Flash Drive: 2023 Lexus RX


Fifth Era Luxurious SUV

Lexus simply may have merely up to date the RX midsize SUV, seeing as RX homeowners proceed returning to this mannequin yr after yr. However extra of the identical was not the method taken by Lexus, because it tries to maintain the loyalists comfortable whereas reaching out to a brand new and far youthful purchaser. The all-new 2023 RX has new engine choices (no extra V6) and even a totally new mannequin, all of which is to broaden the RX enchantment to new and present homeowners. This introduction touches on the excessive factors of every mannequin, with detailed Street Take a look at critiques within the coming months.

RX Mannequin Line-up

There are 4 distinctly completely different 2023 RX fashions that provide the choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) and 5 powertrains, three of that are electrified.

Flash Drive 2023 Lexus RX
Lexus is taking some probabilities with its high vendor
  • RX 350
  • RX 350h
  • RX 500h
  • RX 500h+

Clear Fleet Report just lately had the chance to drive three of the 5 when Lexus introduced the worldwide media to Santa Barbara for a number of days of driving by way of mountains and vineyards. The underside line is the all-new RX, no matter which mannequin you selected, will fulfill present homeowners to stick with the RX, and entice these new to the model to provide Lexus a attempt.

Clear Fleet Report drove the RX 350 F Sport Dealing with AWD, RX 350h Premium AWD, and the RX 500h F Sport Efficiency AWD. Listed here are our ideas.

RX 350 AWD

The RX 350 is the one mannequin to not get electrification. Powered by a 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine producing 275 horsepower (hp) and 317 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque, it’s accessible with both FWD or AWD. Gas financial system is rated at 22 mpg metropolis/29 freeway/25 mixed with the FWD mannequin. The AWD is one mpg much less for every class.

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Lexus will supply selections beneath the hood

The short-ratio 8-speed direct shift automated transmission has been designed for smoother acceleration and deceleration. A direct shift automated performs higher and quicker than a guide, which is the Holy Grail for driving lovers. When in guide mode and utilizing the paddle shifters, the quick up and downshifts are because of the gearbox pace being fast sufficient to make use of on a racetrack. This direct shift transmission expertise can be discovered on the RX 500h, which is roofed beneath.

The RX 350 is available in six trims of RX FWD, RX AWD, RX F Sport Dealing with AWD, Luxurious AWD, Premium FWD, and Premium+ AWD.

Clear Fleet Report drove the RX 350 F Sport Dealing with AWD from Santa Barbara to the Presqu’ile Vineyard in Santa Maria, a 63-mile jaunt over the Santa Ynez Mountains the place we encountered an excellent mixture of low and mid-speed corners to check the dealing with, acceleration and braking means.

The steering was exact and dealing with flat with the adaptive variable suspension and the 235/60 all-season tires on 19-inch 5 spoke alloy wheels. Slowing and stopping, over the curvy and difficult San Marcos Go on CA 154, was even and strong, with ABS, entrance and rear ventilated disc brakes, and on the F Sport, 6-piston entrance calipers.

RX 350h AWD

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Good summer season rubber

The all-wheel drive 2023 Lexus RX 350h is powered by a 3.5-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine that, when mixed with the electrical motors, produces 246 hp and 233 lb.-ft. of torque. A continuing velocity transmission (CVT) easily places energy evenly to all 4 wheels, with the gas financial system rated at 37 mpg metropolis/34 freeway and 36 mixed. Evaluating the gas effectivity to the above RX 350, it’s clear why so many individuals go for the hybrid mannequin.

The Lexus Hybrid System is among the many greatest we’ve examined. Constantly, it offers ample energy whereas delivering gas financial system that exceeds the rated numbers. When Clear Fleet Report has the 2023 RX 350h for a full week of driving, not simply an hour or so, we’re assured of reporting real-world gas financial system within the low to mid-40 mpg vary.

