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Need a midsize luxury crossover that also packs some practicality, a posh ride and plenty of cachet? Take a look at the 2012 Lexus RX 350. This family-friendly ute totes over 80 cubic feet of cargo (with the rear seats folded), proffers a pleasingly spacious cabin packing a ton of standard high-end features and sports a peppy V6 drivetrain.
Standard appearance and cabin amenities include a rear spoiler, 18-inch alloy wheels, heated power-adjustable outside mirrors, cloth upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and a generous helping of wood and alloy interior trim accents. Cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering, dual-zone climate control, remote power door locks and power windows all come standard, as does a universal remote garage door opener. Entertainment, meanwhile, is provided by an MP3-capable 6-CD changer with 9 speakers, satellite radio and a USB connection. Finally, Lexus’ Enform-interfaced Safety Connect telecommunications is bolstered by standard Bluetooth hands-free technology.
Options for this top-shelf ute are decidedly package-heavy, with the Rear-Seat Entertainment System with Navigation Package being the most elaborate. This techno-heavy bundle includes a GPS-based navigation system, enhanced Bluetooth music-streaming capability, a rear-view camera and rear-seat DVD entertainment, all managed through the touted Remote Touch user-friendly dash-mounted display screen. The Luxury Package, meantime, throws in leather-trimmed upholstery, driver memory settings, a side-view camera and a power liftgate, while the Sports Package adds 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension and some added traction with the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system. Finally, the Towing Prep Package boasts heavy-duty transmission cooling and a beefed-up alternator, the new Appearance Package boasts 19-inch alloy wheels and black-on-black headlight bezels and the Comfort Package offers heated front seats, high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlights and rain-sensing wipers.
Standalone options, by the way, include 19-inch aluminum wheels, remote engine start, a head-up display, heated front seats and a kickin’ 12-speaker Mark Levinson audio system.
Powering this suitable ute is a variable-valve-timed 3.5-liter V6 engine. Matched with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, the six-banger puts out 270 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque, good enough to tow up to 3,500 pounds with the proper equipment. The 2012 RX 350 Base is front-wheel-drive (FWD) only, thus gas mileage is estimated at 18 mpg city/25 highway. Meanwhile, this year Lexus has tweaked the V6 to burn cheaper 87-octane regular unleaded gas, with only a marginal decrease in performance.
Standard safety features aboard the 2012 RX 350 Base include 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head-restraint whiplash protection. Additionally, this top-shelf crossover boasts standard daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm.
Finally, available radar-interfaced dynamic cruise control is bolstered by a pre-collision braking system aboard this high-end ute, while Intuitive Parking Assist and a sensor monitoring glass breakage are also optional.
Add traction-heavy all-wheel drive (AWD) to the already well-wrought 2012 Lexus RX 350 to behold the RX 350 AWD. In addition to boasting 80 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, this 5-passenger midsize luxury crossover boasts 18-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, a roof rack and heated power-adjustable mirrors enhancing its already handsome profile. Inside this useful ute is graced with cloth upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and a leather steering wheel, as well as plenty of leather, alloy and wood cabin accents. Remote power door locks and windows, cruise control, telescoping tilt-wheel steering and a universal remote garage door opener manage convenience tasks, with dual-zone climate control to help keep everyone comfortable. The Lexus Safety Connect telecommunications system uses Enform/Bluetooth hands-free technology, while tunes are presented by an MP3-capable 6-CD player with 9 speakers. Satellite radio and a USB connection also come standard.
Options, many of which are tossed in a number of packages, include remote engine start, a head-up display, heated front seats and a Mark Levinson audio system boasting 12 premium speakers.
Packages include the Rear-Seat Entertainment with Navigation grouping that stars a GPS navigation suite with a rear-view camera, music streaming and the touted Remote Touch module and dash-mounted display to control navigation, communications and audio functions. The Luxury Package boasts leather-trimmed upholstery, a power liftgate, driver memory settings and a power moonroof, while the Towing Prep Package features heavy-duty transmission cooling and a larger alternator. Finally, the Sports Package offers a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch alloy wheels and Lexus’ traction-boosting and driver-selectable Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM) technology, while the new Appearance Package flaunts 19-inch chromed wheels, upgraded headlights and black headlight bezels.
The ubiquitous 3.5-liter V6 powerplant mates with the standard 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission to produce 270 hp and 248 lb-ft of torque, good enough to tow up to 3,500 pounds with the proper equipment. With variable valve timing (VVT), mileage is estimated at 18 mpg city/24 highway, while the AWD system is geared to front-wheel drive (FWD) for normal driving, but transfers power automatically and instantly from the wheels that slip to the wheels that grip when conditions warrant.
Standard safety equipment aboard the 2012 RX 350 AWD includes 4-wheel antilock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front head restraint whiplash protection. Daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, turn-signal-integrated mirrors, a post-collision safety system and a remote antitheft alarm also come standard with this useful ute. Safety options, meantime, include dynamic cruise control with pre-collision brake preparation, a glass breakage sensor and Intuitive Parking Assist, which is just that.