Incorporating a radical, new interpretation of Lexus’ signature spindle grille, the all-new 2023 RX became available for booking in Malaysia on May 17.
As Lexus’ best-selling model, the new RX will land in showrooms in the near future wearing a totally new grille design that’s been cleverly integrated into the front end and bonnet together with slender tri-beam projector headlights and L-shaped LED daytime running lights. The side profile is well-proportioned and the rear end is sharp and distinctive as well. We think it’s the best-looking front end we’ve seen on a Lexus SUV so far. And with an entry price of RM468,888, the RX 350 Luxury sits well-placed in its class.
The 5th generation RX rolls in with its all-new design and more luxurious interior, but it’s still the soft-riding, upmarket crossover it’s always been. This SUV is now based on the GA-K version of the Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA), resulting in a weight reduction of 90 kg compared to its predecessor. Size-wise, it’s basically the same length but marginally wider and higher. Although the outgoing model was offered in both two- and three-row configurations, the 2023 RX will be a two-row, five-seat SUV. A three-row model may debut later.
While a quartet of powertrains is on offer, including a new plug-in hybrid, we expect Lexus Malaysia to initially offer the RX 350 with the RX 500h Sport to follow, according to one source. The RX 350 is powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine generating 279 ps and 370 Nm for torque channeled through a smooth-shifting 8-speed automatic transmission and an AWD system. This 2.4L is perky enough to propel the Lexus from zero to 100 km/h in 7.6 seconds, making it comparable with rivals. While this engine is powerful enough, it’s not as smooth or refined as the V6 engine that was available in the previous generation.
The RX employs class-leading safety
The interior employs high-quality materials and Lexus’ ‘Tazuna’ concept that is said to represent the perfect relationship between a rider and a horse in Japanese culture. Focusing on the driver’s needs, this design places all controls conveniently within reach, including the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, the Mark Levinson sound system, and a large 14-inch infotainment touchscreen that’s slightly angled towards the pilot.
For its Malaysian spec, the RX 350 will come standard with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), complementing the MacPherson front struts and five-arm multi-link rear suspension setup. The AVS offers two damping force modes (Normal and Sport) for the driver to select, along with three drive modes (Normal, Eco, and Sport).
Its safety tech is second to none. The new RX also gets Lexus’ Safety System+ (LSS+) suite, featuring Pre-Collision System (PCS), Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), and Curve Speed Reduction, Lane Departure Alert (LDA), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Adaptive High-beam System (AHS) with BladeScan technology, and Road Sign Assist (RSA), Blind Spot Monitor with Safe Exit Assist, Rear Traffic Cross Alert (RTCA), and a panoramic view monitor with 3D visualisation.
The 2023 Lexus RX arrives on the scene as arguably the best-looking Lexus SUV we’ve ever seen—thanks to the significant rehash of that controversial spindle grille. And its interior and safety levels are class-leading as well. While the 4-cylinder turbo is definitely gutsy enough, its economy may fall marginally behind its rivals in the Volvo XC60 and Mercedes GLE and some may think its price is a trifle steep.