2014 Lexus RX 350
One of the granddaddies of five-passenger luxury SUVs and a perennial class-leader in sales, the RX gets no major changes following a model-year 2013 freshening. This report covers the gasoline RX 350. Lexus sells a hybrid called the RX 450h, which we cover in the CarPreview.com 2014 Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle Buying Guide. The RX350 isn’t so much about a scintillating driving experience as getting you from point A to B in comfort and quietness. At that it excels. Lexus tries to inject some excitement with the sport-themed F Sport version but it’s louder, costlier, rides too stiff, and doesn’t handle appreciably better than a standard RX 350. Fuel-economy ratings span 20-21 mpg combined. Base-price range is $40,670-$48,360.
2014 Lincoln MKX
The Lincoln MKX is a five-seat midsize crossover SUV that shares its basic design with the Ford Edge. Model-year 2014 marks the debut of a new Limited Edition Package, which includes unique leather upholstery, contrast stitching and piping, polished aluminum wheels, and other trim pieces. Offered with a choice of front- or all-wheel drive, MKXs have a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 and a six-speed automatic transmission. This gilded Edge has solid, if not sporty, driving dynamics, a very nice interior, and lots of standard amenities for the price. It’s let down by the ever-glitchy MyFord Touch infotainment interface (called MyLincoln Touch in this case). Further, Ford’s more frugal EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while optional on the Edge, is not offered on the MKX. Fuel-economy ratings span19-21 mpg combined. Base-price range is $40,470-$42,420.
2014 Mercedes-Benz GL-Class
The GL-Class is a large-class luxury SUV that’s a bit smaller than the norm, so it’s relatively easy to park and maneuver, at the expense of some second- and third-row spaciousness. Still, we’re hard-pressed to criticize room, comfort, build quality, or overall road manners. After a significant freshening for model-year 2013, only minor equipment updates are on the 2014 agenda. Interestingly, the “base” model is the GL350 BlueTec, powered by a diesel V-6 that rates a solid 22 mpg city/highway combined. Filling out the line are the twin-turbo gas-V-8 GL450 (362 horsepower), GL550 (429 horsepower), and high-performance GL63 AMG (550). All-wheel drive is standard on all. Fuel-economy ratings for the gas models span 14-16 mpg combined. Base-price range is $63,925-$119,085.