Following a week of test-driving, we take a closer look at the 2014 Lexus RX F Sport edition, the brand’s top-selling SUV and top-selling luxury SUV in American for 14 straight years. The mid-sized crossover is given some edge, via the F Sport edition, offering an aggressive new look with Lexus’ signature spindle grille, while adding performance.
Under the hood, the RX is powered by a 3.5 liter V6 engine, pushing out 270 HP. The F Sport gets two extra gears with an eight-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters), offering a more dynamic ride, as well as stiffer suspension (tighter shocks and springs) for a firmer ride, nimbler steering and reduced body vibrations. Yea, you’re driving an SUV, but who doesn’t want a little power while running your errands or escaping for the weekend?
Appearance-wise, you got to love the sportier look over the base RX. The aforementioned grill, paired with 19-inch split-spoke graphite wheels, a new sport bumper, rear fender flares and the “L” motif, make it one cool-looking crossover.
The interior of the vehicle is just as appealing. The updated design offers some wow factor. Detailing such as perforated black leather seats (heated and cooled) with contrasting white stitching and the F Sport’s ebony Bird’s Eye Maple trim adds the touches of luxury you’d expect from Lexus, while aluminum pedals up the sport factor. Aside from elegant design, the technology is there too. The dash features a large colorful screen where you management everything from entertainment to navigation to climate control. The nav system includes casual-speech voice recognition capability for hands-free operation of audio, climate, and Bluetoot. Other features include HD radio with iTunes tagging; and Lexus Enform 2.0 with Safety Connect, which includes Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assist Button (SOS), Enhanced Roadside Assistance, Destination Assist, eDestination Enform App Suite… and the list goes on.
When you’re not using voice recognition, a joystick menu knob is used to navigate through the menus. While we’ve had gripes about it with other Lexus models — it works like a mouse — we’ve grown to like it this time around.
In closing, the Lexus RX 350 F Sport is definitely one of our top picks at the moment. It’s a great middle-ground for drivers who want a more dynamic and responsive ride, but need the comfort and spaciousness of an SUV… without breaking the bank. The RX F Sport boasts a smooth ride, power under the hood, and is a good choice for families or a single person on the go.
The 2014 Lexus RX 350 F Sport starts at $47,000. However, the model we drove, which included upgrades like a heads up display and a Blind Spot Monitor, sold for just under $54,000.
Lexus provided the vehicle, insurance and tank of gas for this review.