2014 Lexus RX 350 Comfort & Quality

9.0
Comfort & Quality

It won't take much time in the 2014 RX models to realize why they're so popular with folks with a luxury budget, but don't want to appear filthy rich–they're plush and comfortable without feeling ostentatious. There's plenty of room for four adults–and a fifth if you absolutely must–and something about the RX's practical design just feels sensible and wholesome. It's also supremely quiet and smooth, with a ride almost more fitting for cars like Lexus' flagship LS sedan.

It's also very easy to climb in and out of the RX. While there may not be a ton of extra legroom in the rear seats, even with the front seats set all the way back, there's enough knee room for all but the tallest adults. The rear seats are also contoured for adult-sized passengers, and those seats flip forward when you need to haul around larger items. For more valuable items that you want to keep out of sight, there's also a very useful under-floor storage bin.

Four adults fit easily inside the Lexus RX; we'd like a little more seat bolstering.

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).

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-aniline 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.

Last year, the Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h models received 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 were a few new materials 

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