2023 Lexus RX Refills the Same Prescription

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From the October 2022 subject of Automotive and Driver.

The 2023 Lexus RX has been absolutely redesigned, however regardless of some modifications to the underhood components, it goals to deliver drivers the identical sense of luxurious and luxury that outlined its predecessors. The brand new SUV is offered as a gas-powered RX350, an RX350h hybrid, and a higher-performing RX500h hybrid. (There’s additionally a plug-in-hybrid RX450h+ that may be part of the lineup later.)

Probably the most noticeable change within the SUV’s styling is to the spindle grille. This design aspect has at all times been polarizing, and the brand new one possible might be too. Notably, the bulging transition from the extra upright trapezoidal decrease part of the grille to the hood
throws us off. The wheelbase is 2.4 inches longer, and the rear overhang is shorter. The beforehand obtainable three-row L model will get the sack. (It’s possible to get replaced by a brand new model known as the TX.)

The entry-level RX350 swaps final 12 months’s V-6 for a turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four. Mated to an eight-speed automated, it makes 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. That’s 20 fewer horses than final 12 months however a rise of fifty pound-feet. We anticipate the front-wheel-drive RX350 will attain 60 mph in 7.2 seconds, whereas the all-wheel-drive model ought to take
6.9 seconds. The final RX350 F Sport we examined required 6.7 seconds, which is fairly sluggish for the category.

The RX350h is the accountable and environment friendly choose. Its hybrid energy­prepare now contains a nonturbo Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter 4, and gasoline financial system is estimated at 36 mpg mixed. A repeatedly variable transmission with two electrical motors turns the entrance wheels, whereas a 3rd electrical motor drives the rears. Mixed output involves 246 horses and 233 pound-feet, which ought to get the RX350h to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds.

The RX500h represents a high-performance hybrid counterpoint, with the turbo-four engine from the RX350 and a stronger rear electrical motor that mix for 366 horsepower and 406 pound-feet. We anticipate it’s going to attain 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.

None of those RX fashions, although, are significantly sporty or enjoyable to drive. As a substitute, Lexus places consolation and luxurious forward of efficiency, the identical technique that has served the RX properly for many years.

The RX350h feels unusually anemic, nevertheless, requiring you to ground the accelerator to match the circulate of freeway visitors. In the meantime, the engine groans loudly because it labors and makes the RX350h really feel slower than it’s.

With a large bounce in energy and a standard six-speed automated, the RX500h would not undergo as badly. It is faster to reply and breaks up the drone with conventional shifts. It instills far more confidence however remains to be no rocket, as it will get smoked by a BMW X5 xDrive40i, which reaches 60 mph in solely 4.8 seconds.

Dealing with efficiency would not fare any higher. The tender suspension tuning would not encourage spirited driving, and undulations within the street have a tendency to provide residual rebounds after the occasion. The brake pedal additional degrades confidence with its mushy really feel and lengthy stroke.

Sometimes, it’s driver-assist options, greater than efficiency, that woo the Lexus shopper, and right here the RX is sufficient. The adaptive cruise management easily maintains a niche between automobiles, and we by no means skilled false alarms from the forward-collision warning. We did get quite a few irritating false alarms from the driver-attention monitor, although. And the lane-keeping help is not as superior as rivals’ and tends to wander from edge to fringe of a lane with drunken indecision. However we suppose that’s the reason it has “help” in its title.

The RX’s inside is most improved, particularly with regard to infotainment. Lexus ditches the outgoing SUV’s much-maligned trace-pad controller and as an alternative switches to a touchscreen setup. A 9.8-inch unit is commonplace, although a 14.0-inch show is optionally available.

The dashboard is extra trendy and hanging than earlier than, however some cabin supplies, such because the plastic on the middle console and the lighter-colored faux woodgrain, left us dissatisfied. In contrast, the combination of extra substantial parts on the sprint and the material door inserts are as much as luxurious requirements.

Redesigned however not reimagined, the 2023 RX ought to meet the expectations of returning Lexus prospects who worth calm consolation over potent efficiency. These extra accustomed to pricier German luxurious SUVs, nevertheless, will possible discover the RX wanting by way of driving dynamics and inside high quality. Lexus, although, appears cautious of majorly altering its unique and standard method.

Specs

Specs

2023 Lexus RX

Automobile Sort: front-engine, front-engine and front- and rear-motor, front- or all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door wagon

PRICE

Base (C/D est): $49,000–$60,000

POWERTRAINS

DOHC 16-valve Atkinson-cycle 2.5-liter inline-4, 190 hp + 3 AC motors (mixed output: 246 hp, 233 lb-ft); turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.4-liter inline-4, 275 hp, 317 lb-ft; turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.4-liter inline-4, 275 hp, 317 lb-ft + 2 AC motors (mixed output: 366 hp, 406 lb-ft)

TRANSMISSIONS

6-speed automated, 8-speed automated, repeatedly variable automated

DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase: 112.2 in

Size: 192.5 in

Width: 75.6 in

Peak: 67.3 in

Cargo Quantity: 30 ft3

Curb Weight (C/D est): 4150–4750 lb

PERFORMANCE (C/D EST)

60 mph: 5.6–7.8 sec

1/4-Mile: 14.4–16.1 sec

Prime Velocity: 112–130 mph

EPA FUEL ECONOMY (C/D EST)

Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 24–36/21–37/28–34 mpg


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