The Lexus RX has rapidly become one of the key lynchpins in Lexus’s sales machine thanks to its combination of style and versatility. However, it’s no secret that the current generation RX has also fallen behind the times thanks to dated infotainment and performance hardware. The luxury brand is out to deep-six that reputation with the all-new 2023 Lexus RX which aims to be leaner and better than ever.
New Styling Puts RX In Bolder Direction
A noticeable change for 2023 is the exterior styling which has undergone a radical transformation. A longer wheelbase forced Lexus to tweak the proportions and the RX now has a cab-forward focused look with the front grille being a modernized interpretation of the spindle grille albeit with more body color cladding in the upper reaches of the grille to soften it a bit. A shorter rear overhang leads the eye into the redesigned taillights that now incorporate a full lightbar treatment.
The interior also benefits from its fair share of tweaks including an all-new infotainment system that adds improved software to improve the usability experience for owners especially when on the move. Two different screen sizes are available including a large 14-inch display with vibrant colors and a slick control interface. Warm ambient lighting helps set the mood while six interior colors and four different trim options allow owners to express their creative side when designing the RX to match their own specific tastes.
A Big Gamble In RX Performance
The 2023 RX is now built on the TNGA-K platform and that means the long running 3.5 liter V6 (an RX staple) is being axed. In its place is a lineup of four-cylinder engines which is a bold gamble for the luxury brand. This is a big gamble for the brand but Lexus made sure that the base 2.4-liter turbocharged engine wasn’t a slug with the mill producing 275 hp and a 0 to 60 time of 7.2 seconds when paired with all-wheel drive (front-wheel-drive models do the deed in 7.5 seconds.) A hybrid version will also be available that allows the RX to get 33 mpg and is paired with a CVT.
Performance will also be a part of the mix with the 450h+ model. Lexus is not ready to announce formal horsepower numbers just yet or even what kind of engine is powering it. Chances are good though that the answer is in the smaller NX 450h+ which comes with a setup that produces 302 combined hp. Topping out the RX range, for now, is the all-new RX 500h F Sport Performance model. The turbocharged four-cylinder is paired with a six-speed automatic and a front and rear electric motor which provides 367 combined hp and makes the 0 to 60 sprint happen in 5.9 seconds. Fuel economy will still be a prominent theme here with the 500 being rated for a respectable 26 mpg. Lexus also equipped it with six piston brake calipers and other minor add-ons to help it stand out from the rest of the RX lineup.
When Can I Buy One?
Lexus didn’t reveal full pricing for the 2023 RX lineup, but the luxury brand did confirm that it will go on sale nationwide towards the end of the year. In addition to the four engines that will be populating the lineup, six different trim levels will be offered (Standard, Premium, Premium+, Luxury, F Sport Handling, and F-Sport Performance.
The axing of V6 offerings from the RX is a sizable risk for the company, but fuel economy is rapidly becoming a hot topic amid recent global events and if the RX can continue its winning ways, this short-term risk might blossom into a long-term reward for the brand moving forward.
Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as Autoshopper.com.
Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.