The fourth-generation Lexus RX finally booted the previous model's jellybean-on wheels design to the curb with a jet-inspired roofline that's both adventurous and, at times, unquiet to the eye.
The love/hate conundrum begins up front with a massive spindle grille, continues along its flanks with deeply sculpted body panels, and terminates with a floating canopy C-pillar that sits above a sculpted and flared rear quarter. The rear window on models like our 350L tester is more upright, while wide chrome strips between the taillights and across the lower valance accentuate the spindle theme of the rear fascia.
That bold sheetmetal is wrapped around a luxurious interior – a place of calm and order, nearly bereft of exterior noise – that features soft, supportive front seats that offer a comfortable perch even after hours of freeway driving. F Sport models feature bigger and firmer seat bolsters, while Luxury models get 10-way adjustment, cooling, heating, and extendable thigh cushions. Three adults can sit in back where the seats are just as comfortable and also split, fold, and recline.
350L models that are 4.3 inches longer are equipped with a third row replete with heating, air conditioning, the requisite cup holders, and the choice of six-passenger (via second-row captain's chairs) or seven-passenger (courtesy of a second-row bench) seating configurations.
Cabin instrumentation is straightforward and easily understood. The various buttons and knobs are silky smooth to operate, and the controls, aside from the infotainment interface, are intuitive and within easy reach of the driver.
But like many vehicles this size, the 350L's third row is little more than a jump seat, and cargo space behind the third row is a parsimonious 16.3 cubic feet. In addition, despite the added personality, the RX's new design may or may not age well, the various options and packages can add up quickly, the haptic-feedback infotainment joystick is irritating and often too distracting to be used when driving, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay aren't even offered.