The Lexus RX Enters Its 5th Generation

One of the small SUVs that started the luxury crossover trend in America was the Lexus RX. Alongside larger American models like the GMC Yukon Denali, the Cadillac Escalade, and the Lincoln Navigator, the Lexus RX was a pioneer ushering in an era where luxury auto consumers began to prefer crossovers and SUVs to sedans. The original iconic Lexus RX300 still looks modern today, but the current iteration of the RX, which debuted in 2022, looks better than ever. Lexus and Toyota have entered a new era of design, one where the new Prius is a stunning vehicle and Lexus vehicles are moving away from designs that resemble sharks:

Old vs. New Lexus RX

The latest RX is offered in 8 colors, some of which are truly unique and beautiful. Amongst the choices will be found requisite whites, greys, and blacks, however there are some surprises if you look closely. The RX’s caviar black contains a metallic flake which makes the black shimmer in the light. Two shades of grey and a white pearl are amongst traditional options, as well as a radiant “Matador Red Mica,” a bright blue “Nightfall Mica,” and the two most unique colors, an olive “Nori Green Pearl” and orange/copper “Copper Crest.” Four interior color options include macadamia (light brown), birch (off white/grey), black, and palomino (brown); the F-Sport also offers “Rioja Red.”

As with most luxury cars these days, the RX comes in a dizzying number of configurations, though remains easier to wrap one’s head around than BMW nomenclature. The RX comes in standard engine, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid styles, as well as an F Sport Performance trim (similar to BMW M and Mercedes AMG). Standard gas models include a 275 horsepower 2.4L turbo inline-4 with 317 lb ft of torque. Hybrid models have 245 horsepower and 233 lb-ft of torque; gas mileage is substantially better than non-hybrid models, at 37 city (vs 21 mpg fwd) and 34 highway (vs 28 mpg fwd); front wheel drive vs. all wheel drive models have gas mileage which varies by a 1-2 miles per gallon depending on configuration. There is one plug-in hybrid trim rated at 304 hp, and it is the RX 450+ Luxury AWD, which is the most expensive RX starting at $70,080, with a claimed 35 miles of electric-only range.

The entry-level RX 350 front-wheel drive starts at $49,950, which steps up to $51,550 for all-wheel drive and $51,800 for hybrid all wheel drive. Hybrid RX models are thus incredibly attractive considering their vastly superior gas mileage and being not-much-slower than the standard RX. The RX Premium trims include power tilt and slide moonroof, heated and ventilated front seats, and wireless phone charging, starting at $52,100 for front-wheel drive and $53,700 for all-wheel drive. Premium+ trim steps up to $53,950 FWD and $55,550 AWD, adding a larger 14 inch touchscreen display, leather trimmed seats (upgrade from synthetic leather), and ambient interior lighting. The top non-performance trim, Luxury, adds 21-inch 20-spoke alloy wheels, heads up display, and semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior, starting at $59,080 for FWD and $60,680 for AWD.

Lexus F Sport also has two trims of the RX, including the RX 350 F Sport Handling AWD and the RX500H F Sport Performance AWD. Each starts at $58,550 and $63,800 respectively. The lower model has 275 hp (which is the same as other gas RX models), however, it has F sport interior and exterior styling, performance inspired instrumentation, and F-Sport tuned adaptive variable suspension. The top dog RX 500H F Sport has 366 hp between two electric motors and a turbocharged 2.4L four-cylinder, which rockets the 406 lb-ft of torque SUV through the quarter mile in about 14 seconds.