2023 Lexus RX thoroughly modernized from its predecessor, the Lexus RX continues the brand’s tradition of luxury vehicles that are expertly built, quiet, and comfortable. With a relatively low starting price and a long list of standard features, the RX does represent solid value in its segment. But it lacks the performance and cargo capacity of some rivals and stumbles on some of the technological features that other manufacturers have.
The Lexus RX was an instant hit when it debuted in 1998. Its unibody chassis and thus car-like ride and handling handsome exterior design, and spacious interior appealed to a wide audience of buyers looking to ride higher while sacrificing little or nothing. in terms of fuel economy and luxury car experience. The RX300 did very well, being the first MotorTrend SUV of the Year, and the RX has remained the top player in the segment ever since.
Now the fifth generation model has arrived to take over from the RX which, frankly, lost ground in terms of refinement and ride design. So is the 2023 Lexus RX350, with its new platform, new engine, and redesigned technology, once again standing out in the compact luxury SUV field?
Redesigning a popular model is a dicey proposition for any automaker. After all, if the vehicle was a hit, people would already love it, so why mess with success? The answer is that time is ticking, and nearly all cars, trucks, and SUVs need regular updates to stay up to date. With that said, the best-selling Lexus in the land, the RX midsize crossover SUV, is all-new this year.
- Attractive design
- Simplified technology
- Decent interior rooms
- Good mix of performance and efficiency
- Improved interior design with the impressive build quality
- The seats are roomy and comfortable
- Accurate and smooth driver assistance technology
- Completely redesigned for 2023
- The new turbocharged four-cylinder engine
- Next-generation infotainment, comfort, and driver assistance technologies
- Starting the fifth RX generation
2023 Lexus RX Review
Now that the previous generation’s coldly received RX L with its cramped third row of seats is gone, every 2023 Lexus RX offers two rows of seats for up to five people. If you want a Lexus three-row crossover SUV, don’t worry. Rumors are circulating that a new Lexus model based on the upcoming Toyota Grand Highlander will replace the old RX L.
As for the RX 2023, the styling remains controversial. However, compared to the outgoing models, the Lexus is a lower pitch inside and out. More importantly, the redesigned RX adds the next generation of infotainment, comfort, and driver assistance technologies. Apart from that, the RX 350’s turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine promises similar performance to the previous V6-powered RX but with better fuel efficiency.
Since the new Lexus RX is about the same size as the old one, it should still appeal to buyers of the luxury SUV that made it successful in the past. However, it faces several rivals, including the BMW X5, Cadillac XT5, Genesis GV80, Jaguar F-Pace, Lincoln Nautilus, and Mercedes-Benz GLE. All of these alternatives feature the same standard five-seater, two-row configuration as the Lexus RX, and some are more interesting.
Few luxury SUVs have been as successful as the Lexus RX – 24 years of uninterrupted sales dominance. That’s partly because the RX is the OG of the group, but also because Lexus knows not to fix what isn’t broken. So even though the RX 2023 is completely new from the ground up, it’s not far from the same basic formula.
At first glance, the RX 2023 is still very similar to the previous version. The same basic shapes and features remain, but the styling is sharper and smoother upon further inspection. And while comfort is still the name of the game in that, once you dig a little deeper, you’ll notice a marked change in the quality of materials, technology, and safety equipment.
Despite a complete overhaul for 2023, the Lexus RX SUV retains the smooth driving demeanor that seems tailor-made for its loyal buyers. A quartet of powertrains is on the menu including a new plug-in hybrid version. The new RX styling looks much sharper than the previous model and at the front, there’s a new version of the brand’s wide-mouthed grille and Lexus’ recognizable L-shaped running lights. Interior accommodation is more upscale this time around, and the cabin features a large infotainment touchscreen and the latest technology features.
Outgoing models are offered in two- or three-row configurations but the RX 2023 is strictly a two-row affair. A three-row variant may join later or Lexus may choose to launch a new, larger SUV above the RX with a standard seven-seat layout.
The RX launches into its fifth generation with a completely new design and will hit US showrooms in late 2022.
