Similar to the smaller redesigned NX, the 2023 redesigned RX will offer four new powertrains which use turbocharging, hybridization, or employ both technologies. Three of the engines will be available at launch, with a plug-in hybrid version arriving at a later date. A 275-hp, 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine replaced the V6. It's mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Lexus RX Road Test
First Drive

2023 Lexus RX Gets New Safety Features and Four-Cylinder Engines

Luxury SUV is lighter and has more interior room than its predecessor

Overview

Following the introduction of the redesigned NX luxury compact SUV, Lexus has taken the wraps off the redesigned 2023 RX 350, RX 350h, and RX 450h+ SUVs.

Like the smaller NX, the 2023 RX will offer four new powertrains that use turbocharging or hybridization, or employ both technologies. Three of the engines will be available at launch, with a plug-in hybrid version arriving at a later date.

This is the fifth generation of the RX, which was among the first luxury SUVs when it arrived in 1998. Since then, the RX has added more luxury, a hybrid version, a three-row version, and sportier F Sport trims.

The RX also features the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which brings a generous roster of active safety and driver assistance features, including forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian and cyclist detection, and a number of new capabilities beyond those now familiar and appreciated safety and driver assistance systems.

There will be six available grades: Standard, Premium, Premium+, Luxury, F Sport Handling, and F Sport Performance.

Pricing for the redesigned 2023 Lexus RX has not been announced. It goes on sale in late 2022.

It competes with the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Cadillac XT5, Genesis GV80, Jaguar F-Pace, Lincoln Nautilus, Mercedes-Benz GLE, and Porsche Cayenne.

Here’s what we know so far.

With the fifth-generation RX, Lexus continues to dial back on the aggressive, polarizing styling. As such, it might not stand out in a parking lot, but it is still instantly recognizable as a Lexus. Like its two most recent predecessors, the RX still sports Lexus’ signature “spindle” grille. But the other sharp, sometimes harsh, angles of the last RX have been smoothed out and softened. The result is that the RX looks a lot like an inflated version of the small, entry-level UX. The hoodline appears taller and more squared-off at the front, without the sloping flow into the grille that the last RX featured. The headlights and front air intakes are boxier, and the bottom of the spindle has a shallower angle. In short, the SUV doesn’t appear to want to eat pedestrians as much as it wants to shoo them away.

The sides of the RX are similarly restrained. Gone is the scalloped cut at the bottom of the doors, replaced by a softer, upward sweeping line that blends into the rear wheel arch. The shoulder line just above the door handles rises up to meet the trim at the back of the rear-door window, where it blends into the blacked-out trim that attempts to make the roof appear as if it’s floating, detached from the rest of the bodywork. At that point the painted sheet metal slopes down to the taillights.

With the tall and long hood, large doors, and sloping roofline, the RX doesn’t appear to have a very generous greenhouse, much like we found with the newly redesigned NX. The overall effect is of a squat, somewhat squished SUV.

Like the other new and recently redesigned vehicles from Toyota (bZ4X, Sequoia, and Tundra) and Lexus (NX), the dominant element is a large touch screen that flows into the instrument cluster and feels integrated into the dashboard rather than perched above it as in the previous generation.

Impressions A large, three-spoke multifunction steering wheel greets the driver and frames the digital gauge cluster. With the demise of the reviled Lexus Remote Touch controller system (not just us, owners dislike it too!) in favor of the aforementioned touch screen, there is room for two large cup holders, a closed bin for phone charging, and a large armrest.
Road Test Scores by Trim
4-door SUV 350 4-cyl 8-speed Automatic
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