Lexus RX (03 - 09) Owner reviews

No longer on sale

This is my third new RX 450 and they are the best cars I have ever owned,reliable comfortable,fast and economical around 31 mpg not bad for a 3.5 litre petrol engine. I am looking to replace my 2010 model with a new one soon.

David Neale, December 4th 2013

h 3.5 SE 5dr CVT Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG31 mpg

Coming from a 2005 Lexus RX300 this car is a large step up. I have the F Sport version which handles much better than the other models as well as providing exclusive styling and more equipment. Firstly, the technology behind the car is amazing, you cant even tell the hybrid drivetrain is working, its pretty much silent. Definitely the best refinement in its class. When flooring it, the car shifts, faster than my wifes Audi Q7 3.0 TDI which is on a 12 plate so is the latest 245bhp engine. Handling is good, obviously you have to realise its not a car so there is a little lean in the corners but not much. More than an X5 but then again, this car has a much better ride than any of its competition. The main reason I bought this car was the equipment, its basically fully loaded and spec for spec, is cheaper than all its competition. The equivalent Audi Q7 or BMW X5 would cost over £55k. Also, the car attracts a lot of attention, let me tell you, loads!! Ive always received compliments on the car whereas my wifes Q7 has rarely done, maybe because my car not mainstream like the BMW'S and Mercedes'. Mainly its because it looks different and the F Sport design is very pleasing to the eye. Interior wise, the car is great. It has amazing little details like windows which slow down just before shutting so the sound is satisfying. The doors are really heavy and close with a great thud. The leather is of great quality, much softer than the german cars who seem to prefer hard lea

ray sakha, May 31st 2013

h 3.5 F-Sport 5dr CVT Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG31.6 mpg

This is my first lexus, also is my wife's daily car. it's quiet,refined well. usually get about 22-24/MPG. it's not too bad. no problem whatsoever, oh, i replaced a new battery after a year. other than that, there is no problem at all. i do a lot of caravan in summer, it's god for a caravan (4 berth). offroad ? honestly, i tried a little bit in n yorkshire. it's more than you need, i have had jeep, landcruiser before. honestly to say, landcruiser is the best for offroading, but on road, too much body roll. jeep ? i loved the name, but too much problem ( i was told i as so unlucky by dealer). i hope i can have a 450h later.

alan song, March 29th 2011

3.0 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG22 mpg

The fuel economy is excellent for a vehicle of this size and despite reading some negative reviews about the hybrid technology. The batteries charge while you are driving and drain within minutes when the electric motors kick in. If only drive short journeys around town then you are unlikely to see much benefit. However, if you do a lot of motorway miles then you'll be in for a surprise. I crossed France (700+ miles) on little over 2 tanks of 98 octane fuel! I consistently get around 30mpg, which is better than my 2.8 litre VW Bora 4-Motion. Performance is also extremely good, when the electric motors kick in to aid the 3.3 litre engine accelerate it leaves most cars in the dust. On the down side, it's useless in snow or icy conditions. It's not a 4x4 so this is to be expected. The touch screen controls take some getting used to simply because there is such a myriad of options. The SatNav is very good too and comes preloaded with detailed maps for all European countries. The sound system is excellent and the tape player has actually come in quite useful - at last something to play all the 80's tapes on! There's a lot of technology running this SUV so I would definitely recommend keeping the car in warranty. You can extend it for £800 (half the price of a Merc warranty) per year until the vehicle is over 7 years old. At first it was hard making the leap from driving a performance car to an SUV, but the more I drive this car the more I like it...

Asim Jalali, South Buckinghamshire, February 9th 2009

h 3.3 SE 5dr CVT Auto [Multimedia]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG30 mpg

Refreshing to drive, fun and comfortable, a cut above the rest - well done Lexus!! david jordan www.confidence-europe.com

