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Lexus RX (2010 – 2015)

BACKGROUND

The Lexus RX line-up effectively helped kick off the luxury crossover SUV scene some generations ago, and 2010 saw the third generation model launch globally with new power, styling and feature content that left the RX’s original blend of affordable luxury, quality, reliability and just-right sizing largely unchanged.

Notably, the RX is the recipient of numerous awards for owner satisfaction, reliability, low maintenance costs, safety and more. As a sure bet in a luxury crossover, this one’s hard to beat.

Lexus’s luxury SUV offered up both petrol-powered and hybrid variants to meet a wide range of needs. Feature content included a head-up display, climate controlled leather, high-resolution interfaces and gauges, Bluetooth, navigation, wood trim, a sunroof, automatic climate control, automatic xenon headlights, radar cruise control, push-button start/stop and much more.

Those who love their music are advised to seek out a model with the Mark Levinson audio system, and numerous packages can be sought out to fine-tune a used RX to the shopper’s precise budget, needs and lifestyle.

 

ENGINE & SPECIFICATIONS

Look for V6 power and All-Wheel Drive (AWD) on all models. Standard RX350 variants got a 3.5L V6 with 275 hp and an automatic transmission. Hybrid-powered variants; referred to as RX450h, packed a hybrid version of the 3.5L V6 – which adds an electric motor drive system, pushing power to 297 horses.

Notably, a Touring Package adds a voice-commanded navigation system, back-up camera, premium, climate-controlled seats and a self-dimming rear-view mirror. The F-Sport model adds bigger wheels, sporty design touches and a sports-tuned suspension, and the Ultra Premium 2 Package goes top-dog, with all of the toys, including a rear seat DVD console and heaps more.

 

WHAT OWNERS LIKE

Overall, it’s a sense of practical luxury, well-appointed cabin, flexibility and overall comfort that get RX owners talking. A quiet ride is reported, along with great handling and good traction in wetter conditions. Styling and smoothness are also highly rated.

 

WHAT OWNERS DISLIKE

Some owners wish for more at-hand storage, a more detailed and upscale cabin, a third row of seating, and a more modern and easy-to-use navigation system. Some drivers report a rough ride on some rougher surfaces, more on models with bigger wheels. Some owners of the hybrid-powered version of the RX wish for less whining noises as the electric drive system works away beneath the vehicle in some situations.

 

COMMON ISSUES

Start with a walk-around of your potential used RX candidate, checking the condition of the wheels, checking that both xenon projector headlamps illuminate, and ensuring the front bumper is properly attached at the edges and lines up with the panels adjacent to it. Double check for proper operation of the intelligent key system, all windows and the climate control system.

Ensure the central display system operates as expected, with no unwelcome blackouts, failure to switch between on-screen displays, or failure to display the back-up camera. Any issues with operation of the central system should be identified and remedied before purchase.

Ensure the RX you’re considering hasn’t been pre-warmed ahead of your test-drive. Insist on starting the engine cold and listening for any loud ticking or knocking sound as it idles after start up.

Hesitation during gear shifting on the automatic transmission may be remedied by reprogramming the transmission’s computer CPU. This problem is somewhat common on numerous Toyota and Lexus models with automatic transmissions in this generation, and is easy to spot and typically easily fixed with updated electronics. It would be wise to have a dealer mechanic or one familiar with Lexus vehicles take a look, and check transmission fluid levels, for peace of mind if you note any issues.

Additionally, an in-the-air check of the used RX’s suspension system should be done, with an eye for leaky shocks which will require replacement, as well as a check for proper performance of the air conditioner system. Any failure of the system to quickly deliver strong, cool air could be the result of a dirty or plugged condenser, or a refrigerant leak. Your local Lexus/Toyota dealer can check into issues like these with ease.

It is important to have the RX you’re considering inspected for standard signs of fluid leakage, rust, suspension wear, sporadic power delivery or warning lights as well. Lexus (luxurious vehicle) or not, the RX and RX hybrid are vehicles made of parts that will eventually wear down. Opting for a model with full service records and a clean bill of health from a Lexus mechanic is your easiest path to a confident purchase.

Customers set on a hybrid RX variant are advised against purchase without having all system components inspected and scanned electronically by a Lexus-certified mechanic. Have the condition of the vehicle’s conventional battery checked, as some owners report issues related to battery levels, as the RX450h’s engine doesn’t run full time, which can prevent full conventional battery recharging as the battery ages. Finally, note any hybrid-related warning lights or messages that may be present in the driver computer or instrument cluster.

 

CONCLUSION

Largely, it appears that the RX and RX Hybrid maintain Lexus’s reputation for reliability. A well-maintained, non-hybrid model will be the lowest-cost alternative for most customers, and added confidence can be had by purchasing a model from a Certified Pre-Owned program at a Lexus dealer. Common issues should be easily-spotted and easily fixed.

 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • Toyota Kenya is the official and sole distributor of all new and approved Toyota vehicles in Kenya including all new Lexus vehicles (which is a luxury vehicle manufacturer owned by Toyota). They are located along Uhuru Highway, adjacent to Nakumatt Mega.
  • The company offers after sales service as well as comprehensive warranties for all their vehicles. Check out their official websites or visit their showrooms for more information.
  • Used Lexus models can also be located at a number of Used Car Yards around Nairobi through the Cheki.com official website.
  • Examples of local yards and dealers who deal in luxury Lexus cars are Subru Motors; who are located in Lavington along James Gichuru Road.
  • They can also be serviced at credible garages or mechanics that are familiar with Lexus vehicles. An example is Unity Auto Garage; who are located along Kampala Road, off Enterprise Road, Industrial Area.
  • Check out all these official websites or visit their yards or offices respectively for more information.