Sunday, January 16, 2011

Review: Lexus RX 350

Lexus RX 350 from Lexus RiverCenter
Pete, my husband, is a new year's baby. So, we always go on a little getaway for his birthday and New Year's. This year, we decided to go somewhere warm and we went to Panama City Beach.

Of course, we made these plans last minute, so flights were outrageous. I asked Lisa, the GM at Lexus RiverCenter, if we could borrow a car and do a review of it on my new blog. She loved the idea and set us up with a 2010 RX 350 to take on the trip.

I was excited to have a spacious car with lots of storage because Pete and I both have little cars as our daily drivers. Not nearly enough room for a long road trip -- or all the shoes I planned to bring for the trip!

Here are the things we loved, and didn't love, about the RX 350.

"I felt like the queen of the road, and this car was my throne"
Didn't love:
  • Pete said it looked like a "grocery getter." Sure, it's no sports car, but I actually think it's the perfect alternative to a mini-van (I solemnly swear to never ever be a mad mom in a mini-van!!). It's soooo much more aesthetically pleasing than a mini-van, but has a lot of the same luxuries of one, like an automatic hatch door, storage, extra cup holders, etc.
  • No GPS. Luckily we had our own GPS we brought with us to navigate our trip, but now I'm spoiled and like it in the dash. My OCD was kicking in a little with all the cords - I didn't like them. So, if I were buying this RX 350, I would've sprung for the upgrade and gotten the GPS.
  • Pete says he likes off-road capabilities in any SUV, which this didn't have. But the realist in me knows he'd never use that. It just makes him feel more manly to know he could take his car off road if he wanted to. Boys and their toys, I swear! :)
We loved the automatic hatch door
What we loved:
  • Heated seats (came in handy coming back from Florida to Ohio). At least my bum felt like it was back on the beach!
  • All the multimedia inputs. Pete completely freaked out when he opened up the console and saw all the power sources, USB ports, and auxiliary hook ups. It could accommodate every single gadget he brought with him. And believe me, that's a difficult feat. We brought a GPS, radar detector, iPod, iPod charger, phone, and camcorder - and the RS 350 handled it all beautifully. 
  • Bluetooth. We set Pete's phone up through Bluetooth, so when anyone called, we could see the caller on the dash screen and it piped the audio through the stereo.
  • Automatic hatch door. It was super handy to press a button from afar and have the hatch open on the back and we could load in our luggage, groceries or purchases we got when we went shopping at Pier Park (we highly recommend going there if you go to PCB!). Then, you can close it with another push of a button.
  • Seat/steering wheel memory. Not only could you program your seat/steering wheel placement preference for multiple drivers (which came in handy when we were switching drivers on the trip). But Pete also loved that every time you turned the car off, the seat automatically moved back and the steering wheel lifted up a few inches to give you extra room to get in and out. Then, when you turned the car on, it automatically moved back to the setting you set when the car was last running. Just a little touch we really liked.
  • Sunroof. We loved this to let in extra sunshine and ocean air when we were at the beach. It was nice and big so it helped us pretend like we were in a convertible and not in an SUV. :)
  • Lots of cupholders. On long trips, the lack of cupholders is always an issue for me. In my car, I only have two. In the RX 350, I counted six cupholders. It was great! We had plenty of cupholders for our water, Gatorade, Red Bull and coffee for our long trip. Unfortunately, this meant lots of bathroom breaks! haha!
  • The spacious RX 350 was great for a road trip
  • Wide spectrum lights. I really loved how well the RX 350 lit up the roads at night. We were driving through the backroads of Alabama at midnight. I've watched waaay too many scary movies and I was fully expecting some demented good ol boy to pop out of some dark wooded area. But with the brights on, it felt like daylight and I wasn't so scared anymore. :)
  • Ride height. I didn't think I would like sitting so high up on the road, because I've always been behind the wheel of road-hugging sports cars. But I loved driving the RX 350. I felt like the queen of the road, and this car was my throne. It set up nice and high, but not too high, and with all the windows, I felt like I had great visibility.
Obviously, there are more "loves" than "don't loves," so it's pretty clear we were huge fans of the RX 350. When we decide to expand our family, I could see us driving this.

Check out the video below as Pete and I give you a tour of the car and what we loved most about it.


  1. I love reading your car adventures, Amy! Lexus, like any other car, have parts you would and wouldn't love. At least with this car, the what-we-loved part outnumbered the didn't-loves. I, too, love its heated seats, multimedia inputs and presence of lots of cupholders; they make up a perfect blend that you wouldn't be bored or uncomfortable during the ride.

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