Family Friendly Car Review: 2014 Lexus RX 350

Hi there. My name is Nick Shell and this is my family friendly car review of the 2014 Lexus RX 350.

2014 Lexus RX

Normally when I write an article it’s because I’m the daddy blogger of, with my blog called The Dadabase. I write to my son on a near daily basis and have been doing so since 7 months before he was born. He’s nearly 3 and a half years old now.

You’re welcome to check out my main writing gig. But as for now, it’s time to catch a glimpse of what it’s like driving a 2014 Lexus RX 350… with wife and kid in tow.

If you’re here today because you’re curious about this vehicle and would like to “test drive” it online before heading to the Lexus dealership, then I think I might be able to help.

I’ve thrown together these photo collages so you can see what the vehicle looks like “with human life in it.” I’ve also included all the important stats.

Something I particularly appreciated about the Lexus RX is how easy it was to see out all the windows when passing other cars.

Have fun. Check it out…

Lexus RX car review

Description: 2014/ 9426A RX 350 5-DR SUV

Standard Features:

3.5 Liter 270 HP Four Cam 24-Valve V6 Engine

8-Sp Auto Transmission w/Paddle Shifters

Full Time Active Torque Control All-Wheel Driver

19″ Aluminum Alloy Wheels with All-Season Tires

Tire Pressure Monitoring System

F Sport tune Suspension with Front and Rear Performance Dampers

10 Airbags: Driver & Front Passenger: Front, Knee & Side (6), Rear Side (2), Side Curtain (2), Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) & Brake Assist

Automatic Xenon HID Headlamps

LED Daytime Running Lamps (DRL)

Vehicle Theft-Deterrent System with Engine Immobilizer

F SPORT Front Bumper and Spindle Grille

Nick Shell 2014 Lexus RX car review

Safety Connect: Automatic Collision Notification, Stolen Vehicle Location, Emergency Assist Button (SOS), and Enchanced Roadside Assistance (1-year trial subscription included)

Rain Sensing Wipers

Lexus Premium Audio System, Automatic Sound Levelizer (ASL), USB iPod/MP3 Control, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (90-day All Access trial subscription included)

Auto Dual Climate Control Sys w/Rear Vents

10-Way Power Heated/Ventilated Front Seats Driver’s Memory System

Power Tilt-and-Telescopic Steering Column

Recycling/Sliding 40/20/40 Split Rear Seat

Premium Roof Rails

Power Moonroof/Power Back Door

Rear View Mirror- Auto Dimming, Homelink Garage

F SPORT exclusive Leather Interior Trim, Aluminum Pedals, Steering Wheel, and Shift Knob

Blind Spot Monitor

Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound, Single DVD/CD Player, HD Radio with iTunes tagging & 15-spkrs

car review Lexus RX family friendly car review

Navigation Sys w/Voice Command, Backup Camera, Lexus Enform w/Destination Assist & eDestination, SiriusXM NavTraffic, NavWeather, Stocks, Sports & Fuel prices (1 yr- trial subscription included), Subscription-Free Enform App Suite

Intuitive Parking Assist

Cargo Mat, Cargo Net, Wheel Locks

Total price as featured: $53,375.00


18 city/26 highway/21 combined

Annual Fuel Cost: $2500

family friendly car review Nick Shell

Safety, According to Government 5-Star Safety Ratings:

Overall Vehicle Score: 5

Front crash: 4 Driver, 4 Passenger

Side Crash: 5 Front Seat, 5 Rear Seat

Rollover: 4

That’s it for today’s family friendly car review… Feel free to leave comments. I welcome this space as a place for conversations about the Lexus RX.

Stay tuned for my next family friendly car review on the 2014 Toyota Tacoma…

Disclaimer: The vehicle mentioned in this story was provided at the expense of Toyota, for the purpose of reviewing.