- Engine: 2.5 Liter Four Cylinder Hybrid
- Output: 246 Horsepower / 233 Pound-Feet
- Efficiency: 37 City / 34 Hybrid / 36 Combined
- Cut Base Price: $50,150
- Price Tested: $62,725
New 2023 Lexus RX Redesign
The biggest change inside is a new 14.0-inch touchscreen with Lexus’ latest infotainment system, which includes a much-improved navigation system powered by Google Maps. The whole system is easy to use with voice commands, and there’s no digging through menus to find what you need. It also allows over-the-air updates so the system can be further refined and added features over time.
However, it’s not all good: there were times when it took more than 60 seconds to respond after starting the RX350—the screen froze and didn’t react. And while the RX350 we’re driving is a pre-production vehicle, the system has been used in other recent Toyota and Lexus models without experiencing similar issues, so it’s probably a one-off problem.
The rest of the cabin will feel familiar to previous Lexus owners in terms of vibe and materials, but there are changes that make the RX more modern. Among them is the clean center console, which has enough space to accommodate two smartphones and two cupholders. Because the shifter is small, the center console area also feels spacious.
The inner door handle is stylishly designed and can be operated by simply pushing it with your thumb (rather than pulling with your hand). The materials feel soft and premium from the leather seats to the microsuede on the door panels, and make for a richer overall experience; still, we wish Lexus made the entire instrument cluster digital rather than just putting in a tiny 7.0-inch display.
One thing we weren’t too happy about were the unmarked, reconfigurable buttons on the steering wheel; You can bring up their functions in the heads-up display by pressing one of the buttons on the left, but it’s easier and less distracting if each one is dedicated to a single function and clearly labeled. More complicated doesn’t always mean better.
Back-seat passengers will have enough space to be comfortable, but they won’t feel like they’re in the living room. What feels quite relieved is the cargo area which has nearly 30 cubic feet of space with the seats above. For now, the 2023 RX350 is just a two-row SUV; A three-row SUV was offered in the previous generation, but it’s likely the new TX will fill that role in the future.
2023 Lexus RX Design
People who bought the previous RX will love the 2023 model’s familiar aesthetic. The new pointed nose is the biggest change; the extra sheet metal on top helps reduce the size of the once intimidating spindle grille, while added detailing on the front bumper gives the RX a more athletic look.
The ever-trending light bar lines the rear with a new “LEXUS” wordmark spanning across the trunk lid, in case you forgot. And the lower part of the bumper now features a more subtle wave-like design that blends polished metal and plastic into one cohesive look. This no-cost Nori Green Pearl paint job is also very pretty.
The interior is much better than before. The console’s cleaner design with smaller shifters and no more trackpad makes things feel less cluttered while Lexus designers also ditched most of the archaic buttons for a larger touchscreen with fewer knobs. There’s plenty of pepper brown leather, real aluminum around the vents and steering wheel, and even a suede-like texture on the door panels in the same color as the seats.
- Exterior Color: Nori Green
- Interior Color: Pepper with Black
- Wheel Size: 21 Inch
2023 Lexus RX Interior, Comfort and Cargo
The RX’s interior is a mix of Lexus’ incredible attention to detail as well as some confusing and at times frustrating design choices. The sharp-looking 14-inch touchscreen display is a highlight thanks to its clean graphics and fast response.
Despite the stunning new interior design, the RX doesn’t have a steep learning curve, and most of the controls are instantly familiar. Other benefits of the large center display are a crystal clear backup camera and, when equipped, a surround-view camera system. It makes maneuvering the RX in tight confines a snap.
But the gear lever adopts the unconventional shift pattern used in the Toyota Prius, which sometimes leads us to choose neutral when we think we’re already driving. Another frustration: the unmarked buttons on the steering wheel. Lexus has cleverly made it multifunctional, but its functionality is only shown on the head-up display and requires too much focus to perform simple tasks.
The driving position on the RX is easy to adapt to a variety of body types, and while the rear seating area doesn’t have the ample legroom found on the Acura MDX, there is enough room for most adults to be comfortable enough. Headroom is a bit limited, especially for taller rear passengers.
