2024 Lexus TX 500h F Sport Review by Ben Lewis

A couple interesting trends have been happening the last year or so in SUV world. First of all, everyone is going rugged – Subaru Wilderness, Honda Trailsport, etc. And design is also going that direction – the Hyundai Santa Fe, Land Cruiser and others celebrating being big, blocky and in your face.

The other trend that’s heating up again is the three-row SUV. While we’ve seen vehicle likes the Kia Telluride being a big hit, new models that are less off-road and more lux like the Toyota Grand Highlander, to the Volvo XC90 are trying to muscle in on the 6,7or 8 passenger capability segment.

Lexus noticed an opportunity, too offering the all-new Lexus TX, a 3-row SUV leaning heavy on luxury, light on off-road aimed at the premium buyer. So, we were excited to give it a try!

Big, Bold and Blocky

One thing to know right away about the Lexus TX, it looks much better in person, especially the front.

When we first saw images of the TX, the massive, slatted grille looked akin to a cow catcher. Lexus said it was a new version of their “Unified Spindle” design. Hmmm. But in person, yes, it is prominent, but it actually is bold, fresh and looks to be bovine-safe.

The slatted design is focused on enhancing aerodynamics, and it folds nicely into angled projector beam headlamps and slicing daytime running lights. Low-mounted projector fogs and a chrome lower fascia finish off the look. Being an F SPORT, the front end has an even more aggressive look that we liked.

The profile really impresses with the overall size of the vehicle. Riding on the same platform as the Lexus RX and NX (the GA-K, if you must know), and for reference, it’s a good half foot longer than a Kia Telluride.  Big meets bold here as well. The greenhouse is sporty and the swept-back D-pillar adds some aero aggressiveness. Adding visual muscle, large fender flares – color keyed on our tester – framed massive and handsome 22-inch blacked out F SPORT-unique wheels.

The rear really helps sell the wide stance, with an L-shaped light bar that spans the width of the vehicle, framed on top by L E X U S spelled out in big block letters.

Any TX is going to make a statement, but we’d opt for the F SPORT. Along with those massive 22-inch wheels, you get black roof rails, dark chrome window trim, satin silver front bumper molding and unique rear valence, and tasteful front fender badges.

We had to chuckle at the name of our tester’s F SPORT-exclusive handsome, creamy cement color – Incognito. With such a bold, strong presence, that’s one thing the TX isn’t!

TeXas Size Interior

Inside is less bold than the outside, but it makes up for it in typical Lexus attributes – top-shelf materials, beautifully put together, and the TX’s calling card – room, room, and room!

Open the door, and the smell of rich leather from the front seats beckons you. Sit down in the heated and ventilated front chairs and you’ll find them supportive and comfortable. And being an F SPORT, we found the seats additional bolstering gave added comfort.

On F SPORT models, the second row features standard captain’s chairs, also heated and cooled and veddy comfy. Lexus also makes a point that the third-row seats are adult friendly – and for shorter trips, we’d agree. A nice touch (literally!) the second-row captain’s chairs tilt and slide forward, giving easier access to the third row.

The large outside also yields loads of cargo space. Even with the third row up, you’ve got an impressive 20.2 cubic feet of space. Powering down the third row (nice!) yields 57.4 cubic feet – and you’ve still got room for four. Depending on TX model, you can even fold the 2nd row and get 97 cubic feet of space.

Compare that with 21,46, and 87 cubic feet respectively for the Kia Telluride – no cargo slouch, either – and you get an idea of just how spacious the big ‘Lex is.

Big space also means big tech, with a standard 14-inch touchscreen display that functions much like a tablet. That’s a big step forward from the fidgety, center touchpad that you used to find on most Lexii, and one we were never too fond of. 

This is a true wide screen, and it worked flawlessly with our wireless Apple CarPlay (wireless Android Auto is standard as well). The huge real estate means your maps are big and super easy to read, and other items have nice size icons that are easy to touch and control. We also loved the separate climate control system that doesn’t require you to go digging through the menu system, just to get comfortable.

