2021 Lexus RX 350

MSRP $44,150

Ranked #10 in Suv

8.2

Overall Rating

2021 Lexus RX 350 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 12, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


The RX models from Lexus have been around for a very long time, and the 2021 iteration is part of the fourth generation of the car introduced first in 2016. For 2021 it is mostly a carryover model with minor additions and changes inside and out. The Lexus RX 350 now gets Blind-spot monitoring and Rear cross-traffic alert as a standard feature along with the added functionality of wireless charging support. The engine under the hood is the same 3.5 L V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. 

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Pros

Powerful engine and impressive looks

High-quality cabin and great interior features

Superb side quality

Cons

Lower powered rivals are faster

Not as engaging as rivals

Unintuitive infotainment interface

What's New?

Standard Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert

Wireless Charging

Remains mostly unchanged for 2021 


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$44150

bodystyle

4dr SUV

passenger capacity

7

top speed

124 mph

drivetrain

front wheel drive

engine type

displacement

211 cu.in.

horsepower

295 hp @ 6300 rpm

torque

263 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm

transmission

8 speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

12.9/13.3 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

109.8 in.

length

192.5 in.

width

74.6 in.

height

65.7 in.

curb weight

4222 lbs.

ground clearance

8.2 in.

capacity

passenger volume

117 cu ft.

cargo volume

58.5 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

6.8 sec.

zero to 100 mph

19.3 sec.

standing 1/4-mile

15.1 sec.

braking (70-0 mph)

165 ft.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$44,150 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Lexus RX 350 in Obsidian color
Obsidian

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Feature

8.0

Pricing and Features

9.1

Engine and Performance

8.1

Fuel Economy

6.5

Interior

7.9

Exterior

8.5

Safety

9.0

Competition

6.0

8.2

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

8.2

Overall Rating


The RX 350 is available in a single trim option in both FWD as well as AWD configurations. Pricing starts at $45,220 for the FWD variant and goes up to $46,620 for the AWD variant. Both variants are powered by the same engine and transmission combination. The 2021 Lexus RX 350 competes with the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, and the Cadillac XT5. Let’s explore how the Lexus holds up against the competition under various parameters including performance, efficiency, safety, and much more. 

2021 Lexus RX 350 SUV front view
2021 Lexus RX 350 SUV rear view

8.1/10
Engine and Performance

6.5/10
Fuel Economy

7.9/10
Interior

8.5/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety

6.0/10
Competition


2021 Lexus RX 350 Features

The 2021 Lexus RX 350 comes in a single trim option, which is available in both FWD as well as AWD configurations. The engine is a 3.5 L V6 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, which is the only powertrain combination available. The available packages include a Premium Package that costs $480 and adds Matte Walnut Or Matte Bamboo Interior Trim along with Lexus Memory System. Other main available package options include a Luxury Package which adds a lot more features on the inside as well as outside and is priced at a much higher $3,890. 

Trims

RX 350

MSRP

$45,220 (FWD)

$46,620 (AWD)

Key Features

Dual-zone climate control with interior air filter

 

Power-adjustable front seats

 

Leather-trimmed steering wheel with paddle shifters and shift knob

 

Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column

 

NuLuxe interior trim

 

18-in split-five-spoke alloy wheels

 

8-in Lexus Multimedia System* with color LCD multimedia display

 

Lexus nine-speaker Premium Audio System

We Recommend

Since there are no major trim choices, the 2021 Lexus RX 350 with the AWD drivetrain would be the best option. It comes with a lot of standard features on the inside along with a well-built cabin and beautiful-looking exterior. However, the Luxury package could be added to include and upgrade to even more features for the price of the higher RX 350 F Sport model. There are also a lot of optional features on offer to add comfort and further personalize your RX 350. 

2021 Lexus RX 350 Engine and Performance

8.1/10

The RX 350 is powered by the same 3.5 L V6 engine putting out 295 hp and 267 lb-ft of maximum power and torque. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission which powers the front wheels as standard while AWD is optional. The engine is impressive, delivering power throughout the rev band in a linear manner, and the transmission is buttery smooth in delivering slick shifts. The RX 350 doesn’t have the best or the most sporty engine, but still, it is a really capable one. 