While the previous model was offered in two- and three-row configurations, the RX 2023 is offered exclusively as a two-row, five-seater SUV. The three-row model may debut later or the RX L may be replaced by a completely different and larger SUV with standard third-row seats.
The interior design of the RX 2023 is more modern than the 2022 model, with textured fabric trim on the upper door panels, rich-looking ambient lighting, and open-grained wood trim on the RX350 model. The RX500h F Sport Performance features sturdier front seats, black interior trim, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and aluminum pedals.
- Seating Capacity: 5
- Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
- Cargo Capacity: 31.4 / 56.3 Cubic Feet
The Lexus RX is the king in this class in terms of driving comfort. Even with 21-inch wheels as part of the Luxury trim, the RX shrugs on rough pavement and barely bounces on speed bumps. The Lexus RX is very smooth on the highway.
Lexus makes some great seats and the RX is no exception. This handsome leather bucket fits the driver and front passengers like a luxury leather glove with excellent power adjustment, heating, cooling, and aggressive lumbar support. One minor gripe, though: there’s no massage function.
The only reason the RX doesn’t score a perfect 10 here is because of the clunky transitions between battery and gas power. When the petrol engine switches from EV mode to hybrid power, it makes a harsh rumble that can be heard throughout the cabin. Accelerate hard from a standstill and the RX Hybrid whines in protest.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The 9.8-inch infotainment touchscreen is parked smack dab in the center of the RX’s redesigned dashboard; a larger 14.0-inch screen is optional. Like the smaller NX SUV, the RX infotainment display is tilted slightly towards the driver and uses Lexus’ latest software interface. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard but features like navigation, a heads-up display, and a Mark Levinson stereo system are optional.
Center View: 14.0 Inch Touch Screen Instrument Cluster View: Apple 7.0 Inch Wireless CarPlay or Android Auto: Yes
Rest in peace touchpad and hello a much-improved infotainment system. As with every new Lexus and Toyota product, the RX offers the latest in software interface – and is easily the automaker’s best. Reminiscent of a modern smartphone or tablet, the RX display has a clean, modern design that’s easy to break down.
A gorgeous new 14.0-inch touchscreen is standard on the RX Luxury model and most other trims beyond the base model, while the base model sports a 9.8-inch touchscreen. Both screens offer wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, but things like navigation, a heads-up display, and a Mark Levinson stereo system are just standing on the top trim. The Premium model fits in with slightly less equipment.
The RX steering wheel controls are attractive. They’re traditional, despite the fact that placing your finger over one of them – without pressing anything – projects an image to the HUD that tells you exactly where your finger is. This makes it easier to see what you’re clicking on without looking under the wheel.
As a midsize SUV, RX offers adequate cargo capacity. The lift is a bit high but the cargo area is clean of odd shapes and awkward cubes. That said, at 29.6 cubic feet with the seat up, the RX trails competitors like the Mercedes GLE (33.3 cubes) and the Acura MDX (39.1 cubes behind the second row of seats). With all seats down, it’s more of the same, with the RX offering far less at live capacity than its rivals.
Inside, the center console opens from either side, and there’s a discreet storage bay with a wireless phone charger to store your phone safely while you’re on the go. The door pockets, front and back, are quite large but not felt-lined, so smaller items may clatter. Loading a car seat into the RX’s second row shouldn’t be too much of a hassle thanks to easy-to-reach anchor points and individually reclining rear seat backs.
Towing, not a common activity on the RX, is less than impressive. Properly equipped, the RX can only be tow-rated at 3,500 pounds. Competitors such as the Mercedes GLE, Genesis GV80, and Acura MDX could pull even more.
2023 Lexus RX Engine, Transmission and Performance
The RX 2023 is offered with no less than four different powertrains, starting with the base model RX350 which is powered by a 275 hp turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder. That model came with an eight-speed automatic and front-wheel drive as standard, but the all-wheel drive was an option. The RX350h hybrid pairs an electric motor with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine to produce 246 horsepower and is equipped with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and all-wheel drive.
