I spent about 30 minutes in total sitting in the back of a new Lexus RX350 last night; here are my thoughts:
- The (fold -down) center console in the backseat is the exact same one that can be found in the previous generation RX. Not a deal-breaker by any means, but thoughtlessly cheap nonetheless. I guess they figured no one would notice? I suppose if it works, why fix it…I think everything should/can be rethought…
- The dimensions and overall size of the car feel almost identical to the previous generation. A good thing for people who liked the old one, a bad thing for those who wanted a step up in size and room.
- The lighting in the car is very fresh and contemporary. Dials are bright white, switches are white as well, and ambient lighting is a clean white LED. The rear reading lights were particularly bright LEDs.
- The auto-up-down windows have an interesting feature: they slow down when they are just at the top of their track. In other words, when the window is down and one activates the auto-up feature, the window glides up at normal speed but slows considerably just before it reaches the top, as if to dampen the sound (or physical effect) of the glass making contact with the window frame. Certainly not something you see everyday…
- Rear passenger side airbags are now standard, which is very unlike a premium brand. Lately, rear side airbags are always a $300-400 option.
- The leather was particularly comfortable because it was perforated. You’d think that a bunch of tiny holes would make only a marginal difference. And yet, they keep things very cool, even in the backseat where there aren’t any active cooling fans beneath them.
Overall: Not something I would spent my own $45k on, but certainly a competent vehicle full of interesting and thoughtful touches, even if some of them are carryovers from the previous iteration and the car on the whole is a bit boring. But you know, people (especially Americans) love for cars to be obedient, problem-free, smooth-riding, easy-to-drive children/in-law haulers. And that is exactly what Lexus has delivered and continues to deliver. For people like me, who need a bit of soul in their vehicle, riding in or driving a Lexus is a bit like driving under the influence of prozac.
Thanks for reading 🙂