What Are the Best Years for the Lexus RX350? (Answered)
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The Lexus RX 350 is a luxury vehicle, a king among luxury SUVs when it comes to style and comfort. Leather seats, a sleek interior, an advanced infotainment system, not to mention plenty of cargo space, and third-row seating for added passengers, make this RX350 a standout in it’s class. That being said, there are certainly some years that are significantly better than others, and some that you’ll want to avoid at all costs.
Table of Contents
- What’s the best Lexus RX 350 Year?
- What’s the worst year of the RX 350?
- Are Lexuses Good Used Cars to Buy?
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! Pretty much every year that you come across is going to be a great choice. 2019 and 2021 models have recalls, so you can save money by buying an older, safer RX 350. But what made the 2007 and 2008 models so awful, and what sets 2018 apart from the crowd?
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 to make 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, actually, is able to 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 that people have with the Lexus RX 350 2007 is that the dashboard has a tendency 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 cost of maintaining the vehicle. 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 just another problem to add 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 actually pretty cheap to own compared to other vehicles that are 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 models of the vehicle that exist 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 on the more expensive side 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!