Comparison: 2018 Lexus RX 350 vs. 2018 Toyota Highlander

Comparison: 2018 Lexus RX 350 vs. 2018 Toyota Highlander

Los Angeles drivers who are looking for midsize luxury SUV with an emphasis on style, performance, safety, and comfort are sure to check out the 2018 Lexus RX 350. Shopping for a new car can be difficult so we’ve tried making it a little easier by comparing the Lexus RX 350 and the Toyota Highlander.

After reading our review, be sure to come visit us at Longo Lexus and test drive the RX 350 to test drive the Lexus experience.

Performance

Lexus RX 350

 

The 2018 Lexus RX 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, making 296 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel drive models get 20 MPG city and 27 MPG highway, while all-wheel-drive models get 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway.

The RX 350 is available with the F Sport Package, which adds sport-tuned Adaptive Variable Suspension with Sport S+ drive mode, sport-tuned Electronic Power Steering, paddle shifters, a Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management System, and a range of high-end exterior and interior styling features.

Toyota Highlander

The 2018 Highlander has two gas engine options and a hybrid, which we’ll save for another review. The base powertrain is a 2.7-liter inline-4 engine mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, making 185 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. It’s front-wheel drive only.

You can also upgrade to a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 8-speed automatic transmission, which produces 296 horsepower and 265 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with front-wheel drive and optional with all-wheel drive. The LE trim can tow up to 1,500 pounds while upper trims have a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds.

Comfort and Convenience

Lexus RX 350

The RX 350 comes standard with black or stratus gray NuLuxe interior trim or optional with leather seating, ranging in colors from Black to neutral Parchment to bold Rioja Red. The two-row, five-seat SUV is also standard equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter, a power tilting/telescoping steering wheel, leather-trimmed wheel and shift knob, power rear door, power-adjustable front seats, and 40/20/40 split-folding and reclining rear seats.

An auto-dimming rearview mirror and rain-sensing windshield wipers – both standard on all RX models – automatically react to external events so you can concentrate on the road ahead, while Drive Mode Select lets you choose an optimal performance mode according to the weather or terrain. Your RX will also come equipped with Lexus Display Audio with Scout GPS Link navigation, voice command, Bluetooth tech, Siri Eyes Free, and the Lexus Enform suite of apps.

Toyota Highlander

Models with a second-row bench can seat up to eight passengers, while the addition of second-row captain’s chairs reduces seating capacity to seven. All models feature soft-touch dash and surfaces, as well as a 60/40 split-folding and reclining second row and a fold-flat third row.

Available interior features include SofTex or leather seating, heated and ventilated front seats, three-zone automatic climate control with second-row control panel, a Smart Key System, Driver Easy Speak microphone, and ambient lighting.

Pricing


Lexus RX 350

Starting at $43,270 MSRP

Toyota Highlander

Starting at $31,030 MSRP

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COMPARISON: 2015 LEXUS RX 350 vs 2016 LEXUS RX 350

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The Lexus RX 350 is the perfect midsize crossover for cruising Southern California streets because it’s stylish, versatile eco-conscious.
The all-new 2016 model has an updated exterior and engine, but the 2015 is still a good choice, depending on what you’re looking for. Here’s our side-by-side comparison of the 2015 RX 350 and the 2016 RX 350.

Safety

2015 RX 350
Last year’s model of the RX 350 earned perfect scores in crash tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. It features all the great standard safety features you’ve come to know and love from Lexus, plus options for emergency services, airbag deployment notification, and a stolen vehicle tracking system.

2016 RX 350
This year, the 2016 nailed all tests by the IIHS, earning the title of Top Safety Pick+. Plus, the organization gave it best-possible scores for child seat anchor ease of use, and a Superior rating for its front crash prevention system. Optional safety features include a pre-collision system, panoramic view monitor, lane-keep assist with rear cross-traffic alert and intuitive parking assist.

Features

2015 RX 350
The older model of RX 350 has a classic sporty look, with Xenon High-Intensity Discharge Headlamps, roof rack cross bars, and the option for wood and leather interior accents. It also has standard 8-way power driver and passenger seats, reverse tilt dual mirrors and cruise control. For entertainment, drivers can enjoy a 12-speaker system, 12 months of satellite radio and a radio data system.

2016 RX 350
Lexus has updated the RX 350 to exceed the expectations of its customers. An angular, contemporary exterior makes it unmistakably Lexus, and a plush, luxe interior makes it feel like home. The 2016 RX 350 has a larger display screen than last year’s model, as well as a modernized center control stack and the options for Gray Sapele wood with aluminum and exclusive Matte Linear Dark Mocha wood trim.

For entertainment, the all-new RX 350 features standard Bluetooth technologies, Siri Eyes Free, SiriusXM satellite radio, and HD radio with iTunes tagging. Additionally, drivers can add the Lexus Enform App Suite and Mark Levinson premium audio system.

Engine and Fuel Economy

2015 RX 350
The 2015 RX 350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 270 horsepower and 6-speed automatic transmission. It gets 18 MPG city and 25 MPG highway.

2016 RX 350
This year’s RX 350 also has a 3.5-liter V6 engine, but with an updated powertrain. Its new 8-speed automatic transmission gives it better acceleration than last year’s model, more horsepower, plus an improvement in fuel economy. Drivers can expect to get 20 MPG city and 28 MPG highway, and the midsize SUV has 295 horsepower.

Pricing

2015 RX 350
MSRP: $41,910

2016 RX 350
MSRP: $42,850