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2021 Lexus RX 350 Review- Trims, Prices, Features, MPG, and Rivals Comparison

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Pranav Gupta

Content Writer

October 22, 2020 at 03:20 PM

Coming into 2021, the Lexus RX 350 is still powered by the same 3.5L V6 engine. Now available on RX F Sport models, the Black Line special edition adds dark accents to the exterior and interior. Elsewhere, the RX gets a new interior color, Glazed Caramel, which replaces Noble Brown. Features like Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and power-folding exterior mirrors are all now standard. The 2021 Lexus RX 350 with an expected release date of early fall 2020, starts from an MSRP of $45,070.

2021 Lexus RX 350 Latest Updates:


Lexus redesigned the RX 350 for 2020MY. Carrying forward its well-rounded character and distinct new styling, the crossover gets mild updates for 2021. A 3.5-liter V-6 is standard in 2021 Lexus RX 350 models while a hybrid powertrain can be found in the RX450h. Upgrading to the F Sport performance adds a base F SPORT package with enticing visual features, and a Handling package, previously known as a Performance package. With an expected release date around the fall of 2020, prices for the 2021 Lexus RX 350 starts off at an MSRP of $45,070 for the Base model, whereas the F Sport model starts off at $48,550. 


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The popular luxury-brand carries the tradition forward and brings Blind-spot Monitor with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Power-folding auto-dim mirrors as standard for all the variants of the 2021 RX 350. Then again, what entices us the most is the 2021 RX 350's plush interior quality, drama-free comfort backed with its nimble ride characteristics. The 2021 Lexus RX 350 offers a distinct character from its sporty European rivals like BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Mercedes-Benz GLC 300, as they fight it out in this premium SUV segment.

2021 Lexus RX 350

Model Specs

Price Range (FWD) $45,050 - $49,235
Price Range (AWD) $46,470 - $50,635
Release Date Fall of 2020
Engine 3.5L Regular Unleaded Naturally Aspirated V6
Transmission 8-Speed Shiftable Automatic
Drivetrain FWD/AWD
Models

4 models- RX 350/ RX 350 F Sport/ RX 350 F Sport Black Line Special Edition/ RX 350L

Colors 9 colors available- Atomic Silver/ Nebula Gray Pearl/ Eminent White Pearl/ Caviar/ Obsidian/ Matador Red Mice/ Nightfall Mica/ Nori Green Pearl/ Moonbeam Beige Metallic
Changes
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Power folding Auto dim mirrors
  • Wireless charging
  • New Glazed Caramel interior color

One thing's for sure, that Lexus will continue to favor its very own bold design cues without bringing about a major change in that area, as it has won the RX a legion of fans all around the world. Offered in 4 models rather than trim offerings, the 2021 Lexus RX 350 encompasses all of the feature updates such as 20-inch Black alloys and Performance-inspired instrumentation cluster privy to the Black Line Special Edition for an SUV under $50,000.

What are the Updated Trims and Features of the 2021 Lexus RX 350?

The 2021 Lexus RX features noticeable changes, like standard safety features across the range, and updated interior trim options on the RX 350 Luxury and Premium variants. Thus, it is expected to be priced higher than the 2020 model. Its price is higher than its American counterparts but still undercuts most of its European rivals. The 2021 RX 350 is slated to start its prices from $45,070 for the FWD setup, and from $46,470 with the AWD configuration. These excluding the $1,025 destination charges. Opt for the F Sport version, and you would have to shell out $48,550 and $49,950 with FWD and AWD configurations respectively. Now, Lexus also has a blacked-out F Sport version of the 2021 RX 350 which starts in at $49,235.

Models

Base

F Sport

F Sport Black Line Special Edition

MSRP(FWD)

$45,070

$48,550

$49,235

MSRP(AWD)

$46,470

$49,950

$50,635

Key Features

18-inch alloy wheels

In addition to or replaces Base trim features with:

In addition to or replaces F Sport trim features with:
 

Dual-zone climate control system

NuLuxe interior upholstery Black headliner
  Lexus 9-speaker Premium Sound

Leather-trimmed steering wheel

Black seats with white accents and blue stitching
 

Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection

Rain-sensing windshield wipers

20-in Black alloy wheels with black wheel locks
 

12.3-inch infotainment display

Advanced Lexus Safety System

Performance-inspired instrumentation including G-meter

Lexus has no dearth of optional features, and the new RX comes with quite a handful of them. Premium Package includes features that are mostly for the inside. Expect it to cost a reasonable $800 on the 2021 RX 350. Luxury Package to return at around $4,200 on the 2021 RX 350. It includes everything in the Premium Package plus 20-inch wheels, power-adjustable thigh support for the front seats, upgraded leather upholstery, and much more. All 2021 RX models will expectantly offer the $315 Cold Weather Package that includes a windshield wiper de-icer, auto-leveling headlights, and a special heater designed to warm the cabin more quickly.


