The 2009 Lexus RX 350 Base abounds with upscale features to keep most families happy. Relatively unchanged from last year, the front-wheel drive 2009 RSX 350 Base starts with a Macpherson strut front and rear suspension supporting two rows of seats for five passengers. All this is powered by a 270-hp, 24-valve 3.5-liter DOHC V6 engine with variable valve timing, paired with a 5-speed automatic. It puts out 251 ft-lbs of torque at 4,700 RPM and gets 18/23 mpg.
Like most SUVs, the 2009 RX 350 Base features 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats that also recline. These open onto a 38-cubic-foot trunk that expands to 85 cubic feet. An armrest holds more storage. A power liftgate provides easy access. The rear window does not open separately, but does feature its own intermittent wiper, along with front intermittent wipers. Standard features include 10-way power front seats, power windows, locks, and heated mirrors, a trip computer, remote entry, wheel-mounted cruise and audio controls, a garage remote, dual-zone climate control, tilt steering, a temperature gauge and compass, and leather and wood trim on the steering wheel and consoles. The 8-speaker radio features a 6-CD changer with MP3 playback. Three 12V power outlets reside up front, in the back, and in the cargo area. On the outside, you get 17-inch alloy wheels with all-season tires, a chrome grille, and a rear spoiler. Roof rails can be added.
A strong safety profile includes traction and stability control, 4-wheel disc and ABS brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution, and dual front-side airbags, a driver's knee airbag, and side curtain airbags for both rows. Automatic headlights hold halogen lamps. Foglights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a tire monitor, and a first aid kit are also standard. An optional tow hitch lets the RX 350 haul up to 3,500 pounds. Various packages add memory settings for the driver, a sunroof, a rearview camera, heated seats, a voice-activated navigation system, a DVD player, Bluetooth, power tilt and telescopic steering, and an 11-speaker sound system. An air suspension, 18-inch wheels, dynamic cruise control, HID xenon lamps, headlight washers, and rain-sensing wipers add extra performance and safety features.