2021 Lexus RX 350 SUV engine bay

The RX 350 reaches a speed of 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The quarter-mile is crossed in 14.7 seconds, which is also not the best but a respectable time in the segment. The top speed of the RX 350 is limited to 131 mph, which is among the highest top speeds in the segment for the price paid. Overall, the RX 350 comes with a strong powertrain that is not the most responsive or engaging to drive, even though it is a V6.

Models

Lexus RX 350 

BMW X3 xDrive30i

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Cadillac XT5 Luxury

MSRP

$46,620

$45,000

$45,200

$45,995

Engine

3.5 L V6

2.0 L Inline-4

2.0 L Inline-4

2.0 L Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

8-speed shiftable automatic

8-speed shiftable automatic

9-speed shiftable automatic

9-speed shiftable automatic

Power (hp @ rpm)

295 hp @ 6300 rpm

248 hp @ 5200 rpm

255 hp @ 5800 rpm

237 hp @ 5000 rpm

Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)

268 ft-lbs. @ 4700 rpm

258 ft-lbs. @ 1450 rpm

273 ft-lbs. @ 1800 rpm

258 ft-lbs. @ 1500 rpm

0-60 mph (sec)

6.8

6.2

5.4

7.6

Quarter Mile (sec)

14.7

14.9

14.2

16.0

Top Speed (mph)

131

126

131

130

Lexus is the only one with a V6 under the hood for the price paid. It competes with the base trims of the BMW X3 and the Mercedes GLC-Class along with the Cadillac XT5, all of which are powered by smaller Inline-4 engines. That means the Lexus is the most powerful among all of them. But the irony is that the lower-powered Merc, as well as the BMW, are faster than the RX 350, and among them, Mercedes is more than a whole second faster than the Lexus in attaining a speed of 60 mph. In conclusion, the Mercedes GLC is the best option to choose in terms of performance, followed by the Lexus, which beats the BMW in the quarter-mile run. 

How well does the 2021 Lexus RX 350 Drive and Handle?

The RX 350 handles pretty well but is definitely not meant for a proper enthusiastic driving experience as it doesn’t like to be pushed hard to the edges. Where the RX shines is in terms of comfort and ride quality. The travel experience in this luxury crossover is just phenomenal, and the suspension just soaks and eliminates all the undulations in the road effortlessly. The RX 350 is a machine meant for luxury cruising on the highway, which it does very smoothly.

The F Sport variant of the SUV, compared to the RX 350, makes the ride a lot stiffer, while not helping to improve the handling and driving dynamics much. So sticking to the regular RX 350 would be the best option when handling and ride comfort is taken into consideration. AWD can be opted for if you need more traction and stability over the FWD variant. Overall the RX 350 is a well-handling machine in normal driving condition but fails to impress when pushed to its limits.

How efficient is the braking performance of the 2021 Lexus RX 350? 

The 2021 Lexus RX 350 is equipped with a good set of brakes, consisting of 12.9-inch rotors in the front and 13.3-inch ones in the rear. The car has a higher weight compared to the competition, and still, the brakes function effectively to bring the vehicle to a stop at a distance of 123 ft. from 60 mph, which is a respectable distance. The brakes provide a good response while panic braking and are progressive and responsive while normal usage also.

Model

Lexus RX 350 

BMW X3 xDrive30i

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Cadillac XT5 Luxury

Brake Rotors Front

12.9

13.0

13.5

13.6

Brake Rotors Rear

13.3

13.0

12.6

12.4

Curb Weight

4,387

4,147

3,977

4,127

Braking Distance 60-0 (ft.)

123

124

115

N/A

The Mercedes GLC is the best in terms of braking. It stops at a distance of just 115ft. which is superb. Lexus follows the Merc and then comes the BMW. The GLC has a major weight advantage over its rivals as it is the lightest, which contributes to a better braking capability. BMW, even while being much lighter than the Lexus, only happens to be a very close competitor to the Lexus. Overall the Lexus RX 350 is a good performer in terms of braking. 

2021 Lexus RX 350 Fuel Economy

6.5/10

This is where the higher-revving, more powerful V6 engine takes a toll. The 2021 Lexus RX 350 scoops out a fuel economy that is on the lower side considering the segment. The RX 350 delivers a fuel economy of 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and a combined fuel economy of 22 mpg. With the relatively larger fuel tank, although not the largest, it can go up to a distance of 422 miles on combined road and traffic conditions. These efficiency figures are not the best, but they are not disappointing either. 

