 city/26 hwy mpg for the F Sport model.  The F Sport has an eight-speed automatic transmission to allow for an even better fuel economy than the RX 350 model.

The second engine in this lineup is the hybrid model that is found on the RX 450h.  This engine is a 3.5-liter V6 that is assisted by a 123 kW electric motor.  The engine by itself offers 245 horsepower and when both work together the horsepower reaches 295.  This power plant also offers 234 lb.-ft. of torque and is partnered with a continuously variable automatic transmission that offers fuel efficiency number of 32 city/38 hwy mpg for the front-wheel drive and 30 city/28 hwy mpg for the all-wheel drive.  When properly equipped, all version of the RX are capable of towing capacities of up to 3,500 pounds, which is plenty to take some fun on or off the road.

As a luxury SUV at a great price, Lexus has the challenge of making the interior feel very posh and does so with ease.  With wood and leather adorning the interior of the cabin the RX is a stand out against its competition.  The rear area offers a ton of differing cargo configurations to make it easy to solve the problem of hauling large or odd shaped objects.  The rear seats slide, recline and split fold in a 40/20/40 fashion to add to the 40 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seat and offering the ability to change configurations easily.  All occupants will find the RX comfortable and spacious, making it one of the most enjoyable rides in its class.

The outside starts its great looks with the signature Lexus hourglass shaped grill and LED daytime running lights that are housed in wrap-back headlight housings that begin the look to the rest of the vehicle.  With outstanding curves and lines that don’t seem to ever end, the RX has style to spare, but isn’t about to give any back.  The F Sport model offers 19-inch wheels and the rest of the lineup has 18-inch wheels that are spoked and well-designed to make the vehicle look even more stylish and luxurious.

As stated, the standard features list for any Lexus model is long and the RX is no exception with a list for the base RX 350 that includes ebony wood interior trim, dual-zone climate control, 10-way power front seats, a power adjustable steering column, a power operated lift gate, and a 12-speaker audio system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity.  The F Sport model adds leather upholstery and a sport tuned suspension, while the hybrid has bamboo interior trim and selectable drive modes between normal, sport, eco and electric.

The optional features list for the RX is another very long list as well including the all-wheel drive, a navigation system, an infotainment system with an eight-inch high resolution display, the Lexus Enform App Suite, leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, a heated wood and leather steering wheel, a Mark Levinson audio system, a twin screen DVD rear entertainment system, blind spot monitoring, a pre-collision alert system and radar based dynamic cruise control.

The pricing for the Lexus RX, as promised, starts below the competition and comes in at a very reasonable $41,700 for the RX 350, which is a great price for a mid-sized luxury SUV especially with all it has to offer at the base model.  The F Sport starts around $50,000 and the 450h hybrid model comes in just over $48,000 to begin the pricing.  Any one of the RX models that is loaded up can easily reach up into the high $50,000 range but that adds a huge amount of extra features for the whole vehicle to enjoy.

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