It’s hard to think of the luxury mid-size crossover world without thinking of the Lexus RX; it’s one of the pioneers in the segment and the knowledge of the vehicle and segment Lexus has gained over the years has continued to benefit the RX.
New for 2020: For 2020, the RX has undergone a styling refresh that’s added new LED head- and taillights, new foglights, new side grilles, new wheel choices and refined front grille. The new character line running from front to rear improves aerodynamics for a quieter ride as well as more stability at high speeds. Inside, the proceedings are centred around a new touchscreen and Lexus Remote Touchpad that comes as standard on all models as well as compatibility for both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Lexus Safety System + 2.0 is also standard on all models, and it brings with it blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, backup camera an 10 airbags.
Pros/ Available hybrid option / Third-row model / Smooth ride
Cons/ Infotainment still lags behind / Interior lacks wow factor / So-so engine
Bottom Line/ Lexus has refined this formula for 20 years, so it's little wonder the RX practically defines the segment. Not outstanding in any one area, but good in all of them.
Table of contents
Lexus RX Powertrain
Two powertrains are offered for 2020: a 3.5-liter V6 good for 295 hp and 267 lb-ft of torque, as well as an Atkinson-cycle hybrid V6 good for 308 hp. Both the RX and RX L three-row models are available with the two powertrains. The gas V6 models get an eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters, while hybrid models run their power through a continuously-variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-drive is standard on all RX models: all-wheel drive is optional on gas variants and standard on hybrids. It’s what Lexus is calling an active-torque AWD system, meaning it runs mainly in front-wheel drive—helping save fuel—unless the system senses that the road conditions require AWD.
Lexus RX Features and Pricing
Pricing for the 2020 Lexus RX starts at $45,175, while the RX L starts at $48,325. The Hybrid, meanwhile, starts at $47,825, which is a $705 jump over the 2019 model. Pricing tops out at $51,535 for the RX 450h L three-row model. All prices include $1,025 in destination charges.
RX 350: Starts at $45,175
Along with the new styling all RXs get, the entry-level RX 350 model also gets a new 18-inch wheel design, better in-car storage (designed specifically for mobile devices) and LED cargo area lamp. The standard infotainment screen is 9.0-inches wide, but this can be upgraded to 12.3-inches via the luxury package.
RX 450h: $47,825
The big news here is that the base price has been reduced by $5,700 over the 2019 model, and the 450h gets the same new standard features as does the RX 350.
RX 350 L: $48,325
The “L” series gets a host of new features for 2020, including the same new 18-inch wheels the RX 350 gets, as well as mobile phone storage compartment and LED cargo lighting, There’s also a standard power folding third-row seat and blind spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert system.
RX 450h L: $51,535
New for 2020 includes voice-activated navigation, 12.3-inch display, new 20-inch wheels, LED fog lamps and foot-activated tailgate.
Lexus RX Recommended Trim
If you’re wanting to make a statement, then an RX with any of the two available F Sport packages will surely do the trick, what with their ultra-aggressive blacked-out spindle grille, bright colors and 20-inch wheels. Adaptive suspension is also added for better handling and the 12.3-inch infotainment screen comes as standard. With a base starting price of $51,175, however, the RX 450h is probably the best buy of the bunch. It gets AWD as standard, plus the added benefit of the efficiency provided by the hybrid powertrain.
Lexus RX Fuel Economy
No figures have yet been released for the hybrid model, but Lexus is claiming 19/26/22 city/highway/combined mpg for the AWD RX 350, and 20/28/23 city/highway/combined for the FWD vehicle.
Lexus RX vs Acura MDX
These two seem to forever be thought of together when one considers a luxury mid-size crossover simply because they both do so well on the sales front for their respective companies. They make pretty much equal power, with the RX 350 clipping the MDX on the horsepower front by a paltry 5 hp, and making equal amounts of torque: 267 lb-ft each. The MDX, while a little more extreme-looking than previous, is still the tamer of the two, however, which we never thought we’d say. There’s also a little more room in the MDX, though there is no longer two-row versions as all MDX trims come with three rows.
Lexus RX vs Cadillac XT6
The Cadillac is the new kid on the block in this category, and it comes with a single 3.6-liter engine choice with more power and torque than the RX: 310 hp and 271 lb-ft. It gets up and goes in short order thanks to a close-ratio nine-speed automatic transmission, and will be faster than the RX in a straight line. It’s not quite the same story in the turns as the RXis slightly more planted and exhibits less body roll than does the XT6, especially if you have the adaptive dampers. Like the MDX, the XT6 is available only as a three-row model. We also prefer Cadillac’s updated infotainment system to what’s on offer from the Lexus, even with the latter’s larger 12.3-inch screen.
Lexus RX v BMW X5
It’s hard to have a conversation of vehicles in this segment without this beast from Bavaria making an appearance in some way. While it used to be tied for the most conservatively-styled laurels in the segment with the Audi Q7 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class, things have changed thanks to the addition of an enlarged kidney grille and blue-hued BMW laser headlights. It’s become a more imposing thing, this, and it has the handling and powertrain to back it up. Power from even the entry-level X5 sDrive40i model eclipses that of the RX, and since it’s rear-drive as opposed to a front-driver, it handles like the more performance-oriented vehicle that it is. It also has the benefit of BMW’s latest iDrive 7.0 infotainment system, which is the most robust of everything mentioned here.
|Price (USD) /||$45,175–$57,535|
|Engine /||3.5L V6 / 3.5L V6 hybrid|
|Horsepower (hp) /||295 / 308 (combined)|
|Torque (lb-ft) /||267 / 247|
|Fuel Economy /||20/28/23 (FWD) / 19/26/22 (AWD) / N/A (Hybrid)|
|Drivetrain /||8AT/CVT, FWD/AWD|
Our Final Verdict
The styling additions, while subtle, are a nice upgrade for 2020 to be sure. The big news, though, is that at its core, the RX continues to be what it’s always been: an incredibly well put-together luxury crossover that will continue to go toe-to-toe with the best in the biz. The simple powertrain options do well to streamline the buying process while the availability of hybrid and long-wheelbase options provide just enough variety. Add the numerous safety features Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 brings as well as the larger infotainments screen, and you also get the tech that’s always so sought after in the segment.3.7
|Space and Comfort||8.0|