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With annual sales of over 100,000 units, the Lexus RX350 is the crown jewel of Toyota's luxury marque. The CUV started the luxury crossover craze, but a recent comparison test by Motor Trend concluded that the Hyundai Veracruz was perhaps the better all-around crossover. Lexus fully intends to protect its lucrative turf, so a larger, all-new RX is on the horizon, likely based on the same platform as the new Toyota Highlander. Spy photos from the Lehmann clan show an elongated test mule with a noticeable extension at the rear side window. This means that Lexus is keeping up with the competition by adding the ability to house seven occupants, just like with the Highlander. A third row of seats could make the RX an even more popular vehicle, but Lexus designers will have to be careful not to ruin the trademark design that's made the RX so successful in the first place. We expect to see the new RX unveiled at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show, and we'll bring you all the shots from the show floor when it happens.
[Source: Auto Express]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      "a recent comparison test by Motor Trend concluded that the Hyundai Veracruz was perhaps the better all-around crossover"

      To clarify, I believe the result was really more like Hyundai was a better VALUE, not a better vehicle. Lexus was still tops in interior quality, drivetrain, refinement, and several other areas. The test was supposed to determine which is a better vehicle, no excuses. Yet they weighted price significantly. Fine by me, they can make their own rules, but call it what it is. I'm not knocking Hyundai, it's a very fine vehicle. But they did not rate it objectively better in any way except for interior design (bot NOT interior materials).

      Anyway, I have trouble believing there will be a lot of cross-shopping these two brands. Those TV and radio commercials that compare the interior room of an Azera vs. the BMW 7-series are truly ridiculous.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Agreed, Andy.
        • 8 Years Ago
        This is from their spec sheet:


        Electronically-controlled all-wheel-drive system automatically routes power to the wheels that have the best traction. The driver-selectable AWD lock provides a continuous 50/50 torque split between front and rear wheels
        • 8 Years Ago
        No, it does not.
        It has a clutch coupled rear axle.
        There is no center differential.
        • 8 Years Ago
        I've recently drove in both cars and I have to say that the Veracruz felt and looked better, especially on the inside. The 08 model adds the missing GPS option as well as an impressive list of additional standard features to the Limited trim. On top of that, it's still ten grand less than the Lexus and has a better warranty. Unless you're buying the L badge, it's tough to dismiss the Hyundai.
        • 8 Years Ago
        The ad campaign is smart. While I doubt most people cross-shop BMW/Lexus with Hyundai (tho, I wouldn't be surprised if some people opt for the Genesis over a 3-series), it does get people thinking about Hyundai in a different light.

        After all, both Ford and GM have had ad campaigns with similar comparisons.
        • 8 Years Ago
        The Veracruz certainly does have 4WD.
        • 8 Years Ago
        Buyers who are ready to purchase a Lexus/BMW/MB either for status symbol, or can afford it, are not considering the Hyundai as an alternative. The other luxury makers are the alternatives. MSRP to MSRP, not considering any dealer price variances and incentives, the Vera Cruz is essentially $10K less than the Lexus, which on paper is a lot, but factor that once NAV comes into play $2000+, and the variance in interior quality (let's say value at $1000+) then really the difference is $7000K, which at the price mark of $42K compared to $35K is not that much really (16.6%). We're not talking a college kid vehicle where it's either $12K for a Hyundai or $19K for a Civic (36.8%).

        What I'm saying is, it's all relative once you get to this higher level of price.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It bugs me that all automakers have to stuff third rows into every car they can. Most of the seats are so small they just end up being a waste of space.

      I didn't get to see what it looks like, that link isn't working. DOes anyone have it?
      • 8 Years Ago
      As with the current model, it has an atrocious rear window/roofline. Three windows and lines all converging down into the beltline. Looks like a an accordian fan or a squashed egg. This feature has ruined it for my family for a long time now. Give it a NORMAL rear window and roof! Last, the clamshell hood looks cheap and toyish. But it's going to sell like the current ugly one does being it's a Lexus. Grrrr
      • 8 Years Ago
      I have an RX330 and have been supremely disappointed with it. There were numerous problems with it for the first year including warped rotors at 10k miles, a faulty power liftgate, the check engine light would turn on for no reason, a poor shifting transmission, and both key fobs fell apart. I have 3 friends with the same vehicle and they all complain about the transmission issue. Plus the cargo space is less than a decent size sedan and the mileage is poor.

      It's a good looking vehicle, but in the end it's a piece of crap. As the previous owner of a valet parking business, I am familiar with the other Lexus offerings, and this is not up to the standards of their other vehicles.

      If you're considering this vehicle, save your money. I'm not saying buy the Hyundai, but there are better choices in the segment.
        • 8 Years Ago
        We considered the sleek Lexus RX notwithstanding it is somewhat narrow and the seat bottoms are a bit short for a tall driver. The wood and leather appurtenances are lovely. We thought the prominent ersatz aluminum dash trim unattractive. The widely reported transmission hesitation problem, though not apparent with the demonstrator vehicle, was a concern.

        Owner's forums are filled with issues similar to yours, particularly transmission woes. Lexus does not appear to be looking after customer concerns. Reports of complaints dismissed as normal and stonewalling are common.

        After several practical, reliable appliance cars we opted for some automotive flair settling on an Infiniti FX. The view over the long curvy hood is reminiscent of the classic Jaguar I have unashamedly lusted for since high school, the performance excellent, the exhaust note invigorating, J.D. Power long term quality ratings encouraging and Infiniti customer care superb.
      • 8 Years Ago
      wow, now it just looks like a toyota matrix wagon and not a CUV! I've never been a fan of this design anyway, I did like the original design before it was redone. But obviously I'm a minority since women buy these things like they're goin out of style.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Lexus finally made enough money to hire it's first designer! Great job.
      • 8 Years Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh man, I used to love the RX series, but that is just ugly. It actually looks to me like the Veracruz!

      I wonder if they plan to add a smaller CUV to compete with the RDX, X3, etc... now that the RX is getting fat?
        • 8 Years Ago
        Except I like the Veracruz more!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Less MPG!

      - But it's OK, 'cause it's a LEXUS!

      (Cue the choir and release the doves)
      • 8 Years Ago
      I will continue hearing "Motor trend""Veracruz""RX" from the Hyundai man eternally.
      Motor trend is their Bible.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Excellent! Another overpriced, giant-assed CUV! Whoo!
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