You’ll just like the Lexus RX much more for those who learn gross sales stories moderately than street take a look at opinions. The RX is a well-appointed midsize SUV that carries 4 or 5 comfortably and the hybrid model will get 30 mpg total. Sellers deal with prospects properly, reliability is great, and the RX outsells the closest competitor by 50 p.c.The RX nearly by no means wins a comparability assessment as a result of it doesn’t deal with in addition to an Audi Q7 or BMW X5. Additionally, infotainment controls are difficult, particularly the sliding controller; there’s no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay; and the steeply sloped rear window reduces cargo capability. The present Lexus RX is the fifth era, which arrived as a 2016 mannequin. I drove the 2017 RX 450h (hybrid), and the one main change for 2018 is a three-row model (RX L) that arrives at first of the yr. The assessment applies to each 2017 and 2018 two-row RX’s.
RX on the Highway: Clean for Some, Too Clean for OthersStep into the Lexus RX and also you’ll discover snug seats with smooth leather-based surfaces, a refined dashboard, and a largish middle console. On this midsize SUV, the console doesn’t invade your area, not like on the smaller Lexus NX, which occurs to be the best-seller within the luxurious compact SUV class. For passengers, the journey is soothing and smooth. Acceleration is ok with a 295-hp V6 gasoline engine; the hybrid totals 308 hp and acceleration is extra audible as engine and motor share the work. For the driving force, the RX lacks the connection to the street you discover in sporty midsize SUVs (Acura, Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, Volvo), and this goes to the guts of why Automobile and Driver-type magazines place the RX exterior their high SUVs: They wouldn’t wish to take a Lexus RX to the race observe, voicing a priority requested by nearly no real-world Lexus RX purchaser.The rear seat is roomy and and cozy. The cargo space is properly carpeted and, as Lexus notes, will carry Four-5 suitcases, which is sufficient. It is a automotive for 4 individuals who pack mild and FedEx their golf golf equipment to the resort forward of time, or use a roof rack. The 2-row RX has 18 cubic toes of cargo space behind the second-row seat; the stretched three-row RX L used with two rows of seating has 23 cubic toes (7 cubic toes with the third row in use). Fold down all however the entrance seats and the RX has 56 cubic toes of capability; the RX L has 58 cubic toes. The boxier Volvo XC90 offers 16, 42 and 86 cubic toes of storage with three, two and one rows out there. The Audi Q7, arguably probably the greatest midsize SUVs, has 15, 38, and 72 cubic toes; the Acura MDX has 15, 38 and 68.Non-compulsory 12.Three-inch show makes maps simpler to view.Glorious Security Suite, Even Higher on the HybridThe customary Lexus Security System+ suite is phenomenal, appropriately. Lexus is an offshoot of Toyota, the corporate with the perfect near-standard security suite for a full-line automotive firm, Toyota Security System (TSS). Customary on the RX are full-range adaptive cruise management, a pre-collision warning-and-braking system, pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering help (i.e., lane hold help), and automated excessive beams.Blind spot detection with rear cross-traffic alert and reverse gear auto-braking is customary on the hybrid fashions. For 2018, on the gasoline RX fashions together with (for 2018) the bottom mannequin, blind spot detection / cross site visitors alert is a $1,065-$1,865 possibility that requires you order different choices. When most RX automobiles are offered for $50Okay, it will be good if BSD was included.Lexus Enform telematics is on each automotive. For 2018, Lexus makes the core Enform Security Join and Service Join options free for 10 years, not one yr: automated crash notification, SOS calling, roadside help, stolen automobile locater, automobile well being stories, and repair info despatched robotically to your seller (however to not third-party restore retailers, even when that’s your choice). You continue to pay, from yr 2, on for smartphone monitoring of your automotive, and for operator help with navigation instructions, $Eight a month or $80 a yr for every.Lexus Distant Contact