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A BOLD TAKE ON LUXURY AND PERFORMANCE

LEXUS RX 350 F-SPORT

The Lexus RX has long been a symbol of luxury and dependability in the SUV realm. With the introduction of the F-Sport trim to its RX line-up, Lexus aimed to infuse its renowned refinement with a dose of athleticism, targeting drivers who seek both performance and elegance in their vehicles. Spending a week with the RX 350 F-Sport provided ample opportunity to assess whether it truly merges luxury with dynamic driving experiences, and the verdict is unequivocally positive.

Aesthetically, the RX 350 F-Sport commands attention with its bold yet tasteful design. At the forefront, Lexus’ signature spindle grille takes centre stage, flanked by sleek LED headlights that impart a distinctive identity. The F-Sport variant adds its own flair with larger air intakes, sporty 20-inch alloy wheels, and an emblematic badge that hints at its performance-oriented nature. Moving towards the rear, the sharp lines and LED taillights contribute to a modern and dynamic appearance, ensuring that the RX 350 F-Sport stands out on any road, blending elegance with sportiness.

LUXURIOUS INTERIOR WITH A SPORTY TOUCH

Stepping inside the RX 350 F-Sport reveals a cabin that epitomizes luxury and sophistication. High-quality materials abound, from the supple leather seats to the brushed aluminium trim, creating an ambience of refined comfort. The F-Sport package introduces distinctive elements such as aluminium pedals, a perforated leather steering wheel, and bolstered sports seats, providing optimal support during spirited drives. Technological advancements abound, with a large infotainment screen, a digital instrument cluster, and a head-up display offering intuitive access to information and entertainment. Lexus astutely retains physical buttons for essential controls, ensuring seamless driving operation. Furthermore, the cabin boasts a Mark Levinson premium audio system, a wireless charging pad, and a panoramic sunroof, enhancing the overall luxury experience and setting a new standard in automotive refinement.

DYNAMIC PERFORMANCE TO MATCH ITS LOOKS

Beneath the hood, the RX 350 F-Sport houses a potent 3.5-litre V6 engine generating 220 kW and 370 Nm of torque. Paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, this powertrain delivers smooth and responsive shifts, contributing to an exhilarating driving experience. The inclusion of an adaptive variable suspension system enhances both handling and ride comfort, ensuring agility and composure, whether navigating urban streets or cruising on the open highway.

In urban environments, the RX 350 F-Sport’s compact dimensions facilitate effortless manoeuvrability, while its elevated driving position affords exceptional visibility, making it an ideal companion for daily commutes and errands. During school runs, the luxurious interior transforms mundane trips into enjoyable excursions, with passengers appreciating the comfort and style afforded by the RX’s plush accommodations. On the open road, the RX 350 F-Sport truly shines as a comfortable and capable cruiser. The V6 engine delivers robust acceleration, while the adaptive suspension system ensures a smooth and controlled ride. Further enhancing its dynamic prowess are the sport-tuned suspension and rear performance damper, which improve stability and cornering, instilling confidence in the driver and elevating the driving experience to new heights.

BALANCING PERFORMANCE WITH EFFICIENCY

Despite its sporty demeanour, the RX 350 F-Sport maintains commendable fuel efficiency for its class, achieving an estimated 9.8 l/100 km in combined driving scenarios. This efficiency, coupled with its generous cargo capacity – 520 litres behind the rear seats and 1,580 litres with the seats folded down – makes it a practical choice for daily commuting and extended journeys. Whether ferrying passengers to soccer games or embarking on weekend getaways, the RX 350 F-Sport effortlessly accommodates people and cargo, exemplifying versatility without compromising performance or luxury.

LAST WORD

The Lexus RX 350 F-Sport masterfully combines luxury, performance, and practicality to create a vehicle that is as stylish as it is desirable. While it may not match the raw performance of some of its German counterparts, it offers a unique blend of reliability, refinement, and sporty appeal that sets it apart in a crowded market segment. For discerning drivers seeking an SUV that seamlessly merges opulence with athleticism, the RX 350 F-Sport emerges as a compelling choice that exceeds expectations on every front.

Report by BRYAN KAYAVHU | Images © LEXUS SOUTH AFRICA

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