P.S. Here’s a collection of my Toyota family reviews so far; just click on title to read the full story:

2014 Lexus LS 460: 2014 Lexus LS 460 Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveJourney To Howard’s Chapel (The Church Built Into A Rock)Ironically Driving A Lexus To See A Dinosaur Named Junkasaurus WrecksWhat Parents Do When The Kids Are Asleep With The GrandparentsGrandma Regifts As-Seen-On-TV “Perfect Polly” To Great-GrandsonI’ve Heard Of Sleepwalking, But… Sleep-Eating And Sleep-Playing?

2014 Toyota Corolla: Surviving The Polar Vortex Of 2014, Icicles And All

2014 Scion tCLightning McQueen, Donatello, Batman, Play-Doh… Nuff Said!

2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid: 2013 Toyota Avalon Hybrid Review, From The Dad’s PerspectiveA Family That Recycles Together Doesn’t Decompose

2013 Toyota Rav4: 2013 Toyota Rav4 Review, From The Dad’s Perspective

2014 Toyota Tundra: Dad Gives 3 Year-Old Son A Monster Truck For Birthday… Sort OfNashville Dad Introduces 3 Year-Old Son To Country Music3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Build-A-Bear3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Little River Falls, AL3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Mountain Driving3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Land Park3rd Birthday Monster Truck Road Trip: Canyon Mouth Park

2013 Toyota Sienna: We’re Ready For A Family Road Trip… Minivan Style!It’s Officially Cool To Drive A Minivan Now

After 6 Months Of Being A Vegetarian, I’m Still Alive And Well (And Getting Enough Protein And Fat)

This week makes six months since I last consumed any meat. Since most people I know don’t actually know a real vegetarian, I figured it would be a good idea to address some common concerns about those of us who no longer eat animals.

Getting Enough Protein and Fat: Six months ago, I weighed 158 pounds. Now, I weigh 156 pounds. So maybe I lost a petty amount of weight, but I’m no human praying mantis. I consume plenty of good fats from avocados, nuts, and olive oils and lots of protein from beans, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and green vegetables. Not to mention, I still consume some dairy products; I’m not a vegan.

Still Being Hungry: As I learned from the documentary Forks Over Knives, 500 calories of a high fiber vegetarian meal actually makes a person feel more full than if they ate 500 calories of a meat-centric meal. Whenever I am hungry, I eat. But if I am still hungry after a meal, it’s only because I didn’t eat enough food.

Psychologically Wanting Meat: Though proper vegetarians get more than sufficient amounts of their necessary nutrition, what about the the fact that it’s fun to eat meat? I admit: the thought of a big, juicy burger sounds pretty good. So do some fried shrimp and scallops.

That’s what’s ironic about this. I don’t crave or any miss chicken or salmon or any other kind of lean, healthier meat. I just miss the unhealthy kinds of meat; mainly the fried, high-fat stuff.

So I eat lightly fried okra or homemade baked fries instead.

The thing about psychologically wanting meat is it’s kind of like wanting dessert. You don’t eat dessert because you’re still hungry. You eat it because it tastes good and it makes you feel good.

Therefore, if I won’t allow myself to drink soda (which I never do) then I can also subdue my psychological desires to taste animals.

But for me, it’s a slippery slope.

So will I ever cheat? Will I ever have an “off day” and sneak in some fish and chips?

Here is what I’ve decided:

If I ever “cheat” and eat meat again, then I must also eat all kinds of meat from that point forward; including fast food products as well as pork and shellfish, which for me is taboo because I am kosher.

Since I know what I am not willing to go back to my old ways of eating, I know I will not eat meat again. It’s one big slippery slope for me.

It’s the “all or nothing” mentality that makes this thing work for me.

But speaking of cheating, something I love about being a vegetarian is the lack of “food guilt.”

At work parties, I can totally load up on some chips and dip as well cake and donuts and not gain any weight- Because I have no meat needing to be slowly digested inside of me, the “non-meat junk food” just slips right on through with my vegetables and whole grains; evidently.

Not to mention, by being a 100% vegetarian, I view it as my own built-in insurance policy against cancer, Diabetes, and all those other troublesome diseases. If all else fails, I’ll just go vegan.

