A new RX-the RX 350-debuts for 2007. It adopts a new 3.5L V-6 in either front- or all-wheel-drive configuration. There's a new direct tire pressure monitor system, a standard premium audio system with six-disc, in-dash CD changer, and the optional navigation system now includes a backup camera.
Lexus' fresh RX 350 is available in two trims this year: front- and all-wheel drive (AWD); both get their power from a throttle-by-wire (a system that substitutes the mechanical link between the throttle pedal and the engine with an electronic connection), 3.5L V-6 producing 270 hp and 251 lb.-ft. of torque to an electronically controlled, 5-speed automatic transmission. AWD versions get a revised viscous limited-slip center differential, which enhances drivability in all types of driving conditions. The full-time AWD system provides a constant 50/50 front-to-rear power split. If slippage occurs, the viscous differential directs torque to the wheels with the most traction. Safety features include front, driver's knee, front-side, and side curtain air bags; four-channel ABS-assisted brakes with Brake Assist and electronic brake force distribution; stability control; traction control; and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Standard features include automatic dual-zone climate control with smog-sensing air filtration, metallic-finish interior accents, walnut or bird's-eye maple wood trim, wood- and leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob, gated shifter and sliding center console that adjusts three ways to provide extra storage and space, 17-inch alloy wheels, black privacy glass and a black rear spoiler, which accents the rugged stance and advanced styling.
Notable options include leather trim, a multi-panel moonroof, Adaptive Front Lighting System, headlamp washers, Dynamic Laser Cruise Control, a power rear door, and rain-sensing intermittent windshield wipers. Also available is a Mark Levinson premium audio system featuring 11 speakers, a six-disc, in-dash DVD/CD auto changer, and DVD audio and video playback capability. For those passengers traveling in the back, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system featuring a nine-inch screen can be ordered.
The Lexus RX-Series competes in the Midsize Premium Crossover Utility Vehicle (CUV) segment, which consists of 14 models. Buyers in this segment look for quality, reliability, and performance, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Lexus RX-Series (108,348 units sold), Acura MDX (54,121), and Volvo XC90 (33,200). The Lexus RX-Series' 108,348 sales in 2006 represent a decrease of 0.4 percent compared to the previous year. Other models offered in the Midsize Premium CUV segment include the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, BMW X5, Infiniti FX-Series, Cadillac SRX, and Mercedes-Benz R-Class. Joining the segment in 2007 is the Lincoln MKX.