It was nigh on 25 years ago that the original Lexus RX burst into dealer showrooms, showing up as arguably the vehicle which would go on to popularize the style of what is now the beyond-dominant vehicle in suburbia: the luxury crossover. For 2023, Lexus has gone back to the well and drawn up a new model.
Setting the table is an RX 350
, powered by a 2.4L four-cylinder turbocharged engine making 275 horsepower for the sum of $61,475 including freight charges. A non-turbo hybrid 350h trim is approximately $1,500 more, subtracting thirty horsepower but bringing impressive fuel economy numbers to the table in the form of 6.3L/100km around town. A powerful 500h model mashes together turbocharging and
hybrid guts to create 367 ponies for a price tag well over $80,000.
Every 2023 Lexus RX
is the same size with equal amount of room for humans and their cargo, so spending extra will net more power or features but not more space. Ground clearance is roughly equal across the board at a hair over 8 inches, and some form of all-wheel drive will present on all trims this year. The base RX can tow 3,500 pounds and comes with the type of safety features one would expect at this price including Intuitive Parking Assist and dynamic cruise control.
Base RX trims may only select from a greyscale of colours and, in those, only black and grey are $0 options. The $500 while pearl paint job avoids the appearance of driving an inkwell. Heated power folding side mirrors, 19-inch alloys, LED lighting, and a smattering of colour-keyed trim help the RX make the most of its Lexus-mandated grille design.
Inside, its standard 9.8-inch infotainment touchscreen isn’t enormous but nor is it a sad-sack cluttered screen as deployed in some of its competitors. A 14-inch jumbotron is available. Twelve speakers crank out sound and there should be enough USB ports for all hands. Paddle shifters behind the leather-wrapped steering wheel permit the driver to play out their F1 dreams. There is heat/ventilation in the front chairs, and tri-zone climate control to keep the peanut gallery at bay.
What We'd Choose
Lexus is taking several pages from the Book of Porsche, creating an array of pricey optional packages ranging from a not-bad $4,600 to a blinding $15,500 cornucopia. The former, called F Sport 1, is worth consideration since it adds a better suspension and brakes, natty wheels, interior upgrades, and unlocks new colour options. Best of all, the gratis
Rioja Red interior upholstery becomes available with that package.
Opting for the next-rung 350h hybrid will largely depend on yer priorities. This author will take the extra horsepower and grumble at the pumps but completely understands the appeal of that 6.3L/100km promise around town. The attractive red interior is not on offer in the 350h, no matter the options selected, and base exterior colour choices remain the same.
With a broad appeal, it’s no wonder the RX is a popular choice for Canadian families in the ‘burbs.
Every week, wheels.ca selects a new vehicle and takes a good look at its entry-level trim. If we find it worthy of your consideration, we'll let you know. If not, we'll recommend one - or the required options - which earns a passing grade.