There’s no question that SUVs are more popular than ever, including models like the Lexus RX. In fact, according to data from Consumer Reports and Statista, nearly half of all vehicles sold in the U.S. in 2019 were SUVs. It’s little wonder since you can find models with every bell and whistle imaginable. SUVs come in all different sizes, and many have (surprisingly) excellent fuel economy.
Luxury midsize SUVs, in particular, have become incredibly popular, bridging the gap between too-small-for-families luxury sedans like the BMW 3 Series and too large and too expensive full-size SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade. The main drawback in the luxury SUV segment, of course, is the price tag. However, there are some excellent pre-owned options just a few years old that are worth seriously considering. One of them is the 2017 Lexus RX, which Consumer Reports named to its list of the Most Reliable 3-Year-Old Midsized SUVs.
Rookie of the year
The Lexus RX was introduced in the United States in 1999, and it was an SUV unlike any other. By blending many of the features drivers love about cars with a higher ground clearance and seating position, plus the benefit of substantially more storage room, the first Lexus RX essentially created an entirely new vehicle segment — what we’ve come to know and love as the five-passenger crossover SUV. It was so impressive that MotorTrend awarded the Lexus RX its first-ever SUV of the Year award.
More than 20 years later, Consumer Reports recommends the 2017 Lexus RX as one of the best and most reliable used midsize SUVs available, citing its plush ride, robust engine, and impressive fuel economy. Consumer Reports also points out that by choosing a three-year-old SUV, buyers will enjoy many of the features available in brand-new models at a significantly lower price point.
“L” is for luxurious, loaded Lexus
The list of things to love about the Lexus RX is long, which is why it’s consistently the best-selling luxury midsize SUV. According to GoodCarBadCar.net, 111,036 Lexus RX models were sold in 2019. In second place was the BMW X5 with 54,595 units. That’s less than half, or in other terms, the RX sold at a rate of more than two to one when compared to the X5.
It’s easy to see why because the 2017 Lexus RX shines in every category. The cabin is plush and spacious, and the seats are exceptionally comfortable. All five — yes, even the rear — slide and recline. Lexus loaded the RX with premium standard features, including an 8-inch infotainment system with a backup camera, a power liftgate, push-button start, and two USB ports. Optional upgrades include a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, panoramic moonroof, a 360-degree camera system, and an ultra-wide 12.3-inch infotainment display with navigation.
In RX models equipped with the larger screen, a joystick-style controller called Remote Touch is used instead of a touchscreen. While some drivers may dislike the configuration, there’s solid reasoning behind it. Lexus, like Mazda, Honda, and Mercedes-Benz, has openly opposed touchscreens in its vehicles because of driver distraction and safety concerns.
Speaking of safety, you can’t do much better than the 2017 Lexus RX. The Lexus Safety System+ became standard across all trims that year, and it included automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise control, a pre-collision warning system with automated emergency braking, lane-departure alert with lane-keep assist, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
There are also a total of nine airbags in the Lexus RX, including in the rear sides. It’s not difficult to see why the IIHS awarded the 2017 Lexus RX a Top Safety Pick +, or why the automaker consistently scores so high in reliability ratings.
What does the 2017 Lexus RX cost?
The 2017 Lexus RX is, well, a Lexus, so it’s not exactly inexpensive. However, the RX does offer an incredible value, especially compared to other options in the segment. According to Edmunds, a 2017 RX sells for between $29,000-$34,000. You can get a 2017 Acura MDX or Lincoln MKX, two of the biggest class competitors, for about the same price or a little less, but they won’t have nearly as many options as the Lexus RX or have anywhere near the reliability ratings.