The updated Lexus RX range brings the luxury SUV into line with the brand's new corporate face featuring Lexus' new signature spindle grille.
For the first time Lexus has added a new RX F Sport variant for the RX350 and RX450h, adding a host styling changes to the exterior as well as more enhanced driving dynamics.
The new RX350 and 450h F Sport variants have replaced the previous Sport models while the Sports Luxury variant, now available in both RX350 and RX450h, remains the top-of-the-line specification.
The addition of the new four-cylinder petrol Lexus RX270 model now means Lexus is able to offer a choice of three drivetrains including the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine and the 3.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid.
The RX270's 2.7-litre powerplant generates 138kW and 252Nm and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift. According to Lexus, the RX270 will accelerate from 0-100km/h in 11 seconds with a top speed of 200km/h. Fuel consumption data on a measured ADR81/02 combined cycle is 9.7 litres/100km. That’s less than the 10.8 litres/100km for the RX350, but considerably more than the RX450h at 6.3 litres/100km.
The inclusion of the RX270 into the line-up means Lexus has reduced its entry-point into the RX range down to $69,900 (before on-road costs) - $12000 less than the previous RX entry level price point.
Pricing has also been reduced across the RX350 and RX450h line-ups with the RX350 Luxury now starting at $77,900 – a $5000 saving on the previous RX350 Prestige. Similarly, the RX450h now enters the market at $82,900 – a $6500 reduction. All told this means the Lexus RX now ranges from $69,900 for the RX270 to $100,900 for the range-topping RX450h Sports Luxury.
While making the range more affordable, Lexus has also added more standard features giving all RX models integrated satellite navigation with traffic alert; reversing camera with park assist; power tailgate; eight-way power front seats; leather-accented interior; smart entry and smart start; 12-speaker audio system; Bluetooth phone and music streaming; easy driver access; privacy glass; daytime running lamps; alloy wheels with space saver spare; electric steering column adjustment; digital radio (DAB+); roof rails; metallic paint and the second-generation Lexus remote touch controller (Lexus' version of BMW's iDrive).
The new RX350 sees the addition of steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters for the first time. The paddle shifters can be operated in both manual and automatic modes, with the multi-information display indicating gear position.
The new range benefits from a more rigid chassis, stronger dash panel and improvements to the steering response and feel. Lexus have adopted separate suspension calibrations for each of the three engine choices, although the RX350 and RX450h both have stiffer front and rear spring rates compared to the new RX270 model. The RX350 and 450h F Sport models also pick up Lexus performance dampers (developed by Yamaha) front and rear for improved handling and ride comfort.
The updated range receives the new-look Lexus interior, first seen in the recently released Lexus GS model, and features a new steering wheel inspired by the Lexus LF-A supercar; metallic-look highlights on the centre instrument panel and glove box; reduced clutter on the instrument panel; larger multi-information display for improved visibility and a redesigned tachometer face that changes illumination depending on the drive mode selected – red for sport and blue for Eco/Normal mode.
There's a new 12-speaker audio system for the RX270 with the Luxury and F Sport models getting digital radio and voice control functions including phonebook dialling; number dialling; 'Go home' navigation command; and audio selection from a USB connected iPod. Sports Luxury variants pick up the Mark Levinson premium surround sound unit seeing a total of 15 speakers make their way into the top-of-the-range RX.
2013 Lexus RX model pricing:
RX270 - $69,900
RX350 Luxury - $77,900
RX350 F Sport - $85,900
RX350 Sports Luxury - $94,400
RX450h Luxury - $82,900
RX450h F Sport - $89,900
RX450h Sports Luxury - $100,900