The Lexus RX is the most iconic vehicle in the Lexus lineup. It pioneered the crossover segment and, in some ways, carries the weight of the world on its shoulders as it continues to raise the bar for its competitive set. The 2023 Lexus RX is a next-generation vehicle, adding new tech and an evolved design.
Here are the five biggest thing to know about the RX.
As a next-gen vehicle the 2023 Lexus RX gets a complete overhaul from the design to the powertrains. The biggest thing to know here is the RX now sits on a new global platform, which brings with it a lower center of gravity and less weight.
Though the wheelbase is longer, overall length is not. Benefits to this new design include more rear legroom, increased cargo volume and a lower load floor.
The design is more evolved than radically different, and we see some of the pointier edges that debuted on the 2022 Lexus NX. The most interesting thing to us is the evolution of the spindle grille, which looks more stylized and overflows into the body-colored nose above the grille.
While most of the trims (or “grades” as Lexus calls them) will sound familiar, there are two completely new trims for the 2023 Lexus RX: Premium+ and F Sport Performance. The other four trims are Standard, Premium, Luxury and F Sport Handling.
Though we have zero details on the Premium+ trim beyond the fact it exists, we assume this is the introduction of a new top-tier Lexus trim that will be the ult in luxury (a la Toyota’s new Capstone trim).
Lexus did spend a few more sentences discussing the F-Sport Performance trim, though. It’ll be labeled the RX 500h, which means it will be a hybrid with a 2.4-liter turbo engine and an electric motor. Unlike the RX 350h, which is also a hybrid, it won’t get a continuously variable transmission – it gets a 6-speed automatic. The RX 500h will get the highest power output, delivering 367 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.
It’ll also have Lexus’ Direct4 all-wheel-drive system as standard fare. In addition to F Sport badging, this Performance trim will also get six-piston brake calipers, a mesh grille, 21-inch aluminum wheels and paddle shifters.
Can we get an Amen? One of our biggest beefs with the current-gen RX is the silly trackpad that is difficult to use and ergonomically ill-placed for a lot of drivers. But the trackpad goes away with the introduction of the new Lexus Interface multimedia system. Amen.
And it tells jokes.
While we don’t have any details yet, one of the big news takeaways here should be that the RX gets a plug-in hybrid electric version for the first time. Since it bears the same 450h+ designation the NX gets, we assume it will get the same 2.5-liter, inline 4-cylinder engine and deliver at least 304 horsepower with an all-electric range of around 40 miles.
The base powertrain will be a 2.4-liter, turbocharged inline 4-cylinder available in front- and all-wheel drive (RX 350), and there will be a base hybrid version with a 2.5-liter inline 4-cylinder engine that is AWD-only (RX 350h). The final powertrain will be the high-performance turbo in the RX 500h.
If you look at the configurator on the consumer site for the 2022 model, you’ll see there are “L” versions, which denotes a long wheelbase and adds a third-row seat. This was all good in theory, but that third row was virtually unusable. The press release makes no mention of a third-row option at all, and though it’s still early days, we take this to mean the third row is gone in the 2023 Lexus RX.
Because we are still several months out from the actual launch of the vehicle, details are sparse. We don’t know any pricing information and there are very few specs. Literally all we know is in the image above. The one thing we do know: The 2023 Lexus RX is “expected” to go on sale at the end of 2022.
Lexus 450 e 2023 Permitted trailer load with brakes