The 2016 Lexus RX Is More Of Everything
Both literally and symbolically, the RX is Lexus. The crossover accounts for more than a third of the brand’s overall sales. Last year Lexus moved 107,490 RX 350s, almost as much as every BMW SUV combined. The first-generation RX 300 was such a hit it forced other luxury automakers to follow suit. And the outgoing third-gen model epitomizes the current challenge Lexus faces: it’s comfortable, but boring – exactly like the reputation the brand wants to shed.
The new 2016 Lexus RX, then, is the Lexus weathervane. In short: more style, space, and technology while retaining the plushness that keeps current owners happy. As is current Lexus tradition, the RX gets a massive spindle grille. And while there are more creases and character lines than before, the overall styling is softer than the angular NX. The conservative approach shows that Lexus took a cautious approach to its cash cow, while using lower-volume models like the RC coupe to push boundaries.
Still, Lexus has made an honest attempt at sporting up the RX. The RX 350 retains the 3.5-liter V6 but gets a 30-horsepower boost to 300 hp, and the RX 450h now makes 300 ponies as well. In all-wheel-drive guise, both models can be had in F Sport trim, which brings exterior tweaks like 20-inch wheels and a unique instrument cluster. F Sport models also include an active stabilizer system to minimize roll in corners. All RX models also come with dampers and steering that automatically adjust to the driving situation.
Inside, the new RX is loaded up with features, like a standard 12.3-inch infotainment screen and an optional color head-up display. A list of electronic safety features is too long to mention, but includes collision mitigation, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high beams. See the press release below for the full rundown, or just trust us when we say you can get the RX with almost every driving aid out there. The rear seats now feature a power-fold feature, and when the seats are up second row passengers are treated to more leg- and knee-room.
That extra interior space comes from an overall stretching of the RX. Wheelbase grows 1.9 inches, while length is up almost five inches. What the new RX doesn’t yet have, but we’re told is on the way, is a third row of seats. The added versatility of a seven-passenger version should broaden the appeal of the RX to a wider audience. Expect to see the RX 350 and RX 450h in showrooms by the end of the year, with the three-row version coming sometime in 2016.