Easy to impress


It’s hard not to like the Lexus RX. The large SUV has been the biggest seller for the premium Japanese brand for many moons now and, for 2020, the people’s choice has been tweaked and updated. We got stuck into two variants of the new car over a two-week period. So, the 2020 RX, is it still good? Well, yes actually.

 

 

Eight models, petrol and hybrid, make up the range, with petrol and hybrid powertrains available.

Things start at $97,400 for the base RX 350 petrol, and top out at $127,500 with the flagship RX 450hL hybrid. In between, you have the F SPORT and the high-end Limited options for the RX 350 and RX 450h, but Limited only for the roomier seven-seater L spec cars.

Power for the RX 350 and RX 350L comes in the form of a 3.5-litre petrol V6 putting 221kW/370Nm through all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic, while returning 9.6L/100km respectively. The RX 450h and RX 450hL naturally get the petrol-electric hybrid set up, with 230kW/335Nm and a CVT box. Economy is more frugal at 5.7L/100km.

The new RX gets some more goodies. Apple Car Play and Android Auto now come as standard, along with the same 12.3-inch infotainment system as before, albeit now with touchscreen capability.

2019 Lexus RX 450h Sports Luxury interior with Rich Cream trim and Bamboo ornamentation.

 

It also sits 138mm closer than before, but the touchpad interface can be a tad unresponsive at times.

Safety kit includes lane tracing assist, lane centring, road sign assist and cyclist detection.

Also, let’s not forget BladeScan. It may sound like a prequel to ‘Blade Runner’ but it is in actual fact, a world-first in headlight tech.

Both the F SPORT and Limited models have 12 individual lights incorporated into each headlight and BladeScan utilises tiny mirrors spinning at 100 times a second which help reflect the light through each headlight.

Lexus claim this shines more light on the road ahead than having 200 individual LED lights; a bright idea indeed.

First to test was the V6 petrol F SPORT, which from the get-go was rather nice on the move.

The howl of the 3.5-litre V6 was stimulating to say the least, and a linear torque curve above 2000rpm made for a smooth delivery of power.

The eight-speed box provided slick changes and perfectly weighted steering means plenty of feedback was on offer.

The RX 450h provided all the silent running you could expect with Lexus’ hybrid set up.

You can remain in EV mode up to speeds of 50km/h, but give it too much foot and it defaults to petrol power.

The choice of petrol or hybrid can be a conundrum for some however, for this writer, the hybrid represents the best choice for its frugality, refinement and efficiency which few in the game can do like Lexus can.

However, whichever you choose, the new look RX, like its predecessors, is easy to be impressed with.

The changes might be minor, but they bring the RX up-to-date in great style.


 

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