controller is simple to be taught, however not that straightforward to make use of. Simply forward of the controller is a button to instantly entry the map and one other for the primary menu.Infotainment Stays Lexus’ Achilles HeelNobody’s excellent. On the RX, the weak spot can be Lexus Distant Contact, the sliding mouse-like gadget that positions the cursor onscreen, and Lexus’ audio system that locks out Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Distant Contact is enjoyable to make use of within the showroom, and splendidly intuitive. While you push left-right or up-down to get close to a menu selection onscreen, the haptic-feedback controller jumps the cursor to that selection, and you are feeling slightly tingle within the controller. It’s the one tingle you’ll get utilizing Distant Contact. RT by no means will get quicker or extra satisfying over time, the best way you do with BMW iDrive. Extra seemingly you’ll really feel Distant Contact slows you down. Lexus wants a Plan B for controlling infotainment.Lexus’ a number of ranges of audio all sound nice, particularly the 15-speaker Mark Levinson $Three,200 improve, which additionally contains navigation. However you can not get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Lexus and Toyota concern that in the event that they hyperlink up with these two, their infotainment identities shall be masked by the giants. They’re proper, but it surely denies you entry to your music and navigation in the best way you already know and respect, which means the idiot-proof Apple or Android interface.The RX comes customary with an Eight-inch display and also you’ll most likely wind up with the improve 12.Three-inch show that actually improves what you may see whereas navigating. In the event you don’t get Lexus navi (and keep in mind Apple and Google maps are unavailable), Toyota throws in Scout navigation, an inexpensive phone-based system. Lexus additionally contains the Enform App Suite 2.zero: iHeartRadio, Pandor, Slacker, NPR One, Yelp, gas costs, sports activities schedules and scores, shares, site visitors, and climate. Satellite tv for pc and HD Radio are built-in.The RX has a WiFi hotspot with 5 out there connections and a complimentary 4GB for the primary yr. In the event you’re a Verizon buyer, you may hyperlink the automotive to your current mobile plan, and since so many different automakers have solid their lot with AT&T, that is one good purpose to purchase Lexus for those who’re a Verizon fan.Large, daring spindle grille has grow to be a Lexus trademark. Sharp front-end creases might take some getting used to.Lexus versus the competitionWithin the midsize luxurious SUV section, Lexus is likely one of the extra reasonably priced gamers. Lexus at present lacks the creativeness and sheer chutzpah that permits the German automakers to start out at $50Okay, then double the value with greater engines, air suspensions, 48-volt electromechanical roll stabilizers, and $Three,500 quilted-leather seating surfaces. Compared, you’re not attempting as a purchaser for those who go to the Porsche construct your individual web site and may’t provide you with a $100Okay Cayenne.Lexus’ exterior could also be one thing of a acquired style, particularly the massive spindle grille and the multi-edged corners. Some prefer it, some discover the designers went overboard. From the entrance, there’s no query you’re taking a look at a Lexus.The three-row Acura MDX has been a stable competitor, new as a 2014 mannequin, refreshed for 2018, however with no new MDX anticipated till 2020; its attraction is to the sensible luxury-SUV driver who prefers sporty dealing with. The opposite stable Japanese competitor is Infiniti with the combo of the QX70 and smaller QX60; they’re additionally sportier feeling than the RX.Amongst American automobiles, the closest competitor is the Cadillac XT5, additionally No. 2 to the RX in gross sales. It matches up properly to the two-row RX. Cadillac has had combined success with its CUE infotainment system however customers might discover CUE preferable to Distant Contact. The three-row Buick Enclave matches up properly on options in opposition to the RX L however at 202 inches it’s 5 inches longer and more durable to maneuver.Each European midsize crossover is competitors, led