Trucks & SUVs

The Worst Lexus RX 350 Model Year You Should Never Buy

When you want luxury, performance, and bold styling, your shortlist of vehicle brands to consider will include Lexus. If you’ve narrowed your search to crossovers, you may have an RX 350 in mind. You wouldn’t be alone either as many Americans are drawn to this SUV with all the flair and amenities that only Lexus can bring.

While buying a pre-owned model is often a financially savvy move, buying a problematic year can turn into a money pit of hassles. We found one model year for the RX 350 that you should be steering clear of entirely.

The one model year with the most overall complaints

If you want to know about the experiences of other Lexus RX 350 owners, check out CarComplaints.com. According to the feedback of Lexus RX 350 owners, 2007 is the model year with the most number of complaints. Problems with rack and pinion leaks – with repair bills of $1,300 – were common as were water pump leaks that resulted in $2,500 in average replacement costs.

Other RX 350 owners experienced extensive oil leaks as well. While many of these reported instances are significant, there is actually another model year that Car Complaints deems as the worst for the RX 350.

The year Car Complaints says is the worst

If you have your eye on a 2008 Lexus RX 350, you may want to rethink your position. It may be the worst model year of all due to the number of complaints, coupled with the average costs of repair and the lower mileage timelines of when these issues present. The reports collected complain about shift lagging, power steering leaks, and a big problem with dashboard cracking. Fixes for these problems cost anywhere from $1,800 to $5,000, and most occurred before the vehicle hit 100,000 miles.

The best years to consider for the Lexus RX 350

So, you should avoid the 2007 and 2008 model years. You may be wondering which model years are on the opposite end of the spectrum. The Lexus RX 350 years that seemed to have the fewest complaints include 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014. Even outlying years that do present mechanical concerns, the reports are isolated. Meaning, this crossover is a pretty solid and reliable vehicle for the majority of owners.

Buying used means doing your homework

2016 Lexus RX 350 FSport is on display at the 108th Annual Chicago Auto Show
The Lexus RX 350 | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

There is plenty of expert advice out there about how to be smart when buying a used model. What may be helpful is to review some of the past experiences of others with Car Complaints or RepairPal.com. You can get a snapshot into typical ownership concerns, average repair costs, and overall customer satisfaction.

Knowing about some of these problems can also help you ask the right questions about the model you intend to buy. Know the history and do your homework before you’re sold a vehicle that will end up costing you later.

What’s new this year?

You can avoid buying problem years by taking a look at what the new Lexus RX 350 is bringing to the table this year. If you are interested in a new model, you’ll enjoy revised styling, more standard safety features, and an all-new touchscreen with complete connectivity. Consumers love the expansive cargo bay, perfect for luggage or golf clubs. The ride quality is top-notch and combines quiet and smooth with performance and fun.

The Lexus RX 350 is a smart, fun, and reliable vehicle for most who own it. You will more than likely be impressed with any model year you take home. However, be mindful of which years were more problematic and avoid similar fates of those who owned them.