David Jordan, January 14th 2009

h 3.3 SE 5dr CVT Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Overall this is the best car I have ever owned, including BMW. The shape is a head turner, I have the RX300 SEL(03)with height adjustable air suspension, multiple speaker sound system & built in Sat Nav (why so rare on cars these days ??) along with intel' lights, auto wipers & a reversing camera with parking assistance that is soo much better than either turning round or parking sensors(eat your heart out John Sergeant..line some children up behind my car and yours and I'll bet I see more earlier than you !!) and being 4x4 the grip is much safer on wet/icy roads than non 4x4s. The rear seats adjust in several ways (why not other cars ?)and I can open the boot when carrying heavy loads or pushing a shopping trolley before I reach the car..and close it likewise.. great in the rain. Unfortunately people berate folk for using capable and safe cars rather than a persons annual carbon emissions from TOTAL lifestyle, especially when cars like the Lexus RX are so versatile (ie tow a boat or caravan and cut down on holiday air miles emissions), comfortable to drive if your normal "average" size (reading earlier comments) though a huge friend says he finds my RX better to sit in, travel and get in and out from than his brand new BMW5 series...I guess the versatility of the electric (memory)seats helps. Or.. I could do an LPG conversion on the Lexus RX300 for about £1,800.. time will tell.

Brian Lentz, Hertfordshire, January 12th 2009

3.0 SE-L 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

This car is really not at all exciting or in any ways a good looking car. Yes I would say the seats are comfortable, but the stiff suspension that feels like the springs are made out of wooden blocks really dose not promote that fact... The MPG is a bit off too, for quick city like driving your average will go from 25MPG to 15MPG this will hurt your wallet! On the whole i would not buy one.

Andrew Clarke, Ayrshire, November 22nd 2008

SE 5dr Auto [Navigator]

  • Overall verdict2/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs2/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG15 mpg

I hadan RX350 SE but got rid 'cos I bought a Ducati and an 'astra' i have an understanding wife hahaha. Now looking at returning to the RX as it is very good, especially now the second hand market prices are so good. Will probably look at an 05/06 good value for money. My wife sooo misses this car, we are running around in a mini clubman and I still ride the ducati but now I shall return to Lexus. Superb cars, great dealership at mitchell cheshire oaks, I have had 3 lexus from them so would like some loyalty bonus from them!!!! will let you know when I get back in the lexus

GAry Cross, Merseyside, October 20th 2008

3.5 LE 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG29 mpg

In looking for a new car I have had a 4 day test drive in the 400h. I have come to the conclusion that the car is pointless and you would be much better buying a BMW 525d estate. The main point is the electric drive, very clever but almost never used. I drove the car fairly conservatively covering 400miles with mixed motorway and town driving and got 26.8MPG. Same trip (a regular round trip) in the BMW is 37MPG. The BMW has the same 5 seats, bigger boot, goes around corners, less wind noise at motorway speeds, longer service intervals, a dash which isn't made made from a cheap 1980's music centre...and what is the tape all about? And as for the display, most of it is gimicy, the reversing camera is far worse than radar. But worse of all is that after a 200 mile journey the top of my back was aching. I am 6ft 1 and the seats are too short. On the plus side is goes like stink...just mind the corners!!!

Mark Steers, Berkshire, September 21st 2008

h 3.3 SE 5dr CVT Auto [Multimedia]

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality2/5
  • Average MPG27 mpg

I have owned my RX for 3 years and have just discovered a major design problem. If you break the wing mirror glass an oil like fluid inside will stain your bodywork, beware! Lexus refuse to pay for this and in addition to £234 for the glass I was asked to pay £1200 for the required respray. Their customer service has gone from outstanding to rock bottom. I hope this is reflected in the next JD Power survey. Add this to massive depreciation, buy one at your peril!!

Christopher Barrett, Kent, July 25th 2008

3.0 SE-L 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG24 mpg

I'm pretty impressed with this car, very nice ride and comfortable to drive. Excellent stereo and some nice toys inside the multimedia system. Economy about what I expected with a lot of local town and motorway driving, with the occasional hyperspace moment when the opportunity presents itself. This is almost the perfect car for my lifestyle (I think if I had a fortune and was allowed only one car, this would still be The One). Previous car was an Audi which, in comparison, shows up just a couple of flaws in the Lexus: - a couple of trim/console buzzes which I need to get round to talking to the dealer about; a surprisingly lightweight trip computer (no distance-to-go, average speed etc); intriguing ICE provision - 6-disc DVD player and a tape drive (!) but no iPod input; and THE MOST INFURIATING nanny lockouts on the satnav etc. What is so hazardous about my passenger trying to select the previous destination on the move? Designed by geniuses, implemented by lawyers. Fortunately there are 'cheat codes' to bypass some of these on the web, but waiting for the codes for the '08 model.

