When reviewing the world of luxury SUVs, the Lexus RX 350 often stands out. But which are the best years for this model, and which RX 350 years should you avoid? Join us as we highlight the peaks and pitfalls of this iconic vehicle’s journey through time.
What’s the best Lexus RX 350 Year?
The best year for the Lexus RX350 is 2018. It has virtually no complaints online and high consistently high reviews. The worst years are the 2007 and 2008 model years, as they’re plagued with terrible gas mileage and a large number of common problems.
So if you’re looking for a Lexus RX350, you’re in luck! Every year you come across is going to be a great choice. Just ask my mother who has 134,000 miles on her 2011 Lexus RX and it is still running strong.
2019 and 2021 models have recalls, so you can save money by buying an older, safer RX. But what made the 2007 and 2008 models so awful, and what sets 2018 apart from the crowd? Keep reading and I’ll fill you in on the details.
What Makes The 2018 Model The Best Lexus RX 350 Year?
The 2018 model year’s biggest advantages over previous RX models are safety and horsepower.
Every Lexus RX350 2018 model received five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) except for the front-wheel-drive version, which has four stars.
This combines with the tiny number of complaints about this luxury crossover SUV, making it a fantastic choice for not dying in a ditch. Fewer complaints result in greater customer satisfaction.
2018 also has the advantage of top-notch technology that’s able to tow more weight than previous models.
Every Lexus after 2015 can tow up to 3,500lbs, and earlier models tend to only be able to move up to 1,500. This added strength is useful if you like to tow things.
The vehicle is also fairly reliable, which is a big deal when it comes to used cars. Neither the 2018 nor the 2019 Lexus models have many complaints about reliability.
Other good years include 2015 and 2011. 2015 is the first year to have the heightened towing capacity among other advances, while the 2011 model has a particularly interesting nose shape, which can be a big draw for many drivers.
What’s the worst year of the RX 350?
2007 is the first year that the Lexus RX350 was sold, meaning that it isn’t entirely surprising that the vehicle still had a few problems associated with it.
However, this does not account for the sheer quantity of problems that the vehicle has.
The first major issue with the Lexus RX 350 2007 is that the dashboard tends to crack, and these cracks tend to spread all the way across the dash until it becomes hard to read your dials.
This isn’t an enormous problem if you buy the car new, since it seems like it really sets in when the car has already been around for about eight years.
However, it has been far longer than eight years since this car was manufactured, so dashboard cracking could start at any point.
The only real way to fix this problem is to replace the dash, which can add another couple hundred to the vehicle’s maintenance cost.
Possibly a more important problem with the 2007 Lexus is its tendency for the engines to actually leak oil.
An oil leak could start at any time and lead to the engine being completely empty of engine oil in about an hour without any warning
This problem with the oil line is extremely dangerous, could lead to engine failure, and is one of the vehicle’s most common problems, which really makes you wonder how Toyota kept making Lexus vehicles until now, especially considering that I was able to find instances of this problem going all the way back to 2009 when the model was only two years old.
The vehicle also has a problem with leaky steering mechanisms, which are difficult for mechanics to diagnose but still fairly severe.
It can cost up to 1,600 dollars to fix leaking power steering fluids and cause some scary steering problems.
The 2008 Lexus has the same dashboard and engine problems, but at a slightly lower severity and without the steering problems. The 2008 model certainly shows improvement from 2007 but it is definitely still unacceptably bad.
It also has infamously bad fuel economy, which is another problem adding to the little treasure trove of horrifying surprises lying in wait for people who choose to buy this car. Getting a good mpg is critical these days.
Are Lexuses Good Used Cars to Buy?
Excluding 2007 and 2008, Lexuses tend to be a very reliable car even when purchased used. This is evident in that they are pretty cheap to own compared to other vehicles commonly sold at dealerships.
Lexuses tend to have pretty fair gas mileage and get very few if any problems that need fixing in any given year, meaning that most of the existing vehicle models are fairly good deals at used prices.
In fact, Lexus and other Toyota vehicles are some of the most reliable vehicles that you can buy, and they tend to have at least acceptable support after purchase as well, making the vehicle unlikely to break randomly and not be fixable.
Of course, those two earlier years are the exception, and a big exception they are. While they aren’t quite deathtraps per se, you’ll still probably want to think twice before buying one.
