The 2013 Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h are plush, yet not over-the-top lavish, and just a short ride in one is enough to see why it's such a popular choice for upscale realtors who don't want to look to filthy rich. There's a certain wholesomeness about the practical design, and its versatile seating is roomy and accommodating for four adults; at the same time, it's supremely smooth and quiet, with the passenger experience about as refined as you'll find in flagship luxury sedans like Lexus' own LS.
Adding to the appeal is that it's exceptionally easy to climb into or out of the RX models. Although there's not a lot of legroom in the back seat, there's enough knee room for all but the tallest adults with the front seats back all the way. Back seats also have adult-size contouring—and you can even fit three across when needed—while the seatbacks to flip forward to stash larger items. And to keep precious goods out of sight, there's a clever underfloor storage compartment.
Among the few things we wish for in the RX are better-contoured front seats. An odd contouring that digs into shoulder blades has made it difficult to get completely comfortable for our taller-than-typical editors and test staff, and in front headroom can be surprisingly tight. If you click the right boxes and ante up for some upgrades, the optional seats are worth it as they have the additional long-distance support of length-adjustable lower cushions.
With available semi-anilene leather upholstery (the softer, less treated hides), plenty of soft-touch surfaces, . OLED gauges and plenty of soft-touch surfaces, the RX models feel almost opulent, with the upgraded wood trim that's optional in the RX 350 bringing a richer, better-coordinated look in our opinion.
For 2013, Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h models get a redesigned center console, along with a new steering-wheel design. Also, there's contrast stitching for the leather seats and center-console trim, and there are a few new materials.
Quiet, smooth, and isolated are all ways to describe the RX's ride. Motions are well damped, as they are in a good luxury sedan, and the only noise you do hear is during moderate to hard acceleration—more so in 450h models. The one caution is that we've noticed that with the available 19-inch wheels the ride gets somewhat harsher on some surfaces (though still not rough).