Models

Lexus RX 350 

BMW X3 xDrive30i

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Cadillac XT5 Luxury

MPG (City)

19

23

21

21

MPG (Highway)

26

29

28

27

MPG (Combined)

22

25

23

23

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

19.2

17.2

17.4

22.0

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

365/499/422

396/499/430

365/487/398

462/594/483

The BMW X3 delivers the best numbers in terms of fuel economy, followed by the Merc and the Caddy. The Lexus, as we stated above, remains even lower than all of the competition, but still, the difference is of a slight margin. The Cadillac XT5 has the largest fuel capacity, hence combined with the good efficiency figures, it provides the best range of 483 miles combined. 

2021 Lexus RX 350 Interior

7.9/10

The 2021 Lexus RX 350 features a luxurious interior with high-quality elements and materials spread all around the cabin. The interior as standard features a NuLuxe interior trim in the RX base trim, while the optional trim themes include Matte Bamboo wood, Open-Pore Brown Walnut, and Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum. There are also multiple colors and material combinations available with the RX 350’s interior consisting of materials including semi-aniline leather in Parchment, Birch, Glazen Caramel, and many other color themes. 

2021 Cadillac XT5 cockpit area

The seats inside the RX 350 are extremely comfortable and would never tire you or any other occupants during long drives. The seats are heated, ventilated, and leather-trimmed with possible adjustments. The RX 350 also offers a spacious second row which has the best shoulder room and legroom on offer for accommodating rear seat passengers comfortably. But this added rear row space depletes the cargo area, and the RX 350 only has a cargo capacity of 16.0 cu-ft.

2021 Cadillac XT5 front seats

Models

Lexus RX 350 

BMW X3 xDrive30i

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Cadillac XT5 Luxury

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.4/57.8/44.1

41.1/57.6/40.3

37.8/57.3/40.8

39.7/58.3/41.2

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Leg Room, in inches)

39.1/57.6/38.0

38.5/56.0/36.4

38.5/56.5/37.3

38.4/56.3/39.0

Cargo Capacity

16.0

28.7

19.4

30.0

The Lexus RX 350 is definitely the most spacious of all and also offers the best overall space in the second row. The interior quality as well as fit and finish are also on par with the luxurious rivals. The cabin does look a bit outdated compared to the more refreshed look and feel of the X3’s and GLC’s cabin, but overall, it is premium. Cargo capacity is where the Lexus loses out to its opponents as it comes with a lower space for loading luggage compared to all of the competition offering a lot more space. The following are the standout interior features of the 2021 Lexus RX 350:

  • Heated and ventilated front seats with power-folding, 60/40-split, heated second-row outboard seats
  • Heated wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel
  • Lexus Memory System for power driver's seat, outside rearview mirrors, and steering wheel
  • Leather-trimmed steering wheel with paddle shifters and shift knob
  • 40/20/40-split folding, reclining second-row seat
  • Dual-zone climate control with interior air filter
  • Power-adjustable front seats

How intuitive is the 2021 Lexus RX 350’s infotainment unit?

The 2021 Lexus RX 350 features an 8-inch Lexus Multimedia System with color LCD multimedia display which could be upgraded to a bigger 12.3-inch unit. The infotainment unit is responsive and looks good, but it is not the most intuitive and easy-to-use one compared to the other more updated ones equipped inside the rivals. The standard audio system is a Lexus nine-speaker premium audio system, while available options include a 12-speaker Premium Sound System including subwoofer and a much more premium 15-speaker premium surround sound audio unit from Mark Levinson outputting 835-watts.

2021 Cadillac XT5 infotainment screen

The following are the major infotainment features:

  • 8-in Lexus Multimedia System with color LCD multimedia display
  • 12.3-in touchscreen display available
  • Lexus nine-speaker Premium Audio System
  • Available 12-speaker Premium Sound System including subwoofer 
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Amazon Alexa Compatibility

2021 Lexus RX 350 Exterior

8.5/10

The RX 350 is one of the most beautiful-looking machines in the segment which will surely turn some heads even though it is not an exotic supercar. The design is elegant and smooth, with the sleek curves and sharp lines contributing to making it look extremely plush. The rear end, however, is not as good-looking as the front position as it looks a bit empty and plain with a peculiar structure. The RX 350 is available in 9 color options of various shades and finishes. A power moonroof and aluminum roof rails can also be equipped to the RX 350 if opted for the Premium Package. 

