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ONE FOR ALL BUT NOT FOR EVERYONE: LEXUS RX350

There was once a time when the cars that came to Nepal were used cars and were very limited in options. With that being said with time the automotive sector of Nepal has reached to a new dimension in the recent years. We are seeing more and more of big name brands and luxury car makers entering our market. And in this review we get behind the wheel of a very special brand that is slowly making its way into our soils and it is none other than Lexus.

The Lexus RX350 was first introduced in 1998 and ever since then it has been a very popular choice in the luxury crossover segment. Lexus is the luxury vehicle department of Toyota, a brand that was renowned for its durability and reliability. Toyota was mostly known for commuter vehicles so it created the Lexus brand to cater the luxury segment as well with the same durability and the reliability of a Toyota.

EXTERIOR

The designing team at Lexus had a very difficult choice to make, whether to stick to a sober design and try to attract people with its fairly simple design or do the polar opposite have a very futuristic and crazy design with lots of lines and curves. With the 2016 RX350 they went with the second option and threw in everything that they could think of and boy am I glad that they didn’t stick with the first option.

As we have heard before from the famous old quote “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” And it is quite true, the futuristic look will definitely turn heads and demand a lot of attention but some people might not be very fond of it. I however loved the design, there wasn’t a bad angle! It looked equally gorgeous from all directions. The front of the car features a massive signature grill as on the newer versions with a chrome bar running around it and on the lower part of the front bumper.

The headlight is very sharp and angular in design with a pointed LED DRL (Daytime Running Lights). The side profile looks very striking thanks to the massive 20 inch allow wheels.it has some strong character lines flowing from the front to the back of the car. The LED taillights wrap around from the sides to the back and are joined by a chrome strip to give it a flowing look. There are twin chrome surround around the exhaust pipes. The RX350 that we tested was an F sport variant and had F Sport badging around the car to let people know about it.

INTERIOR

When you open the door to get in you are welcomed by a gorgeous red leather interior. While in the cabin you get the sense of luxury with all the premium elements used in the making of the interior. There is a panel of wood in the center console that is made by the piano division of Yamaha. You can see the attention to detail that has been put into it, even the volume knob is finished in aluminum.

The car is so quiet that you feel separated from the outer world. The instrument cluster looks like it was brought over from the legendary Lexus LFA. The dials being digital looks very nice while starting up and changes color when you put it in different modes. The infotainment system is stacked on top of the dash in a tablet like fashion. The infotainment system is a touchscreen unit but it has a swivel wheel that can be used to operate the screen too. The seats are ventilated so it can be cooled or heated according to your requirements.

Talking about the seats they provide very good support and hold you in place, it is also operated electrically. The sun roof allows more light to enter the already bright cabin. The space in the back seat is very good too, with ample of leg and head room. Plus the RX350 is wide enough to accommodate 3 people in the back comfortably. The F sport badging continues in the interior as well, there is an F Sport logo on the steering wheel.

PERFORMANCE

The motor powering the RX350 F Sport was a beastly 3.5 liter V6 engine producing 295BHP and 267 pound feet of torque. We started off in the eco mode, which to be honest wasn’t all that exciting to drive. To improve gas mileage a lot of the throttle response was cut down and it was slow to react to your input. So I quickly turned the dial to sport and then to the most extreme setting the sport + and there was night a day difference between the eco and the sport + mode.

The response was instant and the 8 speed automatic that this car comes equipped with was shifting gears a lot quicker. The F sport version comes with an adaptive suspension system that changes its setting to adjust to the drive modes to provide the best possible driving experience. This coupled with a powerful engine meant driving this vehicle would be an absolute joy and it really was.

And if you wanted to take things under your control then you can switch the gear to manual mode and shift using the paddle shifters which are very responsive. And to take it up a notch, you can turn the traction control off and lock the center differentials if required.

THE VERDICT

The RX350 F Sport is one of those cars that only the financially well off people can think of buying, priced at NPR. 2,38,00,000.00. But if you are someone who can afford to spend 2+ crores on a car then the Lexus RX350 F sport is a really good option in terms of Luxury and performance. It can give you the best of both worlds.

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