On our first test drives, neither of these powertrains delivered a stellar performance and we expect both to deliver slightly slower acceleration than their 2022 analogs. Stepping up to the RX500h F Sport Performance unlocks a more powerful powertrain. It combines a turbocharged 2.4-liter and electric power to produce 367 horsepower and uses the Lexus Direct4 system to direct that power to all four wheels.
Lexus had the chance to recast the new RX as a performer with the RX500h model, but sadly its chassis engineers chose not to add cornering confidence. All the models we’ve driven so far are as refined and luxury-focused as the previous generation RX, which will please loyal buyers but won’t appeal to any driving enthusiast. A plug-in hybrid model—dubbed the RX450h+—will join the lineup later, the Toyota RAV4 Prime and Lexus NX450h+ SUVs.
Our test vehicle is the F Sport Handling trim. While that doesn’t add power, it does come with all-wheel drive, which allows the RX to reach 60 mph in 7.8 seconds without a hitch. That’s only slightly faster than its V6-powered predecessor but slower than the four-cylinder Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 and more than 2 seconds slower than the six-cylinder-powered Genesis GV80 and Mercedes GLE 450. It should be noted that there is no optional engine for the RX 350. , and buyers will need to upgrade to the RX 500h for more performance.
At 132 feet, the immediate braking performance at a panic stop from 60 mph also beats the competition. But the RX’s sturdy and easy-to-control brake pedal makes it easy to stop with complete confidence in a variety of road situations. The F Sport version may come with a sport-tuned suspension, but with its lackluster tires, the RX isn’t in the least bit athletic on the back roads. The capable RX chassis allows for confident handling, but there isn’t much to the F Sport in our opinion.
Potential buyers who are concerned about the lack of a V6 engine (as was available on the previous generation RX) need not worry. The turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine provides plenty of sound around town, and shifting from the eight-speed automatic is quick and timely. This is a completely modern drivetrain.
Our test vehicle is the F Sport Handling trim, which includes a sport-tuned adaptive suspension and 21-inch wheels. On the previous generation RX we thought the F Sport should be dropped for its too-stiff ride without any real improvement in handling. But the new-generation F Sport provides a better overall balance, although some buyers may still find it a bit stiff.
The F Sport also comes with special seats that have more cushioning but are just as soft and comfortable as those on the standard RX. Seat heating and ventilation in our RX test worked quickly, and the rear seats offered better-than-average sculpting and support.
Most of the climate control features are easy to access and easy to use. The three-zone climate system does a good job of maintaining the set temperature, though we found the center ventilation too low to be effective on warm days. Interior noise levels are relatively low, and while we saw little to no wind noise, we did hear a lot more tire hum than we expected.
There isn’t much to write home about when it comes to the performance awards of the Lexus RX Hybrid. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid powertrain offers barely enough oomph for the RX to accelerate for any purpose. We’d go so far as to say it’s painfully slow.
While the RX has never been a sporty SUV, its new GA-K architecture results in better torsional stiffness, which makes the RX feel quieter. There’s still some body roll but much less than before, and turn-in feels quicker. If you do want something a little sportier, then the new RX 500h F Sport Performance might be up to speed for you even more.
- Engine: 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid
- Output: 246 Horsepower / 233 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: eCVT
2023 Lexus RX Platforms
With the change to a new platform, Lexus ditched the V-6 engine — a long-standing RX offering — in favor of a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 275 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. The RX350’s new engine may not be as powerful, but it’s acceptable, especially outside of the line.
That said, you know when your four-cylinder is hard at work just by the sound. The eight-speed automatic transmission isn’t particularly snappy either; several times we noted hard shifts from third to fourth gear at moderate speed.
But we realize that the RX350 F Sport is not a sporty SUV (despite the name of the trim level). Buyers considering it will find plenty to like, and we suspect they’ll be overall pleased with the way the engine and transmission work together.
On bumpy roads, the slightly stiffer suspension that comes with the F Sport package makes for a pleasant and comfortable ride, and we like the slightly more controlled feel. Steering, on the other hand, is too numb, and we wish it provided more feedback on what was happening when the tire met the road.
