2016 Lexus RX Gets New Face, Gutsier Engines


Lexus revealed the 2016 RX crossover today at the New York Auto Show heralding a new generation for its most important product.

For perspective, the RX has generated 30 percent of Lexus total volume since its inception as a brand in 1989. Roughly 2.1 million of them found homes since the first model entered production at the end of 1997. Now the RX is entering its fourth generation looking almost nothing like the original car that did so much for the brand that created it.

The body styling takes on a sharper look for 2016 than it had even following the integration of Lexus’ signature spindle grille. The front bumper is more aggressive looking this time as are the optionally available triple L shaped LED headlights. In fact the entire body is bristling with sharper angles including new wrap-around LED tail lights meant to make the RX looks wider. Completing the exterior ensemble, Lexus now offers 20-inch alloy wheels instead of the previous generation’s 19s, although 18-inch wheels are part of the base equipment line.

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Inside it’s much the same story. Lexus revised the cabin to make it more ergonomic by moving the gear shift selector and adding its latest in infotainment through a 12.3-inch display. Rear seat legroom is also supposedly improved over the previous generation, although Lexus didn’t divulge how many inches of new knee space you’ll actually get. The second row is also available with headed outboard seats that fold at the touch of a button and should seem more spacious thanks to a new panoramic sunroof as well.

2015 New York Auto Show Coverage

Of course the new RX is based on the recently enhanced Toyota Highlander so that means it also has a quieter ride than before along with a stiffer chassis that should enhance handling. If that’s not enough, there’s also an available adaptive suspension as well as the F Sport package for all-wheel drive models. If you opt for the F Sport, you get a revised color scheme with new wheels and an active stabilizer bar for sportier handling.

The RX still uses a 3.5-liter V6, but now it makes 300 hp courtesy of direct injection and a new eight-speed automatic. The RX450h also makes 300 hp this time through a hybrid powertrain and a 3.5-liter V6 running on the Atkinson cycle.In both cases, the new RX should offer improved fuel efficiency, although the company didn’t offer exact figures during the debut.

Discuss this story at our Toyota Forum

  • SSXT

    I’m still waiting on Toyota corporate’s new front-end styling trend to give me that warm/fuzzy feeling. For now it’s just too much….something.

  • Goran

    This looks great, especially in that blue wow

  • Ein Stein

    The grille may be a bit polarizing (although I like it), but the side profile is stunning. Good job Lexus!

  • gene ackerman

    This is what happens when designers lack good ideas. It reminds me of the “bangle butt” gone wild on the front end. What an atrocious mis-design.

  • nopcbs

    I agree. We have a 2008 RX400h after a 2003 RX330 and both 2nd generation models look far more tasteful than this cartoonish travesty. Lexus please get rid of that ugly front end look.