The hybrid RX 350h Premium+ AWD we drove handles just like its gasoline-powered sibling RX 350. Nonetheless, because of the extra weight from the hybrid batteries, we favored the highway really feel higher because it was a bit heavier and planted to the bottom.

RX 500h AWD

Of the three RX fashions we drove in Santa Barbara our favourite was the 500h F Sport Efficiency AWD. With the biggest and strongest hybrid engine of all of the RX fashions, the two.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder places out 366 hp and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, driving all 4 wheels by way of a 6-speed direct shift automated transmission. The gas financial system is rated at 27 metropolis/28 freeway and 27 mixed. Clear Fleet Report will report on the precise mileage, which we all know will likely be into the 30+ mpg vary after we’ve had extra time within the 500h F Sport Efficiency AWD.

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Dimentionally all RX fashions supply the identical accomodations

What we favored in regards to the 500h was its steadiness, and wonderful acceleration and deceleration as we drove twisty winery roads in Santa Barbara County. We discovered one, Palmer Street, that begins at Freeway 101 and ends within the small farming neighborhood of Sisquoc. If within the space, no matter what you’re driving, we advocate checking it out.

We have been impressed with the 500h F Sport’s dealing with, helped by the all-new five-arm multi-link rear suspension, the bigger 235/50 Michelin Pilot Sport summer season tires mounted on 21-inch 10-spoke alloy wheels, strong braking with the 6-piston entrance calipers, and dynamic rear steering. Summer time tires are a stickier efficiency rubber, which we have been glad Lexus added to the 500h because the grip was wonderful, and the physique roll was non-existent even when taking corners on the above posted pace.

Dynamic Rear Steering can flip the rear wheels the identical or wrong way because the entrance wheels, a most of 4 levels, primarily based on the pace being pushed. Most individuals don’t take into account a SUV to have efficiency cred, however Lexus has constructed a sleeper with the RX 500h F Sport Efficiency AWD.

Exterior Refinement

The 2023 RX has gone by way of some refined however vital adjustments from the outgoing mannequin. The primary is it weighs 198 kilos lower than the 2022 mannequin, and that is even with using stronger metal on the aspect rockers and roof. They saved the general size however prolonged the wheelbase which ends up in extra rear leg room, cargo house and shorter rear overhangs that positively helps dealing with.

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Clean sailin’

The Lexus spindle grille, that both rubs you proper or unsuitable, has developed to be extra fashionable, mixing nearly seamlessly into the nostril and hood. Lexus says the vents on the decrease entrance fascia, which on many vehicles are ornamental and non-functional, “are designed to permit the stress contained in the bumper to launch from the entrance molding to manage the airflow across the tires, offering wonderful straight line stability.”

The L-shaped jewel-like LED head and daytime working lights look nice, sleekly sweeping into the entrance fenders. The trendy LED tail lights stretch the width of the tailgate.

Redesigned Inside

The sprint is easy in what Lexus says is a “minimalist structure.” We agree that every one controls have been inside straightforward attain of the driving force and favored how the usual 9.9-inch or non-obligatory 14-inch shade multimedia screens now not jut from the sprint, however are neatly built-in. The straight-forward gauges, with black faces and white numbers, have been straightforward on the eyes.

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A lightweight present within the redone cabin

Clear Fleet Report is a giant fan of quantity and channel knobs for the radio, which on this case was the wonderful sounding Mark Levinson PurePlay encompass sound audio system with 1,800 watts and 21 audio system. Since there may be solely a quantity knob, the channels are modified by touching the display screen, utilizing the steering wheel-mounted buttons or clearly saying “Hey Lexus” to request a particular channel. The Lexus voice command expertise has improved significantly over the previous yr, and we discover it to be probably the greatest we’ve used. Oh, and a giant shout-out to retiring the trackpad, which was not well-placed and didn’t work all that properly.