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How does the 2021 Lexus RX 350 fare on the Engine and Performance front?

For 2021, a similar powertrain from the 2020 Lexus RX, a 3.5-liter V6 engine paired with 8-speed automatic transmission is expected to drive the front wheels or all wheels of this midsize luxury crossover. The naturally-aspirated V6 engine is rated at 295 hp and 268 lb-ft of torque, which is the best-in-class. One thing's for sure, Lexus's reputation for reliability is there to assure you that there won't be any major problems on the powertrain front of the SUV. 

The 2021 RX 350 sprints from 0-60 MPH in 7.7 seconds all the way achieving a top speed of 112 MPH (electronically-limited) and that pretty much lags to the direct rivals with similar prices and three-rows. Lexus enhanced the mechanical features for the 2020 model and the 2021 RX will benefit from those as well - enhanced torque vectoring sharpens handling, a stiffer suspension with stiffer anti-roll bars, rigid body structure, and re-tuned dampers for better ride quality. 

Models

2021 Lexus RX 350

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Audi Q5 Premium 45 TFSI

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

MSRP

$45,070

$45,000

$43,300

$42,500

Engine

3.5L Regular Unleaded Naturally Aspirated V6

2.0L BMW TwinPower Turbo Inline-4

2.0L Intercooled Turbo Inline-4 Premium Unleaded

2.0L Intercooled Turbo Inline-4 Premium Unleaded

Drivetrain

FWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

8-Speed Shiftable Automatic

8-Speed Shiftable Automatic

7-Speed Manual

9-Speed Shiftable Automatic

Power

295 hp @ 6,300 RPM

248 hp @ 5,200 RPM

248 hp @ 5,000 RPM

255 hp @ 5,800 RPM

Torque 

267 lb-ft @ 4,700 RPM

258 lb-ft @ 1,450 RPM

273 lb-ft @ 1,600 RPM

273 lb-ft @ 1,800 RPM

The Lexus RX 350 and RX 350 F Sport share the same 295 hp engine and the slick Toyota-derived 8-speed automatic. The F Sport badge adds paddle shifters behind the steering wheel for a more engaging drive. Now comparing the RX to the rest of the segment, it is fairly understood, that the 2021 RX 350 symbolizes value for money, with it having the highest power figures for an affordable price.

How fast is the 2021 Lexus RX 350 from 0-60 MPH?

The 2021 Lexus RX 350 does the 0-60 MPH sprint in just about 7.7 seconds with the FWD system and about 7.9 seconds with the AWD system. This is when it houses the most potent engine and transmission unit in this segment. Moreover, despite the 295 horses, it punches out, the 2021 Lexus RX 350 is by far the slowest of the lot, the reason being mainly because of its 1.6-ton heft.

Lexus never intended the RX 350 lineup to be fast, but provide more of a compliant ride and handling dynamics. Nevertheless, for people wanting more from their $50,000 SUV, Lexus has got you covered on that aspect as well, with the 2021 RX 350 F Sport which is able to sprint from 0-60 MPH in just 6.7 secs.

Models

2021 Lexus RX 350

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Audi Q5 Premium 45 TFSI

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

0-60 MPH 

7.7 sec

6.0 sec

5.9 sec

6.1 sec

Quarter Mile 

16.2 sec

15.8 sec

15.7 sec

15.2 sec

Top Speed 124 MPH 130 MPH 135 MPH N/A

The 2021 Audi Q5, despite having the least number of horses, has Audi's Quattro system backing it up which pushes it to the 60 MPH limit in just 5.9 seconds. It also achieves the highest top speed of 135 MPH. All three German counterparts are more or less on the same stand when it comes to acceleration figures.

What MPG figures does the 2021 Lexus RX 350 return?

With no mechanical or powertrain changes to the 2021 model, Lexus RX shall get similar EPA estimates as the 2020 model year, which is 20 MPG in the city and 28 MPG out on the highway. These are pretty competitive figures, and thus, the 2021 Lexus RX 350 is going to remain competitive and a fuel-efficient offering in the midsize crossover class.

These figures are for the FWD setup, although when you opt for the AWD setup, the figures face a minor decline of about 1 MPG throughout. Having said that, we believe for the price and performance figures that the 2021 RX 350 delivers, a slight trade-off with the fuel-economy department is justified.

