September 30, 2023

On the prime finish of its sprawling vary, the brand new Lexus RX is best to have a look at, higher to drive, and higher inside than its predecessor – that doesn’t at all times translate for patrons on a funds, although.

On the backside finish, some luxurious vehicles really feel like they’re punishing you for saving your pennies. From button blanks to nasty supplies, there are many methods of the commerce designed to push you right into a dearer mannequin.

The 2023 Lexus RX350h Luxurious 2WD just isn’t a kind of vehicles. It is likely to be the most cost effective mannequin within the vary, with the least highly effective powertrain and front-wheel drive, but it surely nonetheless looks like a correctly luxurious massive SUV.

Actually, it’d even be the choose of the vary.

How a lot does the Lexus RX350h Luxurious 2WD value?

Pricing is up for the brand new RX. Beforehand, the vary opened at simply north of $73,000 earlier than on-road prices, now you’re on the hook for not less than the $87,500 earlier than on-roads of our base tester.

WATCH: Paul’s video assessment of the RX500h F Sport Efficiency

Lexus accurately factors out the actual fact the entry RX300 petrol has been axed for 2023, and the brand new automobile is a better-equipped, higher-specification car than earlier than.

Even with the value improve it’s laborious to argue the RX doesn’t symbolize strong worth alongside its German rivals, particularly when you think about the actual fact none presents a straight rival for the RX350h.

The BMW X3 xDrive20d is priced from $84,700 earlier than on-roads, whereas the Audi Q5 45 TFSI quattro Sport begins at $82,800 earlier than on-roads. Each are equally sized to the RX, however aren’t fairly as massive.

Genesis in all probability presents essentially the most direct competitor within the GV70, which in 3.5T AWD Sport guise is priced at $84,600 earlier than on-roads. It’s price noting it’s a way more highly effective, a lot thirstier various nevertheless.

2023 Lexus RX pricing:

  • Lexus RX350h
    • Luxurious FWD: $87,500
    • Luxurious AWD: $92,000
    • Luxurious FWD + Enhancement Pack: $92,600
    • Luxurious AWD + Enhancement Pack: $97,500
    • Sports activities Luxurious AWD: $111,900
    • Sports activities Luxurious AWD + Enhancement Pack 1: $114,900
    • Sports activities Luxurious AWD + Enhancement Pack 2: $115,800
  • Lexus RX350
    • F Sport AWD: $99,900
    • F Sport AWD + Enhancement Pack 1: $102,900
    • F Sport AWD + Enhancement Pack 2: $104,000
    • Sports activities Luxurious AWD: $105,900
    • Sports activities Luxurious AWD + Enhancement Pack 1: $108,900
    • Sports activities Luxurious AWD + Enhancement Pack 2: $109,800
  • Lexus RX500h F Sport Efficiency AWD: $126,000

All costs exclude on-road prices

What’s the Lexus RX350h Luxurious 2WD like on the within?

Like its NX little brother, the RX has been given a high-tech makeover for 2023. Even the bottom mannequin appears and feels completely fashionable, which isn’t one thing you may say concerning the outdated automobile.

There aren’t any extra fiddly touchpads or hidden buttons right here, only a completely fashionable touchscreen neatly built-in right into a good-looking dashboard. It’s an enormous enchancment, and regardless of the apparent similarities with the smaller NX it feels a bit extra grown up.

The place the little NX feels a bit claustrophobic up entrance with a sunroof, the RX has a greater seating place for taller drivers. There’s extra legroom, more room beneath the roof lining, and more room between the entrance passengers to stretch out.

All of the supplies appear and feel high-quality, as you’d anticipate of a Lexus. The steering wheel is trimmed in what looks like tender, waxy leather-based, and the leatherette seat upholstery on our tester was a fairly convincing substitute for the actual factor.

You miss out on a few of fancy trim inlays on the dashboard, however in any other case this doesn’t really feel far off what you get in a Sports activities Luxurious or F Sport. And with the transfer to a touchscreen-based design, there aren’t any button blanks. Even higher, the bottom mannequin will get correct buttons on the steering wheel as a substitute of the irritating touchpads on higher-end vehicles.

The touchscreen is considerably higher than the touchpad-based tech within the final RX, with crisp graphics and a logical format.

