Lexus' good-looking RX 350 SUV has been strengthened with the addition of a flagship model bearing the XE designation.
The flagship derivative of the stylish Lexus RX 350 shares several of its features, including automatic cruise control, dual zone climate control, automatic headlights, electrochromatic rear view mirrors and a multi-function trip computer, with its "lesser" but still particularly well-equipped sibling.
Added to the standard model?s extensive feature list, the XE gains a driver's seat with two memorised positions, heated seats for the front occupants, an electrically adjustable steering column that moves away when the ignition is turned off, rain sensing wipers, a tilt and slide "moon roof" and an 11-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. The tailgate can now be opened with the touch of the boot release or remotely by using the key.
Lexus' EMV colour monitor with voice activation, satellite navigation and Bluetooth connectivity is also included. Parking is made simpler with the aid of a reverse camera with parking guides.
Visible differences on the XE include roof rails, chrome door handles and a grille that has been slightly tweaked.
This model is also powered by Lexus' new 3.5-litre quad cam V6 with VVT-I that produces 203 kW at 6 200 r/min and 342 Nm at 4 700 r/min.
Power is channeled to the four wheels via a five-speed electronically controlled automatic gearbox with a manual sequential shift function. The RX 350 uses permanent four-wheel drive with a limited slip differential.
Despite its size, the RX350 rockets to 100 km/h in 7.8 seconds and has a top speed limited to 180 km/h. Fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 11.2 l/100 km.
The Lexus RX350 comes with a four year/100 000 km full maintenance plan. Services are required at 15 000 km intervals and Roadside Assistance is included for the duration of the maintenance plan period.
The Lexus RX 350 costs R486 200 and the RX 350 XE sells for R542 200.