2023 Lexus RX Review

2023 Lexus RX Review
  • Calmer style
  • More cohesive interior
  • Two hybrid options
  • Plug-in hybrid option
  • Better in-car tech
  • Confusing trim range
  • Waiting on PHEV
  • CVT in the 350h
  • Price?
  • The 2023 Lexus RX 350 extends luxury at a value.

The redesigned 2023 Lexus RX now comes with more potent powertrains and a more efficient hybrid.

What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Lexus RX? What does it compare to?
The redesigned 2023 Lexus RX is a five-seat crossover SUV that straddles the premium and luxury classes, similar to the Acura MDX, Infiniti QX60, and Volvo XC60. 

Is the 2023 Lexus RX a good SUV?
With four powertrains, including three hybrids, and six trim levels, the mid-size SUV tries to entice a more youthful demographic without alienating its core. It stays closest to the middle, but its attractive shape, roomy interior, and excellent standard features make it a compelling value. It earns a TCC Rating of 6.8 out of 10, pending pricing and safety ratings.

What's new for the 2023 Lexus RX?
Lexus updates its bestselling model with a new look, new powertrains, and a cleaner look inside. The fifth-generation SUV rides on a new global platform that’s both stiffer and lighter in weight, and the RX comes with two new trims as well as a new performance hybrid and a first plug-in hybrid. There no longer will be V-6 options. 
2023 Lexus RX Review

The changes take shape inside and outside for a sportier profile that bridges its egg-shaped past with the last generation’s creases and angles. Lexus moved the front pillar back an inch for a longer nose that dips down dramatically into its spindle grille. F Sport air intakes front and back and new light signatures and wheel designs distinguish it from its predecessor. A more streamlined interior starts with an integrated digital instrument cluster and touchscreen that curves toward the driver. 

The Lexus RX downsizes to more potent and efficient turbo-4 options. Each powertrain has a distinctive feel, giving the RX more character than a one-man show. Yet all models handle with the size endemic to this high-riding class. 

The base RX 350 uses a 275-hp 2.4-liter turbo-4 with an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front wheels or all four wheels, and combines for spirited energy with great passing power. F Sport grades add adaptive dampers to the RX’s front-strut and a new multi-link rear suspension. 

A hybrid model returns, but not as a 306-hp V-6. The 2023 RX 350h has a 246-hp 2.5-liter inline-4 and hybrid system that targets 36 mpg combined, compared to 30 mpg last year. When pushed, the engine complains from the CVT, which would benefit from steps simulating shifts. 

The biggest change to powertrains is a new two-motor hybrid system on the new RX 500h F Sport Performance model. It’s the only trim, and it employs the 2.4-liter turbo-4 and a motor on either axle for standard all-wheel drive and a total system output of 366 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque, good for a 0-60 mph time in under six seconds. 

A plug-in hybrid dubbed RX 450h+ will likely share a powertrain with the smaller NX450h+ and the Toyota RAV4 Prime. 

The rear overhang has been trimmed by 2.4 inches, and Lexus extended the wheelbase by the same amount to 112.2 inches for more cargo room. This iteration of the RX seats only five, with Lexus discontinuing the RX L and its extended wheelbase with seven seats. 

Inside, the tiered dash and multimedia mishmash of its predecessor cedes to a more cohesive dash fronted by an available 14.0-inch touchscreen. Climate dials complement the touch elements. An electronic gear shifter replaces the mechanical one in the console. There’s less clutter and more uniformity. Keyless entry, ambient lighting, a head-up display, and wood trim such as Ash Bamboo are all options.    
2023 Lexus RX Review

Lexus equips the 2023 RX with its latest driver-assist systems, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and other available features. 

How much does the 2023 Lexus RX cost?
Sold in six trims, the 2023 Lexus RX comes in Standard, Premium, the new Premium+ grade, Luxury, F Sport Handling, and the new F Sport Performance. Pricing will be announced closer to the end of the year, but expect it to cost more than the $47,000 2022 model.  

Where is the 2023 Lexus RX made?
In Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. RX 350 Premium grades with front-wheel drive are built in Japan. 


The new RX splits the difference between its ovoid origins and recent origami angles.

Is the Lexus RX a good-looking car?
The toned-down grille and smooth body panels make it appear less eager to stand out, and more confident in its character. That’s worth a point, as is the more streamlined interior. It’s a 7.  