If you are curious to learn more about how going vegetarian “shuts off” your body’s cancer cells, I invite you to watch Forks Over Knives on Netlix.

Please, don’t just take my word for it; instead see for yourself the death-sentenced cancer patients from the 1970′s who are now alive and well because of their choice to no longer eat animals.

Mandatory Vegetarian Labeling Could Prevent Us From Eating Castoreum, Scale Insects, And Pig Bones/Skins

I didn’t know there were pig bones in my Jello, bugs in my Kool-Aid, or beaver anal glands in my vanilla milkshake…

Gelatin and marshmallows = pig bones and skins

By U.S. law, food packaging must include the ingredients; but not “ingredients of ingredients.” If you are either kosher-abiding or vegetarian like I am, there is no real way to know for sure that you are steering clear of animal products that require the slaughter of an animal.

We vegetarians are no longer a marginal minority in America. Isn’t it only fair and appropriate that we can know which processed foods are animal based, and from which animals they are processed from?

Crimson Lake Food Dye = crushed scale insects

As a contracted writer for, I have learned a lot about these secret “ingredients of ingredients.” In Why This Dad Despises Red 40 And Crimson Lake Food Dyes, I explained how red food dye is neither kosher nor vegetarian:

Crimson Lake: Made from the powdered and boiled bodies of scale insects (parasites of plants) this dye is commonly found in yogurt, juice drinks, ice cream, and candy. Though I am a vegetarian, I still abide by kosher law, which prohibits the consumption of any insect other than the locust. Crimson Lake is also known as Carmine.”

"Natural" Vanilla (Castoreum) = Beavers' Anal Glands

In 3 Ways Kids’ Easter Candy Isn’t Vegetarian (Or Kosher) I told how marshmallows and “natural” vanilla flavoring are not animal flesh-free:

“Marshmallows: What makes marshmallows themselves so special? Well, it’s just that they are made with gelatin, which is comprised of cow hide, pig skins, and bones of both.

‘Natural’ vanilla flavoring: How can you know when a vanilla flavored food is made with actual vanilla or just castoreum, which is the oily secretion, found in two sacs between the anus and the external genitals of beavers? We can’t, thanks to the FDA.”

Even if you’re not a vegetarian or don’t care which foods are approved as kosher, wouldn’t we at least want to know what’s in our food?

I mean, exactly what’s in your food? Maybe we don’t. That’s the scary part.

The Men Tell All and The Final Rose- Ashley Hebert the Bachelorette

Ah, poor Ben.

"What if she says no? I just want to be there for you." -Neil Lane, the ring guy

The Men Tell All

“I love to coat my face with Vasoline before I go to bed.” -Ashley

“I’m a jerk.  I’m a jerk.” -William

“You grew your hair out.” -Constantine to William, referring to only a week’s time

“The roast was a mistake.” -William

“Before I came on the show, I bought a bunch of books.” – Ryan P.

The Final Rose

“I’m not nervous at all.  My family’s going to love J.P.” -Ashley

“Does J.P. make you laugh?”- Chrystie, Ashley’s sister

“What do [you] want with my little sister?” -Chrystie to J.P.

“Everything seems to be going swimmingly well with our relationship.” -Ben

“I was hoping for some helicopters.” -Ben

“What if she says no? I just want to be there for you.” -Neil Lane, the ring guy

“Good things don’t end unless they end badly.” -Ben

Constantine Leaves, Ryan P. Returns in Fiji: Ashley Hebert the Bachelorette- Episode 9

This wasn’t that funny of an episode, but at least I make fun of Chris Harrison’s honeymoon suites overnight invitation.  And that’s well overdue.

"We're still going to have a rose ceremony. Why?"