Neil Morphett, Hampshire, July 10th 2008

h 3.3 SE 5dr CVT Auto [Multimedia]

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality3/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have owned this car for 16 months and have covered 34k. The build quality is very good. Having previously owned 3 Mercedes the difference in build quality and dealer service is staggering. The running costs are reasonable, the only niggle being the 10k service intervals - too short. The interior is well laid out and everything is to hand. The only negative is that it looks a little basic compared to some of the German designs. The boot is not huge. The ride comfort is brilliant. After a long drive you still feel fresh and awake. I get around 28-30mpg mostly motorway driving - around town it's worse (24). The hybrid idea is great but it's just not delivering enough payback to make sense. The 3.3 V6 petrol engine is very quick for a car of this size. I suppose if you want greater fuel figures you have to buy a diesel and as Lexus don't offer a diesel you have to look at the RR Sport, Merc ML, or BMW X5 and having tried and owned the others on offer, the build quality of the ML along with the dealer service is poor. The 2.7 D RR is slow and overpriced with poor dealer attitude. And the new X5 is too expensive to buy. After considering my next car the conclusion is that although the design is not very exiting, I will struggle to find anything else as well built, more comfortable, more reliable for similar money.

PAUL PARRY, WALES, April 14th 2008

h 3.3 SE-L 5dr CVT Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

We swaped from IS 250...very comfy, much quiter than the IS. It's smooth but a little dull to drive??? It has the usual Lexus quality that can't be faulted, but we got rid due to high running costs, especially now that 4x4 are the 'devil' and being shafted by the Government. You only have to look at the forecourts to see how many are being returned!! Still a good motor though, if your willing to pay to keep it on the road.

Gary Cross, April 10th 2008

3.5 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict3/5
  • What it's like to drive3/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have been lucky to try this hybrid in two formats. Whilst waiting for my new car to be delivered, I was supplied with a much hacked fleet demonstrator with thousands of miles on its back. The body work had survived extremely well and looked like new. The top of the rear bumper was scratched by heavy loads. The interior was immaculate with only a sagging driver's seat squab showing heavy useage. Everything in the car worked splendidly. I ran it for two or three weeks and averaged 34mpg. Performance was a new experience. Our Range Rover was not in the same league. This hybrid really does fly!It's mpg dropped noticeably when I was simulating Lewis, as it did on high speed motorway cruising. Still most impressive though. In my new hybrid, during running in, it has returned some stunning figures. Over an 80 mile trip, it averaged 41mpg and over another 42mpg. I know that I will not be able to control my right foot when there is a 0-60 time of around 7 seconds to be had, but it is interesting to see what could be achieved by a more patient driver. I look forward to seeing how the car tows. The choice of interior trim and colours could be more extensive and some switchgear needs improving. On balance, however, this is a well thought through vehicle that very much deserves the motoring press tag of a 'phenomenon'. ALL the people I have dealt with at Lexus have been first class. I come from a background of Mercedes and Land Rover and, boy, are they different!

Cliff Hannam, March 18th 2008

h 3.3 SE 5dr CVT Auto [Multimedia]

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs5/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I own the RX300SE-L. This is one of the best 4x4 I have driven. It is lovely and very comfortable. Cos of this, I am on the look out for SC430.

tunde sofowora, kent, February 21st 2008

3.0 SE-L 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality4/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

Last reviewed a year ago and now up to 50,000 miles.First the bad news.Dealers not as efficient as you might think (but like most things it seems to come down to the individuals you deal with ). My car has intermittent fault on stereo - no one seems to know what 'error 4' might mean (CD player freezes ). went 2 months without then suddenly OK ( dealer wanted to take the whole built in unit out ! )Also, seems very sensitive to incorrect balancing when new tyres fitted - I am not convinced it's 100% right so will try 'alignmycar' soon to double check.Big depreciation still ongoing ( what a bargain used ).Mpg down to 19 when not on motorway. Still, can't think of anything to match it - all the superlatives still apply.Have driven down to Spain, Italy, Germany and always felt fresh and relaxed.Needs a bigger boot though when fully loaded. Currently paying £30 a month with warranty direct for peace of mind as servicing costs very reasonable but suspect repairs potentially punitive.No regrets.Accept some intrinsic design flaws with this car ( it's real home is the USA where they are very common ) then drive and buy.