The lack of bodily buttons isn’t keenly felt as a result of there are nonetheless huge shortcuts on your local weather controls, and Hey Lexus voice prompts usually work properly. The cameras are clear and vibrant, too.

4 USB ports characteristic (three USB-C, one USB-A), however our tester didn’t have a wi-fi cellphone charger. You’ll be able to have one within the Luxurious, however you’ll want to pay for an Enhancement Pack to get it.

Additionally lacking from the bottom mannequin is the high-grade digital instrument cluster featured in higher-end fashions. As an alternative, you get a basic-looking unit with little in the way in which of customisation on supply. Given the top-spec cluster isn’t a category chief both, the loss isn’t too keenly felt – but it surely’s the one a part of the RX that feels a bit low cost.

There’s loads of cupboard space up entrance on your drink bottles, snacks, and private bits and items.

Rear seat room is strong. Legroom represents an enchancment during the last automobile, thanks little question to an extended wheelbase, and the bench is sweet and plush. Headroom isn’t nice although, particularly with a sunroof fitted.

With the rear seats reclined it’s okay for adults again there, however with them set to a extra upright place that frees up further boot area it’s a bit tight again there. Headroom is respectable, but it surely’s tighter than in a BMW X3, let alone an X5, back there.

With two USB-C ports, air vents, a fold-down central armrest, and retractable window shades, the kids aren’t short of creature comforts.

ISOFIX points feature on the outboard rear seats, and there’s a trio of top-tether points.

Claimed boot space is 612 litres with all five seats in place, expanding to 1678L with the second row folded.

F Sport models feature a space saver spare, while Luxury and Sports Luxury models have a tyre repair kit.

What’s underneath the bonnet?

The 2023 Lexus RX350h makes use of a 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid powertrain with 184kW of energy.

It’s out there with both front- or all-wheel drive, and makes use of an eCVT transmission. It sticks with an older nickel-metal hydride battery rather than the lighter, extra vitality dense lithium-ion models rolling out in some Toyota hybrids.

Claimed gas economic system is 5.0 litres per 100km on the mixed cycle, we noticed 5.9 litres per 100km over every week of combined driving.

It drinks 95 RON premium unleaded gas, and has a 65-litre gas tank.

How does the Lexus RX350h Luxurious 2WD drive?

There are sporty fashions within the Lexus RX vary, however this isn’t considered one of them. It majors on relaxed, environment friendly motoring, and that’s alright.

The hybrid system shall be acquainted to anybody who’s pushed a previous-generation RX, or a inexpensive Toyota hybrid. It usually begins in electrical mode, and the petrol engine stays out of the image till round 20 or 30km/h. When it does hearth, it does so rapidly and quietly.

Lexus has at all times been good at the actual nitty-gritty of luxurious vehicles – making them really feel quiet and refined – and the RX is not any totally different.

That’s to not say it’s excellent. Though it’s able to mild acceleration at low pace on electrical energy, something greater than that also requires the petrol engine – and when it fires, Lexus hasn’t managed to thoroughly get rid of the sensation it’s working laborious.

This can be a automobile that’s happiest at a cruise, the place it will probably lean on the electrical motor, and the CVT doesn’t need to flare revs to get you rolling. And that’s okay, as a result of it’s completely in line with the remainder of the automobile’s character.

The bottom mannequin’s small (properly, comparatively) wheels and chubby tyres, mixed with the actual fact it’s not an F Sport, lend it a stunning experience. It does an important job smoothing out pimply metropolis streets at low speeds, softening off harsh edges of potholes and carpark pace humps higher than most of its rivals.

Gentle steering, clear cameras, and respectable visibility make this a simple SUV to park in tight areas. It’s additionally barely smaller than an X5, which is noticeable in tight underground carparks.

There’s nearly no street noise within the cabin, and the hum of site visitors and pedestrians is properly blocked out. It’s only a stress-free place to spend time, as a result of it isn’t attempting to be one thing it’s not.

I might go for all-wheel drive, although. Put your foot down pulling out of an intersection within the moist, for instance, and the eco tyres gentle up rapidly. It doesn’t encourage confidence just like the all-wheel drive mannequin, which is price its weight in gold in case you’re carrying your youngsters round.