by the Audi A7 and BMW X5, in addition to the Volvo XC90, Mercedes-Benz GLE, Porsche Cayenne, and Land Rover Vary Rover. Most can match the Lexus on cockpit luxurious however the prices mount rapidly. Most will appear to encourage extra confidence within the palms for sporty drivers. For hands-off drivers, a number of of the European automotive supply what you could possibly name DIY Stage 2 autonomy, which means they’ve lane departure warning that constantly facilities the automotive within the lane, plus stop-and-go adaptive cruise management. Volvo’s Pilot Help is a number one instance.It doesn’t matter what the competitors does and who’s rated greater, the Lexus RX is No. 1 in gross sales, accounting for considered one of each six gross sales among the many 20 midsize (190 to 200 inches), upscale two- and three-row SUVs. Lexus is prone to end 2017 with 100,000 RX gross sales and with the RX L arriving, Lexus tasks 30% gross sales progress in 2018, break up between conquests and cannibalization. (The cruder, heavier three-row Lexus GX is prone to take a success.) A yr from now, the RX may outsell No. 2 Cadillac by 2-1. Already the RX is Lexus’ high vendor. Listed below are the highest 5 sellers, their projected 2017 full-year gross sales, and 2017 vs. 2016 developments. Everybody else is under 40,000 gross sales:Midsize Luxurious SUVs (2017 Estimated Gross sales)1. Lexus RX, 103,000, +zero%.2. Cadillac XT5, 67,000, +92%.Three. Acura MDX, 53,000, -1percent4. Mercedes-Benz GLE, 53,000, +6%.5. BMW X5, 48,000, +6%. (BMW X5 plus X6 would about equal GLE.)RX F-sport model has an adaptive variable suspension and sport mode dealing with mode.Ought to You Purchase a Lexus RX?In order for you a automotive that takes you from A to B in consolation and security, the Lexus RX must be in your comparability listing. The gasoline-engine front-drive RX 350 is $44,265 together with $995 freight. All-wheel drive is $1,400 additional, or $45,665.You’ll most likely wish to have a look at the all-wheel-drive (no front-drive supplied) hybrid Lexus RX 450h, because it delivers 30 mpg (CAFE common) for simply $1,025 extra that the gasoline AWD RX, or $46,690, which will get 22 mpg total, 23 mpg with AWD. The all-wheel-drive hybrid is exclusive in eliminating the driveshaft. The entrance wheels are pushed by the gasoline engine and/or an electrical motor; the rear wheels are electrical solely. If this sort of all-wheel-drive just isn’t what you need for pulling a motorboat up a seaweed-covered launch ramp, it’s sufficient for navigating most snow-covered roads. (It’s rated for Three,500 kilos towing.)The three-row RX 350L provides $Four,400 price in trade for the Four.5-inch size enhance and third row, making it $48,665 for entrance drive, $50,065 for AWD. (The L model of the hybrid ships spring 2018.) For sportier drivers, there’s the RX 350 F Sport with a sport suspension and particular instrumentation. Some testers have discovered the suspension stiff. It’s $5,650 additional, supplied front-drive, all-wheel-drive and hybrid variations.Our suggestion: Look to the RX 450h with premium bundle (which requires the sunroof bundle with roof rails), and the navigation bundle with 12 audio system (as an alternative of the Mark Levinson 15). Complete listing value: $51,270. It’s your decision the touch-free rear liftgate ($200, a steal in a $50Okay automotive), chilly climate bundle ($315), head-up show ($600), and LED headlamps ($1,615). The posh bundle ($Four,180) combines nice-to-have options comparable to perforated leather-based, ambient inside lighting, folding exterior mirrors, and rear facet sunshades, however in addition they embody 20-inch alloy wheels you simply don’t want on a hybrid (or most any SUV for that matter) because the low-profile tires (right here, 235/55R20) usually tend to endure pothole harm than the inventory 65 collection tires.The underside line is that the RX will delight extra mainstream consumers than another midsize SUV within the $50,000 vary. Make sure you push the automotive’s dealing with in your take a look at drive (don’t simply cruise an expressway), and spend time working with Distant Contact. (Additionally drive the RX F for those who favor a sportier Lexus.) In the event you get previous these two points, welcome to the Lexus membership.