The Lexus RX 350 F Sport looks confused, to say the least – it’s like its going through puberty, and wants to try a lot of outfits, all at once, to see what fits best. It’s the classic case of overstyling and here’s why.
The 2016 Lexus RX F Sport is the car manufacturer’s high performance version of the 4th-gen RX crossover, which the Lexus first introduced about twenty years ago. It’s the luxury crossover that jump-started everything.
Since its launch, it has enjoyed north of 100,000 annual sales in the US alone. A mark tough to compete with, and only BMW and their 3-Series, with a few other models considered flagships, can boast these numbers.
At the end of 2015, it managed to sell more than 2 million units worldwide, and Lexus was showered with prestigious awards from J.D. Power & Associates, Kelley Blue Book and others.
However, and we don’t get why the sudden change, this new version falls short when compared with its direct competitors from Mercedes, BMW, Porsche, Audi and the exquisite Volvo XC90. Indeed, it’s a huge improvement when you look at previous models, but it doesn’t quite manage to compete with the big boys anymore.
It has more interior room, slightly more power and it’s quite stylized – too much for my taste; but these pros aren’t don’t provide the elegant design, intuitive technology and stable handling that we’ve been accustomed to when we hear a car categorized as luxury. Given that, including options, it’s priced in the same ballpark as $60,000, we expected more from the RX.
The original RX models were the epitome of boring, but that didn’t bothered us. They were boring, but they were very elegant as well. The models didn’t sport that aggressive luxury look that it has now – the company’s words not mine.
In an attempt to appeal to a broader range of individuals, Lexus has plastered razor edges and some sharp style elements all around the car’s exterior.
But, like any botox-infused, plastic-surgery-loving celeb knows, what’s under the hood matters the most.
Yet, the RX F Sport doesn’t quite live up to our expectations in the performance department. Gaining another entry in the list where it falls short. It has a 295-HP engine, but it’s far slower than one of its direct competitors, the Audi Q5 – which even costs a lot less, has better handling and provides similar mileage.
If we add the entry-level Cayenne into the mix, which is just slightly more expensive, but offers tons more power enveloped by a gorgeous exterior, the RX F Sport resembles that cocky kid in the playground that just got a new pair of shoes, and thinks he’s the bee’s knees.