Lexus does a superb job of designing steering wheels. The wood used on the RX350's wheel feels luxurious and gives the impression that the vehicle is very substantial and smooth. It feels as if it were taken out of an LS460 and all of the positive tactile sensations came along with it. It's a good thing the steering wheel itself feels so good, because not a lot of feedback makes its way from the wheels that touch the ground to the wheel in your hands.
I spent most of my time in the Lexus RX350 thinking about how small the original RX looked and how big the new one looks and feels. It's easy to see why the RX has been on top of the sales charts since it debuted -- it gives a good mix of power, luxury, and comfort, and it carries the Lexus name. No, it isn't terribly exciting to drive, but that's not what buyers in this class want or need. All of the insulation that Lexus is famous for works well in this class. Buyers looking for a little more involvement would be wise to drive an Infiniti EX35, although there isn't nearly as much room in the back seat. If fashion is your thing, consider a Cadillac SRX and its edgier design. All of the other players in this segment fail to distinguish themselves from the Lexus in any positive ways.
Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor