Car Review: 2013 Lexus RX 350 is a luxury SUV superstar

It is luxury, style and appeal that the 2013 Lexus RX350 offers. Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, May 8, 2013 — Luxury combined with style and an appeal: That’s the way to reach a plethora of audience members and does the 2013 Lexus RX 350 does just that.

The Lexus is luxury with a solid driving impact.

The Lexus is luxury with a solid driving impact.

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Indeed, a leader in its class, offering not only the plushest of plush rides, but the utilitarianism needed to compete against the likes of the Infiniti JX35, Acura MDX and even in some instances the Audi Q5, Mercedes GLK and the Volvo XC60. All have a variety of different size variations and special proportions, but Lexus RX 350 certainly stands out in all areas.

Even better is the the comfortable ride, even in the back seat, and who can argue with its standard features that are generous by any competitor’s standards. New on the 2013 is the styling with function and design changes. The interior stands out here as well, with strong standard features like a power liftgate and key audio interface options.

With easy comfort for five passengers, the 2013 Lexus RX 350 comes in only one trim with standards that include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlamps, fog lamps, LED running lamps, rear privacy glass, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, keyless ignition/entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power front seats, a leather-wrapped power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, sliding and reclining rear seat, cloth upholstery, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a number of audio and tech features.

Extra packages can be had like the Display Audio With Back-up Monitor package, which will give you a rearview camera, larger display screen, Lexus Remote Touch electronics interface, an Enform suite of app-based features, and a 12-speaker sound system.

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For the Premium package, you may add a sunroof, power-folding mirrors, roof rails, rearview camera, leather upholstery, and driver memory functions or add even more with the Comfort or Navigation packages that include automatic wipers, xenon headlamps, and heated, ventilated front seats.

A Luxury package comes as an add-on with the Premium, Comfort and Navigation packages and will give you 19-inch wheels, LED headlamps, 10-way power front seats, heated wood/leather steering wheel, upgraded leather upholstery, and a smog-sensing auto climate control recirculation.

The F Sport package will give you all-wheel-drive with 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, exterior styling extras and a different trim and perforated leather upholstery.

Some features can also stand alone like an automatic parallel parking system and adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision warning system.

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Under the hood the 2013 Lexus RX 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine that gives you 270 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque with a six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Also, note that all-wheel drive is optional and on the F Sport package all-wheel drive is standard with eight-speed automatic.

Safety considerations include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front, rear side, side curtain and front knee airbags as well as a Safety Connect emergency communications system with great safety devises like an automatic collision notification and an emergency assist button. Optional safety features include adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision warning system.

It is hard to find fault with the interior design since the cabin feels comfy and Lexus has used quality materials and tech goodies. Not to be forgotten is the wood trim and high-quality leather, which also add that extra air of luxury.

The knobs and controls are user-friendly and when opting for the Display Audio or Navigation packages, you also get the Lexus Remote Touch system.

In the back seat, passengers will have plenty of room making this a good road trip vehicle with reclining and sliding adjustments and plenty of cargo space up to 40 cubic feet behind the 40/20/40-split-folding rear seats and 80 cubic feet when the seats are stowed. There is not a third-row seat on this one so if looking for that, one of the competitors might be a better option.

Driving is easy thanks to both suspension and steering; it is all about taking and owning the road inside a quiet world where driver and passengers feel good all around.

Should You Need to Know: Take note as there is no third-row seat option, 2013 is also just two years removed from the vehicle’s recent complete overhaul so many changes that were made then are still to be tweaked for perfection.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Lexus RX 350 I drove got 18 to the gallon in the city and 25 on the highway.

Cost: The cost for the Lexus RX 350 2013 Lexus RX 350 with Luxury and Convenience features comes in at $52,185.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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