Here Are Used Lexus RX 350 Years to Avoid and Issues of Reliability by Year

Author: Patrick Oziegbe
Updated On:

Are you looking for a luxury SUV that delivers style and comfort? The Lexus RX 350 is popular among car enthusiasts, but not all model years are created equal.

In this article, we’ll look closer at the used Lexus RX 350 and explore the model years reported to have more problems than others.

Using information from automotive experts and consumer feedback, we aim to help you make a well-informed decision when purchasing a Lexus RX 350.

But by being aware of potential problems and avoiding the problematic model years, you can enjoy a smoother, hassle-free driving experience with the best and most reliable Lexus RX 350 years.

Learn which SUV model years to steer clear of when purchasing your next luxury SUV.

Lexus RX 350 Years to Avoid

Years to Avoid

When purchasing a Lexus RX 350, you should avoid specific years due to common problems, reduced reliability, and reported complaints.

2007 Lexus RX 350

Unfortunately, the 2007 Lexus RX 350 has been regarded by many as one of the two worst years for this luxury SUV.

Common issues reported include oil leaks, steering problems, and engine failure. Additionally, the 2007 model features a notorious dashboard cracking case, which can cause significant headaches for you as the owner.

2008 Lexus RX 350

The 2008 Lexus RX 350 is another year to avoid due to the similarity in problems to the 2007 model.

Issues such as oil leakage, power steering fluid leaks, and illuminated airbag warning lights cause concerns for potential buyers.

In addition to these problems, the 2008 model had issues with defective rain sensors and rattling front doors.

2010 Lexus RX 350

Although having fewer reported problems than the 2007 and 2008 models, the 2010 Lexus RX 350 still ranks as a year to avoid.

The most significant concern with this model is its shift lagging, where drivers experience a temporary loss of acceleration, causing potential safety concerns.

2016 Lexus RX 350

The 2016 Lexus RX 350 has also had its share of reported issues. While it featured improvements in styling and technology, complaints about its touchscreen, cabin noise, and water pump leaks mean this year is best avoided if you’re looking for a hassle-free luxury SUV experience.

2017 Lexus RX 350

Lastly, the 2017 Lexus RX 350 is known for having some common problems like other years to avoid.

Notably, the 2017 model is prone to rack and pinion leaks and engine parts failures, leading to costly repair bills and a potentially problematic ownership experience.

By being aware of these problematic Lexus RX 350 model years, you can make a more informed decision when purchasing a used luxury SUV.

TIPS: Here is my fresh comparison content: Lexus RX 350 vs. Toyota Highlander: Which Brand is Better?

Common Problems

Dashboard Cracking

Dashboard cracking is a potential issue that some Lexus RX 350 owners have reported. It can be both an aesthetic and functional concern.

Maintaining your vehicle’s interior and avoiding direct sunlight whenever possible is crucial to prevent your dashboard from cracking. Using sunshades and regular cleaning can help keep your dashboard in good condition.

Steering Problems

One issue some Lexus RX 350 owners have experienced is steering-related problems. These issues can include rack and pinion leaks which may result in both a safety concern and a relatively expensive fix.

Replacing the necessary part is the only way to resolve this problem, costing upwards of $1,600. Suspension problems, uneven tire pressure, mismatched tires, or steering gear binding may cause other steering issues.

To avoid potential steering issues with your Lexus RX 350, ensure that your tires are properly inflated, avoid mismatched tires, and have your vehicle’s suspension checked during regular maintenance services.

Oil Leakage

Oil leakage is especially prevalent in Lexus RX 350 models from 2007 to 2015. This issue can cause problems while driving and may result in costly repairs. Be aware of any oil spots under your vehicle, and have your engine checked if you suspect an oil leak.

To minimize the risk of oil leakage, keep up with your vehicle’s regular maintenance and use high-quality oil products that meet the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Engine Failure

Engine failure is another issue reported in Lexus RX 350 models, particularly in 2010. This problem can be attributed to various factors, including oil leaks and cooling system issues.

Maintaining your vehicle according to the manufacturer’s guidelines and having regular check-ups at a certified service center is crucial to prevent engine failure.

