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New (3rd Gen) Rx350 Drive Impressions

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I took my RX in for it's valet wash this morning, and while I was there, my dealer offered me a test drive of the new RX350.

Random thoughts -

It's big - feels much "bigger" from the driver's seat (almost Prado size).

The centre console around the gear lever is huge - no more "walk through" in the front seat like the 2nd Gen RX.

Keyless push start just like the IS250

Space saver spare is standard - a full size spare is optional, and takes up some boot space (the spare is no longer mounted under the rear of the car, because the new model has a lockable centre diff that takes up more underbody room)

Boot has more room than the 2nd gen RX.

Comfy driver's seat (like the 2nd gen), lovely steering wheel, gear lever falls easily to hand.

The biggest change - the Sat Nav and EMV screen / navigation (I drove the Sport Luxury model). It's no longer touch screen, it uses a mouse mounted next to the gear lever to select options and menus in the EMV screen. I wasn't too sure about it at first, but it actually works reasonably well. But just like some PC mice, I hope there's a way to turn down the sensitivity of the mouse pointer movement.

Heads up display - nice feature, works well.

Instruments - not exactly an exciting design, but very easy to read.

Ride - definitely firmer than my RX350. As I said, it was a Sport Luxury on 19" Bridgestone Dueller tyres. It's not harsh, but the difference in ride would be, say, an IS250 Prestige or Sport Luxury compared to the Sport - you can definitely feel the much firmer ride in the IS Sport.

Engine - sounds the same, accelerates away from rest similarly, but doesn't seem to have the top end "kick" of the old 2GR FE (the new car is 150Kg heavier).

Steering - a little firmer, but not a huge difference

Centre stack, audio and HVAC controls - works well, nice to look at, but imo the a/c vent design looks a little old fashioned.

6 Speed gearbox - like the IS250, if left in "D", it seems to swap from 2nd to 3rd too quickly for my liking.

I'm sure there will be plenty of Lexus owners checking it out at their dealer soon.




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