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2018 Lexus RX 350 Review

The 2018 Lexus RX 350 ranks near the top of the luxury midsize SUV class, thanks in part to its blissful ride, capable engine, and abundance of standard safety features.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong V6 engine
  • Good fuel economy estimates
  • Generous standard features list
  • Gentle ride
  • Most rivals have more cargo space
  • Distracting infotainment controller

Rankings & Awards

The 2018 Lexus RX 350's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Luxury Midsize SUVs category. It was the winner of our 2018 Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for the Money award and a finalist for our 2018 Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for Families award. Currently the Lexus RX 350 has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 29 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.2
Safety: 9.3
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Lexus RX 350 Overview

Is the 2018 Lexus RX 350 a Good Used SUV?

The 2018 Lexus RX 350 is an excellent luxury midsize SUV with many appealing attributes. We named it our 2018 Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for the Money.

This Lexus SUV has plenty of good traits:

  • Handsome cabin made with quality materials
  • Plenty of standard tech features and driver aids
  • Comfortable, quiet cabin
  • Spacious second-row seats
  • Decent fuel economy estimates for the class

On the flip side, the RX has some drawbacks:

  • Mouse-like Remote Touch infotainment controller is hard to use when driving
  • Less cargo space than rivals
Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal 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 vehicle in our comprehensive Lexus RX 350 review. It combines concrete data (like predicted reliability ratings, crash test results, and cargo space dimensions) with professional evaluations from 33 automotive sources. This Lexus RX 350 review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which ran from the 2016 through 2019 model years.

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 Is the 2018 Lexus RX 350?

There are about 350 listings for the 2018 Lexus RX 350 on our site, with an average list price of $46,300. Prices range from $41,900 to $52,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Lexus RX 350 Cost to Own?

At the time of this writing, we are unable to provide estimated gas, insurance, repair, and maintenance costs for the 2018 Lexus RX.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New RX 350?

There is little difference between the 2018 and 2019 RX 350 models. You can likely spend less and get a virtually identical used model.

Read about the new RX 350 »

The Lexus RX underwent a redesign for the 2016 model year. The 2017 RX 350 gained several standard driver aids, including adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and a pre-collision warning and braking system. The RX L, a long-wheelbase three-row SUV, debuted for the 2018 model year. If those updates aren't important to you, consider saving money with an older model.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 RX 350 »

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How Reliable Is the 2018 RX 350?

The 2018 RX 350 has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about RX 350 reliability »

2018 Lexus RX 350 Recalls

There are no safety recalls for the 2018 Lexus RX as of this writing.

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Lexus RX 350 safety recalls »

Which Used Lexus RX 350 Trim Is Right for Me?

Lexus offers the RX 350 in three variants: the two-row base RX, the three-row RX L, and the F Sport. The base model comes decently equipped with plenty of tech and safety features. Several options and packages are available as well. For example, the Navigation package gives the RX a 12.3-inch display and navigation, but it also comes with the Remote Touch controller, which many found frustrating to use.

  • Lexus RX 350: The base Lexus RX has a 295-horsepower V6 engine, an 8-inch infotainment display, HD Radio, satellite radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, rain-sensing windshield wipers, synthetic leather upholstery, and 10-way power-adjustable front seats. A full suite of safety features come standard as well, including forward collision warning, automatic brake assist, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, pedestrian detection, and adaptive cruise control.
  • Lexus RX 350 L: The RX 350 L adds a power-folding and reclining third row of seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, and genuine leather upholstery.
  • Lexus RX 350 F Sport: RX models equipped with the F Sport package have leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, a sport-tuned suspension, paddle shifters, larger alloy wheels, and revamped exterior and interior styling. This model is only available as a two-row SUV.

See 2018 Lexus RX 350 trims and specs »

What Does Lexus' Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Lexus offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 70,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Lexus extends its original new-car warranty to six years or unlimited mileage. From the day you purchase or lease your Lexus CPO vehicle, you receive complimentary maintenance covering the next four factory-recommended services for two years or 20,000 miles. Every CPO Lexus must pass a 161-point inspection. Additional benefits like loaner cars, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lexus warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Lexus has the best CPO program in the industry.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the RX 350?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the RX a Top Safety Pick, the agency’s second-highest accolade. It gave the 2018 Lexus RX the highest rating of Good in five crash tests. This crossover SUV also received the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention and the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well the headlights illuminate the road. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Lexus RX 350 four out of five stars in the frontal crash and rollover tests and five stars in side crash test. Front-wheel-drive models received a four-star overall rating, while all-wheel drive models earned a five-star overall rating.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • pre-collision warning and braking system with pedestrian detection
  • rearview camera
  • lane departure warning and lane keep assist
  • automatic high beams
  • adaptive cruise control