Model

2021 Lexus RX 350

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Audi Q5 Premium 45 TFSI

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

MPG (City)

20

23

22

22

MPG (Highway)

28

29

27

27

MPG (Combined)

23

25

24

24

Fuel Capacity

19.2 gallons

17.2 gallons

18.5 gallons

17.4 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

384/518/441 miles

430/499/447 miles

407/518/444 miles

383/505/417 miles

The RX's 19.2-gallon fuel tank is the biggest of the lot, which tells us that the 2021 Lexus RX 350 can cover far longer distances than the rest of the SUVs in the segment. The F Sport version also gets a similar estimate as to the standard RX 350, even though Lexus offers the F Sport badging in AWD configuration only. Gas-only RX uses 87-octane regular-grade gasoline, which does not change for the 2021 model year.

What are the changes made on the Interior front of the 2021 Lexus RX 350?

There are reports suggesting that the 2021 RX 350 will be radically different from the previous model year. The 2021 model year will see the RX cabin filled with the solid-build panel structures and present with richly-padded surfaces almost everywhere you touch. Carrying forward the same opulence as from the 2020 RX, the two-row 2021 Lexus RX 350 offers the best legroom in its class. Lexus's convincing faux-leather NuLuxe upholstery is likely to be standard on the whole 2021 RX range, with F Sport badged extra bolstering and handsome contrasting stitching.

However, the leather upholstery, with genuine wood and aluminum trim is still part of the options list for 2021 RX. Lexus gave the RX range its last major redesign in 2016, and until the next redesign is scheduled, which reportedly is not until 2022, the '21 RX 350 might suffer the flak in front of its younger rivals due to its compromised interior design silhouette. The layout presents the difficulty in accessing the controls on the RX's dashboard and the center console such as for seat temperature, parking brake, and brake-hold.

Model

2021 Lexus RX 350

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Audi Q5 Premium 45 TFSI

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.4/57.8/44.1

41.1/57.6/40.3

41.7/57.7/41.0

37.8/57.3/40.8

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.1/57.6/38.0

39.1/56.0/36.4

39.3/56.5/37.8

38.5/56.5/37.3

Cargo Capacity

16.0 cu-ft

28.7 cu-ft

25.1 cu-ft

19.4 cu-ft

Also, the absence of a panoramic sunroof will no more be felt, as Lexus might add the feature to the available options for the 2021 model year. The only major complaint about the interior of RX 350 comes in the form of its cargo area. You can count on about 16.0 cubic feet behind the rear seats, while the overall cargo space goes up to 32.6 cubic feet. These are subpar ratings for the class. Also, rear seats don’t fold flat, which creates an uneven floor.

What are the Infotainment features on offer in the 2021 Lexus RX 350?

The interior of the 2021 Lexus RX remains the same but the automaker is trying to make you a sweeter deal with an eight-inch infotainment display as standard. After the 2020 update, the 2021 RX 350 has lit instrumentation panels and a user-friendly dashboard. Lexus's addition of the touchscreen control knob to the Remote Touch interface is a welcome change that improves usability and responsiveness. Lexus has improved the software, making it less likely that the on-screen cursor overshoots your intended icon. Unfortunately, the touchscreen is hard-to-reach for the driver so most have to stick with the console touchpad. 

The 2020 refresh added a dedicated space to store smartphones, and now Wireless Charging has been made an optional feature for the 2021 Lexus RX 350. Imbedded navigation will again be available via the Navigation/Convenience Package, and will include the 12.3-inch widescreen, 12-speaker audio system, climate-control smog sensor, and Lexus Enform Remote, which allows users to control certain vehicle features, such as remote engine start, with a smartwatch or Amazon Alexa. It also comes with the automaker’s Dynamic Voice Command, which responds brilliantly to even the most casually spoken requests and orders.

What are the changes made on the Exterior front of the 2021 Lexus RX 350?

No, not until the next-generation arrives. Currently, in its fourth generation, the Lexus has had loads of its customers get hooked onto the RX, mainly because one of the major reasons is its sleek silhouette. So, it goes without question, that Lexus does not want to fiddle with that best-selling exterior structure. The 2021 Lexus RX will carry forward the minor styling revisions that came with the 2020 update. 

The beautiful, sumptuous, and floating roofline is expected to stay for the 2021 version too. Lexus gave the RX new front and rear fascia, different patterns for the front grille, thinner headlights, and new wheel designs. Though you will still have to opt for the Premium or the new Luxury package to get the new five-spoke wheel, triple split, light gray painted 19-inch set of wheels, as it is not standard for the 2021 RX 350.

