The 2023 Lexus RX has undergone significant changes, resulting in a sophisticated five-seat crossover SUV that seamlessly combines features from both premium and luxury segments. It bears resemblances to well-known models such as the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, and Volvo XC60.
The vehicle boasts a versatile range of powertrain options, featuring four different choices, with three of them being hybrid variants. Additionally, it offers six distinct trim levels, catering to a diverse array of preferences. The focus is on attracting a broader demographic while maintaining a strong connection with its loyal customer base.
Positioned strategically in the market, the mid-size SUV strikes a balance, appealing to a wide range of buyers. Its alluring exterior design, spacious interior, and an array of impressive standard features make it an irresistible proposition for prospective buyers.
Exuding an air of refined confidence, the revamped Lexus RX reveals its personality through subtler grille and sleek body panels. Notably, the front end underwent significant changes, with a slight retraction of the windshield and A-pillar, creating a longer and more elegant nose.
Redesigned with a diamond pattern extending around the sides, the once imposing trapezoidal grille now conveys a sense of movement, complemented by vertical air intakes and narrower headlights for a sportier profile reminiscent of the Toyota Highlander.
The distinctive floating roof design maintains its original shape, resulting in a 2.4-inch reduction in the rear end’s length. Particularly noteworthy is the replacement of the previous logo on the tailgate with the elegant Lexus emblem.
Within the choices for the RX model, one can find a variety of captivating colors, including Copper Crest and Nori Green Pearl. The shade adorning our test vehicle was Copper Crest, exclusively available for an additional $595.
Upon stepping inside, a captivating curved wall of screens awaits, ranging from a 7.0-inch instrument cluster to a 14.0-inch touchscreen, which can be added as a $1,105 option along with climate dials. The seamless appearance of the dashboard arches gracefully behind the screen.
The interior boasts a cleaner design with fewer layers on the dashboard and more metallic trim pieces, complemented by an electronic gear shifter and pushbutton door handles, which add a touch of elegant simplicity.
With a focus on comfort, the RX now accommodates five passengers, as the seven-seat option is no longer available. Despite the shorter ends, extended wheelbase, and increased width, the ideal seating arrangement is for four adults, with heated, ventilated, and power-adjustable front seats upholstered in synthetic leather, providing a welcoming feel. The rear seats offer ample space for passengers and cargo.
The higher trims retain their luxurious features, including power lumbar support, semi-aniline leather, and memory positions for seats, mirrors, and the steering wheel. The console is optimized for space, featuring an electronic gear shifter, expandable cupholders, and a storage tray with wireless charging capability for multiple phones. The climate controls are conveniently integrated into the larger touchscreen.
Adapting to the touch-sensitive and versatile steering wheel controls may take some time, but Lexus provides a range of features, such as cooled front seats on all models except the base version, along with optional heated and cooled rear seats and power-folding rear seats. The rear seating area offers comfortable accommodation for two adults or three children.
When the 60/40-split rear seats are folded down, the cargo room expands to 38.5 cubic feet, nearly six cubes more than the previous model. The clever placement of the hybrid battery pack beneath the rear seats allows for their recline. Additionally, a real spare tire and jack are conveniently stored under the floor for easy access.
The RX 500h F SPORT is equipped with a 2.4 L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that generates 271 hp and 339 lb-ft of torque. Power from this engine is directed to the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission. Additionally, the powertrain includes a permanent-magnet synchronous motor integrated into the system.
Furthermore, an additional electric motor is located at the rear wheels, contributing an extra 107 hp. Both electric motors draw power from a nickel-metal hydride traction battery, resulting in a combined maximum output of 366 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.
The vehicle’s performance is quite impressive, achieving a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds. However, it falls short in terms of acceleration when compared to some SUVs and crossovers we’ve tested, which utilize electric-powered systems.
Another aspect worth noting is that the four-cylinder powertrain produces a somewhat agitated and frenetic sound at higher RPMs, which is unexpected for a luxury car. Despite this, the overall ride quality is generally pleasing and not overly harsh, although using higher-profile tires might have potentially improved it.
The RX 500h F SPORT test vehicle, which we had the opportunity to drive for a week at CarFanaticsBlog, comes with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $61,600. Once all the optional features were factored in, the total cost reached $70,830.
When comparing the mentioned vehicles, the RX emerges as the top choice, boasting exceptional features that truly set it apart from the rest. Both the RX and GV70 capture attention with their impressive attributes.
However, when considering the Acura MDX, despite its larger size and capacity to accommodate seven passengers, it falls short in terms of powertrain variety and electrification when compared to the new RX.
Turning to American luxury brands, the Lincoln Nautilus and Cadillac XT5 showcase refined interiors and comfortable seating. Nonetheless, the Nautilus manages to outshine the underwhelming Cadillac XT5 in various aspects.
Meanwhile, the Genesis GV70 stands out with its captivating style, abundant features, and a potent twin-turbo V-6 engine, positioning it as a robust contender in the lineup.
Efficiency, power, and style come together harmoniously in the Volvo XC60, which impresses with its electrified lineup, offering a well-balanced combination of features.
Lastly, the revamped Infiniti QX60 presents significant improvements over its predecessor, boasting enhanced looks and packaging, ultimately solidifying its position as a noteworthy choice.