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2020 Lexus RX 350 Review

The 2020 Lexus RX 350 ranks in the top half of the luxury midsize SUV class. It has an abundance of standard safety tech, a pillowy ride, and a potent V6 engine, but most rivals have more cargo room.

Pros & Cons

  • Robust engine
  • Gentle ride
  • Upscale cabin
  • Less sporty than rivals
  • Small cargo hold

New for 2020

  • Refreshed interior and exterior styling
  • Standard touch-screen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa

8.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.0
Safety: 9.4
Reliability:
This rating isn’t available yet for the current model year. In the meantime, last year’s rating of 4.5 for reliability is being used to calculate this vehicle’s overall score.
TBD

Is the Lexus RX 350 a Good SUV?

Yes, the RX is a good luxury midsize SUV. Its cabin is full of premium materials, and there’s plenty of space. The RX 350 has a silky ride, even over bumps and dips in the road, and it’s more fuel-efficient than many of its rivals. However, both the two-row RX and the three-row RX L have small cargo holds, and some of this SUV's rivals are more fun to drive.

Lexus also offers the hybrid RX 450h, which we review separately.

Should I Buy the Lexus RX 350?

Fuel-efficient, powerful, and comfortable, the Lexus RX checks most of the boxes for being an excellent commuter vehicle. Its list of standard safety features help make it a great family vehicle too. However, there are great options in this class, like the Audi Q7. It has more athletic handling, and it rivals the RX for comfort and power. The nonluxury Toyota Highlander offers many of the amenities found in the RX 350, such as a standard V6 powertrain, at a more affordable price.

Compare the RX 350, Q7, and Highlander »

Should I Buy a New or Used Lexus RX 350?

The 2020 Lexus RX belongs to a generation that launched for the 2016 model year. It underwent a midcycle refresh for 2020, gaining new exterior styling, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto smartphone integration. It also received a standard touch-screen infotainment system. This new interface is much easier to use than the outgoing system, which relies on the mouselike Remote Touch controller. That update alone makes the 2020 RX 350 worth the added cost for many shoppers.

You may be able to save money with a used model. If you’re shopping for the three-row RX L, stick with a 2018-or-newer model, as 2018 was the year this extended-wheelbase Lexus debuted.

Be sure to read our 2017, 2018, and 2019 Lexus RX 350 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Used Car Deals page to learn about savings and discounts on used vehicles.

Compare the 2018, 2019, and 2020 RX 350 »

We Did the Research for You: 41 Reviews Analyzed

By researching Lexus RX 350 reviews, our hope is to provide you with the information you need to make car shopping a breeze. You'll find everything you need to know about this SUV in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, safety scores, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 41 Lexus RX 350 reviews. This RX review incorporates applicable research for all vehicles in this generation, which spans the 2016 through 2020 model years.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve been reviewing cars since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. We also award the Best Cars for the Money, Best Cars for Families, and Best Vehicle Brands on an annual basis. To ensure our impartiality, a third party handles our advertising, and we don't accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much Does the Lexus RX 350 Cost?

At the time of writing, Lexus has not released official pricing for the 2020 RX.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

Lexus RX 350 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Lexus RX 350 or Toyota Highlander?

The Toyota Highlander is essentially the nonluxury version of the Lexus. This midsize SUV comes standard with the same V6 engine and transmission as the Lexus, and both vehicles offer a hybrid powertrain. There are a few differences though. While the base Highlander seats eight, you’ll have to upgrade to the RX L to get three rows in the Lexus, and even then it only seats seven. The Highlander has more overall cargo space with its second and third rows folded, but the RX has more room for cargo when all seats are upright. The Highlander has more standard safety features and will likely have a lower starting MSRP. Unless the interior luxury of a Lexus is important to you, go with the Toyota.

Which Is Better: Lexus RX 350 or BMW X5?

The BMW X5 is another good luxury midsize SUV. It’s much nimbler around corners than the Lexus, and the all-new high-performance M50i model has a twin-turbocharged V8 engine with significantly more horsepower than the Lexus V6. The X5 has more cargo room too. However, the Lexus has a higher-quality cabin and more passenger space than the BMW, and the RX likely costs much less. Both of these are good vehicles, but the X5 is a little better overall.

Compare the RX 350, Highlander, and X5 »

RX 350 Interior

How Many People Does the RX 350 Seat?

In its standard setup, the RX 350 seats up to five people. Synthetic leather upholstery and power-adjustable front seats are standard. Upgrade to the RX L, and you get genuine leather upholstery and a third row, boosting occupancy to seven. Heated and ventilated front seats are available, as are semi-aniline leather seats, power-folding and reclining second-row seats, heated second-row seats, and a heated steering wheel. Second-row captain’s chairs and ventilated second-row seats are available in RX L models only.

There’s plenty of head- and legroom in both rows of the base RX 350, in part because the second row slides and reclines. The seats are comfortable too, though taller drivers may feel confined in F Sport models.

RX 350 and Child Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the RX’s rear outboard seats, as well as a tether-only connection for the rear middle seat. The middle seat has the ability to borrow a lower anchor from adjacent seats. RX L models get another tether anchor for the third row.

RX 350 Interior Quality

This luxury crossover has a classy, upscale cabin with lots of soft-touch surfaces. However, a few rivals are even more opulent.