Along with the voice command, different expertise and comfort options embrace a head-up show, wi-fi telephone charging, two USB-C retailers up entrance and a complete of six USB ports within the cabin, an AC energy outlet, energy folding rear seats that spilt 40/20/20, entrance and rear heated and cooling seats and ambient lightning. This final one provides a palette of 64 colours and 14 themes to sooth the cabin passengers.

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And house, too

There are six inside shade choices of Macadamia, Black, Birch, Peppercorn and Rioja Crimson, plus 4 accent elects of Black Cascade, Ash Bamboo, Black Open Pore and Darkish Inexperienced Aluminum. The mixture of wooden, brushed aluminum, mushy supplies, accent high stitching, the digital clock and the Lexus monogrammed carpets gave the RX cabin a really upscale appear and feel.

The heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel has audio, voice command, phone, and the dynamic cruise controls. The high-resolution break up display screen shade show that dealt with navigation and the panoramic-view backup digital camera additionally was house to SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and AM/FM/HD, with connectivity by way of Bluetooth streaming audio and hands-free phone and messaging.


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Heightened fashion

The RX is supplied with a full suite of superior driver help programs (ADAS) with the centerpiece being the Lexus Security System+ 3.0 that features a pre-collision system, lane departure alert, dynamic cruise management with lane tracing help, and a number of other different warning options. Extra energetic and passive security options are air luggage, a tire stress monitoring system, collapsible steering column, anti-theft alarm and engine immobilizer.

Pricing and Availability

Pricing will likely be introduced nearer to the late-2022 on-sale date.

Observations: 2023 Lexus RX

Lexus is aware of an excellent factor once they see one, particularly with the RX as it’s 55% of all of the model’s SUV gross sales and has bought ~72,000 models by way of the primary eight months of 2022. With greater than 50% of their homeowners returning to purchase one other Lexus, there is no such thing as a method they have been going to take too massive a swing with the all-new 2023 RX. However the evolution of the RX does embrace a few of what for Lexus could be thought of revolutionary adjustments.

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Extra choices in 2023

These embrace the V6 going away, no RX 450 deliberate for 2023 and saying goodbye to the trackpad. The RX being constructed on a totally new platform has elevated the wheelbase, however saved the general size the identical, and the introduction of two new fashions: the 500h and the 500h+ PHEV.

The latter of those is the plug-in model of the 500h and will ship wonderful acceleration and up-to an all-electric 40-mile driving vary. The RX 500h and 500h+ are a step-up from most SUVs as they may supply luxurious, efficiency and gas effectivity.

Lexus of us didn’t wish to discuss it, however the firm has additionally introduced its first all-electric mannequin—tentatively known as the RZ. It shares a platform with the Toyota BZ4X and the Subaru Solterra. Teething issues with the platform could also be placing the intro off.

This First Drive assessment is an summary of the 5 all-new 2023 Lexus RX fashions. Be sure to opt-in to the Clear Fleet Report publication (high proper of web page) to be notified of our Street Take a look at critiques of every RX mannequin, plus different tales and automobile critiques.

Story by John Faulkner. Photographs by John Faulkner and Lexus.


Clear Fleet Report is loaned free check automobiles from automakers to judge, usually for every week at a time. Our highway assessments are primarily based on this one-week drive of a brand new automobile. Due to this we don’t handle points comparable to long-term reliability or complete price of possession. As well as, we are sometimes invited to producer occasions highlighting new automobiles or expertise. As a part of these occasions we could also be provided free transportation, lodging or meals. We do our greatest to current our unvarnished evaluations of automobiles and information irrespective of those inducements.

Our focus is on automobiles that provide the most effective gas financial system of their class, which leads us to emphasise electrical vehicles, plug-in hybrids, hybrids and diesels. We additionally function these environment friendly gas-powered automobiles which might be among the many high mpg automobiles of their class. As well as, we goal to supply critiques and information on superior expertise and the choice gas automobile market. We welcome any suggestions from automobile homeowners and are devoted to offering a discussion board for various viewpoints. Please tell us your views at [email protected].


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