“Call me crazy.” -Ryan P. “The book’s not closed, unless Ashley says it is.” -Ryan P., forgetting that Ashley already said the book’s closed by sending him home the first time “We are giddy little school children.” -Ben F. “Oh, look at the water.” -Constantine “Did you think Bentley came back?” – Ashley to Ryan P. “We’re still going to have a rose ceremony.  Why?” -Dreamy host Chris Harrison to sunburned Ashley Okay, so I can admit that this episode didn’t give me much material to work with when it comes to making sarcastic comments.  But I do have an idea… The Top 5 Reasons the Honeymoon Suites Overnight Invitation by Chris Harrison is Literally the Most Absurd Part of The Bachelor Franchise: 1) How is it not trashy to sleep with three different people back-to-back-to-back? 2) What gives Chris Harrison the authority to tell people who have only known each other for a few weeks that they can share a room? 3) Aside from it being trashy to sleep with two or more contestants whom you may or may not become engaged to marry a week later, that’s beyond awkward and messed up for the remaining contestants. 4) Is it really any surprise anymore when each contestant reads Chris’s invitation?  The show has been on the air for a long time now.  There’s just no need to fake it. 5) If this show is about finding the right person to marry, how is cheating on them with one or two other people a week before you get engaged them possibly a good idea?

Ethnically Diverse Hometown Dates- Ashley Hebert the Bachelorette- Episode 8

Ames is an onion.  Constantine is Dracula.  JP Rosenbaum is confirmed Jewish by his bar mitzvah picture pulled out of the closet, thanks to his mom… only in a hometown date.

The Ashley Tab:

number of people who found my website within the first 24 hours of the hometown dates episode airing by Googling “is Ashley Hebert Jewish?”: 490

references to JP’s heart being broken: 9

references to peeling away the onion layers of Ames: 2

Ethnic Backgrounds of the Contestants:

Constantine Tzortzis from Cumming, GA: Greek

Ben Flajnik from Sonoma, CA: Italian and Slovanian

Ames Brown from Chadd’s Ford, PA: Irish-Scottish-English (in other words, “all American”)

JP Rosenbaum from Roslyn, NY: as it it weren’t already completely obvious, now that his bar mitzvah picture has been made public… very, very Jewish

Ashley Hebert from Madawaska, ME: French-Canadian (not Jewish); she did the “Sign of the Cross” on the 2nd episode, showing her Catholic raising

Odd Observations about the Rose Ceremony:

Ben: An unspoken rule on The Bachelor franchise is that you can’t get a haircut to the point of it being noticeable.  Even more important, you can’t get a noticeable haircut in the same episode.  But it was pretty obvious that Ben’s mop top, which was mentioned a couple times during the episode, was trimmed to the point of barely being classified as shaggy, as noticed in the rose ceremony.

Dreamy host, Chris Harrison: He wore a vertically striped shirt with a solid color tie that had one random diagonal stripe going across the top.  That’s sort of pushing the envelope for a polygamist game show host, for some reason.

Constantine: He totally looked like Dracula.

Who Ashley Sent Home:

Saint Ames

Fake Wedding Pictures in Taipei, Taiwan: Ashley Hebert the Bachelorette, Episode 7

Is it getting hot in here or is it just the water heater?

The Ashley Tab:

Times that Ashley cleans her teeth with her tongue during dinner: 4

“water heaters”: 4

“love lanterns”: 3

Number of veins popping out of JP’s forehead: 2

“dot dot dot”: 1

Number of pairs of men’s pink pants featured on this episode, thanks to Ames: 1

Classy Quotes:

“2011 minus?” -Ashley

“Constantine is taking this lantern thing seriously.” –Ashley

“I don’t throw around the L-bomb.” –Ben

“Ames looks like the offspring between an ostrich and Elton John.” – Lucas

“I’m freakin’ pumped… I’m sleeping with this [date card] next to me tonight.” –Ryan P.

“I’m on Cloud 9, Cloud 10!” –Ryan P.

“What sort of stuff do you do for the environment?” –Ryan P. to Ashley

“Have I talked to you about water heaters?” -Ryan P. to Ashley

“You’re my perfect guy.” –Ashley to Ryan P.

“You don’t want to meet my family?” –Ryan P. to Ashley

Who Ashley Sent Home:

Ryan P. and Lucas


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