2020 Lexus RX Review

2020 Lexus RX - The practical 2020 Lexus RX 350 AWD F Sport is fun to drive.


Price: $51,750

Pros-Fast. Posh. Roomy. Supple ride. Good handling. All-wheel drive. Safety features.

Cons-High step-in. Narrow rear door openings. Fairly high cargo opening.

Bottom Line-One of the top performance/luxury SUVs.

The 2020 Lexus RX 350 AWD F Sport is one of those fairly rare SUVs that combines style, luxury, roominess and is also fun-to-drive.

This is a handsome SUV. While there are no major styling changes from 2019, each individual grille block has a different shape and angle to create a varying form for a strong, elegant image. I'm no fan of any Lexus grille but found this one to be acceptable.

Other F Sport features include a unique steering wheel and shift knob, aluminum pedals, bumpers, badges, front seats, aluminum ornamentation and 20-inch wheels. There also are extra=large power-folding EC mirrors with memory, LED ambient illumination and stainless steel rear door garnish.

There also are rather narrow OPTIONAL running boards, which are needed for some less agile folks because it takes a bit of extra effort to climb into the rather high interior. I'm rather agile, so I didn't use them-they just got in the way.
The RX in various model forms is the top-selling Lexus, and I found the nicely sized four-door hatchback RX 350 AWD F Sport is the most desirable. It's especially for those who like to drive but must have a practical, roomy, five-passenger vehicle.

This Lexus has a 109.8-inch wheelbase and is 195.2 inches long. Its19.4 curb-to-curb turning circle, making it fairly easy to enter an average parking spot. However, the RX 350 AWD F Sport weighs a hefty 4,387 pounds, so estimated city fuel economy is only so-so for a fast, luxurious heavy SUV at an estimated 19 miles per gallon in the city. However, the the highway figure is a decent 26 m.p.g.

Fuel tank capacity is 19.2 gallons and 91-octane fuel is recommended.

Powering the RX 350 AWD F Sport is a 3.5-literV-6 with 295 horsepower and 267 ft./lbs. of torque, so it makes quick work out of 60-80 m.p.h. passing on open roads. Power flows through a responsive eight-speed CVT automatic transmission with a quick-acting manual shift feature. Lexus provides a 0-60 m.p.h. time of 7.9 seconds for the AWD version. It felt faster.

A driver can select economy, regular or sport modes via a console dial. The most sporting is Sport+ mode, which modifies the steering, transmission and the suspension for very sporting driving on, say, winding roads. However, I found the ride remains supple after switching from Economy to Sport or Sport+ modes. This is a rather firmly sprung SUV that won't beat you up despite good handling in all modes.

The steering in rather heavy in all modes, but feels good and is very accurate. There are firmer stabilizer bars with reinforced bushings to red body roll and improved steering response.

There are front/rear performance dampers,, a stiffer suspension and added active corner braking to help prevent understeering. It rather surprised me that something so fairly large an tall could sweep through freeway entrance on and off ramps with such aplomb. Of course, the all-wheel-drive system helps.

The power heated front seats are nicely shaped and a tilt-telescopic wheel will assist drivers of various sizes. There's plenty of front/rear room for occupants in the quiet, definitely Uptown interior, which has backlit gauges, nice stitching and soft-touch surfaces throughout. There's Apple CarPlay and Android auto features and a 9-speaker Lexus multimedia system.

There's also an 8-inch touchscreen that I found easy to use, but didn't bother with the remote touchpad. The manual dashboard controls for such things as sound, heated seat and dual-zone automatic climate controls are handy if a driver doesn't want to bother with the touchpad or screens.

The cargo area is moderately roomy, but extra-large when the rear seat backs are flipped forward. The load  sill is rather high but the power tailgate swings up smoothly and lowers with a warning sound to prevent bumped heads.

The RX 350 is essentially a family vehicle so it's  loaded with safety features, including 10 air bags, a pre-collision system with pedestrian protection, dynamic radar cruise control and a lane-departure alert with steering assist.

Handy but often costly options on my RX 350 included a panoramic moonroof, blind spot monitor with intuitive parking assist, panoramic view minor with rear cross-traffic braking, navigation system a color heads-up display I found handy and a Mark Levinson 15-speaker premium audio system. They all brought the RS's bottom-line rice to $59,760, not counting a $1,025 delivery, processing and handling fee that brought the total price to $60,785.

The upscale nameplate of this tightly built, solid-feeling SUV should help its resale value.





Dan Jedlicka

Dan Jedlicka's Website

Dan Jedlicka joined the Chicago Sun-Times in February 1968 as a business news reporter and was named auto editor later that year. He has reviewed more than 4,000 new vehicles for the Sun-Times--far more than any newspaper auto writer in the country. Jedlicka also reviewed vehicles for Microsoft Corp.'s MSN Autos Internet site from January, 1996, to June, 2008.

Jedlicka remained auto editor at the Sun-Times until October, 2008, and continued writing for the newspaper's AutoTimes section, which he started in 1992, until February, 2009. While continuing his auto writings at the Sun-Times, he served as assistant financial editor of that newspaper from 1970 to 1973, when he began his automotive column.

He has appeared on numerous radio and television shows, including NBC's "Today," ABC's "20/20" and "The CBS Evening News." He was a host, consultant and writer for Fox-TV Channel 32's 1991 New Car Preview show and that Chicago-based station's 1992, 1993, 1994 and 1995 Chicago Auto Show Previews.

Jedlicka's auto articles have been printed in national magazines, including Esquire and Harper's. His auto columns have been reprinted in U.S. government publications and economic textbooks and he is profiled in the "World's Greatest Auto Show" history book about the Chicago Auto Show. In late 1975, Jedlicka was host and technical advisor for three one-hour television specials, "Auto Test 76," which aired nationally on PBS and were the first nationally televised auto road test shows.

In 1995, Jedlicka was the recipient of the Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois Inc.'s Consumer Education Award, given annually to a person who has gained distinction in the field of consumer education. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Media category and inducted into the Legends of Motorsports Guild at the Carquest World of wheels custom car show in Chicago in January, 2006.

Jedlicka was a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year jury, composed of a select number of auto journalists from throughout the country, from 1995 until 2009. From 2010 to 2012, he was a member of Consumer Digest magazine's auto experts panel that gave Best Buy new vehicle recommendations.

He is a 1987 graduate of the Bob Bondurant Race Drivers School and later of the BMW "M" and Skip Barber Advanced Driving schools. He was a member of the U.S. team that participated in the 1987 1,000-mile Mille Miglia race/rally in Italy and has been a race winner at the Chicago area's Santa Fe Speedway.

Jedlicka has owned 25 classic cars, including 1950s and 1960s Ferraris and 1950s and 1960s Porsches, a 1965 Corvette, a 1967 Maserati and a 1957 Studebaker supercharged Golden Hawk. Jedlicka resides with his wife, Suzanne, in the Frank Lloyd Wright historic district of Oak Park. They have two children, James and Michele.

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