2023 Lexus RX
The Lexus RX is the best-selling model at Toyota’s luxury brand. It offered high style, combined with family comfort and greater utility. It is the right combination that attracts customers to this luxury SUV.
For 2023, a new RX was introduced. It takes what it has achieved since its debut for the 1999 model year and pushes the envelope further beyond its original vision.
Does it still offer the same magic for upwardly mobile families as it did for the past 24 model years?
The design appears to be evolutionary from a distance. The roofline emulates the last generation’s fastback-esque slope. However, everything below the window line is completely different. The front end has a blunter shape with a fadeaway grille texture. Our tester had the optional triple-beam LED headlamp units. There is an overall lack of chrome throughout. The liftgate offers a horizontal LED taillight unit finishing off the updated look.
Our Luxury tester came with 21-inch 20-spoke darkened alloy wheels that create a subtle look against a dark blue exterior finish. This is where Lexus wants to go with its most popular vehicle in its lineup – an unassuming level of luxury.
One of the changes that may draw some questions are the electronic door locks and releases. It takes some getting used to, as long as you can manage the heavier doors.
The rest of the interior follows the new design convention as laid down by the latest NX. The instrument cluster is now fully digital and highly customizable. Steering wheel controls have changed and now truly multi-functional. The head-up display will show you which control will do exactly the function you need.
The Lexus Interface dominates the center stack of the RX. No more track pads or mouse controllers. A simple short reach to a touch capacitive 14-inch screen.
The front seats are bolstered just fine, providing support for the seatback and cushion. There is plenty of space for four-to-five people inside, along with a solid cargo hold than the previous model. You start off with 29.6 cubic feet behind the rear seats, expandable to 49.2 cubic feet with it folded down.
This is the first RX that will not be powered by a V6. Instead, our 2023 RX tester has the newly standard turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It is a solid performer in town and on the highway. An 8-speed automatic transmission is connected to this to this turbocharged engine. Our tester had all-wheel drive. This drive line turned a fuel economy average of 23.2 MPG.
The ride quality of the RX felt very solid on all surfaces. It absorbed the roadway with excellent dampening and a much quieter ride overall. Handling was solid with minimal lean and roll on extreme maneuvers.
The steering was very controlled and offered a tighter turning radius. On center field was OK, however it would need the Lane Keeping Assist to ensure that it stays within the lane. Overall, the turning radius was spot on. As for the brakes, there was a solid pedal feel that transmitted down to the wheels. The system yielded solid stops in normal, panic, and winter conditions.
Pricing for the 2023 Lexus RX starts at $48,550. Our RX 350 Luxury AWD tester came in with a sticker price of $63,145. You can choose from six trim levels, including two F Sport models. You also have an all-four-cylinder lineup including a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid.
It may have started the segment, but the Lexus RX is constantly challenged by a number of serious competitors. These competitors include the Mercedes-Benz GLE, BMW X5 and X6, Audi Q7 and Q8, Jaguar F-Pace, Volvo XC90, Infiniti QX60, Acura MDX, Genesis GV80, Cadillac XT5 and Lincoln Nautilus. It is worth noting that same of these competitors offer a third row of seating, whereas the RX does not at this time.
With more technology, a sharper design, and an emphasis on more efficiency, the 2023 Lexus RX continues to show leadership in what it does every day. Simply take a new generation of drivers and their passengers to where they need to go.
Story Credits: CarSoup Editors