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2011 Lexus RX 350 Review

The 2011 Lexus RX 350 is a class-leading SUV for its comfortable and luxurious interior and excellent fuel economy. It’s not sporty and it only seats five, but reviewers said it’s one of the best luxury crossovers you can buy.

Pros & Cons

  • Smooth ride
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Quiet, luxurious interior
  • Not as sporty as some in the class

Rankings & Awards

The 2011 Lexus RX 350's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2011 Luxury Midsize SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2011 Best Luxury Midsize Crossover for the Money award and the winner of our 2011 Best Luxury Midsize SUV for Families award. Currently the Lexus RX 350 has a score of 9.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 52 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 9.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.7
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 Lexus RX 350 Overview

When it was new, we named the 2011 Lexus RX 350 the Best Luxury Midsize Crossover for the Money because it offered the best combination of positive reviews and ownership costs in the class. It’s hard to find another upscale crossover that does a better job wrapping comfort and luxury into the same package. Standard features are typical for the class and include cloth seats, a nine-speaker audio system with Bluetooth audio streaming and automatic dual-zone climate control. The extensive options list when it was new includes features like navigation, exterior upgrades, a rear-seat entertainment system and leather upholstery. Plus, if you want even better fuel economy than the RX 350 can offer, you can opt for the hybrid RX 400h.

Though the 2011 Lexus RX is a fantastic crossover, it may not be for everyone. It only has two rows, so those who need seven seats are out of luck. It also can’t tow or go off-road like some of its truck-based competitors, so if you need rugged capability out of your luxury SUV, you’ll want to look elsewhere. Reviewers also mentioned that although the RX has a smooth, comfortable ride, it’s not sporty. However, if you’re looking for a five-seat crossover and don’t need razor-sharp handling or tons of power, the 2011 RX 350 should be at the top of your list.

See the full list of 2011 Lexus RX 350 specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you want a five-seat SUV with bold styling and great handling, consider the 2011 Infiniti FX. Test drivers loved its beautiful, high-tech cabin and its firm, sporty ride. They said it’s one of the best-handling luxury SUVs you can buy, and they appreciated the extra power you can get from the FX 50’s V8 engine. The Infiniti FX’s fuel economy isn’t quite as good, but for a standout SUV that’s actually fun to drive, the Infiniti FX is a great choice.

Test drivers also liked the 2011 Acura MDX. It offers a third row of seats, so if you need to fit more passengers than the FX and RX can hold, it’s a good choice. While its fuel economy isn’t great and it’s not as sporty as the Infiniti FX, it has composed handling for an SUV and includes many interior tech features.

Compare the RX to the FX and MDX »

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