At the heart of Lexus’ lineup of luxury sedans and SUVs is the RX SUV. When the first RX was launched in 1998, Lexus was aiming for something different. Where other carmakers emphasized sportiness or utility, Lexus wanted to embody its core values of quietness and superb build quality in a midsize SUV. The RX quickly became a best-seller within the Lexus stable. Not surprisingly, it’s also Lexus’ most popular model in the Philippines.
The friendly and soft-edged appearance of the first-generation RX has evolved into the current sharp and sporty machine. Lexus’ signature spindle grille makes a strong impression, and is now flanked by sportier bumpers. Raked pillars add to a semblance of speed and stability. The RX design incorporates stylized slim LED headlights, L-shaped taillights, available 20-inch alloy wheels, and roof spoiler. The RX F Sport has redesigned front and rear bumpers, front mesh grille, door mirrors, front fender emblems and alloy wheels.
The Lexus RX is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 direct-injection gasoline engine, mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Output is 299ps and 370Nm, good for a 0-100kph sprint of 7.7 seconds. This wouldn’t be a Lexus if a hybrid variant were not available. The Lexus RX 450 h also uses a 3.5-liter V6, good for 262ps and 335 Nm. It’s augmented by two electric motors with a total system output of 311ps. The hybrid system provides better fuel economy (17.5 km/liter, manufacturer figure) and performance. A selectable EV mode allows the RX to drive on pure electric power for silent and emissions-free driving when the battery is sufficiently charged.
The RX’s Adaptive Variable Suspension continually adjusts shock absorber damping rates as one drives, helping deliver a smoother ride as well as more responsive handling. RX rides on MacPherson strut front suspension, with double wishbones at the rear. Ventilated disc brakes are at all four wheels, and turning radius is 5.9 meters. Tires are 235/55R20.
Active safety features of the RX are deployed by the Vehicle Dynamics Integration Management. This incorporates vehicle stability control, traction control, hill-start assist, parking support alert, and ABS-EBD brakes. The RX has wide-angle LED cornering lamps that illuminate for markedlly improved visiblity when cornering., park-assist monitor. LED daytime running lights are standard, and LED sequential turning lights are on the RX 350 F Sport and RX 450h.
Probably the best reason to choose an RX is its sumptuous interior. Lexus designed and engineered each part of the cabin as part of its ‘omotenashi’ principle of hospitality that anticipates customers’ needs. Ambient lighting, illuminated scuff plates, Optitron gauges, and an analog clock are part of the Lexus luxury touches.
There’s an available 12.3-inch touchscreen display with remote touch interface on the center console. The showstopper is the Mark Levinson Premium Surround System. It equips the RX with in-dash DVD player, 15 speakers, digital sound processor, automatic sound leveler, and Quantum Logic Surround. Apple Car Play and Android Auto allow for easy connection to a smartphone. The RX F Sport adds exclusive front seats, trim, steering wheel, shift lever, gauge cluster, and aluminum pedals and scuff plates.
If you need to carry seven passengers, the RX has you covered too, with its RX 350 Premier 3-row variant. The third row has an automatic sliding function that allows for adjustable legroom, and also has its own climate control settings. The second and third row seats can split-fold, making the cabin more flexible in carrying different sizes of cargo. Second- and third-row seats have an available power-folding function.
Four variants of the RX are available: the RX 350 Premier (P4,438,000); the RX 350 Premier 3-Row (P4,918,000), the RX 350 F Sport (P4,998,000); and the RX 450h (P5,238,000).