The RX lineup from Lexus has a wide array of trims and options for consumers and is one of the more popular models from the Japanese luxury carmaker.
For 2022, there are now no less that 17 different configurations available thanks to the addition of limited production runs of Moonlight Editions for the RX 450h and the RX 350 we recently drove.
There are a few select enhancements for this trim, notably 20-inch black alloy wheels, unique black exterior accents including a black-out grille, front/rear splitter, and wing mirrors, while the interior receives a black/birch interior combination featuring NuLuxe seats, light grey stitching, and black matte walnut trim.
These special editions are only available in two exterior colours however, Eminent White Pearl or Caviar Black, so hopefully you don’t want to be too flashy.
Customers who purchase Moonlight Editions also receive a gift that includes a tea set with a special blend of tea for enjoyment at home, and a portable telescope to explore the cosmos when out for drives with the family.
As tested, the Moonlight Edition of the RX 350 has a price tag of $61,145.70.
The all-wheel drive RX 350 is also well equipped with safety technology thanks to the Lexus Safety System + 2.0 and Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Braking, rain-sensing wipers, a backup camera, and Intuitive Park Assist with Auto Braking.
Powertrain: The RX lineup features both traditional ICE engines, or a hybrid powertrain.
The RX350 we drove had the 3.5-litre V6 engine under the hood, which is paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
It produces 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, which are good numbers for the RX. The engine and transmission combine to deliver that power in a smooth and efficient manner, resulting in excellent acceleration. The overall feel and responsiveness from the engine is quite good.
While the average combined fuel economy for the RX350 is 10.8 litres per 100 kilometres, my figure was significantly higher at 14.0 L/100 which could be because of some colder weather, but there was a lot of highway driving during the week. A disappointing result.
The nice thing is that despite being a luxury SUV with a V6 engine, it will operate on regular fuel.
Exterior: The Moonlight Edition’s styling does not differ greatly from the rest of the RX lineup, retaining many of the features that make it an attractive SUV.
The addition of several exterior touches mentioned above – 20-inch black wheels, black-out grille and more – do differentiate this trim from the rest, however.
Against the backdrop of the Eminent White Pearl of the tester, these extra elements definitely pop, especially the wheel treatment.
The RX350 has some nice accent lines on its profile, and the raked back LED headlight assembly goes nicely with the spindle grille and air intakes.
Interior: Like the exterior, the RX 350 Moonlight Edition offers some tweaks to the already elegant passenger cabin to enhance the experience.
It starts with the most visible element, a two-tone cabin (black/birch) featuring NuLuxe seats, and also features a black matte walnut trim.
The heated and cooled front seats are quite comfortable and they offer an excellent driving position.
The cabin is well laid out with all controls within easy reach of the driver, with a central screen that protrudes from the dash. It seemed a bit on the small side for my liking, so an upgrade to the larger 12.3-inch screen would be welcome.
Overall, it is a very cozy and comfortable environment from Lexus, so thumbs up for the cabin design.
Infotainment: Let’s dispense with the bad right away. The touchpad in the centre console that controls the infotainment system and other features is something I could easily live without. I found myself using the touchscreen capability much more than the pad.
With that out of the way, the Lexus infotainment system itself is good, although use while driving can get complicated so best to try and set your preferences before hitting the road.
It does feature compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as satellite radio and more.
One thing it has that is more and more rare in vehicles these days is a slot for compact discs – does anyone even use those anymore other than as coaster?
Drive: It shouldn’t be much of a surprise, but the RX350 delivers a very smooth and comfortable ride, with the suspension handling the roughest roads with grace ensuring an enjoyable ride for occupants.
The cabin is also kept well isolated from outside noise, making the drive more enjoyable.
With Drive Mode Select, the driver can select Eco, Normal or Sport mode to set the vehicle’s driving characteristics to suit your needs.
The all-wheel drive system also does a very good job at handling slippery roads as experience during my time with the SUV.
All in all, the RX delivers an excellent ride, which is as expected.
Conclusion: If you have always wanted a spot of tea and a chance to see the stars with your vehicle, then the RX350 Moonlight Edition is the vehicle for you!
All kidding aside, the RX lineup is a popular model for Lexus, for a number of very good reasons. The stylish SUV offers excellent performance, a luxurious cabin and, in the case of our tester, a few extras to entice buyers.
2022 Lexus RX 350 AWD Moonlight Edition
Price as tested: $61,145.70
Configuration: Front engine/All-wheel drive
Engine/transmission: 3.5-litre V6/ 8-speed automatic
Power/torque: 295 horsepower/ 268 lb-ft of torque
Fuel (capacity): Regular (72 L)
Combined fuel economy ratings (L/100 km): 10.8 L/100 km
Observed fuel economy (L/100 km): 14.0L/100 km
Warranties: 4-years/80,000 km (basic)
Competitors: BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Volvo XC90, Audi Q7, Genesis GV80
Links: Lexus Canada