A look at the new Lexus RX350

By Iñigo S. Roces

Posted at May 15 2012 12:53 PM | Updated as of May 16 2012 03:15 AM

The new Lexus RX350. Photo: Handout

MANILA, Philippines -- Just a few months after the unveiling of the GS350, Lexus Manila pulled the wraps off another vehicle last week in its showroom at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig to reveal the new RX model line.

The 2012 model boasts of significant improvements in its exterior and interior design.

During his speech at the launch, Lexus Manila president Daniel Isla described the RX as a "crossover" in that it “crosses over” into all aspects of one's day-to-day routine.

"From the boardroom to the greens, from meetings to a round of golf, the RX integrates itself within your lifestyle,” he said.

The most noticeable change is the application of a more elegant and aggressive frontal design, soon to be adopted by the entire lineup as the brand’s visual identity. Two trapezoids bridge the bumper mid-section to create a prominent "spindle" shape, the signature grille design of the marque.

Clear lenses have been fitted to both headlamps and tail lamps with a stronger, more sweeping horizontal emphasis. The cluster design of the front headlights incorporate a choice of halogen, high intensity discharge (HID) headlamps, underscored by LED daytime running lights (DRL) drawn form the L-finesse arrowhead motif.

Wheels have been enlarged to 18-inch aluminum as standard, while the body boasts of up to 10 color choices.

Inside, the RX also features an expanded choice of color schemes, new trim finishes, a new steering wheel and a revised instrument binnacle.

Inside the new Lexus RX350. Photo: Handout

The ellipse-shaped wheel allows for a more relaxed grip and smoother inputs, while the seat stitching is made up of thicker thread and more prominent colors.

The dashboard design is enlivened through the addition of a matte silver insert above the glovebox. The center console box has been revised to allow a larger opening angle, with its USB port and accessory socket moved closer to the top of the box.

In addition, the RX is also available with more luxurious options under the new "Premier" package, which includes a tilt and slide moonroof, new 19-inch aluminium alloy wheels, driver’s seat, steering wheel and side mirror memory functions, a multipurpose roof rail, perforated leather seats, power rear door and a backup camera integrated in the rear view mirror.

The standard RX350 is priced at P3.578 million while the RX350 Premiere costs P3.898 million.

Meanwhile, Lexus said it will continue to improve upon the model later in the year with the highly anticipated introduction of the RX 450h hybrid model.