GARY KARPINSKI, BUCKS, January 31st 2008

3.0 SE-L 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict4/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have had this car for 2 years now and after having the usual suspect of BMW and Mercedes, this car is a gem. Ownership costs are OK when you compare it with equivalent cars. What really makes this car is its refinement, reliability and the dealer network. The germans have some of the worst arrogant dealers in the trade, Lexus dealers cannot do enough for you and live up to expectations of a luxury car dealer. One excellent part of the service is that you can spread your service costs in affordable monthly payments linked to your mileage.

Martin Abbott, January 15th 2008

3.0 SE-L 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive4/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have had my 3 yr old 300 SE-L for nearly a year now and cannot find enough superltives to describe it adequately. I have a history of getting bored very quickly with cars and have been known to change after 6 months more than once, however, I cannot think of any car that would meet my requirements of practicality, style and comfort better than the Lexus. It is supremely refined, beautifully made and reasonable to run when compared to its so-called "rivals". Service levels from Lexus remind me of those that used to exist in BMW and Mercedes years ago. It stands up to the abuse of being filled with every thing from the supermarket run to mud covered fishing and golf equpiment and will even cope with the odd piece of furniture, the air suspension adjusts so well that you would hardly notice the difference between being fully laden and empty. If you can afford the "L" package, even if that means you have to buy something a little older, it is well worth it, the goodies that come with it such as zenon self adjusting and corner following headlamps, excellent satnav, superb sound system and air suspension add just that extra bit of decadence to make the car really standout in a crowd. The age of the car seems to make no impact on appearence or reliability so go for something 2yrs old and get one of the best value for money luxury SUV's around I may even keep this car for an all time record of over 2 years 3 months. Well done Lexus!!

Tony Feasey, essex, January 2nd 2008

3.0 SE-L 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

I have never owned such a piece of automotive genius as this Lexus. Once i decided (with my heart not head) to buy this i have not looked back. The driving position is simply brilliant: you can look over the roofs of most vehicles, which gives you good time to read conditions etc. The power of the 3 litre petrol engine is rapid on tap, but due to its thirst you don;t want to use this to often. This really is the only downside: I return on average 25 to 28 mpg thats motorway at a steady 70/75mph. Around town 18 to 22mpg. I have to say, though, this vehicle is a pure cruiser and can whisk you with minimum effort to wherever you desire and I guarantee you will arrive mellow. The seats are sumptious, all leather and heated. The sound system is like having a live band in the car its truly worth just sitting on your drive listening to BON JOVI (Living on a Prayer). Servicing does not come cheap, as you would expect for a Lexus 4x4. But compared to BMW and Audi it is good value. I would buy another, probably the newer RX350. To sum up: great toys, great ride (faultless), thirsty (62 quid to fill for 300 miles), servicing bearable, great looks, overall 5 out of 5.

Martin HARRIS, MONMOUTHSHIRE, December 10th 2007

3.0 SE 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs3/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg

True, the running costs are expensive but compare it to any other car in its class and it doesn't seem so bad. I've driven BMW X5s, Volvo XC90s, Porsche Cayennes, Discoverys etc - this car is way ahead of all of them on the road, and has enough off the road capability for almost everyone. I don't understand the comment about it being a 4 seater - the reason I bought it is because I have three large teenage sons and a dog and it is the only car (and I mean the only car) which has every goodie, no transmission tunnel and is less than £40,000. It is, quite simply, an unbeatable vehicle in almost every category. Dealer is fantastic, reliability is fantastic. The only slight disappointment for me is the radio quality - the CD is fine, but the radio is poor. I'm just about to buy the RX350 which I expect to be even better (can't go for the 400 because that does have the transmission tunnel problem which effectively makes it a 4 seater.) Don't buy any other big 4x4 if you can afford the Lexus.

Stephen Godbold, September 20th 2007

3.0 SE-L 5dr Auto

  • Overall verdict5/5
  • What it's like to drive5/5
  • Running costs4/5
  • Quality5/5
  • Average MPG0 mpg