The Lexus RX 2023 gets a bigger screen, more power and additional electrification

Lexus unveiled the new, fifth generation of its most popular SUV on Tuesday. The 2023 Lexus RX will offer four new powertrains (three of them electrified), a new 14-inch multimedia screen and two new all-wheel drive trims.

The mid-size RX is the current and long-standing sales leader over its luxury rivals. Originally launched for the 1998 model year, Lexus sold about 115,000 RX SUVs in 2021, nearly doubling its closest competitors from BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

The top-to-bottom redesign has resulted in a vehicle that’s lower, 198 pounds lighter than the previous model and roomier, with wheels pushed further into the corners in a stance reminiscent of the LF-1 Limitless concept vehicle reminded of the year 2018.

2023 Lexus RX
The Lexus RX has been completely redesigned for the 2023 model year.
Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

The grille has been revised as part of the cross-generational redesign, retaining the lower half that flares outward while the upper half tapers to blend into the fascia.

On the side, the jagged lines of the previous generation have been softened for a more aerodynamic approach. The floating roof design also gets a new look.

At the rear, a huge taillight merges what used to be two, while 19-inch or 21-inch wheels are available.

Depending on which trim level a customer chooses, the new RX will be available in Ultra White, Eminent White Pearl, Nebula Gray Pearl, Iridium, Caviar, Matador Red Mica, Copper Crest, Nori Green Pearl, Nightfall Mica and Grecian Water.

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Lexus will sell the model in Standard, Premium, RX-first Premium+, Luxury, F SPORT Handling and F SPORT Performance trim levels, and in four power levels depending on engine power.

The RX 350 is available with a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Each is equipped with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The combination delivers 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet (lb-ft) of torque.

An RX 350h features an all-wheel drive system and a hybrid powertrain. Its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission and produces 246 hp and 233 lb-ft of torque.

Full powertrain details for the Lexus RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid will be announced at a later date.

2023 Lexus RX
Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

At the top of the range, the new RX 500h F SPORT Performance uses a high-tech all-wheel drive system called Direct4 to distribute power to all four wheels. The new hybrid setup features an electric motor, a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission that combine to deliver 367 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque.

Lexus engineers took the RX further with the 500h F Sport Performance variant, adding 6-piston brake calipers, a mesh grille, a revised front bumper and 21-inch aluminum wheels.

The powertrain isn’t the only place where advanced technology comes into play. When key holders approach the RX, Lexus says the door will open with a button in a system it calls e-Latch, and drivers will be greeted with multicolored lighting accents. An available panoramic glass roof is intended to evoke an open-air relaxation area.

An optional 14-inch infotainment touchscreen is offered in place of the standard 8-inch touchscreen.

2023 Lexus RX
The Lexus RX is available with a large infotainment screen.
Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc.

The interior colors are macadamia, black, birch, palomino, peppercorn and Rioja red, with a choice of black cascade, ash bamboo, black open pore or dark graphite aluminum ornaments.

F Sport models receive a host of unique features, including a perforated leather steering wheel with paddle shifters, suede-trimmed interior door panels, F SPORT door sills, leather-trimmed interior and aluminum pedals.

Lexus says that in addition to better performance, the company’s product planning team has ensured that the new RX has a “refined ride comfort” and delivers a “comfortable, quiet atmosphere in the cabin.”

The RX comes standard with Lexus Safety System 3.0, which comes with safety aids such as Cross-Traffic Assistance, Pre-Collision System with pedestrian detection, Lane Departure Warning and Emergency Braking. A driver monitoring system is available as an option to ensure the driver is awake and alert.

Pricing details have yet to be released. The base 2022 Lexus RX model starts at $46,995 and goes up to $53,275 for the top-spec RX 450h F SPORT.

The 2023 RX will go on sale this fall. The Lexus RX 2023 gets a bigger screen, more power and additional electrification

Rick Schindler

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