We also loved our tester’s Mark Levinson audio system, and that Lexus still gives you a volume knob. Also handy, you can just say “Hey Lexus” and request info-tainment navigation and climate control settings. Nice. Also nice, 7 USB-type C ports throughout the cabin make sure everyone in all three rows can keep their tech charged up.

For the driver there’s a handsome 12.3-inch digital display that can use multiple configurations – we especially liked Sport Mode that gives you a tachometer that’s missing in the other modes. We also found the head-up display on our tester useful.

Big Power Choices

The TX also has 3 interesting options for power. It starts with the TX350, with a 275 horsepower, 2.4-liter turbo 4-cylinder, that’s also familiar on other Lexus and Toyota models. Stepping up to the TX500h like our tester adds a hybrid powertrain to that engine and get a substantial bump up to 366 horses and a gulp-inducing 406 lb.-ft of torque. Those wanting even more can get the plug-in hybrid TX550h+ with 404 hp, and an EV-only range of 33 miles.

We think the middle road of the 500h is the sweet spot.  The 4-cylinder is admirably quiet and smooth, but when you get on it –especially in Sport Mode – and it has a nice little growl and pulls hard. With a quick-shifting 6-speed automatic and standard DIRECT4 AWD, the big SUV pops off 0-60 times in under 6 seconds and has plenty of oomph on tap for quick passing. And with the smarts of an excellent hybrid system, you also have a combined 27 mpg EPA rating – very impressive!

Our tester lived up to the F SPORT name with some great handling as well. It starts with Adaptive Variable Suspension that serves up a creamy ride in Normal mode, but firms it up handsomely in Sport. Not overly harsh, just right. One downer, you had to go through the menu system to call up the modes. We prefer the small toggle like you find on the Mazda CX-90.

Unique to the F SPORT is Dynamic Rear Steering. At low speeds, it turns the rear wheels opposite the front for greater maneuverability, and at higher speeds turns the rears in the same direction for sharp, stable turns. Behind the wheel you just notice how much smaller the TX feels when hustling around – like a great sport sedan, it seems to shrink around you and goads you into having fun. This from a 3-row SUV!

When you’ve got the family on board, you’ll be happy to know every TX features the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 looking after you. It’s got all the latest features you’d expect, but one that caught our eye was Proactive Driving Assist, that uses the vehicle’s camera and radar to provide gentle braking and/or steering into curves to help support driving tasks such as distance control between the vehicle and a preceding vehicle, pedestrian, or bicyclist. Very cool!

Big Price Tag Too?

Yes, it’s a Lexus, but it’s still strong value. You can get into a TX350 FWD starting at $55,050. For a handsome, luxurious, 3-row SUV with state-of-the-art tech, that’s impressive. Our TX500h F SPORT was the whole enchilada and starts at $71,300. In the fine tradition of European luxury, there are plenty of tempting options to be had. Ours included the Convenience Package ($895), Technology Package ($2,380) Cold Area Package ($10), 120V/1,500-watt Power Outlet ($560), and some other smaller accessories. Add in $1,350 for Destination, and we rang the bell at $77,235.

Stylish competitors would include the Volvo XC-90 at $71,395. That’s notably less, but you’d have to be aware that the third row is notably smaller, and the Swede would be also slower and less efficient. It is visually stunning inside, though! We’d also recco taking a look at the new Mazda CX-90, beautifully trimmed out as the Lexus, and also available with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, if you can do without the luxury label – and an adult size 3rd row – priced at $58,920, it’s a bit of a bargain.

Stunning looks, Lexus quality and swift performance and excellent fuel efficiency, the 2024 Lexus TX 500h does everything beautifully!


Ben Lewis grew up in Chicago, and after spending his formative years driving sideways in the winter – often intentionally – moved to sunny Southern California. He now enjoys sunny weather year-round — whether it is autocross driving, aerobatics, and learning to surf.

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