Available advanced safety features:

  • surround-view parking camera
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • adaptive headlights
  • head-up display

See RX 350 safety scores »

2018 Lexus RX 350 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus RX 350 or 2018 Infiniti QX60?

The 2018 Infiniti QX60 is not a great luxury midsize SUV, at least compared to the Lexus. While it has a comfortable ride, great fuel economy, and straightforward infotainment tech, that’s not enough for us to recommend it over the RX 350. The Lexus boasts a better predicted reliability rating and a longer list of standard safety features. And though the QX60 has a higher maximum cargo capacity, the RX has more cargo space when all the seats are in use. On average, the Lexus RX will cost you around $12,500 more than the QX60, but if your budget stretches that far, pick the Lexus.

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus RX 350 or 2018 Acura MDX?

The 2018 Acura MDX is a decent pick. It has a higher total cargo capacity than the RX 350, and it comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are not available in the Lexus. While few would consider it sporty, the MDX has slightly sharper handling than the RX 350. The Acura has higher safety scores too. On the other hand, the RX 350 has a better predicted reliability rating and more cargo room with all the seats in use. Both of these are fine choices, and selecting one is a matter of personal preference. 

Compare the RX 350, QX60, and MDX »

2018 RX 350 Performance

How Does the 2018 RX 350 Drive?

The sole engine in the 2018 Lexus RX 350 produces ample power for most driving situations. Acceleration is brisk, and the transmission makes smooth and timely shifts. The suspension soaks up road flaws well, giving the RX a gentle ride. It tends to lean noticeably around corners, though, and some rivals are more agile. F Sport models have an adaptive suspension and various driving modes. We review the hybrid RX 450h separately.

  • Base engine: 3.5-liter V6
    • Regular wheelbase: 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque
    • Extended wheelbase (RX L): 290 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive.
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Does the 2018 RX 350 Get Good Gas Mileage?

Both the RX and RX L deliver above-average fuel economy estimates for the class.

  • RX 350, FWD: 20/27 mpg city/highway
  • RX L 350, FWD: 19/26 mpg

For all-wheel-drive models, subtract 1 mpg from each figure.

Read more about RX 350 performance »

2018 RX 350 Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 RX 350 Seat?

This luxury crossover seats five people in two rows in its standard configuration. The RX L adds a third row and seats up to seven. The front seats are plush and comfortable, and the second row has ample head- and legroom for most adults, thanks in part to the standard sliding and reclining seats. The front seats in F Sport models might be tight for larger occupants.

Soft-touch materials line the cabin, and the RX 350’s design is fairly minimalistic compared to luxury vehicles like the 2018 Mercedes-Benz GLE.

Standard seating features:

  • NuLuxe synthetic leather seats
  • 10-way power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • Leather or semi-aniline leather upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Power-folding second-row seats
  • Heated second-row outboard seats (RX L only)
  • Second-row captain’s chairs (RX L only)
  • Heated steering wheel
How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Lexus RX 350?

The RX 350 has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats, and the rear middle seat can borrow a lower anchor from either side. The three-row RX L adds a single tether anchor for the third row. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the RX’s LATCH system a rating of Good+, which is a high rating that few cars earn.

2018 Lexus RX 350 Features

The base infotainment system has an intuitive console-mounted control knob. Navigation-equipped models come with a larger screen as well as the mouse-like Remote Touch controller, which can be difficult to use, especially while driving. Smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is not available.

  • Standard infotainment features: 8-inch infotainment screen, nine-speaker stereo, satellite radio, HD Radio, two USB ports, Bluetooth
  • Available infotainment features: navigation system, 12.3-inch split-screen infotainment system, Enform App Suite, Remote Touch controller, rear-seat DVD Player, and a 12- or 15-speaker premium sound system
  • Additional standard features: push-button start, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: moonroof and head-up display

See 2018 Lexus RX 350 specs »

Read more about RX 350 interior »

2018 Lexus RX 350 Dimensions

Lexus RX 350 Cargo Space

The RX 350 has 18.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and a total of 56.3 cubic feet with them folded down. That’s a decent amount of room, though many rivals have larger cargo holds. Additionally, the back seat doesn’t fold flat, making it tricky to carry bulky cargo. A power liftgate is available.

The RX L has 7.5 cubic feet of space behind the third row. It has 23 cubic feet behind the second row and 58.5 cubic feet with both the second and third rows folded.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Lexus RX 350 Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet to 16 feet, 4 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,222 to 4,619 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 5,666 to 5,986 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Lexus RX 350 Built?

Lexus built the RX 350 in Ontario and Japan.

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