2009 Lexus RX 350 | new car review

Posted on Jun 28, 2009 by

With its smoothly modern looks and near-perfect market niche satisfaction, you could think that the new RX had just been designed in response to the car-buying public’s want for quality crossover vehicles; vehicles that mix the driving feel of normal passenger cars with the space, safety and practicality of SUVs. But you’d be wrong – the RX has been around for a good while indeed; either the manufacturer correctly guessed that this type of vehicle would be come more and more popular, or they were just plain lucky!

In keeping with the crossover theme, the RX rides high on jacked-up suspension and a car-derived chassis, and it is this taller suspension, bigger wheels and taller cabin that give these crossover vehicles they’re SUV-like looks. This type of car, albeit four-wheel-drive, actually sacrifices off-road capabilities in favour of better on-road manners, and while the 4×4 system and taller suspension will give you more off-road options, the RX most certainly is not a dune-basher.

Careless off-roading would only spoil this car’s good looks anyway. The sculpted front end gives the RX a reasonable amount of ground-clearance that will probably never get used, and coupled with the raked-back headlights, front grille and A-pillars; the lofty RX has a very aerodynamic and lively stance to it, while the higher shoulder lines also help the RX to hide some of that practical extra roofline height. All in a very good-looking car that almost seems to have cornered the crossover SUV market without even trying.

This is a Lexus, so you can expect comfort and quality of finish, but if you do want quite a lot of luxury then you will need to enter the RX range at at least the mid-level. The most basic, entry model, called the ‘Premium’ comes complete with cruise control, a CD/radio audio system with a CD changer and nine speakers, power-adjusting fabric front seats, wood trim, a smart entry and start system, 18-inch alloy wheels, front and rear parking sensors, HID headlights, ABS, stability control and front, curtain, knee and rear airbags. Rising through the spec list to ‘Premium Plus’ and then ‘Luxury’ and as you would expect, the luxury grows with more leather, extra entertainment and clever safety systems.

2009 Lexus RX3502009 Lexus RX3502009 Lexus RX350

There’s a fairly meaty 3.5-litre, V6 petrol engine up front in the RX and with 275bhp and 348Nm of torque, it’s got the brawn to haul the big Lexus around, making use of a modern six-speed automatic gearbox, and of course, the extra grip of the four-wheel-drive system. A safe, comfortable and very presentable crossover indeed that looks to continue its market dominance.


Body TypeEngine (litres)Power (bhp)Torque (Nm)Transmission


Price Range (AED): 161,000-223,300


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