The most noticeable changes happen on the front end. The nose appears longer because the windshield and A-pillar were pulled back an inch. Lexus neutered its massive trapezoidal grille with a new hood that dips down into the Lexus badge. The grille’s diamond pattern stretches around the sides instead of being hemmed in by chrome, lending it a look of motion. Vertical air intakes complement a narrower headlight design, and the sporty vibe extends in profile, where Lexus smoothed some of the creases for a swoop rising up to the rear fender like the Toyota Highlander. The floating roof remains the same, and it resolves on a rear end trimmed by 2.4 inches. Lexus applies its name to the tailgate instead of a logo, and the RX draws eyes in colors such as Copper Crest and Nori Green Pearl.  
2023 Lexus RX Review

The interior centers around a curved wall of screens, ranging in size from a 7.0-inch instrument cluster with 9.8-inch touchscreen to a 14.0-inch touchscreen flanked by climate dials. The dash arches behind that screen in an odd way, fitting gloves or press materials perfectly, but at least it’s better than the predecessor’s screen that jutted out of the dash like a gravestone. Fewer dash layers and a cleaner console with an electronic gear shifter lend it some chill. There’s no trackpad, and no analog clock. Neither are missed. There’s more metallic trim pieces and attention to detail, including pushbutton door handles that take a minute to get used to but add a degree of simple elegance.


The 2023 Lexus RX splits its personality into four powertrains.

Four powertrains, three hybrids, two suspension upgrades, one crossover SUV: it adds up to a pleasant driving experience. Its relative quickness and all-around composure earn a point each to bring the RX to a 7 here. 

How fast is the Lexus RX?
The turbo-4 options represent a sporting improvement over the outgoing V-6. 
2023 Lexus RX Review

The base RX 350 uses a 2.4-liter turbo-4 that makes 275 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. After a bit of turbo lag, the 350 responds sharply and the 8-speed automatic transmission flicks through gears but lets the engine climb into the 6,000-rpm range. Passing power is plentiful. Available AWD comes with paddle shifters for more driver control and a 0-60 mph time of 7.2 seconds, compared to 7.6 seconds with FWD. 

It is both stronger and smoother than the RX 350h. In the base hybrid, a 2.5-liter inline-4 pairs with a motor powered by a nickel metal hydride battery to make 246 hp and 233 lb-ft of torque, but even under half throttle, the CVT keeps the engine revving. As a result, noise fills the cabin, popping the bubble of quiet calm that’s characteristic of the RX. 

Designed for efficiency, not performance, the RX 350h uses a more familiar and less sophisticated planetary gearset system than the range-topping RX 500h F Sport Performance. 

2023 Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance
2023 Lexus RX Review

The performance hybrid employs the same 2.4-liter turbo-4 on the RX 350 but it’s supplemented by a motor generator up front and a rear motor powering the rear axle for a total system output of 366 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. With the rear motor, the full-time AWD system can split the torque from front-wheel drive to a ratio of 40/60 at launch to hit 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. But shifting out of first gear on the 6-speed automatic can take a beat longer than expected. 

Eco, Normal, Sport, and Custom modes change the throttle response, so that Eco mode feels as if you’re stepping on a sponge, and the electronic steering feel, which is light by default. A Trail mode on AWD models uses brake-based vectoring to control wheel slip and distribute torque to the rear wheels. Still, the Lexus RX shouldn’t be exploring far off pavement, with just 8.1 to 8.2 inches of ground clearance and soft, on-road tires. 

The RX 450h+ shares a 18.1-kwh battery and plug-in hybrid powertrain with the smaller NX450h+ and the Toyota RAV4 Prime. It has a 2.5-liter inline-4 and two-motor system powering the front wheels, and a dedicated motor at the rear axle for AWD. Brief driving impressions were that EV mode was not as quick off the line as other PHEVs, but there’s a seamless shift between gas and electric power. It’s very quiet. It will be available in the U.S. at a later date. 

Is the Lexus RX 4WD?
All hybrid models come standard with AWD, but with different systems. The RX 350 comes with front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. The RX 350 F Sport Handling comes with standard AWD on demand, as well as adaptive dampers on its fully independent suspension with front struts and a multi-link rear. 

The F Sport grades dip into curves with a smooth weight transfer, and the body movements remain predictable for more spirited handling than in models without the adaptive dampers. Even with the 198-lb weight reduction, it’s hard for the RX to overcome its tall ride height. That may limit its sportiness but it remains a composed highway cruiser.

The RX 500h uses the brand’s latest AWD system that continuously factors in wheel speed, acceleration, and steering angle to apportion torque to the front and rear axles. Unlike the brake-based torque vectoring on the 350h, the Direct4 AWD system splits the available power to 70/30 front/rear at the start of a turn but then to 20/80 coming out of a turn. It can’t fully shed its 4,751-lb weight or its height, but it’s much sportier than any RX before it and the rear axle steering of four degrees noticeably helps the RX500h cut into curves. That makes it a compelling alternative to the Acura MDX Type S and it’s sportier than any crossover SUV from Infiniti, Lincoln, or Cadillac.

Comfort & Quality

Still comfy but not as quiet, the 2023 Lexus RX treats riders to lavish materials.