The most recent models are the best ones, but as they are so recent they are also more expensive when it comes to used vehicles.
Older vehicles may still be good, but parts for them may be difficult to find considering their age.
However, because these vehicles are unlikely to end up with random problems, you don’t have to worry about that problem quite as much.
Middle-year vehicles like the 2011 also have their own particular appeal, depending on your tastes.
You could list a bunch of years on a dartboard and throw darts to decide which year you want and you’re almost guaranteed to get one that is at least pretty good (assuming you neglect to write 2007 or 2008 on the board.)
And this tends to increase the lifespan of the car as well since these vehicles won’t need repairs as often.
Really, any Lexus RX 350 is going to be a pretty good vehicle when you’re behind the steering wheel. Don’t sweat it too much! Just pick the one you can afford with the features you like!
Best and Worst Years for the Lexus RX350: A Comprehensive Guide
Common Problems and Complaints
Like any car, the Lexus RX350 is not immune to problems. Despite being a reliable car, some issues have been reported by owners and auto industry experts.
Here are some of the most common problems and complaints regarding the Lexus RX350:
One of the most common problems with the Lexus RX350 is oil leakage. This issue has been reported by drivers of the 2007 to 2015 RX350 models.
They reported that the engine leaked oil while they were driving. This problem can be caused by a variety of factors, including a damaged oil filter, a cracked oil pan, or worn-out gaskets.
It is important to address oil leaks promptly, as they can cause serious engine damage.
Another common issue with the Lexus RX350 is dashboard cracking. This problem has been reported by drivers of the 2004 to 2009 RX350 models.
The dashboards on these models are prone to cracking due to prolonged exposure to sunlight and heat.
This issue is mostly cosmetic, but it can be frustrating for drivers who want to keep their cars in pristine condition.
Some drivers of the Lexus RX350 have reported steering problems. This issue can manifest as a feeling of looseness or play in the steering wheel, or as difficulty turning the wheel.
Steering problems can be caused by a variety of factors, including worn-out tie rods, damaged steering gear, or a faulty power steering pump.
It is important to address steering problems promptly, as they can affect the safety and handling of the vehicle.
Rattling Front Doors
Another issue that some drivers have reported with the Lexus RX350 is rattling front doors.
This problem can be caused by loose or worn-out door hinges, or by damaged weatherstripping.
While this issue is mostly cosmetic, it can be annoying for drivers who want a quiet and comfortable ride.
Overall, while the Lexus RX350 is generally a reliable car, these common problems and complaints should be taken into consideration by potential buyers and current owners. Addressing these issues promptly can help ensure the longevity and safety of the vehicle.
Safety and Reliability
The Lexus RX350 is known for its reliability and safety features. It has consistently received high safety ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
In fact, the 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019 models all received an overall safety rating of 5 out of 5 stars from the NHTSA.
The Lexus RX350 is also equipped with a variety of safety features, including airbags, anti-lock brakes, and a backup camera.
The 2023 model comes standard with Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, which includes features such as a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, and automatic high beams.
In terms of reliability, the Lexus RX350 has a reputation for being a reliable vehicle. According to Consumer Reports, the 2023, 2022, and 2021 models all received a 5 out of 5 predicted reliability rating. The 2020, 2019, and 2018 models received a 4 out of 5 predicted reliability rating.
Overall, the Lexus RX350 is a reliable car with excellent safety features. Its high safety ratings and advanced safety features make it a great choice for families and anyone who prioritizes safety on the road.
Performance and Handling
The Lexus RX350 is a luxury crossover SUV that provides a comfortable ride with good handling and a powerful V6 engine.
The vehicle is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 295 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque, which is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The RX350 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 7.7 seconds, which is average for its class.
The RX350’s handling is precise and responsive, with a smooth and comfortable ride. The steering wheel is well-weighted and provides good feedback, making it easy to maneuver in tight spaces.
The vehicle’s suspension system is tuned for comfort, and it absorbs bumps and road imperfections smoothly.
The RX350’s V6 engine provides ample power for most driving situations and delivers a smooth and refined performance.
The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and quickly, and it provides good fuel economy. The RX350 gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, which is good for its class.
Overall, the RX350 provides a fun and engaging driving experience, with good performance and handling.
The vehicle’s V6 engine and smooth-shifting transmission provide ample power and good fuel economy, while its precise handling and comfortable ride make it a pleasure to drive.
