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June 01, 2010

New Car Review: 2010 Lexus RX 350

By Bob Plunkett

Lexus 2010 RX 350_001 In quick whip-whip-whip motions, the nubby 19-inch front tires on a Lexus RX 350 luxury crossover utility vehicle claw for asphalt through a series of right-left-right hairpin curves as California 29 wiggles around Sugarloaf Mountain in a climb out of the Napa Valley.

The larger package creates more space for passengers in the five-seat cabin and more room for cargo.

Riders on the front buckets will find more than half an inch of additional legroom available, while another suitcase will fit in the back bay as cargo space expands by 1.7 cubic feet to 40.0 cubic feet.

This wagon looks bigger too.

The new trick for this smart system is that it can estimate where the wagon will be on the road in three seconds through calculations factoring vehicle speed and front wheel angles. A computer then resets the swivel lamps to the estimated road position to keep a light shining on the vehicle's forward path.

The RX 350 cabin is wrapped in concealed air bags -- up-front inflators for front seats plus seat-mounted side air bags and two more to shield the knees of front riders, then curtain-style air bags tucked into headliners above side windows front and back.

For preventive safety the vehicle offers the Advanced Pre-Collision System (APCS) packaged with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). The equipment can detect pedestrians in the path of the car and warn the driver or even deploy the brakes, if necessary.  A deluxe cabin piles on fancy appointments including electro-luminescent instruments in a vivid display. 

Lexus sets price points for the 2010 RX 350 at $36,800 for FWD and $38,200 with AWD.

Click here for more information about Lexus vehicles.

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