RX 350 Cargo Space

The RX 350 has 18.4 cubic feet of space behind the second row of seats and 56.3 cubic feet behind the first. That’s subpar compared to other luxury two-row SUVs. The RX 350L adds a little more room, reaching up to 58.5 cubic feet of space. That’s poor for a luxury three-row SUV. Additionally, the back seats don’t fold flat, which creates an uneven load floor.

RX 350 Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard equipment includes an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, a nine-speaker sound system, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and six USB ports.

Lexus Remote Touch is available, as are a 12.3-inch dual-screen display, a 12-speaker stereo, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, navigation, and the Lexus Enform App Suite, which adds app connectivity services such as Slacker and iHeart Radio.

Lexus’ decision to add a touch screen draws praise from most critics because the Remote Touch interface – which is still available – can be frustrating to use.

Read more about interior »

RX 350 Performance

RX 350 Engine: Strong and Capable

Under the hood of every RX 350 is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The engine produces ample power for most driving situations, and the smooth-shifting automatic transmission is responsive.

RX 350 Gas Mileage: Fuel-Sipper

At the time of writing, the EPA has not evaluated the 2020 RX 350 for fuel economy. The nearly identical 2019 Lexus RX crossover gets 20 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, and the RX L gets 19 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Those are great estimates for the luxury midsize SUV class. For all-wheel-drive models, subtract 1 mpg from each figure.

For something more efficient, you might consider the Lexus RX 450h, which we review separately.

RX 350 Ride and Handling: Cruise in Comfort

The Lexus RX has a silky smooth ride, even over rough pavement. It’s not particularly agile, although F Sport models get a retuned suspension system that provides a more controlled ride. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Read more about performance »

RX 350 Reliability

Is the Lexus RX 350 Reliable?

The 2020 RX does not yet have a predicted reliability rating from J.D. Power, but it belongs to a generation that typically receives above-average ratings.

Lexus RX 350 Warranty

Lexus covers the 2020 RX with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

RX 350 Safety

RX 350 Crash Test Results

At the time of writing, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested this luxury crossover.

RX 350 Safety Features

Standard driver assistance features in the base RX 350 include a rearview camera, forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam headlights, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.

Blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, a surround-view parking camera system, and adaptive headlights are available.

Read more about safety »

Lexus RX 350 Dimensions and Weight

The 2020 RX 350 is about 16 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,222 to 4,387 pounds. Its gross vehicle weight rating ranges from 5,666 to 5,864 pounds.

Where Is the 2020 Lexus RX 350 Built?

Lexus builds the 2020 RX in Japan and Canada.

Which Lexus RX 350 Model Is Right for Me?

Lexus offers the 2020 RX in three main variants: RX 350, RX 350L, and F Sport. All models have the same powertrain. The RX 350L adds a third row of seats, and F Sport models – as the name suggests – are sportier. Picking the right one depends on what features you’re looking for in your Lexus. We review the hybrid RX 450h separately.

At the time of writing, Lexus has not released pricing for the RX 350.

Lexus RX 350

The entry-level RX 350 features an 8-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, six USB ports, a nine-speaker stereo, Bluetooth, satellite radio, HD Radio, NuLuxe synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, and proximity keyless entry.

A suite of standard safety features includes a rearview camera, automatic high-beam headlights, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, a pre-collision warning and braking system, pedestrian detection, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and adaptive cruise control.

At the time of writing, Lexus has not released information on packages for the 2020 RX.

Lexus RX 350L

The RX 350L gains third-row seating, tri-zone automatic climate control, and a power liftgate.

Lexus RX 350 F Sport

F Sport models come with heated and ventilated front seats, a sport-tuned suspension, and unique interior and exterior styling elements. Also, the F Sport cannot be had in an RX L configuration.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Lexus dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Lexus deals page.

See 2020 Lexus RX 350 specs and trims »

The Final Call

The Lexus RX is an appealing luxury crossover SUV. Comfortable, capable, and elegant, it brings a lot to the table. However, cargo space is lacking, even when comparing the three-row RX L to nonluxury two-row SUVs like the Hyundai Santa Fe. The luxury midsize SUV class is competitive, and plenty of rivals have strengths of their own.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The RX is handsome and competent, and thanks to the freshened infotainment systems, it’s now much easier to use. If we were in Lexus’s position, we wouldn’t have changed more, either." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "It's no coincidence that the RX 350 is one of the best-selling luxury SUVs in America. It's a benchmark of quality, comfort and consistency. Changes for 2020 appear minor but are significant enough to keep the RX at the front of the luxury pack. The RX doesn't generate the kind of adrenaline rush of some of its rivals, but it has everything you need in equal amounts." -- Edmunds
  • "With its updated styling, better technology, advanced safety, and Pura Vida attitude, the 2020 Lexus RX will continue to be the brand's sales leader when it arrives at dealers at the end of August. This much-needed update will bring a breeze of fresh air to the crossover." -- Motor Trend

Buying

Expert Advice

Last Updated: November 22, 2019

Class-Leading Sales: The Lexus RX is the best-selling luxury midsize SUV this year, outpacing the popular Acura MDX by more than 2 to 1. Lexus dealers have sold about the same number of RX models this year relative to the same span in 2018.

Research more buying advice »
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