Model

2021 Lexus RX 350

2021 BMW X3 xDrive30i

2021 Audi Q5 Premium 45 TFSI

2020 Mercedes-Benz GLC 300

Curb Weight

4,222 lbs

4,147 lbs

4,057 lbs

3,891 lbs

Length

192.5"

185.9"

183.6"

183.3"

Width

74.6"

74.4"

74.5"

74.4"

Height

67.7"

66.0"

65.3"

64.5"

Ground Clearance

8.2"

8.0"

8.2"

5.0"

Wheelbase

109.8"

112.8"

111.0"

113.1"

If this isn't enough for you, there will also be the F SPORT version, which will have much better and aggressive styling. The 2020 update did not alter the RX 350’s dimension which remains unchanged in the 2021 model as well. The current-gen RX definitely looks edgy, sporty, and good despite the age. It's fairly proportionate dimensions are also one of many reasons for it to rank so high on the sales graph.


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What are the Safety features on offer with the 2021 Lexus RX 350?

The 2020 RX 350 came standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, which will well be carried over for the 2021 model year but this time, the RX 350 will reportedly be safer than its 2020 counterpart. The 2021 Lexus RX 350 will include Blind-spot Monitor with Rear Cross-traffic Alert and Power-folding auto-dim mirrors as standard across the range. Other than that, the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 already features forward-collision warning, autonomous emergency braking designed to slow or stop the crossover to mitigate a frontal collision, automatic high-beam headlight control, lane-departure warning, and automatic steering correction.

It also comes with adaptive cruise control to maintain a set distance from traffic ahead. These features combined with IIHS's highest “Good” overall crash-test scores and “Acceptable” headlight ratings led to the 2020 Lexus RX 350 being honored with IIHS's 2020 Top Safety Pick rating. We expect the same ratings and features from the 2021 Lexus RX 350 as well. Moreover, with Lexus' reputed reliability, it is further understood that there is none that can match up to the RX 350 is this aspect.

What’s the release date of the 2021 Lexus RX 350 and should you wait for it?

If reports are to be believed, Lexus plans to kick-off the 2021 RX 350's sales from as early as the fall of 2020, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As far as the SUV is concerned, the 2021 Lexus RX 350 does its part to get you to hook onto it, as it packs new segment-best standard safety features with the same design structure, fuel efficiency figures, and handling dynamics as that of the already proven 2020 RX 350. If you're looking for a complete makeover, it'd be better for you to wait another year, as Lexus is reportedly giving the RX 350 a complete overhaul in 2022.


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2021 Lexus RX 350 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is the Lexus RX 350 a good car?

Lexus has always had a penchant to make good reliable consumer-friendly cars. The RX 350 SUV is no different. For a midsize luxury SUV, with a sumptuous and spacious cabin, and an even better driving dynamics, the RX 350 is one of the very few good SUVs out there. It's impressive fuel economy figures further cement our point of it being a good SUV.

Does the Lexus RX 350 require premium gas?

Lexus recommends it's owners to use premium gas instead of the regular one. As using the wrong gasoline may cause a lot of other problems, like decreased fuel economy and engine performance. Lexus recommends its customers to use premium unleaded gasoline with an octane number of 91 or higher because if it's below 91, there is a high chance it could damage the engine.

Is Lexus cheaper to maintain than BMW?

The Japanese marquee automaker is one of the few premium brands which are relatively cheaper to maintain than the other premium offerings such as BMW. The parts for service and maintenance also come at an affordable cost. It is estimated that an average customer of the RX 350 will save at least $10,000 over period of 10 years, as when compared to BMW owners.

How much does an oil change cost on an average for the Lexus RX 350?

With the parts being priced around $97, the average cost for an oil change is well between $138 and $150, which excludes the nominal labor costs of $40-$50.

Is the Lexus RX 350 expensive to maintain?

No, it is not that expensive to maintain the Lexus RX 350, even though its a premium offering. The parts of the RX 350 come at an affordable cost. On average the annual maintenance cost for service and maintenance repairs sums up to $550, which is much lesser than the segment average.

2021 Lexus RX 350 Review
2021 Lexus RX 350 Review
2021 Lexus RX 350 Review
2021 Lexus RX 350 Review
2021 Lexus RX 350 Review
2021 Lexus RX 350 Review
2021 Lexus RX 350 Review
2021 Lexus RX 350 Review
2021 Lexus RX 350 Review
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