Regular oil changes and monitoring dashboard warning lights can also help you avoid engine failure.

Reliability and Repair

Proper Care and Maintenance

Taking care of your Lexus RX 350 is crucial for maintaining its reliability. Regularly servicing your vehicle ensures its performance remains at peak levels over time.

Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for oil changes, filter replacements, and tire rotations. Remember, paying attention to proper care ultimately minimizes your overall repair costs.

Longevity and Resale Value

A well-maintained Lexus RX 350 has the potential to last for many years, adding to its resale value. High-quality materials and a solid build contribute to its longevity.

However, some model years, such as the 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2016 Lexus RX 350, should be avoided. These years have been reported to have more issues, which may negatively impact the vehicle’s resale value.

Regarding resale value, the Lexus RX 350 consistently ranks highly, thanks to its reputation for reliability and performance.

The third-generation RX (2010 model year) introduced several features and upgrades, helping to maintain the vehicle’s desirability.

While keeping up with regular maintenance is essential for ensuring your car continues to perform at its best, opting for one of the more reliable model years will also aid in retaining a higher resale value.

To keep your Lexus RX 350 in optimal condition, follow these suggestions:

  • Regularly check crucial components like the engine, transmission, and power steering system.
  • Look for signs of wear or potential issues, such as leaks, cracks, or unusual noises.
  • Address any concerns promptly by consulting certified mechanics and using genuine Lexus parts for repairs.

By following these guidelines, you can better ensure your Lexus RX 350 remains reliable and retains its value over time.

Remember, the key to a long-lasting vehicle is proper care and maintenance, helping you to avoid costly repairs and enjoy your Lexus RX 350 without hassle.

Performance and Safety

Lexus Safety System+

The Lexus Safety System+ is a comprehensive suite of safety technologies designed to keep you and your passengers safe.

Safety features may not be as advanced or reliable in some problematic years, such as 2007, 2008, and 2010 as in more recent models, so it’s crucial to remember this when choosing a used vehicle.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is another crucial factor when evaluating the performance of a Lexus RX 350. The best years for fuel efficiency are between 2014 and 2021, with the 2020 Lexus RX 350 being particularly fuel-efficient.

On the other hand, the 2007 and 2008 models have lower fuel efficiency, making them less desirable for drivers who prioritize this aspect.

Here’s a rough breakdown of the fuel efficiency for specific years:

  • 2007-2008: 18 MPG city / 23 MPG highway
  • 2009-2015: 18 MPG city / 25 MPG highway
  • 2016-2021: 20 MPG city / 27 MPG highway


The ride quality and handling of the Lexus RX 350 play a significant role in overall satisfaction with the vehicle.

The worst years for handling are 2007, 2008, and 2010. These models may have less refined handling and ride quality than in recent years, making for a less enjoyable driving experience.

In conclusion, when choosing a Lexus RX 350, consider the safety features, fuel efficiency, and handling of the various model years.

Notable Features and Alternatives

This section will cover competing luxury SUVs and other Lexus models.

Competing Luxury SUVs

The Lexus RX 350 has many competitors in the luxury SUV segment. Some of the key players in this category include:

  • Acura MDX: Known for its spacious interior and smooth ride, the Acura MDX is a popular choice for those looking for a luxury SUV with third-row seating.
  • BMW X5: With its sporty driving dynamics and luxurious interior, the BMW X5 is a strong contender in the luxury SUV market.
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE: Featuring a plush cabin and advanced safety features, the Mercedes GLE is another popular option for those seeking luxury and comfort.

Remember to research and test drive various models to determine which luxury SUV best suits your needs and preferences.

Other Lexus Models

Here are a few alternatives within the Lexus lineup:

  • Lexus ES: This luxury sedan is known for its comfortable ride and elegant interior. The best Lexus ES could be an excellent option for a more traditional sedan experience. As well, ES vs IS rivals dominance!
  • Lexus GS: Featuring a sporty design and performance, the Lexus GS stands out as a more performance-oriented option within the Lexus lineup. See the best reliable Lexus GS 300 in this report.
  • Lexus GX: For those who desire off-road capabilities in addition to luxury, the Lexus GX offers a robust and rugged alternative to the RX 350.
  • Lexus LS: As the flagship luxury sedan from Lexus, the LS offers unmatched levels of comfort, technology, and refinement. See our detailed problems for LS-500 and complete listed issues for LS-600H used models.

