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Safety of Key Importance to Crazy Couple With His and Hers Lexus RX 350 Crossovers

This kooky couple ended up with two very similar, but not identical Lexus RX 350 crossovers in their driveway. Here's how it happened.

Lexus started the whole premium crossover idea with its RX 300 two decades ago. The Lexus RX 350 is now the top-selling premium crossover in America and coupled with the ES 350, makes up the bulk of new and certified pre-owned sales at most Lexus dealerships. We recently discovered a couple living near Las Vegas, Nevada who now have his and hers RX 350s. We reached out to them to find out why that makes sense for Jackie and Matt Ferrara.

TN: Tell us how you came to own the first RX 350.
Jackie: I had downsized from the 07 Honda CRV to a Juke. I liked it, but there are so many accidents in Las Vegas, Matt wanted me to get a larger, safer vehicle.
-Related Story: Lexus RX350, Toyota Highlander have zero driver deaths in study
We tried a Mercedes CLK series, but their add was a bait-and-switch and it was really unaffordable with no luxury features. So we went to Las Vegas Lexus and loved the RX350 and got a used front-wheel-drive 2013. Matt had a total of five Acuras, but we never considered Acura because the brand does not offer a good customer service experience. We did drive the Lexus NX, which I loved, but it was just too small and underpowered. Beautiful, though.

TN: How important was safety, or a feeling of safety in your choosing the RX?
Jackie: It was the #1 priority. I have a friend in Vegas who survived a seemingly impossible to survive car accident in her LS450. She got hit from behind entering a highway and her car spun and she was T-boned by a truck. She was hurt but walked away.
- RX Safety: Amazing Lexus RX 350 crash proves vehicle's safety

TN: What did Matt own prior to the new RX
Jackie: He had a 2015 TLX Tech Package and the dash interface was confusing. The ride was soft and uncertain, steering and transmission "clunks into gear" and was constantly revving wrong when he drove it in standard mode. It also has those awful push-button gear selector. Even the speakers were awful- there was a bass echo that could never be fixed- we had to turn off the rear speakers to get rid of it. It was like it never went through a final quality control check. And the dealership was subpar. The sales experience was not good, service brushed off complaints, and the manager sort of forced that specific car on us and just was not nice.

TN: What did Matt like about that RX?
Jackie: Solid feel... power, particularly highway power... and the whole Nav system was easy enough to not be distracting."

TN: Your 2013 RX 350 is FWD. What 2017 trim Did Matt Opt for?

Jackie: Matt has his own Keynote Speaking Business. He drives quite a bit, and he almost got the AWD because he sometimes drives through mountains to Cali and there can be snow up there. But we went with the FWD because we realized that is so infrequent and he can just rent a car if that's a worry. (More on page 2)

TN: How important was the dealer experience Lexus offered?
Jackie: This one we got at the Henderson Lexus. The guy was a New Yorker and we loved him. His name is Jeff Pogolowitz. He was not a Patriots fan but we got past it. It took us two days to get it all done and he was patient, calm, knew everything about the cars. He used to work at Toyota before that. And he worked hard to get us a deal we could afford.

TN: If you could change just something about the RX what would it be?
Jackie: Two things. First, when the seat is at it's highest, like a bus, my arm does not reach the armrest. So I end up driving with my right arm around the passenger side seat back. Matt got me a cushion just for that car that fits perfect and resolved it. The other thing is the button to close the hatch is too high. When it's open, and I have groceries in my arms, I can't reach it to close it. Why isn't that button at the bottom of the hatch door!? Matt says he would make the camera-based parking standard. The radar-based parking is okay but the camera-based parking assist Matt saw in one of the cars he drove. It was in the most expensive package.

TN: The Lexus signature spindle grill has its critics. What are your thoughts on the look?
Jackie: I love the spindle grill. I like even more on the F Sport trims.

TN: What other similar brands and vehicles did you consider before opting for a second RX?
Jackie: We considered Infinity. We had one before and liked it. I love the look of them but they seemed out of our price range. Though, we did end up in that price point, anyway. I can't tell you which one it was but it's the one that used to be FX. Why did they do that "Q" thing? Matt says it's the QX70. I can't keep the Infiniti model names straight.

TN: Now that the new one is home, what is Matt's favorite thing about the RX?
Jackie: The dash is so fabulous and the cabin. Not at all "truck like". It drives like a luxury sedan. But you are high up and in a big space. It's also super quiet.

TN: Now that you have two very similar Lexus RX 350s, does it feel weird?
Jackie: We do feel sort of nuts that we have two SUV's and no children or dogs. We toyed with the idea of getting a cheap Jeep as our second car. But we just love the RX. And yes, they both fit in the two car garage!

TN: Your license plate says "Ziti." Any secret meaning there?
Jackie: Ziti is a much-loved cat. My other cats are jealous they didn't make the plate.