Why people loves the Lexus RX?

For some car enthusiasts, the Lexus RX is just simply plain from their point of view. Well, this is quite understandable: the RX is based on a front wheel drive platform (which you can even claim it is related to the Toyota Highlander); the engine outputs 270hp (or “merely 270hp” in some muscle car owners’ language, for the RX350), paired to a somewhat outdated universal 6 speed transmission (I know the higher-level RX350 FSport offers an industry-first FWD 8 speed transmission); its exterior looks conservative, and it drives/handles conservatively too. Everything is just so plain, so conservative, nothing interesting at all. So how come this product is such a success, sold a total of 103,920 units in 2013 US market (compared to 41,326 units of Mercedes-Benz’s ML class)?


To answer this question, we need to stand in the position of a typical buyer who wants to buy the RX. A typical Lexus RX buyer is someone who wants to use it as a daily driver, or goes for grocery shopping in the weekend; yet the ride should be comfortable with confidence, and it must be reliable and does not require its owner to frequently surf the clublexus.com forum, just to find posts which topic is like “how to fix XXXXX” etc.

You see, the RX fits the bill perfectly. And it is also quite reasonably priced – for RX350, check the “premium package” box and you will get almost every typical luxury features you need (except the navigation, which is another $2,563 invoice price) . I check with TrueCar to find that, today in southern California region you can buy such equipped RX350 FWD for just $39,299 + TTL, without negotiation. If you are willing to spend time to shop around, I bet you can cut another one grand or two grand off. Take the Mercedes-Benz ML class for comparison: the most base ML350, without any options, will cost you $45,013 + TTLĀ  in today’s southern California market according to TrueCar (this is the no-need negotiating price, similar to RX’s $39,299 number), and it is even not equipped as good as the RX350. Now you see the difference, right? With such aggressive pricing, what else you can ask for the RX?

To some folks’ surprise, the RX350 drive pretty well too. In Car and Driver magazine’s January 2013 test, the RX350 FSport can accelerate from standstill to 60mph in 7.0 seconds, and road holding result is 0.80g. For your reference, from the same magazine’s other tests, the Audi Q7 3.0T S-line do the 0-60mph in 6.6 seconds, and also the 2013 Mercedes-Benz G63AMG only holds the road at 0.58g. Generally speaking the RX won’t drive like a sports car, but it performs more than satisfactory for most of us daily commuters.

When I finished writing this, a voice rose in my mind: maybe I should also consider the RX some day in the future… OK I cannot promise I will buy it but I am pretty sure my wife will.




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