In your search for the perfect Lexus RX 350, explore these alternative models to find the one that best suits your needs and preferences.

Reviewing the Used Market

Buying a Pre-Owned Lexus RX 350

When searching for a used Lexus RX 350, it’s essential to consider the model years and any potential issues. Some years are known to have more problems than others, such as:

  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2016
  • 2017

These years have been reported to have parts failures and performance issues. Avoid these years when searching for a used Lexus RX 350.

On the other hand, some of the best RX 350 model years, based on industry reviews and consumer feedback, include:

  • 2014
  • 2018
  • 2020
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • 2023

Focusing on these years increases your chances of finding a reliable pre-owned Lexus RX 350.

What to Look for in a Used RX 350

When inspecting a used Lexus RX 350, pay attention to the following:

  • Service records: Ensure the vehicle has a complete history of maintenance and repairs. It will give you an idea of how well the previous owner took care of the car.
  • Exterior and interior condition: Check for any signs of wear and tear or damage that may not be immediately apparent. Look closely at the paint, body panels, and trim for any dents, scratches, or rust.
  • Mechanical and electronic systems: Test-drive the car and pay attention to the performance of the engine, transmission, suspension, and brakes. Ensure all electronic features – such as the infotainment system, power windows, and climate control – function correctly.
  • Tires: Inspect the tires for proper tread depth, even wear, and adequate inflation.

Remember that purchasing a used Lexus RX 350, or any used car, requires thoroughly examining the vehicle’s history, condition, and functionality.

You can find a reliable and enjoyable pre-owned RX 350 to suit your needs by being diligent and attentive during buying.

Lexus RX 350 Competitors

Explore five Lexus RX 350 competitors – the Toyota Highlander, Acura MDX, BMW X5, Infiniti QX60, and Volvo XC90.

We’ll discuss their similarities and differences and mention one common problem for each vehicle to help you make an informed decision.

Toyota Highlander

The Toyota Highlander is a reliable and efficient choice in the midsize SUV category, sharing a similar size and seating capacity as the Lexus RX 350.

Although the Highlander is not a luxury vehicle, it offers many standard features that you would appreciate, such as a comfortable ride, a quiet cabin, and a user-friendly infotainment system.

However, one common problem with the Highlander is its transmission fluid leakage.

Acura MDX

Acura MDX is another strong competitor in the luxury SUV segment. Its powerful engine, agile handling, and spacious interior give you and your passengers a comfortable ride.

Acura’s infotainment system is responsive and user-friendly, similar to the Lexus RX 350.

However, the Acura MDX suffers from transmission issues, a common problem you should be aware of when considering this model. Here are Acura MDX years to avoid.


The BMW X5 offers excellent handling and performance, differentiating it from the more comfort-oriented RX 350.

As a luxury midsize SUV, the X5 provides a luxurious interior and advanced technology features that match or exceed the Lexus RX 350. Going for either of the 2000 and 2005 BMW X5 standout models will ensure you have your investment worth.

However, the BMW X5 is known for electrical issues, which you should consider. Here are detailed BMW X5 years to avoid problems!

Infiniti QX60

When comparing the Infiniti QX60 to the Lexus RX 350, you’ll find that both vehicles offer similar luxury and comfort. Both models provide ample seating capacity and cargo space, making them ideal for family outings.

The Infiniti QX60 also boasts a stylish design and user-friendly technologies. However, the QX60 suffers from CVT transmission problems, which could impact your overall satisfaction with this model.

Volvo XC90

The Volvo XC90 stands out in the luxury SUV market with its elegant design and focus on safety features.

Like the Lexus RX 350, the XC90 has a comfortable, high-quality cabin and advanced infotainment and driver-assistance technologies. The 2016 Volvo XC90 is a standout version you can confidently invest in.

The Volvo’s superior fuel economy is one area where these models differ. One common problem you should consider with the XC90 is its electrical issues.


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