2017 Lexus RX

absolutely! AUTO REVIEW | By Steve Kursar –

The 2017 Lexus RX is the latest version of a classic. It’s the mid-size luxury SUV/crossover that practically started the segment and enticed car buyers out of their sedans. The current RX looks like a designer’s fantasy concept prototype, and yet there it is in real life ready to drive away. It’s luxurious, gorgeous and practically perfect.

The very first RX rolled off the assembly line back in 1998, when Lexus was known primarily for its sedans and the iconic Land Cruiser SUV. Built on a Camry platform, here was a luxury crossover that handled like a car and featured all of those wonderful Lexus touches, such as real, polished wood, soft, buttery leather and exquisite fit and finish. That very first RX exterior design was an unmistakable one that has continued to evolve through four generations. This latest version continues to carry design cues that harken back to the first.

Where the original RX design was classic and certainly bland by today’s standards, the new RX exterior is sharp, aggressive, provocative and beautiful. This is a head turner. The interior is all Lexus with soft, perforated leather and a choice between either a dark mocha wood or a gray sapele wood trim. The fit and finish is impeccable. The spectacular optional panorama glass moonroof gives even the rear seat passengers a view of the sky. There’s also the F Sport option that gives the RX a specially tuned suspension sport performance for an even greater connection to the road.

The 2017 RX is offered with two distinct powertrains: a gasoline only and a gasoline-electric hybrid. The gasoline only version – the RX350 – is equipped with a 295 hp, 3.5 liter V6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers fuel economy numbers of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

The gasoline-electric hybrid version also has a 3.5 liter gasoline engine, but it is supplemented with an electric motor that both saves fuel and kicks up the horsepower to a total of 308 hp. Your fuel savings shines in city driving where EPA estimated fuel economy is 31 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. Base MSRP for the gasoline version RX is $43,120. Add about $10,000 more for the hybrid.

The Lexus RX has been around for almost 30 years, and yet it seems to have grown younger with this latest generation.

Follow Steve Kursar at KursarOnCars.blogspot.com.