The new Lexus RX
The luxury SUV pioneer, Lexus, attains new heights with the brand new RX. Premium appointments, exquisite craftsmanship and an expansive cabin are still the hallmarks of the new Lexus RX range, but the latest iteration of this pioneering luxury SUV, adds striking aesthetic upgrades as well as a whole host of connectivity and safety technology mods to its long list of virtues.
Lexus has also substantially revised the chassis set-up of the new RX with notable engineering updates (some grade-dependent) in order to quell vibrations, deliver smoother, more level ride control, and reduce body roll.
And, providing a decidedly sporty cherry on top of a very talented range is the all-new F Sport model in RX 350 guise.
Now in its fourth generation, the RX has a proud history of innovation, not least in being the first vehicle in the luxury segment to offer the choice of a self-charging hybrid powertrain (RX 400h of 2005). The newcomer builds on this reputation by offering a superbly crafted luxury SUV range, featuring top-drawer handling and brimming with cutting-edge tech – and yes, the RX 450h is deservedly the flagship model in the line-up.
On the design front the changes are led by new, evolutionary styling that maintains the RX’s powerful and sporty appearance, while introducing more elegant elements and creating a coherent flow from front to rear, giving the vehicle a stronger, more harmonious profile.
Details of the frontal treatment include a new rendition of the signature Lexus grille, with a mesh pattern of radiating three-dimensional “L” shapes (slightly different execution for the F Sport); slimmer sharper headlight units; more rounded edges to the re-sculpted front bumper; and an extended line from the rocker panel (located on the sides of vehicle between front and rear wheel openings) that connects with the bottom of the grille, projecting strength and stability.
The human-machine interface in the cabin has been vastly improved courtesy of a new 12.3-inch central display featuring touchscreen functionality. To accommodate this new feature, the screen has been moved further forward on the centre console, giving a wider viewing angle and placing it within easy reach of the driver and front passenger. The multimedia functions can of course also be operated using a new trackpad version of Lexus’s Remote Touch Interface, or with voice control, replacing the old button-activated system.
For the first time in South Africa, the RX line-up now includes a bespoke F Sport version in the guise of the RX 350 F Sport. Featuring more aggressive exterior styling comprising an F Sport-exclusive front fascia, mesh grille insert, front-fender and rear valance, this athletic RX also sports polished black outside mirrors paired with brazen 20-inch split 10-spoke alloy wheels in a dark granite finish.
Lexus RX Chief Engineer Takeaki Kato worked closely with the production team to improve areas of the car’s performance that contribute to driving pleasure and agile handling. This included increasing body rigidity and making detailed adjustments to the suspension.
Safety is a defining characteristic of every single Lexus model and the RX is no exception. In addition to the full suite of passive and active safety systems ranging from 10 airbags to the latest VSC system with Active Cornering Assist, all RX models now feature a Blind-Spot Monitor with Rear-Cross Traffic Alert. With reference to the latter, a new parking support brake system uses intelligent clearance sonar and rear cross-traffic sensors to avoid or mitigate collisions that commonly occur during parking manoeuvres. In addition to an audible warning, the system can reduce drive force and apply the brakes to reduce the possibility of contact with static objects in the direction of travel, or static objects and moving vehicles when reversing.
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