Since the launch in 1998, the Lexus RX has proved immensely popular with those needing the flexibility of a sport-utility vehicle combined with the driving comfort of a luxury sedan, all wrapped in an attractive, elegant package. The all-new RX’s mix of sharp creases and curves represents a bold evolution in the model’s styling, sharing the same design DNA with other recently-launched models in the Lexus lineup.
This perennial best-selling luxury crossover adds advanced new redesigned hybrid and gasoline powertrains, sophisticated safety technologies, driver aids and welcome new convenience and technology features to make this the best Lexus sport-utility vehicle offering to date.
That the new RX makes a powerful visual statement is obvious at first glance. The front features a completely new fascia that’s highlighted by an emboldened spindle grille with a chrome-plated border and triple L-shaped LED headlamps. Together with the redesigned fog lamps, this gives the RX an elegant yet futuristic aura. Muscular front fender flares add to the vehicle’s sporty attitude.
The new RX’s rear appearance has been sharpened and exudes rock-solid stability, highlighted by LED L-shaped taillights that wrap around the sides of the vehicle, creating a wider, more authoritative presence when illuminated. When lit, a brilliant glow spans laterally from the body to the back door — a Lexus-first. Newly designed 20-inch aluminum wheels with larger tires improve the vehicle stance and proportions. These 20-inch wheels can also be customized with body color-matching inserts to emphasize individuality.
When seen from the side, the sharp character line that runs from the front fenders to the rear end, together with a flowing roofline, give the RX a dynamic profile that minimizes drag and decreases front and rear lift. All this makes the vehicle more stable at high speed with a sharp reduction in wind noise. A truly innovative styling element is the blacked-out C-pillars, which provide the illusion of a floating roofline never before seen on a Lexus.
Inside, the RX’s new cabin is one of comfort and luxury, with repositioned trim pieces that exude a high level of class and specially-finished laser-cut ornamentation available for those who desire an extra dose of opulence.
The shift lever has been moved away from the front of the instrument panel to optimize operability and create more space for the driver.
The redesigned instrument cluster offers the driver instantaneous information with a quick glance at its large and easy-to-read gauge faces.
The driver isn’t the only one who benefits from the new interior. Rear-seat occupants are treated to more leg and knee space, and the newly-developed seats offer heating and power inclining features that both enhance convenience and provide a luxurious sense of hospitality and sophistication comparable to that of the Lexus LS sedan.
A retractable power panorama roof enhances the RX cabin’s spaciousness and provides occupants with a refreshing open-air experience.
The RX is available with a variety of engine types to meet the diverse needs of drivers around the world, including the new turbocharged 2.0 liter powerplant.
RX 350: 3.5-liter V6 500 Engine
Among these is an upgraded 3.5-liter V-6, now with more power as it aims to deliver 300 hp. To enhance breathing and fuel efficiency, Lexus engineers rely on an all-new cylinder head design with reshaped intake ports and combustion chambers for added efficiency in the engine’s combustion process, D-4S fuel injection system that enables direct injection to the cylinders with high fuel pressure, and a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission, whose close gear ratios have been tuned to provide excellent punch off the line and robust passing power while maintaining excellent fuel economy.
RX 450h: Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 Engine
The hybrid-powered drivetrain in the all-new Lexus RX is the latest, most advanced iteration of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system. Its key components and control systems have been improved and reengineered to deliver class-leading fuel economy, minimal emissions and excellent on-road performance that will satisfy the most demanding driving enthusiast. The hybrid model features an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V-6 engine that produces around 300 hp when combined with the electric motor.
RX 200t: 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo Engine
Powered by a specially-tuned 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo engine, the RX 200t delivers seamless and continuous acceleration up to the mid- to high-speed range. The output of the powertrain, which features VVT-iW (Variable Valve Timing-intelligent Wide) and a low-inertia twin-scroll turbocharger with air-to-liquid intercooler, will be aimed to provide more than 228 hp (170 kW). The gear ratios of the 6-speed automatic transmissions provide excellent acceleration off-the-line and exceptional passing power. All RX engines have been tuned to achieve high fuel economy and low carbon emissions.
