The Lexus RX set the tone and instantly became a benchmark for the luxury crossover segment when it was first introduced in 1998. Since then, the Lexus RX has carried the torch for being a reliable staple in the industry that sets a trend for the luxury automotive market and has now received its biggest update in just over 20 years.
The new 2023 Lexus RX embodies the retained principles of Lexus in a methodical approach to the redesign to avoid upsetting its massive following. However, Lexus has been rather trendy with bold designs that mostly start with their signature grille, which has resculpted the traditional hourglass spindle design. The new grille design approach now features a body-colored nose cone area where the mesh effect flows from it and expands downward. The LED headlight cues return with a slight retouch but remain recognizable for Lexus. The bodywork is more cohesive and has a new sporty flavor where it looks like it flows down to the lower body somewhat like painted body skirts would. The rear end features an LED lightbar following the new design language of other Lexus vehicles new featuring the Lexus lettering in place of what would have been the Lexus “L” badge. There are even new 21-inch wheels fitted to the upper trim level of the new Lexus RX, a new RX 500h F Sport Performance model, which is one of four new trim levels.
See Also: 2022 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid Review & Test Drive
The new 2023 Lexus RX does away with the V6 engine and replaces it with variations of 4-cylinder engines. Overall, the new RX is lighter than the outgoing model by as much as 198 pounds and has new larger dimensions such as a 2.36-inch longer wheelbase but has shorter overhangs. The new trim levels for the 2023 RX start with the RX 350 getting a 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder good for 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque sent through an 8-speed automatic transmission. The setup will get 24 mpg combined and get the RX 350 up to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds for the front-wheel-drive model and 7.2 seconds for the all-wheel-drive model.
A new RX 350h gets a hybrid setup with the 2.5-liter naturally aspirated engine paired with a CVT and an electric rear motor for all-wheel-drive to return 33 mpg combined and hit 60 mph in 7.4 seconds.
A new Lexus RX 450h+ will be the first plug-in hybrid for the RX that could utilize a version of the powertrain in the new Lexus NX 450h+, which touts 302 horsepower. Lexus has not confirmed the details for the new RX 450h+ as of yet.
At the top end of the scale for the new 2023 RX, Lexus unleashes a new RX 500h F Sport Performance model, which combines the turbocharged 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with an electric motor, rear electric motor, and a 6-speed automatic transmission. The combination makes for the most potent RX ever getting 367 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. That should give the new RX 500h F Sport Performance enough oomph for a run to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds and yield an average of about 26 mpg. Other surprising aspects of the Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance are six-piston brake calipers up front, 21-inch wheels, body color cladding, and unique interior accents to complete the sporty appeal.
Inside of the new 2023 RX will be an interior customary to what you expect from Lexus featuring the latest 14-inch touchscreen that we first saw in the new 2022 Lexus NX along with some unique ambient lighting touches.
The new 2023 Lexus RX will have additional details released soon in the coming months including the powertrain specs of the RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid and a breakdown of pricing just before it goes on sale at the end of 2022.