2023 Lexus RX MPG Savings and Real-World Fuel
The EPA hasn’t considered all RX trims, but according to Lexus, the most efficient RX model is the RX350h which is claimed to carry a city rating of 37 mpg and 34 mpg highway. The RX500h is said to be good for 28 mpg city and 27 mpg highway while the nonhybrid RX350 is rated by the EPA at 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway for the front-wheel drive model.
When the opportunity arises, we’ll test the new RX on a fuel-efficient 75 mph highway route to determine real-world fuel economy. For more information on RX fuel economy, visit the EPA website.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
Every 2023 RX comes standard with the Lexus Security System 3.0. That includes things like automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, road monitoring, lane keeping, and lane centering, and even a collision monitoring system that can detect if you’re about to swerve into oncoming traffic. The only thing you have to pay for is traffic jam assistance, an extra $650.
The active security integration works almost flawlessly. The system keeps the RX in line in high-traffic situations; no ping-pong in lanes or hard braking when the vehicle in front stops. But there are lots of bings and bongs – security alerts – that are too sensitive and become a little annoying after a while.
Lexus offers many of the standard driver assistance features in its new cars and SUVs, and the 2023 RX is no different. The RX automatic emergency braking system can detect pedestrians as well as motorcyclists and all models are also equipped with adaptive cruise control with lane centering. For more information about RX crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key security features include:
- Standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection
- Standard lane departure alerts with lane maintenance assistance
- Standard adaptive cruise control with a lane-centering feature
- Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
- NHTSA Rating: Not Rated
- IIHS Rating: Top Safety Pick Plus
2023 Lexus RX Price
While the base Lexus RX Hybrid starts at a reasonable $50,150 (including a $1,150 destination fee), the Luxury trim costs $58,150, and with options, this tester runs $62,725. The two most expensive are the Mark Levinson premium audio system ($ 1,160) and triple-beam LED headlamps ($ 1,565).
If you want luxuries like semi-aniline leather, bigger wheels, and a heads-up look, then the Luxury trim is the way to go. But as the only pure hybrid in the entire class, the Lexus RX has high value even in its basic form. It is the most efficient vehicle in its segment and is still equipped with all the luxury equipment and advanced technology that you would expect from a luxury SUV of this caliber.
- Base Price: $49,000 + $1,150 Destination
- Cut Base Price: $58,150
- Price Tested: $62,725
Even though it’s not as sporty as it looks, the RX500h F Sport Performance is at least the most attractive variant of the RX SUV—it’s a shame that it’s very expensive. While driving enthusiasts like us won’t find anything other than a top-range model to match, we think more casual drivers will be pleased with the less powerful and even more relaxed RX350 Premium Plus.
The mid-range model comes with additional luxuries such as a larger 14.0-inch infotainment screen, genuine leather seats, an interior ambient lighting system, and more.
- RX350 $48,550
- RX350 Premium $50,550
- RX350h $51,145
- RX350h Premium $53,145
- RX350 Premium Plus $53,150
- RX350h Premium Plus $55,745
- RX350 Luxury $56,550
- RX350 F Sport $57,750
- RX350h Luxury $59,145
- RX500h F Sport Performance $63,745
People also ask about Lexus RX 2023
Q: Will the Lexus RX be redesigned in 2023?
A: The Lexus RX 350, the iconic flagship of the Lexus SUV range, has been completely redesigned for the upcoming 2023 model year! While it won’t be released until late 2022, the team at Lexus of Tampa Bay has plenty of details to help you out. Lexus has refreshed the design of the RX 350, adding new styling details…
Q: How much will the 2023 Lexus RX cost?
A: Prices for the 2023 Lexus RX range start at $48,550, including destination fees. The top trim RX 500h F Sport Performance AWD model starts at $62,750. The new RX will be in showrooms at the end of 2022.
Q: When can i order the 2023 Lexus RX?
A: The 2023 Lexus RX 350 release date is scheduled for late 2022, but the exact day has not been announced. Specific release date information will be revealed soon, but before then, you can start pre-ordering your Lexus RX 350 at Arrowhead Lexus; contact our Lexus sales team to learn more.
Q: Does the 2023 Lexus RX require premium gas?
A: The rating was achieved using the required premium unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 91 or higher. If premium fuel is not used, performance will decrease.