Looking for luxury and space? The Lexus RX 350 has you covered

The mid-size luxury crossover Lexus RX 350 seats five. The new RX-350L can fit seven.

Lexus really has built a popular crossover brand and it’s been a big seller for the company for more than a decade. The heavy hitter was redesigned nearly three years ago; the last time I sampled the RX was at the launch event.

It’s time to get reacquainted with the RX 350 and the new RX 350L.

2019 Lexus RX 350

Styling seems to be important to Lexus, and the RX 350 stands out with an aggressive look. Some people might find it a bit much from the once conservative Lexus brand.

Huge grills dominate the front ends. The F Sport shows off an egg crate grill, which looks better to me.

The smaller RX 350 is geared to tighter back roads while the RX 350L shows its extra weight in tighter turns. There is a bit of firmness in the suspension so bigger bumps are noticed at lower speeds.

On the highway, the RX350 is one quiet cruiser. The eight speed automatic is smooth but it tries to quickly shift to higher gear for better fuel economy.

Both RX models came with AWD and the smaller RX 350 scored 22.4 mpg and the larger RX 350L was 20.4 mpg. Neither is at top-of-the-class for MPG but both were close to their sticker estimate.

The smaller RX 350 with the F Sport package seems to be a bit quicker than its stretched out counterpart.

Dual exhaust outlets add some visual punch.

The F Sport model also has big 20-inch wheels.

The smaller RX 350 was an F Sport trim with a sportier theme and style. It has unique leather seats that are heated and ventilated and provide plenty of comfort.

The F Sport sports a business like interior. With large 12.3” screen.

Both RX models came with the large 12.3 inch NAV system that has great looking graphics, but the control mouse is a bit touchy.

2019 Lexus RX 350L

The heavier RX 350L feels a little slow when five of the six seats are filled.

Both versions of the car are easy to live with on a daily basis, and do a decent job of handling all-road surfaces. Both are confident in turns without lean.

Usually when you stretch a vehicle it looks odd but the RX 350L seems to buck that fate. You really have to look closely to notice that extra space behind the back doors.

The bigger Lexus has a grill with horizontal bars.

The Lexus RX 350 is a popular crossover but it wasn’t always big enough. Now with the new RX 350L joining the lineup, look for more of these luxury Utes hitting the road. You can’t miss it.

Climbing inside the RX crossover, I notice a more luxury look and feel than the previous generation RX 350. High-quality materials make for a nice visual as well as a nicer feel. And Lexus does it for under $60,000 for either RX model.

Behind the wheel of either Lexus RX crossover, you get a comfortable ride.

The larger RX 350L is also a nice place to spend time. The two-tone color interior has more of a luxurious feel and the seats also come heated and cooled for a modest upcharge — worth the extra $640.

Both RX models have plenty of space for front and backseat riders with a decent amount of head and leg room for the crossover class.

The second row of the RX 350L had optional captain’s chairs limiting it to two people. The RX 350L is stretched by over 4 inches allowing space for a third row of seats. That third row is a great addition but it’s really meant for children or smaller adults on short trips only. Getting in and out of either RX is easy with large doors.

They also make it a snap to load cargo but be careful in smaller spaces especially with the RX 350L’s rear doors. Cargo space is limited with the third row in use but you gain more room with the seat folded.

Mike Parris is a member of the Washington Automotive Press Association. The vehicles are provided by DriveShop, FMI, NAVS DC or Motus One for the purpose of this review.

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