Compete with: Acura MDX, Alfa Romeo Stelvio, Infiniti QX60
Resembles: The RX is even more meticulous with a new look for Lexus’ crankshaft grille
Motors: 275 horsepower, 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission (RX 350); 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, 246-hp electric motor and continuously variable automatic transmission (RX 350h); 2.4-liter four-cylinder gas engine, turbocharged electric motor with 367 horsepower and six-speed automatic (RX 500h F Sport Performance); front-wheel drive (RX 350) or all-wheel drive (RX 350, RX 350h, RX 500h); Hybrid powertrain (RX 450h Plus) details to be announced
Hit Agents: end of 2022
Since its debut more than two decades ago, the Lexus RX has been a mainstay in the school transportation lines and helped usher in the era of premium car-based SUVs. Now in its fifth generation, the new Lexus RX 2023 rides on a new platform and gets updated engines, along with additional comfort, fit and safety technologies.
Related: All-Electric 2023 Lexus RZ: Overachievement in Space, But Not Range
Three of the RX’s four updated engines are electrified, although the automaker will announce details of the plug-in hybrid powertrain on the RX 450h Plus at a later date. Inside, the big news is the availability of a 14-inch touch screen and the apparent abandonment of the touchscreen remote control.
Lexus has expanded the new RX’s spindle grille to include the entire vehicle in what the automaker calls a “spindle body” design, resulting in a more car-like silhouette. The wheelbase is 2.36 inches longer than the previous RX model, but the rear is shortened by 2.36 inches, making the new RX the same length as its predecessor. Up front, the grille now has a body-colored element at the top that expands into the inverted V-spindle. New wheels come in 19- and 21-inch sizes.
As mentioned earlier, the big news inside is that Lexus has finally ditched the touchpad remote. In recent years, Lexus has added touchscreen functionality to its models while leaving the redundant touchpad in place; The automaker seems to have finally seen the light, trading in the distracting user interface for something a little more intuitive. Lexus says the change results in “functional [and] Brief “Control Planning.
Lexus also says the new RX has more room for rear passengers and more cargo space, as well as a lower floor to make it easier to load cargo.
New platform, updated powertrain
The 2023 RX rides on the new GA-K platform that Lexus says improves the SUV’s center of gravity and weight distribution, adds stiffness, and increases ride comfort and quietness. It’s also lighter than the previous model, according to Lexus, with a weight savings of 198 pounds. The redesigned rear suspension is also intended to improve ride and handling.
Under the hood are four updated powertrain options, three of which feature some type of electric. The RX 350 gets a 2.4-liter gas-turbocharged four-cylinder engine to replace the long-running 3.5-liter V-6. Power is reduced by 20 to 275 horsepower, but torque increased by 50 pound-feet to 317. Buyers can choose FWD or AWD, but the only transmission is an eight-speed automatic.
The RX 350h is AWD only and has a hybrid powertrain consisting of a 2.5-liter gas engine, electric motor and battery pack that produces 246 horsepower and 233 lb.-ft. paired with the CVT.
While the RX wasn’t previously the first choice for shoppers looking for a high-performance SUV, the RX 500h F Sport Performance aims to change that. This hybrid engine uses a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, rather than the normal 2.5-liter engine, and generates 367 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. It also uses Lexus’ Direct4 AWD system to improve performance, bypassing previous F Sport heavy-look packages for the latest RX model.
An RX 450h Plus hybrid will also be available, but Lexus hasn’t announced specifications yet.
Lexus’s Safety System Plus 3.0 suite of advanced driver assistance technologies will be standard. Forward collision detection with automatic emergency braking now includes motorcycle detection, and adaptive cruise control adds curve-based cruise management.
Other safety features include a driver monitoring system and a head-up display. Advanced Park Assist is newly available in the RX and its capabilities have been improved, according to Lexus.
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Pricing and release date
Pricing should be available near the 2023 RX sale date sometime at the end of this year.
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