2023 Lexus RX

absolutely AUTO REVIEW  |  By Steve Kursar –

The 2023 Lexus RX is the fifth generation for the Lexus core model. It was completely redesigned from the wheels to the roof rails, featuring a new global platform that provides a lighter, lower center of gravity.  This is the car that essentially created the mid-size luxury crossover segment. And now it’s far more technologically advanced than ever before.

The very first RX hit US highways back in 1998.  American drivers became entranced by SUVs with their higher stance and more aggressive designs.  But, SUVs built on truck platforms proved to drive rough and be gas guzzlers.  So, the crossover, a vehicle built on a car platform but raised up to resemble an SUV, became the solution.  The first Lexus RX 300 was a huge hit with American luxury car buyers.

And, now, the fifth generation of the Lexus RX was recently introduced with four new powertrains and six grades.  A base 2024 RX 350 comes with an MSRP price tag of $49,950 and is powered by a 275hp, 2.4 liter turbocharged engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.  EPA estimated fuel economy ratings are 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.

For a $2,000 upgrade, you can move up to the RX 350h that’s powered by a 246hp, 2.5-liter four-cylinder Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine teamed with a high-output, low-resistance nickel-metal hydride battery.  The fuel economy goes way up to 37 mpg city and 33 highway.  This single upgrade is well worth the upgrade in my opinion.

The RX 450h+ is the first RX with a plug-in powertrain that combines a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with an 18.1-kWh lithium-ion battery and rear E-Four motor to provide powerful acceleration and full-time all-wheel drive.  The 450h+ provides an EPA-estimated 37-mile driving range rating on electric power only which makes it ideal for a daily work commute.

The RX 500h F Sport Performance AWD brings a next level of dynamism that is realized by the high-performance hybrid 271-hp 2.4-liter turbocharged inline-four that’s matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox and integrated Power Control Unit and electric motor. The RX 450h+ intuitively orients all essential controls and information within the driver’s reach and forward sightline inside.

The all-new Lexus RX includes Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which provides additional features including Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Intersection Support and a new feature of Motorcycle Detection.

The newest RX crossover may be all-new. But rest assured, it’s still all Lexus, gorgeous, smooth driving and pure luxury.