2010 Lexus RX350 and RX450h – Click above for high-res image gallery Few vehicles have done more to establish a genre and define a brand as much as the Lexus RX. Introduced over a decade ago to suburbanite real estate agents and their Napa-weekending friends, the original RX300 helped boost Lexus sales by 60% when it hit dealers in late 1998. Over the ensuing years, Lexus' posh people mover slowly evolved to include a hybrid drivetrain, a refreshed exterior and tasteful appointments that helped solidify its success. For 2010, the RX plays the same tune but adds a few more instruments, a new backbeat and reworked crescendo. %Gallery-41004% Photos Copyright ©2008 Damon Lavrinc / Weblogs, Inc. Try as we might to fight tooth-and-nail for the original CUV – the loved and loathed AMC Eagle – the Lexus RX foisted the crossover concept onto center stage and proved to the public there was a credible alternative to joining the SUV set. The styling was inoffensive, the interior was typical late-90s luxury and – being a unibody vehicle – the ride was astoundingly smooth compared to the SUV-turned-Rapper's Delight sold at Lincoln and Cadillac dealerships. The 2010 Lexus RX brings more of the same, beginning with a reworked exterior that adopts the L-finesse design theme and grows in several dimensions. The rolling jellybean aesthetic of the outgoing model is ditched in favor of sharp creases and broad shoulders that give the RX a more hunkered-down appearance while still remaining innocuous. The RX's newfound stance is thanks to a 2.2-inch wider track in front and a 2.6-inch stretch in the rear, along with a wheelbase that spans 107.9 inches. The added girth improves interior room and helps handling, but the 2010 RX pays the poundage piper for its widened proportions and added safety. The standard RX350 in front-wheel-drive spec packs on almost 500 pounds over its predecessor, while the AWD version deals with an additional 400 pounds of mass. The RX450h doesn't fair much better, with the FWD version motivating an additional 460 pounds and the AWD model carrying an extra 445 pounds. Despite the added weight, and helped in part by revised drivetrains and a coefficient of drag of 0.33, fuel efficiency is up across the range, with the RX350 returning 18/25 city/highway in FWD trim and 18/24 with AWD, while the RX450h FWD gets 28/27 and the AWD variant achieves 28/26. The grille, headlamps and tail-lamps are far more dynamic, and tie in nicely to the tweaked C-pillar, swage lines and subtle roof-mounted spoiler that completely conceals the rear window wiper and houses the AM/FM antenna. The RX450h features a smattering of blue tinting on the front and rear emblems, headlights, tail-lights and "hybrid" logos to set it apart from its standard sibling. Base models are fitted with halogen headlamps and 18-inch wheels, while HIDs, 19-inch rolling stock and a "sport" package that features revised dampers, stiffer bushings and a recalibrated electronic power steering rack are optional. The L-finesse philosophy …
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|MPG||32 City / 28 Hwy|
|Transmission||6-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||245 @ 6000 rpm|
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