2015 Lexus RX 350 Comfort & Quality

9.0
Comfort & Quality

The 2015 Lexus RX lineup is very popular with folks with a luxury budget, but don't want to appear filthy rich–they're plush and comfortable without appearing too 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.

Across the lineup, which includes the Lexus RX 350 and RX 450h, expect plus (but not over-the-top lavish) interiors, and a wholesomeness to the overall design, with versatile and roomy seating and a passenger experience that's nearly as refined as what you'd fine in flagship sedans like Lexus' own LS. 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.

A quiet, comfortable ride is a major asset for the RX, as is good space for four adults -- although we'd like a little more seat support.

With the RX's relatively low ride height, getting in and out is easy. And 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. Adult-sized passengers will feel right at home in the rear seats, and the seatbacks flip forward to haul larger items around on the weekend. There's also a useful under-floor storage bin that can help keep valuables out of sight.

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.

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).

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