At larger speeds, the RX350h is a relaxed cruiser. It’s whisper quiet on the freeway, and the suite of lively driver assists are all properly calibrated. The adaptive cruise management system easily, neatly retains a spot to the automobile in entrance, and the lane centring is assured with out attempting to wrestle the wheel out of your arms.

You do discover the hybrid system is working laborious at larger speeds in case you go to overhaul, with a flare of revs and a good serving to of engine noise within the cabin, but it surely settles down properly at a cruise.

Between the hybrid powertrain and the comfort-oriented experience, this isn’t an SUV for individuals who need to carve corners. It’s extra gifted than its predecessor, with fluid steering and respectable physique management, however if you wish to hustle your RX the F Sport, or RX500h F Sport Efficiency, are higher bets.

What do you get?

RX350h Luxurious highlights:

  • Bi-LED headlights
  • LED daytime working lights, fog lights
  • Heated exterior mirrors with driver’s facet auto-dimming
  • Rear privateness glass
  • 19-inch alloy wheels with vibrant machined end
  • Roof rails
  • Energy tailgate
  • 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Wi-fi Apple CarPlay
  • Wired Android Auto
  • 12-speaker Panasonic sound system
  • Satellite tv for pc navigation
  • DAB+ digital radio
  • Lexus Related Companies
  • 5 x USB-C, 2 x 12V, 1 x USB-A
  • 8-way energy entrance seats with two-way energy lumbar
  • Heated entrance seats
  • Leatherette upholstery
  • Tri-zone local weather management
  • Energy-adjustable steering column
  • Auto-dimming rear-view mirror
  • Paddle shifters
  • Ambient lighting

Enhancement Pack ($5100 FWD, $5500 AWD) provides:

  • Panoramic sunroof
  • Leather-based upholstery
  • Ventilated entrance seats
  • Quick access seat
  • Driver’s seat reminiscence
  • Head-up show
  • ‘Excessive-grade’ instrument cluster show
  • Sensible key card
  • Wi-fi cellphone charger
  • Contact-sensitive steering wheel controls

Is the Lexus RX350h Luxurious 2WD protected?

The Lexus RX has a five-star ANCAP security ranking.

The ranking applies to all variants – which incorporates petrol and hybrid powertrain variants.

It scored 90 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 89 per cent for little one occupant safety, 89 per cent for weak street person safety, and 93 per cent for security help.

Commonplace security options embrace:

  • 8 airbags incl. entrance centre, driver’s knee
  • Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)
    • Pedestrian detection (day, evening)
    • Bike owner detection (day, evening)
    • Motorcyclist detection (day)
  • Emergency steering help
  • Acceleration acceleration suppression (low pace)
  • Adaptive cruise management
    • Curve pace discount
    • Overtaking prevention
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane Hint Help (centring)
  • Auto high-beam
  • Street signal help
  • Entrance, rear Parking Assist Brake
  • Entrance, rear parking sensors
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Reversing digital camera
  • Secure Exit Help
  • Tyre strain monitor
  • Trailer sway management

RX Sports activities Luxurious provides:

  • Adaptive Excessive-Beam System
  • Panoramic View Monitor (360 cameras)

How a lot does the Lexus RX350h Luxurious 2WD value to run?

The Lexus RX is backed by a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee.

Upkeep is required each 12 months or 15,000 kilometres, and the primary 5 companies will every set you again $695 underneath the Lexus capped-price service program.

Lexus additionally presents its house owners a spread of perks as a part of its Encore program, starting from the choice to have their car collected earlier than a service, entry to live shows or occasions, and advantages from companions comparable to Ampol.

CarExpert’s Tackle the Lexus RX350h Luxurious 2WD

Often base luxurious vehicles really feel a bit undercooked, however the entry-level RX350h Luxurious is all the massive status SUV you’d ever want.

Dearer fashions supply richer inside finishes, extra options, and extra energy, however you don’t truly want greater than the RX350h Luxurious presents… besides possibly for all-wheel drive.

Its inside feels and appears luxurious, the know-how is far improved in comparison with the outdated automobile, and it drives with the identical barely understated polish we’ve come to anticipate from the model.

No, it gained’t set your pulse racing. However that has by no means actually been the purpose of the RX anyway.

Click on the photographs for the complete gallery

MORE: Every little thing Lexus RX