$35,747 - $42,105

2016 Lexus RX 350 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 Lexus RX 350 was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 8.1

Upscale materials in the cabin give the 2016 Lexus RX 350 a premium, almost luxurious feeling and design, according to automotive journalists. They also write that the back seat offers ample passenger room and the front seats are comfortable as well. Critics appreciate the quality of the available sound systems, but they report that the infotainment system controls are unwieldly and would prefer a touch screen. They report that the storage space is adequate, although cargo capacity is low for the class.

  • "Futuristic and classic, the new RX includes well thought out design and high quality materials that should last for the long haul." -- Left Lane News
  • "Near-luxury crossovers such as the Nissan Murano and Jeep Grand Cherokee were encroaching on the outgoing RX's plasticky cabin, so the new model made a big step up in interior quality. Beautifully stitched leather and premium soft-touch surfaces abound, and ergonomics are top-notch, thanks to logically arranged buttons on the center stack that fall easily to hand." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Although the latest RX's interior has been fully redesigned just like the exterior, changes to the cabin seem almost inconsequential in comparison to the totally new shape of the body. Still, there are many new items to notice inside the cabin -- and we think there's a lot to like." -- AutoTrader
  • "The finish is first rate and the seats are firmly comfortable." -- AutoWeek

Seating

The 2016 Lexus RX 350 comes standard with leatherette upholstery and seats five. Sliding and reclining rear seats and 10-way power adjustable front seats are also standard. Available features include leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats and power-folding and heated rear seats. Reviewers report that the RX 350 is plenty comfortable, especially with upgraded seats. They add that the reclining and folding rear seats are roomy, comfortable and convenient.

  • "It's roomier in back, compared to the typical compact crossover, and generally more spacious feeling than its predecessor. The power rear seat backs fold forward and flat with switches on the dash, the rear seat bottoms and just inside the hatch." -- AutoWeek
  • "The standard 10-way power-adjustable front seats can be upgraded with the optional Luxury Package. With it, they come wrapped in semi-aniline leather and have power lower cushion lengtheners, making these the most comfortable seats in the whole lineup." -- Cars.com
  • Although backseat leg- and headroom are similar to the smaller, but surprisingly spacious Lexus NX, the RX's added width makes it feel much bigger. There isn't quite as much headroom as one would find in an Acura MDX or BMW X5, but we wouldn't call it confining, and those in the market for a midsize SUV should find it more than sufficient. We also appreciated the ample amount of rear-seat recline (especially with optional power adjustment) as well as the larger, optional rear entertainment screens that tilt to assure a perfect viewing angle." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

The 2016 Lexus RX 350’s standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, USB ports, a rearview camera, Siri Eyes Free, a nine-speaker audio system and an infotainment system with an 8-inch display screen and voice recognition, Bluetooth and HD Radio. Available features include the Lexus Enform App Suite and smartphone integration, a rear-seat entertainment system, satellite radio, a color heads-up display, a panoramic moonroof, a larger (12.3-inch) infotainment display screen, a 12-speaker Pioneer audio system, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system, pre-collision warning, lane departure alert, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, panoramic view monitor, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and navigation with Lexus’ Remote Touch system.

Automotive writers appreciate the sound quality of the audio systems in the RX 350. They also praise the available 12.3-inch screen for its dual-screen ability and for being easily visible. However, most critics dislike the Lexus Remote Touch system, saying that it is difficult to use while driving and adding that a touch screen would be a welcome improvement.

See 2016 Lexus RX 350 specs »

  • We also like the RX's new infotainment system, which offers a huge screen that allows for a dual-screen setup. One benefit of the new model is that the system is placed a little higher on the dashboard so you don't have to take your eyes as far off the road in order to read it. But we'll echo virtually everyone else's complaint that the Remote Touch system is hard to use, even after all its refinements and iterations. Simply put, we'd rather have a touchscreen." -- AutoTrader
  • "Either way, even if the Remote Touch joystick is better than the touchpad (and we certainly appreciate the newfound ability to press down on it to engage 'enter'), it remains one of the more frustrating and distracting electronics interfaces. The touchscreens and knob controllers of competitors simply don't require the degree of dexterity and concentration to accomplish most tasks." -- Edmunds
  • A larger 12.3-inch display is offered as an upgrade from the standard 8-inch screen. The larger screen makes following navigation routes a bit easier. But for clearest turn-by-turn, opt for the Head Up Display, which projects directions onto the windshield." -- Forbes
  • "Imagine driving down the road while using a laptop computer, with the display screen sitting on the dash and your wireless mouse in your lap, as you try to identify icons on the screen and navigate the cursor to select them. This is essentially what Lexus is having drivers do with the RX's Remote Touch Interface system, and it's horrible. The automaker is long overdue for rethinking how it approaches its multimedia system, and given that neither Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are even planned for the RX, it would seem that the whole multimedia strategy needs a redo if the brand wants to attract younger buyers." -- Cars.com
  • "Resting neatly atop the dash is an available 12.3-inch infotainment screen that offers full-width map display. And it's always nice to see volume and tune knobs still operating the audio systems, including the optional 835-watt Levinson unit." -- Motor Trend

Cargo

The 2016 Lexus RX 350 comes standard with a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat and a power liftgate. There is also an optional hands-free power liftgate. The RX 350 provides 18.4 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the second row of seats and 56.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down. These numbers are among the smallest in the class. There is an additional storage compartment under the cargo area floor. Reviewers say that it is easy to load cargo into the RX, but they note that the cargo space is somewhat limited because of the liftgate’s steep slope.

  • In terms of cargo space, the steeply raked liftgate has reduced versatility. There really isn't much space above the cargo cover line, meaning that taller items either won't fit or will have to be placed atop the 40/20/40-split rear seat that doesn't quite fold flat. Therefore, the cargo area is far more trunklike than those of its competitors, but it is very deep and wide, which makes it easy to load cargo. Accessing it is also enhanced for 2016 with an available touch-free opening mechanism activated by holding one's hand (or elbow, forehead, whatever) over the Lexus emblem." -- Edmunds
  • Carrying capacity has been increased, but by how much isn't clear due to a shift in standards used for measurement calculations. The 2015 RX offered 40 cu. ft. of cargo capacity, but new standards show a confusing 18.4 cu. ft., which isn't much more than a Honda Fit. Sufficed to say, the RX can hold more bikes, strollers, and golf bags than a subcompact, but we'll have to take Lexus' word that it's more than the previous generation." -- Forbes
  • "A power lift gate comes standard, with memory that allows users to set its stop position as tastes or garage space demand, and it opens to expose more cargo space than you'll find in any sedan's trunk." -- AutoWeek

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