When it comes to delivering precise, controlled handling, the new RX offers impressive dynamic capability. The entire chassis has been fortified to provide better stability and control through turns. The vehicle’s body structure has been strengthened with added stiffness, helping to drastically improve its handling response while reducing engine and road noise in the cabin. The vehicle also features innovative technology, such as Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) and Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), each system designed to recognize potentially dangerous situations and make automatic and often transparent adjustments to ensure the car remains in control when entering and exiting corners. Also, All-Wheel Drive improves the RX’s handling performance and stability on both dry and slick surfaces alike.
The RX’s fully independent suspension system, which consists of MacPherson struts up front and a double wishbone setup at rear, has been tuned and reinforced to improve handling while keeping ride quality remarkably smooth. Available on most RX versions is the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), which electronically monitors and adapts the suspension damping and steering to ensure optimal handling and ride depending on the driving conditions.
The optional 12.3-in. navigation system with Electro Multi Vision (EMV) display features vibrant and crisp graphics and remarkable brightness when exposed to direct sunlight thanks to its Light Control Film surface treatment that possesses excellent anti-glare properties. The display offers a new user interface that can be switched between either full-screen or a 8-in. map view that incorporates five frequently used functions within a convenient sub-screen (Map, Audio, Phone, Eco, A/C).
A Rear Seat Entertainment system is available that includes large 11.6-in. flat-panel LCD displays that offer exceptional high quality viewing from a range of angles, screen tilt adjustment from 0 to 50 degrees and a convenient HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface) input port located on the center console rear end panel.
A feature incorporated into the design of the new-look instrument panel is a Heads-Up Display (HUD) system. The HUD is a large color display screen projected onto the windshield that allows the driver to concentrate on the road ahead with minimal distraction from the easy-to-use and intuitive control interface.
Lexus has always stressed safety in all of its vehicles, so it should come as no surprise that the new RX offers even further safety improvements. Among these new improvements are the upgraded body structure that heightens the overall passive safety of the RX, and Lexus Safety System +, which helps avoid or mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds.
Introduced globally as either standard or optional equipment, Lexus Safety System + integrates several of Lexus’ existing active safety technologies. These include the Pre-Collision System (PCS) that detects sudden stops initiated by the vehicle in front, warning drivers of potential contact with obstacles and pedestrians ahead; Lane Departure Alert (LDA), which issues an audible signal if the vehicle strays from its intended lane; and Automatic High Beam (AHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving.
As part of a multi-faceted approach to active safety, the Lexus Safety System+ package utilizes a millimeter-wave radar that works together with a camera to keep the RX in its intended driving lane via the Lane Keeping Assist feature (LKA) and enhances the target detection for the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.
For even higher safety levels, Adaptive High-beam System (AHS), a Panoramic View Monitor (PVM) and Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) are available as optional equipment.
For those who prefer even more excitement and performance in their luxury sport-utility vehicles, the RX F SPORT will be available with all of the model’s engine offerings. Lexus vehicles designated with the F SPORT badge are equipped with a number of special visual and performance features that set them apart from other versions.
The spindle grille and lower center piece of the rear bumper possess an “F” mesh design, instantly giving the vehicle a sportier flair.
New alloy wheels, exclusive to the F SPORT, help give the RX a commanding presence.
Inside, the driver is treated to a sport steering wheel, featuring perforated leather and an attractive F SPORT emblem, complete with paddle shifters. Exclusive colors and trim pieces are also part of the sporty package.
A custom F SPORT instrument cluster enriches the dashboard.
The RX F SPORT’s performance on the road has been enhanced by an active stabilizer system whose world’s first cutting-edge technology keeps the vehicle’s body amazingly flat through corners. The aforementioned AVS, which also helps keep the vehicle planted to driving surfaces through turns, is standard on the RX F SPORT.
The driver can select the AVS-enhanced Sport S+ mode, in addition to Eco, Normal, and Sports S settings using the Drive Mode Select control located on the center console.