2021 Lexus RX 350 SUV 

The standard wheels in the RX 350 are 18-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels, whereas 20-in split-five-spoke alloy wheels with Dark Silver and machined finish and 20-in split-10-spoke alloy wheels are available options along with some others. The optional premium Triple-Beam LED auto-leveling headlamps with an Adaptive Front Lighting System and LED taillamps further boost the exterior beauty of the RX 350. The Lexus RX 350 is definitely one of the best-looking luxury crossovers in the segment.

Models

Lexus RX 350 

BMW X3 xDrive30i

Mercedes-Benz GLC 300 4Matic

Cadillac XT5 Luxury

Curb Weight (lbs)

4,387

4,147

3,977

4,127

Length (inches)

192.5

185.9

183.3

189.6

Width (inches)

74.6

74.4

74.8

74.9

Height (inches)

67.7

66.0

64.7

66.1

Ground Clearance (inches)

8.2

8.0

5.0

7.8

Wheelbase (inches)

109.5

112.8

113.1

112.5

The Lexus is one of the best-looking vehicles in the segment offering a beautiful-looking shiny exterior in the RX 350 trim and a more sporty look in the F-Sport trim. However, the Mercedes GLC-Class is the absolute best in terms of exterior beauty. The Lexus is the longest and highest and also comes with the best ground clearance, which also results in the most space on the inside. The following are the RX 350’s standout exterior features:

  • Optional Premium Triple-Beam LED auto-leveling headlamps with Adaptive Front Lighting System and LED taillamps
  • Auto-leveling headlamps
  • Power moonroof
  • Aluminum roof rails
  • Panorama glass roof and aluminum roof rails
  • Power Rear Door with Kick Sensor*
  • 18-in split-five-spoke alloy wheels

2021 Lexus RX 350 Safety

9.0/10

The Lexus RX 350 comes with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, which consists of a set of high-tech safety features including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Tracing Assist, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Road Sign Assist along with many other safety features. The 2021 RX 350 has also been crash-tested and rated by both NHTSA as well as IIHS and gets impressive safety ratings from both agencies. It received a 4-star overall rating from NHTSA, while it has been awarded the 'Top Safety Pick' position by IIHS. All of this brings us to the conclusion that the RX 350 is a safe vehicle. The following are some of the standout safety features:

  • All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect.
  • Lexus Enform Service Connect
  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management
  • Intuitive Parking Assist with Auto Braking and Rear Cross-Traffic Braking

2021 Lexus RX 350 Competition

6.0/10

2021 Lexus RX 350 vs 2021 BMW X3

The BMW X3 is the more sporty and better handling one among these two. It also provides a better fuel economy even while being the faster and better performing one. The Lexus has its positives, including more space on the inside and especially a more comfortable and spacious second row. Overall if space is your main concern, then opt for the Lexus, but if you want a sporty and more engaging vehicle, then go for the BMW. 

2021 BMW X3

2021 Lexus RX 350 vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class is definitely the better option than the Lexus. The Merc comes with stronger performance and a more updated interior. The infotainment unit is also a more updated unit and is more intuitive to use and interact with. The Lexus only has the extra space on offer to hold up against the Merc. But overall, the Mercedes is the better choice among both.

2021 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class

2021 Lexus RX 350 vs 2021 Cadillac XT5

The RX 350 beats the Cadillac XT5 under most parameters. The RX 350 is definitely the more spacious option, but in this case, it is also more powerful and faster. The RX 350 also has a more updated and fresher-looking interior and cabin. From the outside also, the Lexus is the better-looking option, and it also offers a better reliability record over the Caddy, making it the better choice. 

2021 Cadillac XT5

 

2021 Lexus RX 350 Final Verdict

The Lexus RX 350 is a great option in this segment of luxury crossover SUVs. For the price paid, it offers a spacious and luxurious interior along with comfortable seats and superb ride quality. It is a great choice for families that prefer comfort over sportiness and would fare well in daily drives as well as highway cruises. However, for a more engaging driving experience, there are much better options on offer in the segment. This Lexus is all about a smooth and comfortable travel experience covered in luxury.

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