2018 Lexus RX 350: America’s Best-Selling Luxury SUV Since Day One

The Lexus RX originally came to the US as a 1999 model. The 2018 Lexus RX 350 represents the third model year of the fourth generation of this very successful mid-size two-row luxury SUV. RX stands for “Radiant Crossover.” The Lexus RX has been spectacularly successful in the United States, where it has been the top-selling luxury SUV since it appeared on the market nearly two decades ago.

As one of the earliest entrants in the segment, it has set the standard for what Americans expect in a vehicle of this type. That it retains the sales crown, in the face of competing entries from most other luxury brands, is a testament to the rightness of the concept and execution of the Lexus RX. That being said, the expressive styling of the current generation is definitely a matter of personal preference!

What’s New On The 2018 Lexus RX 350

On the 2018 Lexus RX 350, Enform Safety Connect and Service Connect are now complimentary for first 10 years of ownership. A sunroof and the blind spot monitoring system are now available on the base model.

Available In Gasoline Or Hybrid Versions

The 2018 Lexus RX 350 is the best-selling RX, powered by a 3.5L V6 engine with 295 horsepower, driving the front wheels through an eight-speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. An optional all-wheel drive system uses an electronically controlled coupling ahead of the differential to adjust torque front to rear, depending on road conditions.

The 2018 Lexus RX 350 F Sport is a sportier take on the standard RX 350. It comes with adaptive variable suspension and 20” wheels for improved handling. Outside, there’s a blackout mesh grille. Inside, you get an 8” LCD instrument cluster, supportive quilted seats, a unique perforated leather-wrapped shift lever and sport steering wheel, aluminum interior trim, and drilled aluminum pedals.

The Lexus RX 450h is the top-selling Lexus hybrid. It starts with the RX 350’s 3.5L V6 and adds two electric motors to produce a total of 308 system horsepower. All-wheel drive is standard, since the rear wheels are driven electrically. A 37 kW nickel metal hydride battery powers the system.

One Trim Level Plus Option Packages

The 2018 Lexus RX 350 is very well equipped, with the following items as standard equipment:

  • 10-Way power front seats with power two-way lumbar adjustment.

  • Acoustic glass windshield.

  • Customizable vehicle settings

  • Dual-zone automatic climate control with air filter

  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated audio controls

  • 9-Speaker Lexus audio system with 8” color display

  • Perforated NuLuxe interior trim.

  • Power liftgate.

  • Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column.

  • SmartAccess with push-button start/stop.

  • Subscription-free traffic and weather updates via HD radio

More RX 350 luxury is available with these optional packages:

  • The Premium Package includes wood trim, leather seats with driver seat memory, and rear armrest with storage box.

  • The Luxury Package includes Premium Package items, plus panorama glass roof, 20” chrome alloy wheels, heated and ventilated front seats, heated wood steering wheel, and semi-aniline leather seats.

  • The Navigation Package has a 12.3” screen, remote touch navigation controller, advanced voice control, and Lexus Enform App Suite.

  • The 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround sound audio system is a freestanding option.

Safety Systems To The Highest Standard

Every 2018 Lexus RX 350 comes standard with Lexus Safety System+. This suite of leading-edge driver assistance technologies includes pre-collision system and pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, intelligent high beam and all-speed dynamic radar cruise control. Rain sensing wipers are also standard, as are ten airbags to protect the occupants of the RX 350.

The 2018 Lexus RX 350 Checks All The Mid-Size Luxury SUV Boxes

For comfort, luxury, capability, and style, the 2018 Lexus RX 350 delivers the goods. It is an appealing package, all wrapped up in the superlative Lexus customer service experience. No wonder it has been so successful during its entire twenty model year run!

About The Author

Stephen Fogel

Stephen follows the global automotive industry on a daily basis, including new model announcements, new technologies, sales trends, and the latest in "green" cars.