2012 Lexus RX 350 Review
The 2012 Lexus RX 350’s comfortable ride, upscale interior and above-average fuel economy keep it at the top of its class.
Test drivers say the Lexus RX is one of the most well-rounded luxury midsize SUVs you can buy. Its electronics are easy to use, its interior is well-made and it has plenty of power, but it still manages to get great fuel economy. Test drivers say that it’s obvious the RX was one of the first entries in the luxury crossover segment, as Lexus has had plenty of time to get things right.
Some shoppers, and many auto journalists, want an SUV that’s more fun to drive. If you’re trading in your sports car for a more practical family SUV, but still want to be able to have some canyon-carving fun, the RX probably isn’t for you. As most reviewers say, most crossover buyers prioritize interior comfort and drama-free capability in rain or shine. For those shoppers, the Lexus RX 350 is one of the best choices you can make in this class. In fact, the Lexus RX 350 is such a good combination of luxury and value that it earned our 2012 Best Luxury Midsize SUV for the Money award.
Other Luxury SUVs to Consider
Reviewers say the Acura MDX is the Lexus RX’s sportier rival. It’s much more fun to drive, and its engine makes more power. The MDX also offers a bit more cargo space and optional seating for up to seven. All these improvements come with a cost, though: The Acura isn’t as fuel-efficient as the Lexus, and it costs more, too. However, the Acura MDX remains a great choice for shoppers looking for some personality in their SUV’s driving dynamics.
If a sporty ride isn’t as important to you as good fuel economy, but you don’t want to shell out big bucks for the Lexus RX Hybrid, consider the Lincoln MKX. It’s one of the only SUVs that’s more fuel-efficient than the RX 350 in two-wheel drive trim, even with about 30 more horsepower than the gas-only RX 350. Plus, it’s better-equipped than the base Lexus RX. The MKX’s handling isn’t anything to write home about, and its big Lincoln grill may be a turn-off to some, but test drivers say it’s definitely worth taking a look at.
Details: Lexus RX 350
The 2012 Lexus RX is available in one trim, the RX 350, with either front- or all-wheel drive. It’s also available as a hybrid, which is reviewed separately. The biggest news for 2012 is that the RX’s engine can now drink regular gas instead of premium.
See the full list of 2012 Lexus RX 350 specifications.
- "The 2012 Lexus RX 350 leads when it comes to providing a plush ride, a luxurious cabin and everyday utility. For most buyers, those attributes should be enough to overcome its rather uninspiring driving dynamics.” -- Edmunds
- "RX is a Best Buy for its blend of luxurious comfort, practicality, and build quality while adding welcome high-tech features. … This Lexus was one of the first premium-midsize crossover SUVs, and it remains one of the best. If you're considering such a vehicle, put this one near the top of your list.” -- Consumer Guide
- "With a capable V6 engine, a quiet and well-executed interior and plenty of room inside, the 2012 Lexus RX 350 - along with its carbon-footprint-conscious brother, the RX 450h hybrid version - proves that success doesn't require a reinvention of the wheel. It just helps when you hold the original blueprints.” -- Kelley Blue Book