For now, this iteration of the Lexus RX seats five passengers, with the RX L seven-seat option no longer offered. Even though Lexus shortened the ends, extended the wheelbase, and made it an inch wider, it’s best suited for four adults. Heated front seats with 8-way power adjustments and covered in synthetic leather earn it a point, as do the roomy rear seats and expanded cargo room. The fit and finish also scores a point, especially on higher grades with ash or bamboo wood trim and suede and leather upholstery. It’s a 9. 

The front seats are all-day comfortable, and high trims ensconce driver and passenger in more luxury with power lumbar support, semi-aniline leather, and memory positions for the seats, mirrors, and steering wheel. A compact electronic gear shifter opens up more space in the console for expandable cupholders, and a storage tray holds at least two phones, with one on an available wireless charger. Climate controls fall within the larger touchscreen, but temperature dials keep it easy. 

The touch-sensitive steering wheel controls are not so easy. Roll a thumb over either of the four-way arrows and, depending on the model, the faceless icons appear in the digital instrument cluster or on the head-up display. It lets Lexus add features over time, we presume, but it takes time to memorize what is where. It’s not complicated, just convoluted. 
2023 Lexus RX Review

All but the base model gets cooled front seats as well, and heated and cooled rear seats are an option, as are power folding rear seats. 

Two adults have plenty of room in the rear seats, and three kids in the back would have no reason to complain. The top plug-in hybrid model takes a page from Genesis with power buttons on the inside of the front passenger seat so anyone front or back can move the seat with the push of a button. The RX450h+ also has bamboo wood trim on the dash and console. 

With the 60/40-split rear seats folded down, the cargo room expands to 38.5 cubic feet, which is nearly six cubes more than its predecessor. Hybrids don’t sacrifice any overall cargo space from the 350 gas model, except for a slightly smaller gas tank. The hybrid battery pack sits under the rear seat, but those seats can still recline. A real spare tire and jack sit under the floor.


The 2023 Lexus RX comes with better standard driver-assist tech than most luxury rivals.

How safe is the Lexus RX?
The NHTSA and the IIHS haven’t mangled its metal in the name of safety, but the 2023 Lexus RX comes with standard driver-assist features designed to mitigate or avoid crashes. 

Every model comes with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, active lane control, blind-spot monitors, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Many luxury automakers charge extra for some of those features. Options available on all grades include a limited hands-free driving system at speeds of less than 25 mph on mapped interstates and an automatic lane change function when the driver selects the turn indicator. A surround-view camera system is also available. 
2023 Lexus RX Review

The only knock is limited rear and side visibility due to chunky rear pillars and small rear quarter windows.


More standard features and better upscale options burnish the 2023 Lexus RX.

Lexus equips its redesigned bestseller with a 9.8-inch touchscreen with wireless smartphone connectivity, a wi-fi hotspot, a 12-speaker sound system, six USB ports, a power sunroof, and 19-inch alloy wheels. That’s good boodle but it’s just the beginning. The standard features, long options list, and good infotainment system fronted by a 14.0-inch touchscreen on all Premium+ and above models earn it a point each. 

The 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty falls just short of earning another point for a perfect 10 since the only scheduled service it includes is wheel alignment during the first year.  

Which Lexus RX should I buy?
2023 Lexus RX Review

Sold in six wide-ranging trims and four powertrains, it’s really going to come down to how you like your luxury and the optimal powertrain for your needs. The base engine in the 350 outperforms the coarse transmission of the 350h, but the 350h is much more efficient. For the performance curious, we’d probably look elsewhere than the capable 500h. That leaves the RX350 as our recommended pick, and we’d step it up to the Premium+ grade for a leather interior, the solid 14.0-inch touchscreen with good audio commands, and the classic Lexus heated wood steering wheel. 

How much is a fully loaded Lexus RX?
Until pricing and other details are announced on the plug-in hybrid, the RX500h tops the line in performance and price. It comes in only one loaded trim, the F Sport Performance with AWD, and upgrades include 21-inch gray alloy wheels, lush leather and suede trimmed seats, and all the performance upgrades with that engine as well as the cosmetic black trim bits from the F Sport Handling. That also means bolstered bucket seats, a dynamic digital instrument cluster, and a head-up display.

Fuel Economy

With three different hybrid options, the Lexus RX goes the extra mile.

Is the Lexus RX good on gas?
The EPA hasn’t certified it yet, but Lexus targets a 22 mpg city, 29 highway, 25 combined rating for the RX 350 with front-wheel drive. AWD costs 1 mpg. We don’t have any specs on the RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid, so for now the most efficient model is the RX 350h with a 37/34/36 mpg combined target, which is an impressive city rating. The outgoing hybrid topped out at 30 mpg combined. Lexus expects the 350 to be its volume model, so it earns only a 3 here. 

The performance-leaning hybrid AWD system in the 500h gets 27 mpg combined.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
2023 Lexus RX Review 2023 Lexus RX Review Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on March 06, 2023 Rating: 5


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