By: IOL Motoring Staff
Johannesburg - Lexus has built its reputation on comfort, build quality, and a high level of standard equipment - and that applies particularly to the RX crossover, its most successful model in the United States.
A recent styling revision gave it a more assertive frontal treatment and new 19” alloys, for a sportier persona, as well as a number of detail tweaks in the cabin, notably the remote touch controller, which now operates more like a computer mouse. Even the opening angle of the centre console box lid has been increased to make it easier to reach whatever's inside.
Now, however, Lexus SA has released the RX350 Special Edition, with bells and whistles on its bells and whistles - starting with adaptive high intensity-discharge xenon headlights that swivel up to 15 degrees on the left and 10 degrees on the right.
The electronically adjustable steering column now has a memory function, as do the power-adjustable side mirrors and both front seats, so they can return automatically to preset 'just right' positions, after somebody else has been driving your RX.
There's a miniature camera in the passenger's-side mirror housing, activated by a button on the steering wheel, that sends video images to the car's central display - and somebody at Lexus woke up to the fact that you need it most when space is tight, so it still works when the mirrors are folded.
A head-up display projects simple navigation directions, audio information and vehicle speed on to the front windscreen, including a distance countdown and an animated arrow to guide you intuitively through turns.
ACCURATELY BALANCED SOUND
Each element of the 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system has been tuned not only for its particular frequency but also for where it is in the cabin, for accurately-balanced 7.1-channel surround sound.
Because it's a grass and not a tree, nobody thinks of bamboo in terms of wood-veneer finishes but it's not only one of the most sustainable plant products on the planet, it also yields a beautifully close-grained, silky-smooth blonde wood, which is used to striking effect in decorative elements for the soft, plain black leather trim on the steering wheel, door panels, instrument panel and cup-holders.
And finally, there's LED lighting on the door sill plates that makes it very difficult for Aunt Vera to miss her footing stepping out of your RX350 SE.
All of which will cost you R724 000 - R40K more than the standard RX350 EX, with the same four-year or 100 000km warranty and service plan.