Questions on buying a used Lexus RX 350

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I'm looking to buy a luxury SUV that's used and has already depreciated away most of its value (why buy a low level trim 1-2 year old Toyota when I can get a much nicer 6-8 year old Lexus for the same price? ). I realize this is risky with many vehicles, but Lexus has a reputation for extreme reliability and low maintenance costs, which is why I'm leaning towards Lexus over brands like Acura, Volvo, and especially the German cars. I only drive about 10k miles per year.

It appears the Lexus RX 350 was redesigned in 2010, and from then, underwent only very minor changes until 2016 when it was redesigned again. I'm looking to keep my purchase under $20k and buy something that's depreciated most of its value already, so year 2015+ models are out for me. Is it worth it to just get a 2010 or 2011 Lexus RX 350? Browsing through used car listings, there seem to be a ton of them under $20k, some even under $17k. Do I need to worry about nightmare maintenance issues even if the vehicle has 90k miles on it, as long as I make sure it's properly inspected before I purchase?

Is there really anything in the 2011, 2012, 2013, or 2014 RX 350 models that makes them worth considering over the 2010? I don't care about the sportier grill on the 2013, the 2012 engine which operates at 87 octane fuel is a nice upgrade but I'd rather save a few grand by getting a 2010 or 2011. I don't care about a power lift gate either.

I know I want a backup camera, but it appears most of the 2010 and 2011 models have them, even if it wasn't standard in those years.

Are there any optional features on the 2010 or 2011 models that would be recommended, or features on the 2012 or 2013 models that might be worth looking at? I'm not sure what all the optional features are.
 

RAL

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Welcome aboard! @EthanWalter

I have leased the RX models over the years, but don't remember hearing issues I might advise you about. And obviously I've not had one long enough to advise you on long term maintenance. I did drive a 2007 RX 350 73k miles and remember not a single issue arising during that time. Some of our members might be able to advise you.

If not, I would go to a Lexus dealer. Go to the dealer receptionist and ask them to point you to their favorite sales associate. The most popular sales associate will most likely be willing to identify the go-to service advisor. Approach that person with your questions. Both the go-to sales associate and go-to service advisor are good possibilities for helping/advising you with your search. Just a suggestion, but when unfamiliar, I've used this technique before with good results. A good receptionist always knows ...

Also, I would encourage you to establish a relationship with a Lexus dealer. Lexus is renowned for quality of service experience. With the complexity of vehicles, I have found I save money in the long run depending on Lexus dealership service as opposed to generic service centers. A recent study in Louisville found Lexus dealer service favorably comparable in cost to brand dealerships across the spectrum. And inherent to Lexus build quality, dealers have the expertise to commonly service high mileage/aged Lexus vehicles.

I wish you good hunting ...
 

Ian Schmidt

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Yeah, seeing 10 or more year old cars at dealer service isn't uncommon with Lexus.
 
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