The Lexus RX350 has undergone four generations of redesign since its introduction in 1998.
Each generation brought new features and improvements to the model, but some years were better than others. Here is a breakdown of the different generations and what to expect from each one.
The first generation of the Lexus RX350 was introduced in 1998 and lasted until 2003. This generation was known for its smooth ride and luxurious interior.
However, it had some reliability issues, especially with the transmission. The first generation was also not as fuel-efficient as later models.
The second generation of the Lexus RX350 was introduced in 2004 and lasted until 2009.
This generation saw significant improvements in fuel efficiency, handling, and safety features. However, it still had some transmission issues and was not as spacious as later models.
The third generation of the Lexus RX350 was introduced in 2010 and lasted until 2015.
This generation saw a complete redesign of the model, with a more spacious interior, improved fuel efficiency, and advanced safety features.
However, some models had issues with the infotainment system and suspension.
The fourth generation of the Lexus RX350 was introduced in 2016 and is still in production. This generation saw further improvements in fuel efficiency, handling, and safety features.
It also introduced a more modern design and advanced technology, including a larger infotainment screen. However, some models had issues with the transmission and suspension.
Overall, the Lexus RX350 has seen significant improvements in each generation, with the latest models being the most advanced.
However, some years had issues with reliability and specific components, so it is essential to do research before purchasing a used model.
Features and Technology
The Lexus RX350 is a luxury SUV that comes with a host of features and technology to make the driving experience more comfortable and convenient.
The following features are available on most models:
- Comfort: The RX350 is designed with comfort in mind. It comes with leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory settings. The cabin is spacious and well-insulated, making it a comfortable ride for long journeys.
- Infotainment System: The RX350 comes with a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It includes Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and a 9-speaker audio system. Higher trims come with a larger 12.3-inch display and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system.
- Navigation: The RX350 comes with a standard navigation system that includes real-time traffic updates. The larger 12.3-inch display includes a split-screen feature that allows the driver to view multiple functions at the same time.
- Rain Sensors: The RX350 comes with rain-sensing wipers that automatically adjust the speed of the wipers based on the amount of rain.
- Automatic Transmission: The RX350 comes with an 8-speed automatic transmission that provides smooth shifts and improved fuel efficiency.
- Hybrid: The RX350 is available in a hybrid version, which comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and an electric motor. The hybrid version provides improved fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.
- Standard Features: The RX350 comes with a host of standard features, including a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a rearview camera.
Overall, the Lexus RX350 is a well-equipped SUV that provides a comfortable and convenient driving experience.
The standard features and technology make it a great choice for those who value comfort and convenience.
Fuel Efficiency and Economy
The Lexus RX 350 has a reputation for being a fuel-efficient luxury SUV.
The 2023 model has an estimated fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway, making it one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class.
The RX 350 also has a fuel tank capacity of 19.2 gallons, which provides a decent driving range.
The fuel efficiency of the RX 350 is further enhanced by its hybrid version, the RX 450h. The 2023 model has an estimated fuel economy of 31 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
The hybrid version also has a larger fuel tank capacity of 22.2 gallons, which provides a longer driving range.
The RX 350 has an ECO mode that helps to improve fuel economy by adjusting the throttle response and air conditioning.
The vehicle also has an automatic stop/start system that shuts off the engine when the vehicle is idling to save fuel. However, some drivers may find this system annoying and choose to turn it off.
It is important to note that fuel efficiency can vary depending on driving conditions, such as traffic, terrain, and weather.
Additionally, towing heavy loads can significantly reduce fuel economy. The RX 350 has a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds, but towing heavy loads can cause a significant drop in fuel economy.
Overall, the Lexus RX 350 is a fuel-efficient luxury SUV that is suitable for daily commuting and long road trips. Its hybrid version offers even better fuel economy, making it a great choice for eco-conscious drivers.
Recalls and Warnings
The Lexus RX 350 has had a few recalls and warnings over the years. In 2016, there was a recall for the passenger side airbag, which could potentially rupture during deployment, causing metal fragments to fly out and injure passengers. This recall affected 2016 and 2017 models.
In 2018, there was a recall for the fuel pump, which could stop working and cause the engine to stall. This recall affected 2018 and 2019 models.
In 2020, there was a recall for the backup camera, which could potentially not display an image when the vehicle is in reverse. This recall affected 2019 and 2020 models.
