I’m not sure I’d spend $55,000 on a fancy all-wheel-drive and then take that thing out and beat the snot out of it, but if I did spend that kind of money on a vehicle, it’s nice to know it would take everything I could dish up.
That’s how it turned out when I drove a 2015 Lexus RX350 a few weeks ago. I’ve said before I’m always a little skeptical of all-wheel-drive vehicles, and I admit I took it a little easier on this one than I would on a true four-wheel-drive. But there’s not really an option to baby a vehicle on my driveway in the spring, so that Lexus had to pull its own weight up and down that drive.
I was pleasantly surprised by how it did. The week I had the RX350, we got a lot of rain. And when it rains on my driveway, that road becomes pretty formidable. It’s like trying to drive on snot.
I was even more leery about the RX when I looked at the tires that came on it. They were great tires for highway travel, but I didn’t know how they’d handle a rough forest road, or worse yet, my muddy driveway.
I need not have worried. The RX is a relatively light vehicle, at least when you compare it to my ’94 F-250, so it cruised over that mud and didn’t dig in and create more ruts. In fact, it smoothed out a few of the worse ones. And that all-wheel-drive kept the wheels rolling even when the road got a little sticky.
It would certainly get you to your favorite fishing hole, as long as that fishing spot is accessible by at least a decent forest road. I’d think twice before taking it down some of the nastier two-tracks and Jeep trails, though.
You might not be able to crawl the rocks at Moab with an RX350, but at least you’d be riding in style. The one I drove had all the bells and whistles, including a rear seat entertainment system to keep the kids quiet on the way to the woods.
Just make sure they wipe off their feet before they climb inside that fancy ride.