2020 Lexus RX
The Lexus RX started a new class of vehicle – the luxury crossover. Part car, part wagon, part adventure vehicle, but full of luxury. The result has been a very loyal ownership base that trade in their older RXs for new ones.
In 2015, the fourth generation Lexus RX arrived with sharp lines and an integrated Spindle Grille. It yielded plenty of praise not for its design, but for the way it drives.
For 2020, Lexus gave the RX a mid-cycle update all over. New grilles and front clips, a few changes inside and all around. It remained true to its mission while keep up appearances.
We received a 2020 RX 350 F Sport with all-wheel-drive to see whether these updates continue to keep one of the most popular vehicles in its segment in vogue for its intended customers.
The design philosophy for the RX is to forge the signature Spindle Grille as a focal point where all lines will flow from. That includes a rakish windshield and equally sleek roofline. The headlamps for our F Sport model are LED, including the running lights. Another signature is the F Sport’s mesh grille which announces it arrival loud and clear.
The most controversial piece of the entire vehicle is the C-Pillar. Lexus decided to make the rear area more dramatic by creating a "floating roof" motif with the glasshouse angled down to the beltline at the very end. There is a piece of glass back there, smaller than any seen on prior RX versions.
The seating is in red leather with black accents. It offers plenty of bolstering, but the cushion part seems a bit narrow for some front occupants. The cushion bolsters do give a bit over time. The backrest is taut, which the lumbar support is adjustable for lower back relief. Second-row seat occupants have a flatter seat, yet it is still comfortable. Space is fantastic for five adults, especially with a flat floor in the rear.
One of the changes inside is seen on the center console with the trackpad replacing the Remote Touch controller. That offers a cleaner center console overall, that appears to be lower than before. The shifter is still in a notch-pattern. The instrument panel gets the single big TFT dial with a digital speedometer and information center to the left of it. The huge 12.3-inch infotainment screen was moved closer to the driver and is now touch-capacitive.
Cargo space starts with just 18.4 cubic feet with the retractable cover in place. It is expandable to 56.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. In all, the RX has one of the finest cabins in its class.
Our tester came with the 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 that is lively and fun to run. Connected to an eight-speed automatic transmission with the available all-wheel-drive, the RX 350 F Sport drove smoothly and offered traction when it truly needed it. On the flip side, we saw an average of 19.7 MPG in terms of fuel consumption.
One expects the RX to ride smoothly and handle competently. It does – even the F Sport with the Performance Package equipped offers a very smooth and comfortable ride unlike its regular RX counterparts. Although, you will experience a bit of roll when going through the turns at the limit. Putting the drive mode selector to Sport S+ mode tightens the suspension a bit, without hardening the ride quality.
Stopping the RX is a smooth experience. A solid braking system yielded good behaviors in normal, panic, and winter situations. The steering system feels good, offers a good turning radius and a solid on-center lock. This is improved when putting the Drive Mode into Sport S+, where the weight is heavier inducing better steering response.
The Lexus RX lineup starts at $44,150 for the two-row RX 350 with front-wheel-drive. Our F Sport AWD tester came with a sticker price of $60,785. The RX is also available in a few three-row versions, including a Hybrid version. There are also a couple additional two-row Hybrid models, as well.
The Lexus RX is in a highly competitive segment among premium brands. Competitors include the BMW X5 and X6, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Jaguar F-Pace, Range Rover Velar, Land Rover Discovery, Audi Q7 and Q8, Infiniti QX60, Lincoln Nautilus and Aviator, Cadillac XT5 and XT6.
While it remains one of the top selling SUVs in its segment, the Lexus RX could always use some new friends to experience how much this vehicle will satisfy you. Perhaps you will see why this vehicle yields so much loyalty from its owners.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors