The 2011 Lexus RX is a sleek crossover wagon that plays it safe in most respects. Sized at the larger end of the two-row crossover class, the RX 350 shares the familiar shape that spawned this entire class of vehicles back in the late 1990s. In its latest edition, introduced just a year ago, it's become even a bit more conservative-looking, which a slightly more blunt-nosed, high-shouldered look. But it hasn't lost its design essence—the tall roofline and handsome proportions are still in evidence, as is a bit more sculpturing to fit with the latest Lexus theme of "L-finesse."
Inside, the Lexus RX 350 has given up a touch of its refinement, with a newly styled interior that divides driver controls visually from the passenger zone—leaving a large swath of silver-painted plastic (at a time when silvery-painted plastic is played out, we might add) and a less sophisticated look in the place of the subdued, woody library feel of the last RX generation.
It can be difficult to tell the hybrid RX 450h from the gas-only RX 350, too; differences amount to blue-lit gauges, a tinted grille, and a tweaked front bumper, as well as small hybrid logos and optional 19-inch wheels.
The 2011 Lexus RX doesn't stand out in any way, and it's the epitome of practical, understated luxury. To some, that's a good thing.