2023 electric lexus rx

2023 Lexus RX EV Review

The RX, now in its fifth generation, has evolved quite a bit since its inception in 1998, growing in size without succumbing to middle-aged spread. Over the years, it has undergone some growth, expanding beyond its original compact SUV footprint. However, it has managed to maintain its sleek proportions without succumbing to middle-aged spread.

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The latest RX lineup offers a three-tier selection, including the RX350h, RX450h+, and RX500h. Each model features hybrid powertrains and all-wheel drive, utilizing an engine-plus-e-motor combination at the front and an e-axle at the rear.

Despite undergoing a complete overhaul for the 2023 model year, the Lexus RX SUV has retained its signature smooth ride that perfectly suits its loyal customer base. The lineup offers a range of powertrain options, including a performance-oriented RX F Sport model with an impressive 367 horsepower. The redesigned styling of the RX showcases sharper lines compared to its predecessor, with a refreshed wide-mouthed grille and distinctive L-shaped running lights.

Is the Electric Lexus RX Worth Buying?

If you’re in the market for a premium SUV that offers a unique alternative to the main German brands, the Lexus RX is a stylish contender that competes with the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne, and Volvo XC90.

Comparing it to beverages, choosing the Lexus RX is like opting for a clean, crisp, expensive sake over a heartier German beer.

The RX boasts a sharp and eye-catching design, with the brand’s latest grille taking center stage at the front. Angular headlights add to its distinctive look, although some faux vents may be seen as less authentic.

The RX doesn’t appear overly tall from the side, and a panel towards the rear creates a floating roof effect. Wheel sizes start from 19 inches, and at the back, you’ll find a full-width lightbar and the word ‘Lexus’ spelled out, following the current design trends.

Step inside the cabin; clean lines, pleasing shapes, and premium materials will greet you. The top-spec Takumi models feature soft-touch leather and wood inlays, adding to the luxurious feel. The layout is well-designed, and finding a comfortable seating position is easy, thanks to the well-designed seats.

However, some classic Lexus quirks might detract from the overall experience. The infotainment screen has oddly placed menus, the driver’s display offers limited customization options, and the gear lever is chunkier than the button-driven gear selectors in many newer automatic cars.

In terms of rear passenger comfort, the RX maintains the sense of quality found in the front. The legroom is decent, and even with the optional panoramic sunroof, the headroom remains satisfactory. It’s worth noting that the roof does slope quite aggressively, so seating three adults across the back may prove challenging.

All versions of the RX come equipped with a petrol hybrid setup, providing customers with three variants to choose from. Two of these variants feature a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine, with one being a self-charging hybrid and the other a plug-in hybrid. The third option is a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, exclusively available with the F Sport model.

Thanks to its electric assistance, the RX provides quiet and smooth progress in urban environments, aided by light steering for easy maneuverability. The hybrid model has an acceptable turning circle, while F Sport models benefit from rear-wheel steering for enhanced low-speed maneuvering. Visibility is good, and the plug-in hybrid version allows for electric-only driving, further reducing noise in town.

The RX offers a comfortable ride on the motorway, thanks to its plush seats. The combination of petrol and electric power ensures swift acceleration when needed. Although fuel economy may be affected, especially with the plug-in hybrid, the RX delivers wonderfully smooth progress, aided by the standard adaptive cruise control.

Surprisingly, the RX handles twisty roads reasonably well. While it may not match the sportiness of a Porsche Cayenne, it remains composed and can even be considered fun in certain aspects despite the artificial gear change effect from the CVT gearbox.

While it may fall short in practicality compared to its competitors, the RX excels in comfort, high-end feel, and generous equipment, making it an excellent choice for those in the market for a large SUV.

