2023 Lexus RX Preview

The Lexus RX is the best-selling luxury SUV in America. The automaker claims 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 about the V70 Cross Country.) Therefore, given its sales volume and legacy, it is critical that the automaker get the completely redesigned 2023 Lexus RX right.

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 may consist of Standard, Premium, Premium+, Luxury, F Sport Handling, or F Sport Performance. All versions of the new RX except for the RX 350 are electrified.

The new 2023 RX comes only with 5-passenger seating because 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, y’know, everything is bigger there. And it rhymes.

  • Redesigned midsize, 2-row, luxury crossover SUV
  • Four models, four drivetrains, three of them electrified
  • Lighter, lower to the ground, and roomier inside
  • Standard Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 collection of advanced driving assistance systems
  • Standard Lexus Interface Multimedia System with next-generation infotainment technology
  • The 2023 Lexus RX release date is the fourth quarter of 2022

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance White Rear Quarter View

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

We see a more conservative approach than Lexus took 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 size as the old one, but its longer wheelbase and shorter rear overhang give it the same stubby-butt appearance as the NX. Thanks in part to the RX’s blunter nose, plenty of visual mass remains over the front wheels, creating some visual imbalance to the SUV’s appearance.

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

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

The new Lexus RX has a dramatically improved interior. Reduced control clutter, a floating instrumentation panel, improved displays, and ambient backlighting create a clean and calm environment. An available panoramic glass sunroof bathes the cabin in natural light.

New Digital Latch technology, which debuted in the Lexus NX, operates the doors by touch and includes a Safe Exit System that can prevent occupants from opening a door when it is unsafe. Lexus says the new RX offers more rear-seat 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 nearly 200-pound loss of mass for the new RX. All three platform characteristics promise to improve the RX’s ride and handling qualities in accordance with the automaker’s Lexus Driving Signature dynamic satisfaction targets.

If you want a Lexus RX with a V6 engine, you should buy a remaining fourth-generation model now. That’s because the new 2023 Lexus RX 350 has a turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine making 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It pairs 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 few as 7.2 seconds.

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

The 2023 Lexus RX 450h+ is a plug-in hybrid. Lexus has not provided any specifications for this powertrain, saying “details for the US market will be shared at a later time.” This suggests that it will not employ the same setup used in the smaller NX 450h+. We’ll see. Stay tuned.

If performance is what you seek, the 2023 Lexus RX 500h promises it. Offered only in F Sport Performance trim, the RX 500h will have a new hybrid drivetrain based on the RX 350’s turbocharged 4-cylinder. The gas engine pairs with a 6-speed automatic transmission, two electric motors, and the Lexus Direct4 AWD system. Output measures 367 hp and 406 pound-feet, and the RX 500h F Sport Performance should return 26 combined mpg and zoom to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.

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

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

Lexus did not offer much detail about LSS+ 3.0, but it would be fair to assume that Lexus has updated the underlying hardware and software for improved performance, refinement, and accuracy.

Similarly, Lexus didn’t offer much detail about the RX’s next-generation infotainment system. Presumably, the new Lexus Interface Multimedia System mirrors what the company is offering in the smaller Lexus NX, where it has a standard 9.8-inch and available 14-inch touchscreen display with integrated climate controls.

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

Aside from the larger 14-inch touchscreen display, upgrades will include Drive Connect services with a cloud-based navigation system, Google point-of-interest database access, and Intelligent Assistant natural-voice-recognition technology. Lexus also says Drive Connect will allow RX owners to save their vehicle preferences to a profile that transfers to other Lexus and Toyota models with this same underlying infotainment technology.

Additionally, Digital Key technology will allow you to share access to the RX via smartphone app. The redesigned SUV will offer an available 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 steering wheel.

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

Undoubtedly, the new RX will continue to appeal to people seeking an upscale, reliable, refined, and safe crossover SUV. These traits have always made this Lexus popular and will continue to attract buyers. But does the fifth-generation RX also possess the style, driving dynamism, and brand cachet to lure new customers to Lexus showrooms?

We’ll know the answer to that question soon enough.

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

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