2023 Lexus RX

2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Robert Duffer Robert Duffer Senior Editor
May 31, 2022

Buying tip

The 2023 Lexus RX goes on sale at the end of the year.

The redesigned 2023 Lexus RX now comes with four powertrains and a range of hybrids.

What kind of vehicle is the 2023 Lexus RX? What does it compare to?

The redesigned 2023 Lexus RX is a five-seat crossover SUV that takes big strides into the electrified future. The mid-size crossover straddles the premium and luxury classes depending on trim level, similar to the 2022 Acura MDX, 2022 Infiniti QX60, and 2022 Lincoln Nautilus. 

Is the 2023 Lexus RX a good SUV?

Review continues below

We’ll wait to rate it until we drive it, but first impressions are promising. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2023 Lexus RX?

Lexus updates its bestselling model with a new look, new platform, new powertrains, and a cleaner look inside. The fifth-generation SUV rides on a new global platform that’s both stiffer, lighter weight, and roomier inside, and comes with two new trims as well as a new performance hybrid and a first plug-in hybrid. 

The changes take shape inside and outside. A body line swoops up from the door rockers into the rear fenders similar to the Toyota Highlander SUV, and the roofline curves down into a blacked out rear pillar similar to the floating roof style of the Infiniti QX60. Both elements intend to make it look carved from the wind, but the taller spindle grille negates that impression up front. The grille stretches its diamond pattern around the sides to the lower intakes, instead of being hemmed in by chrome, again lending it a look of motion. Slimmer taillights with a sharper checkmark design hug the back with a lightbar cinching the center. Standard 19-inch wheels or available 21-inch wheels suggest a sportier look from its predecessor. 

Lexus trimmed 198 lb from the outgoing model thanks to a new platform that boasts more rigidity and a new multi-link rear suspension. The rear overhang gets trimmed by 2.4 inches, and Lexus extended the wheelbase by the same amount to 112.2 inches, promising more interior space. This iteration of the RX seats only five, with Lexus discontinuing the RX L extended wheelbase with seven seats. Lexus didn’t release full specs at press time. 

The motivating force of the Lexus RX changes from V-6 power to smaller, more potent and presumably more efficient 4-cylinder options. An entry level 2.4-liter turbo-4 in the RX 350 makes 275 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque, and targets 24 mpg combined; the outgoing V-6 made 295 hp and 267 lb-ft, and had a 23-mpg combined rating. An 8-speed automatic transmission sends power to the front wheels or all four. 

A hybrid model returns, but not as a 306-hp V-6 and not as the 450h. The 2023 RX 350h with all-wheel drive uses a 2.5-liter inline-4 that makes 246 hp and 233 lb-ft, but it gets 33 mpg combined, compared to 30 mpg last year. 

The biggest change to powertrains is a new two-motor hybrid system on the new RX F  Sport Performance model. The RX 500h F Sport employs the 2.4-liter turbo-4 and a motor on either axle for standard all-wheel drive and a total system output of 367 hp and 406 lb-ft, which out-specs any of last year’s V-6 options. With a 6-speed automatic, Lexus says it goes from 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds, and 6-piston brake calipers should better stop its 21-inch aluminum wheels. 

Details of a plug-in hybrid dubbed RX 450h+ will be shared later, Lexus said. 

The interior expresses the most significant changes to the design of the latest RX. The tiered dash and multimedia mishmash of its predecessor cedes to a more cohesive dash fronted by an available 14.0-inch touchscreen with an infotainment system designed for the North American market and first used in the 2022 Lexus NX. Climate dials complement the touch elements. An electronic gear shifter replaces the mechanical one in the console. There’s less clutter and more uniformity, though Lexus didn’t disclose the features specific to each trim. Keyless entry, ambient lighting, a head-up display, wood trim such as Ash Bamboo and Black Open Pore are all options.    

Lexus equips the 2023 RX with its latest driver-assist systems, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and other available features. 

How much does the 2023 Lexus RX cost?

Sold in six trims, the 2023 Lexus RX comes in Standard, Premium, the new Premium+ grade, Luxury, F Sport Handling, and the new F Sport Performance. Pricing will be announced closer to the end of the year, but expect it to cost more than the $47,000 2022 model.  

Where is the 2023 Lexus RX made?

In Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

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