Owners of the affected vehicles should have received notifications from Lexus, and the repairs should have been done free of charge at a dealership.
In addition to recalls, there are a few warning lights that owners of the Lexus RX 350 should be aware of.
The most common warning light is the check engine light, which can indicate a variety of issues, from a loose gas cap to a more serious engine problem.
Another warning light to be aware of is the tire pressure warning light, which can indicate that one or more of the tires is underinflated. This can affect the handling and safety of the vehicle, so it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.
Overall, while the Lexus RX 350 has had a few recalls and warnings, they have been relatively minor and have not affected a large number of vehicles.
As with any vehicle, it’s important to stay up to date on any recalls or warnings and address them promptly to ensure the safety and reliability of the vehicle.
Alternatives to Lexus RX350
While the Lexus RX350 is a popular luxury SUV, it may not be the best fit for everyone. Here are some alternatives to consider:
The Acura MDX is a luxury SUV that offers a comfortable ride and a spacious interior. It comes with a standard V6 engine that provides plenty of power and good fuel economy.
The MDX also has a long list of standard features, including a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, and a premium audio system.
Additionally, it has a reputation for reliability and a lower price tag than the RX350.
The Audi Q5 is a luxury SUV that offers a sporty driving experience and a high-quality interior. It comes with a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine that provides quick acceleration and good fuel economy.
The Q5 also has a long list of standard features, including leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a rearview camera.
Additionally, it has a reputation for safety and a stylish design.
The BMW X3 is a luxury SUV that offers a sporty driving experience and a high-quality interior.
It comes with a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine that provides plenty of power and good fuel economy.
The X3 also has a long list of standard features, including a panoramic sunroof, a power liftgate, and a premium audio system. Additionally, it has a reputation for handling and a fun-to-drive nature.
The Mercedes-Benz GLC is a luxury SUV that offers a comfortable ride and a high-quality interior.
It comes with a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine that provides quick acceleration and good fuel economy.
The GLC also has a long list of standard features, including leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a rearview camera.
Additionally, it has a reputation for safety and a luxurious design.
The Volvo XC60 is a luxury SUV that offers a comfortable ride and a high-quality interior. It comes with a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine that provides plenty of power and good fuel economy.
The XC60 also has a long list of standard features, including leather seats, a panoramic sunroof, and a rearview camera. Additionally, it has a reputation for safety and a focus on sustainability.
Overall, there are many alternatives to the Lexus RX350 that offer similar features and benefits. It’s important to consider factors like price, reliability, and driving experience when choosing the right luxury SUV for your needs.
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- Can You Fit 3 Car Seats In A Lexus RX350?
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- How Long Does a Lexus Transmission Last
- Does the Lexus RX350 Require Premium Gas?
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the most reliable years for the Lexus RX350?
According to industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback, the most reliable Lexus RX350 years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2018, and 2014. These years have received high ratings for their performance, safety, and reliability.
What are the worst years for the Lexus RX350?
The worst Lexus RX350 model years are 2007, 2008, 2010, 2009, 2016, and 2015. These years have been associated with a higher number of complaints and performance issues, including suspension problems, uneven tire pressure or mismatched tires, steering gear binding, and excessive wheel toe-out.
What is the best year for a used Lexus RX350?
The best year for a used Lexus RX350 is 2018. It has virtually no complaints online and consistently high reviews for its performance, reliability, and safety features. However, it is important to note that the condition of the vehicle and its maintenance history can also greatly affect its overall quality and value.
Which Lexus RX350 model year has the best engine?
The 2023 Lexus RX350 has been praised for its powerful and efficient engine, which is capable of producing up to 295 horsepower and achieving up to 27 miles per gallon on the highway. However, the 2018 and 2021 models also have highly rated engines that offer a smooth and responsive driving experience.
Is the Lexus RX350 a good SUV?
Yes, the Lexus RX350 is widely considered to be a good SUV. It has received high ratings for its comfort, performance, safety, and reliability, making it a popular choice among luxury SUV buyers. However, as with any vehicle, it is important to do your research and consider your personal needs and preferences before making a purchase.
What are the common problems with Lexus RX350s?
Some common problems with Lexus RX350s include oil leakage, suspension issues, steering gear binding, and uneven tire pressure or mismatched tires. However, these issues are relatively rare and can often be prevented or resolved with proper maintenance and care.