2023 Lexus RX Preview

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The Lexus RX is America’s best-selling luxury SUV. The automaker says it was the first to market a luxury crossover when the original RX debuted more than 20 years ago. (Volvo might disagree while reminding people of the V70 Cross Country.) So given its sales volume and heritage, it’s essential the automaker gets the completely redesigned 2023 Lexus RX.

Whether the new fifth-generation 2023 RX will continue to appeal to Lexus loyalists and newcomers to the premium midsize SUV segment remains to be seen. But, by all indications, Lexus has given this redesign its best shot.

The new 2023 Lexus RX model lineup includes the RX 350, RX 350h, RX 450h+ and RX 500h. Depending on which one you choose, trim levels can be Standard, Premium, Premium+, Luxury, F Sport Handling or F Sport Performance. All versions of the new RX except the RX 350 are electrified.

The new 2023 RX only comes with 5-passenger seating as the company is replacing the unloved RX L with a new 3-row crossover called the 2024 Lexus TX. No doubt people will call it the Lexus Texas. Because, you know, everything is bigger there. And it rhymes.

  • Redesigned 2-row midsize luxury crossover SUV
  • Four models, four transmissions, three of which are electrified
  • Lighter, lower to the ground and roomier inside
  • Standard Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 Advanced Driver Assistance Package
  • Standard Lexus Interface multimedia system with next-generation infotainment technology
  • 2023 Lexus RX release date is Q4 2022

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance White Rear quarter view

Lexus has a lot to say about the styling of the new RX, which it says “builds on the foundation of Lexus’ iconic spindle (grille) design and evolves into a cohesive new spindle body design.”

We see a more conservative approach than that taken by Lexus with the wild fourth-generation RX, a design that builds on themes established by the latest Lexus IS sedan and NX compact crossover. The new RX is about the same height as the old one, but its longer wheelbase and shorter rear overhang give it the same chunky look as the NX. Thanks in part to the RX’s blunter nose, there’s a lot of visual mass left over the front wheels, creating a visual imbalance in the SUV’s appearance.

Ten exterior colors are available, and wheel selections range from 19-inch to 21-inch in diameter.

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance Red Interior Front Seats

The new Lexus RX has a significantly improved interior. A smaller control clutter, floating dash, enhanced displays and ambient backlighting create a clean, quiet environment. An available panoramic glass sunroof bathes the cabin in natural light.

New Digital Latch technology, which debuted in the Lexus NX, operates doors by touch and includes a secure exit system that can prevent occupants from opening a door when it is unsafe. Lexus says the new RX offers more rear legroom and cargo space than the outgoing model.

Six interior colors and four interior trims are available, and F Sport trims include specific design details to emphasize performance over luxury.

Lexus builds the 2023 RX on its new GA-K platform, shared with the smaller NX. Highlights include a lower center of gravity, greater structural rigidity and lighter weight resulting in a mass loss of nearly 200 pounds for the new RX. All three platform features promise to improve the RX’s ride and handling qualities in line with the automaker’s Lexus Driving Signature dynamic satisfaction goals.

If you want a Lexus RX with a V6 engine, you should buy a remaining fourth-generation model now. Indeed, the new 2023 Lexus RX 350 is equipped with a 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine developing 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. It is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission and either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive (AWD). Lexus estimates the RX 350 will return 24 mpg in combined city/highway driving and accelerate to 60 mph in as little as 7.2 seconds.

For greater fuel efficiency, the 2023 Lexus RX 350h awaits you with a gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain based on a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. Total system output measures 246 hp and 233 lb-ft of torque, and a continuously variable transmission powers all four wheels. Lexus says the RX 350h will get 33 mpg in combined driving and go to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds.

The 2023 Lexus RX 450h+ is a plug-in hybrid. Lexus did not provide any specs for this powertrain, saying “details for the US market will be shared later.” This suggests that it won’t use the same configuration used in the smaller NX 450h+. We will see. Stay tuned.

If performance is what you’re looking for, the 2023 Lexus RX 500h promises it. Offered only in F Sport Performance trim, the RX 500h will feature a new hybrid drivetrain based on the RX 350’s turbocharged 4-cylinder. Lexus Direct4 AWD. Output measures 367 hp and 406 lb-ft, and the RX 500h F Sport Performance should return a combined 26 mpg and zoom to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

According to Lexus, Direct4 can send up to 80 percent of the powertrain’s power to the SUV’s rear wheels. To further strengthen the RX 500h F Sport Performance, Lexus equips the model with upgraded brakes with 6-piston front calipers and adaptive damping suspension. As is the case with all 2023 RX models, 21-inch wheels and tires are available.

Lexus Security System+ 3.0 (LSS+ 3.0) debuts in the all-new 2023 RX. Package highlights include:

Lexus didn’t provide many details on LSS+ 3.0, but it would be fair to assume that Lexus has updated the underlying hardware and software to improve performance, refinement and accuracy.

Similarly, Lexus didn’t provide many details about the RX’s next-gen infotainment system. Presumably, the new Lexus Interface multimedia system mirrors what the company offers in the smaller Lexus NX, where it features a standard 9.8-inch and optional 14-inch touchscreen with integrated climate controls.

Expect standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, satellite radio, voice-activated voice control and connected services related to security, Wi-Fi and smartphone remote access to boot the engine, find the SUV, operate the door locks, etc.

Along with the larger 14-inch touchscreen, upgrades will include Drive Connect services with a cloud-based navigation system, access to Google’s Points of Interest database and voice recognition technology natural Intelligent Assistant. Lexus also says Drive Connect will allow RX owners to save their vehicle preferences in a profile that will carry over to other Lexus and Toyota models with that same underlying infotainment technology.

Additionally, Digital Key technology will allow you to share access to the RX through the smartphone app. The redesigned SUV will offer an optional head-up display and an optional 21-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround sound audio system. Advanced Park is also available, taking complete control of the RX to autonomously park the SUV in parallel and perpendicular spaces while the driver remains seated behind the wheel.

Most high-end midsize SUVs come with three rows of seating, leaving the 2023 Lexus RX 2-row with few direct but mostly formidable rivals. The list includes the BMW X5, Cadillac XT5, Genesis GV80 2.5T, Jaguar F-Pace, Lincoln Nautilus and Mercedes-Benz GLE.

There is no doubt that the new RX will continue to please people looking for a high-end, reliable, refined and safe crossover SUV. These features have always made this Lexus popular and will continue to attract buyers. But does the fifth-generation RX also have the style, driving dynamics and brand cachet to attract new customers to Lexus showrooms?

We will know the answer to this question soon enough.

Lexus is the source of information for this article. It was accurate as of June 1, 2022, but may have changed since that date. Always confirm product details and availability with the car manufacturer’s website or your local dealership.

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