Performance and Drive Comfort

The efficient electric motors in the 2023 Lexus RX boost fuel efficiency, particularly during city driving. Both the plug-in hybrid and self-charging hybrid models offer the option to drive in EV mode, allowing for electric-only driving. The plug-in hybrid can go up to 40 miles on electric power alone, while the self-charging hybrid provides shorter bursts of electric driving. While the turning circle is not the best at 12.6m (11.8m with the F Sport), the RX compensates with cameras for easier maneuvering in tight spaces and excellent visibility from all windows and mirrors. However, one aspect to note is the brake sensitivity, which may require a gentle touch to avoid an overly strong braking response and a potentially unpleasant experience.

It boasts incredibly comfortable seats, making long-distance driving a breeze. The standard Lexus Safety System+ includes adaptive cruise control, making traffic navigation at higher speeds effortless, while blind-spot monitoring enhances overall safety. 

The combination of petrol and electric power in the RX aids acceleration, with the electric motor providing an initial punch before the petrol engine kicks in for additional torque. Although the CVT transmission can result in some engine noise during acceleration, it is not overly bothersome. While it is possible to drive in EV mode alone at speeds up to 80mph, acceleration in this mode is modest compared to fully electric vehicles.

Interior style, Infotainment, and Accessories

Lexus truly excels in the realm of interior quality, and the RX is no exception. As a high-end SUV, the entry model of the RX features synthetic leather upholstery, while the other trim options offer genuine leather for enhanced comfort. The steering wheel aligns with this luxurious theme, and the top-spec Takumi even boasts wood inlays for an added premium touch. Even in areas where one might expect lower-quality materials, the RX surprises with soft-touch surfaces, reinforcing its high-end status.

All RX versions come equipped with a 14.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, accompanied by climate control dials on either side. While the screen itself is bright and user-friendly, the interface design leaves something to be desired. Navigating through the menus, which are not conveniently located on the driver’s side, can be challenging while driving.

As is the case with most vehicles, connecting your phone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto proves to be much easier and more intuitive. Apple CarPlay offers wireless connectivity, while Android Auto requires a wired connection. The RX provides multiple USB-C ports and a wireless charging pad for convenient device charging.

When it comes to customization options, the choices are limited to a panoramic roof, body panel protection, or sill illumination. The true variety lies in the four available trim levels: Premium Pack, Premium Pack Plus, F Sport, and Takumi. Each trim level offers its own distinct features and upgrades.

Electric Lexus RX Fuel Economy and MPG

According to the EPA’s data, the RX350h is the most fuel-efficient model in the RX lineup, boasting claimed ratings of 37 mpg city and 34 mpg highway. The RX500h follows closely behind with ratings of 27 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. For non-hybrid models, the front-wheel drive RX350 achieves ratings of 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. During our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, the RX500h F Sport Performance delivered a matching 28 mpg, aligning with its EPA estimate. 

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Similar to other Toyota-built models, the Lexus RX boasts an impressive array of standard safety systems. These include pre-collision warning, sway warning to prevent lane drifting, road sign assist, adaptive cruise control with lane assist, and adaptive high beam technology. Additionally, all RX models come equipped with blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert with automatic braking. Higher trim levels also feature lane change assist and cross-traffic alert.

Not only does the RX offer comprehensive safety features, but it also excels in safety ratings. Euro NCAP, a renowned testing organization, has awarded the RX a five-star rating, with exceptional scores in every category. Each testing aspect achieved around 90%, signifying outstanding performance.

Inside the cabin, the RX is equipped with ISOFIX points on the outer rear seats and features airbags throughout, ensuring enhanced safety for occupants.

How much is the Lexus RX Cost?

The 2023 Lexus RX comes with a price range of £62,125 to £82,195, offering a wide range of options for potential buyers. Lexus has made an important change by discontinuing the entry-level RX300 petrol model, and the new RX is now a more advanced and well-equipped vehicle compared to its predecessor.

In terms of pricing, the RX competes with popular models like the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 at the lower end of the range. At the higher end, the RX500h F Sport Performance aligns with the entry-level versions of the BMW X5 and Audi Q7. Despite the price increase, the RX still offers great value compared to its German competitors, especially considering the unique features of the RX350h and RX500h that have no direct rivals in the German lineup.

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