2016 Lexus RX 350 comforts, but doesn’t innovate

The 2016 Lexus RX 350 (I give it four out of four stars) is likely to continue the luxury SUV’s track record of sales leadership.

When it went on sale in 1998, the first RX defined a new kind of upscale SUV intended for on-road use rather than towing and off-road excursions. Lexus has sold 2.1 million RXs, a figure that makes other luxury brands envious. Competitors focus obsessively on the RX when they develop new luxury SUVs.

The new, fourth-generation RX is likely to remain the best seller, thanks largely to high fuel economy and Lexus’ seemingly permanent position atop studies of quality and customer satisfaction.

Still, I was struck by a distinct lack of technical and design leadership in the loaded, all-wheel-drive RX 350 F Sport that recently carried me in comfort more than 600 miles from the hills of Appalachia to the shores of the Great Lakes.

With the exception of

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