Lexus RX 350L Review – Savile (3rd) Row

Lexus RX 350L Review New Zealand

Savile Row is a small street located in the heart of London’s Mayfair district (the most expensive square to land on in Monopoly). At around 250m, it’s not overly long and if you have a look on Google Maps, it’s not exactly a pretty street, however, aside from it being linked to global exploration and the Beatles, above all, Savile Row is famous for one particular thing, and that’s suits.

With a history that dates back to the very early 1800’s, Savile Row has been the spiritual home of fine tailoring. Bespoke suits, Dinner Jackets and Tuxedos all have their roots firmly ensconced to this area and to be ‘fitted’ here is akin to having made it (success-wise). When it comes to suits, solid (one) colour are undoubtedly the most popular and most versatile, but, according to those in the know, if you’re looking to exude power, control and be a stand out, Stripes are where it’s at – and stripes are the first thing I saw when jumping inside the new Lexus RX350L.

The RX 350L is Lexus’s move into the versatile world of 7-seat SUV’s. It’s bold and impressive and yet not in an overpowering way. It’s dramatic architectural lines hide the SUV’s 5m length well, and its height (1.7m) seems reduced with a ‘floating’ roofline and sculpted arches at the rear. I had been given the sonic quartz version to review and it shone brightly in the fresh winter sun. The RX’s sloped nose is full of drama, with the Lexus grille surrounded in chrome, while black trim breaks up the otherwise solid lower aerodynamics. The 3-lens LED headlights and piercing sharp LED running lights merge their way into the front wings, while a roof lined spoiler, LED lights and a chrome underline, garnish the tail end.    

Under the bonnet is a 3.5L V6 VVTi engine that’s fittingly paired to an 8-speed auto transmission, the combination gives you high torque from low revs (216kW/358Nm), all delivered very smoothly and with a basey V6 purr.

Now back to those stripes. The Interior is very ‘high brow’. Plenty of Lexus luxury materials and a cabin that’s really easy to navigate around. But it’s the centre console and upper door trim that caught my eye. The double stripe pattern, inlaid to the high-gloss finished ‘Shimamoku’ panelling exuded self-assurance, not a hint of trying to hard or some overused wood effect, a modern and somehow classic approach – I guess you can tell I liked it.

The rest of the interior is very Lexus, and that in my book, is a good thing but the RX 350L had another trick up its sleeve and that was the 3rd row of seating options. At the flick of a switch, literally, two extra seats appear, turning almost 1,600L of cargo space into an additional seating area that even has its own climate control.

Taking the RX 350L on the open road is effortless and it’s an SUV that will just eat away the long trip k’s effortlessly. It feels solid and firm on the road and it’s loaded with driver and safety aids. The double glazed windows are a smooth as silk to open, the motor just engages seamlessly, none of that clunky start-stop motion about them, and they pretty good at keeping the riff-raff outside noise at bay too.

The RX 350L is a versatile SUV, it’s a bit of a road going all-rounder that can be made to fit your lifestyle as it expands or contracts. It’s got Lexus upmarket appeal and is extremely comfortable to drive. Oh and just like having access to your own Savile Row tailor, having 5 or 7 seats at your beck and call is something that is sure to ‘suit’.

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