The Lexus RX 350 has been one of the best selling luxury crossovers for some time. It offers solid value, quality and luxury that’s hard to argue with.
While this is all well and good, many have said they can be bland and boring. Answering this criticism, Lexus is throwing a bone to driving enthusiasts for 2013 with the new the F Sport RX 350.
Right up front, several visuals set the F Sport apart like a blacked out version of the Spindle Grille, a more aggressive front fascia, and a set of slick dark charcoal 19” wheels.
Underneath, the F Sport gets a stiffer suspension which offers a more responsive feel and a unique 8-speed automatic transmission gives crisper shifts and better power delivery.
Inside is a dark headliner treatment and more supportive perforated leather seats with heating and cooling. Dark wood trims and a thicker steering wheel with paddle shifters rounds out the sportier theme.
On the road we enjoyed the sportier suspension and the 8-speed transmission which shifts more aggressively than the standard RX’s six-speed. But beyond its crisper shifts, we didn’t much notice a performance difference from the standard RX 350.
With 270 horsepower on tap, the 3.5 liter V6 engine is silky smooth as you’d expect, but works pretty hard to move the 4,500 lb RX. Fuel economy is right on target with EPA estimates of 18 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. In our week with the F Sport, we achieved 20.6 mpg combined.
All said, we still wanted for the sharper handling and performance metrics afforded by sport crossover competitors like Audi and BMW, so we have rated the RX350 F Sport 4 out of 5 stars.
For a more detailed review and full photo galleries, see our test drive article on ActivityVehicle.com.