2020 Lexus RX 350 F Sport, Performance surrounded by Luxury
Time certainly does fly. My first experience with the Lexus RX series was back in 1998. I remember the day “Lisa from Lexus” called to tell me I would be getting a new RX model. I wondered, and even asked her, what was an “RX?” In my minds eye, it would be a sporty and sexy new Lexus.
Well, in the traditional sense of the word, perhaps that first crossover to join the luxury lineup of Toyota Motor Company, was not “officially” sexy nor sporty. But, in reality it was every bit of wonderful. With more room than the traditional Lexus of the day, it still provided all the accoutrements that supplied ultimate comfort while still providing the punch that I desired when I touched the accelerator.
Much has changed since those days, while much remains the same. Technological advances are so vast they cannot be understated, but leadership in luxury and comfort remain at the forefront of the Lexus lexicon.
My 2020 model was not “merely” a 350 RX, but an RX 350 all-wheel drive F Sport model. F Sport is the nomenclature that indicates even more pep is nestled under the hood than any traditional Lexus. Brace yourself, literally and figuratively.
F Sport Is More Than Appearance, Emphasizes Performance
A paragraph describing everything R Sport means on the 350 is longer than your arm:
“F SPORT denotes both an appearance package and a Performance package. Both F SPORT packages include unique steering wheel and shift knob, aluminum pedals, bumpers, grille, badges, front seats, meter, aluminum ornamentation and 20” wheels. Front and rear performance dampers, power folding EC mirrors with memory, LED ambient illumination, stainless steel rear door garnish, steering memory with seat memory call, and scuff plates are also included. The Performance Package includes the base F SPORT appearance package and adds Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), based on the Lexus LC500. Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) is added on RX 350 (standard on hybrid). Sound generator, Electric Power Steering (EPS) sport steering, moonroof and heated/ventilated seats are also included in the F SPORT Performance Package.”
RX 350 Favorite Features
One thing I particularly enjoyed is the 12.3 inch screen on my new test model. Much larger and easier to see at a glance when behind the wheel, I find it a much safer alternative to the older and smaller eight inch screen. Twenty-two years ago, eight inch screens were fine. Now, much older eyes demand something that older slower reflexes can focus on much quicker.
Many modern vehicles have audio controls that are near impossible to figure out. I found the controls on the RX 350 F Sport intuitive and easy to operate. Heated steering wheel, seats and other factors made those cold wet winter days much more palatable as well.
Of course, the speed freak inside me was very pleased as well. The 295 horses and 267 lb ft of torque more than answered my need to never lollygag as I pulled onto the freeway. At the same time, I found no need to buy any Exxon-Mobil stock since the miles per gallon still weighed in at a respectable 22 overall and 26 during highway driving.
My test model sported a base MSRP of $51,750. While the performance and luxury packages added a bit less than another 10k to the total. Yes, that’s more than the model I tested back in 1998. However, now that so much more is built in, the RX 350 still offers a lot of value.