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The Lexus RX 350 SUV is a favorite among consumers in the midsize luxury crossover category. If the RX 350 appeals to you and you’re wondering what it costs to insure, simply enter your zip code in the box indicated to get a free comparison of insurance rates from leading companies. First, however, take a few moments to read about the Lexus RX 350. We’ll consider features, safety ratings, what the reviewers are saying and some other factors that will affect your cost to insure this popular luxury vehicle.
Emphasis on Comfort
When Lexus began selling the RX series in 1998, it defined the luxury crossover segment by combining a luxurious sedan-like ride with the utility of an SUV and a wagon. The RX was based on the Lexus ES sedan platform, with North American inventory manufactured in its Canadian plant in Cambridge, Ontario, the only Lexus production outside Japan. Despite admirable competition from the Acura MDX as well as Lincoln, Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Volvo and the other luxury SUV models, the 2011 Lexus RX 350 was recently named “Best Luxury Midsize Crossover for the Money” by US News. Consumer Reports calls it a “refined, quiet, and plush SUV,” and Edmunds praises its “plush ride, spacious interior, strong reliability record and appealing high-tech features.”
Reviewers are also quick to point out what not to expect from the Lexus RX 350: it’s not the sportiest SUV, nor the most responsive handler, nor a ‘bling-mobile.’ The emphasis is on getting you to your destination calm and unruffled rather than on giving you a joy ride along the way. For a lot of luxury SUV consumers, that’s exactly the reason they prefer the RX 350 and have made it the best-selling luxury SUV to date.
Today’s Lexus RX 350
Lexus is currently producing its third generation of the RX vehicles. Since 1998, it has undergone a steady stream of updates and redesigns to reflect the maturing luxury crossover market it more or less defined. The current generation of RX 350s was introduced in 2009 for the 2010 model year. Its 275-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine comes standard with an automatic transmission in either a front-wheel or all-wheel drive version. The RX 350 is a five-passenger midsize with forty cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, a respectable amount for its class. Reviewers highlight its extensive list of options including a mouse-like remote-touch feature on its navigation system and soothingly comfortable heated seats with ventilation.
Starting price for the 2011 RX 350 is $38,375 for the front-wheel drive and $39,775 for the all-wheel drive version. Reviewers are generally favorable about pricing and value in comparison to competitors in its class. Both RX 350s are available with a full menu of standard and optional luxury features, so your choice may depend on the driving conditions you plan to encounter. For many, the added cost of all-wheel drive is a no-brainer in snowy regions where you might otherwise have to chain up the tires to make it to your destination. Insurance companies recognize the benefits of all-wheel drive with slightly lower premiums on the RX 350; however, the amount is minimal, usually less than $20 per year savings over the front-wheel drive model.
A strong Lexus legacy of reliability and resale value means that consumers can find good-quality used RX 350s to choose from. Each generation has its own features, specs and reliability ratings, so it’s important to do some research online and at dealerships to find what you’re looking for.
Vehicle Safety Features and Ratings
From an insurance standpoint, Lexus has notable safety features that contribute to reasonable premiums for its class. These include a best-in-class ten-airbag system with sensors, active front headrests, Vehicle Stability Control, available Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management, pre-tensioning seatbelts, reinforced body, anti-lock brakes with brake assist and tire pressure monitoring.
The major safety agencies have awarded the RX 350 favorable ratings in all categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in 2009 assigned it top grades for all categories except frontal head and neck, which received the second-best rating. Under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s older system of rating, in effect until 2010, the RX 350 received its top grade of five stars in all categories except for a four star in rollover. The NHTSA has introduced a new, stricter evaluation system beginning in 2011 that has resulted in a slight downgrade for many vehicles including the RX 350. Under this new rating system, it receives four stars overall, with five stars for side impact. This downgrade does not represent any deterioration in the 350’s safety performance; rather, it reflects the higher standard being set by NHTSA. Consumers can learn more by checking out the NHTSA’s website which also updates crash test results for many vehicles throughout the year.
Insurance Costs and Considerations
Now we get to the actual price range you can expect for insuring a Lexus RX 350. Overall, the national average based on a typical driver and mid-range deductibles is about $1425 for the front-wheel drive and $1410 for the all-wheel drive version. These figures are merely a starting point, however. Your actual insurance cost will depend on such factors as the state and town you live in, age and driving record of the drivers, annual mileage driven, whether there are multi-policy discounts, credit history, and other considerations deemed statistically relevant by the insurance industry. These factors can change your cost considerably. For example, annual RX 350 premiums in Vermont average around $900, whereas they exceed $2300 in Michigan.
With so many variables in pricing and with heavy competition among insurance companies, comparison shopping is a must. Simply enter your zip code in the box to get Lexus RX 350 quotes today.