Feature Focus: Lexus RX Shakes It Up with Polarizing Design


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For a long time, you could sum up Lexus with two simple words: boring and reliable. In response, the brand has taken a completely different approach to its design in attempt to appeal to a younger audience, and this polarizing exterior is the standout feature when it comes to the new Lexus RX.

Since its debut in 1999, the Lexus RX was a great car. It was practical, high-end, and featured the reliability of every other Toyota. Year after year, it dominated the sales charts in its segment.

With this radical-looking RX, can we expect the same thing?

The crossover features edgy daytime running lights that look like Nike swoops, while the C-pillar is all blacked out, which helps to make the car look even more aggressive. One of my favorite design cues are the tail lights that stick out like they’re trying to jump off the car.

And while words like aggressive are being thrown around, just try to ignore that huge grille. You may see a whale’s mouth, while others see something like the alien from Predator. Whatever you see, it’s unlike anything rolling down the road.

2016 Lexus RX 350 main

This is the definition of a complete redesign. The old model was boring and anonymous, but is this new one is a bit too much? Is it enough to turn off buyers? That’s definitely possible, but this car really stands out with its polarizing looks; you either love it or really hate it, but either way, you are definitely going to notice it.

Driving it around town, people actually stop and stare, which is not something a Lexus is known to do, at least ones not called the LFA.

2016 Lexus RX 350ext 2

And that’s actually kind of amazing when you think about it: besides the design, this is all typical Lexus. The RX is quiet and comfortable to drive, it has a high-quality interior and it starts well under fifty grand.

And then there’s the fact that nothing that competes with the RX comes close to being this different looking. The new Cadillac XT5? That looks simple compared to this radical thing. The crossovers from Mercedes, BMW and Audi looks so pedestrian, while the Acura RDX looks like it was designed 10 years ago in comparison. Even if you hate this design, You have to give Lexus credit for doing something different.

2016 Lexus RX intererior 1

The RX looks like something out of science fiction, even though it drives like every other Lexus you’ve known before.

At the end of the day, the one word you can’t use anymore to describe the Lexus RX is boring. But is it actually good looking? That’s for the sales numbers to tell us.

Whatever you think about the way it looks, you’re going to say something about it, and really that’s one of the most important standout features about the new Lexus RX.