2023 lexus rx first drive smooth
Altair Club Cars 2023 Lexus RX First Drive | Smooth Enough?

2023 Lexus RX First Drive | Smooth Enough?

We do a first drive review on the brand new 2023 Lexus RX 350 and 500h. We break down the basics and improvements on this next-generation SUV. There are multiple trim levels for most people as long as you enjoy 4 cylinders and hybrids. In a sea of luxury SUVs and other brands going upmarket, the RX has serious competition. Others to consider are Acura MDX, BMW X5, Volvo XC90, and Audi Q5.

A mountain wine country i haven’t had a lick of liquor today i’m here to tell you about the brand new 2023 rx lexus this is the most important vehicle to them because they sell hundreds of thousands of these and they made some big changes the biggest change being well the exterior the interior the body structure everything and they’re moving it up

Market big shock it commands a higher price tag so let’s get into what that means the exterior has been modified heavily they’ve gone back to a bit more of a conservative look without making it look stodgy because buyers like me or my age group just want to cut their own path and that’s what they’re doing here the good thing is there’s less creases less lines it

Less it looks far less overstyled than the previous rx and it’s going to attract the former owners that abandon this for sure but before i get into the technical information we’re going to cover the interior space because this is where you’re living and compared to the lexus nx well it’s very similar however the dashboard or the upper dashboard design is slightly

Altered there’s more use of extended materials like micro suedes leathers there’s semi-aniline leather in the upper trim levels there’s a lower quality leather in the middle trim and then of course you have the kind of pleatherish material on the base trim but it is very well laid out much like we see in most traditional lexus products they understand how to break

Up hard plastic with soft touch materials and bright work jack talks about this on a lot of cars there’s a good use of silver or in the case of this f sport model aluminum look trim or aluminum pieces without all basically without any use of piano black in the high touch point areas and it does look very good and it feels very soft and comfortable to be in here

Now because this is on a new architecture there’s things like visibility has changed a bit the wheelbase is a bit longer so it feels uh slightly more spacious although you’ll take a look at the numbers and that may not seem that way they have added their 3.0 safety suite which is like 2.5 level autonomous driving it’s hands-free driving at under 30 miles an hour

In stop and go traffic so if you’re in a traffic jam you can take your hands off the wheel however they do have the eye tracking sensors with infrared in it so it can keep make sure that you’re paying attention and i’m telling you if you take your eyes off the road for any period of time and have the system on it’s like nope nope it’s going to beep at you every

Second which lexus and toyota are great at giving you plenty of alerts speaking of that the storage spaces are great there’s a slot for two phones a wireless charger when you move up the trim or the other trim levels there’s different types of materials you can choose from open pour wood to this aluminum look texture there’s just a great use of materials in here

Long story short you have lexus’s patented flip arm rest which opens up from both sides which is great for the driver and passenger the seats have good adjustability however there’s no massage function boohoo and the back seats are great 60 40 split what you would expect and the rear cargo space because there’s no three row option here is huge and one of the

Biggest benefits and you’ll see me complain about every lexus and toyota video prior to this their lift gate was the slowest thing on the planet it was so frustrating which they fixed here it is now three seconds faster to open and close which is a very welcome change the audio system in here is pretty good for a levinson unit it’s on par with most of the things

It lacks a little bit of brightness but we haven’t tested it on the the objective testing yet wait for our press car video but most everything works in here quite well and the technology is a big upgrade which we did into an account connected video so you can see all that there but i think it’s time to get into some of the technical discussion so i can tell you

All about that i gotta teach you about technology because mark was wine drunk during the technical presentation i’m going to briefly walk you through some of the engineering tidbits this car is now on tnga k where the old rx was not so this is a more rigid more technologically advanced platform this has more nvh material it is a car that has reduced the weight

It’s dropped about 200 pounds versus the prior generation rx and it has a longer wheelbase while also being a lower wider vehicle this car has about four different drivetrains while the plug-in hybrid is not on the market yet you get a 2.4 liter turbocharged engine which can be had as either all-wheel drive which is an on-demand system or front-wheel drive you

Can get this as their traditional hybrid which is their 2.5 liter which is paired to an ecvt and an on-demand all-wheel drive system and what this is this is the performance hybrid this is the 500h it’s a 2.4 liter turbocharged engine paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox it has a on-demand e-all-wheel drive system in the rear this is the most powerful variant

They currently sell when it comes to the dampers the non-f-sport models come with passive dampers while both f-sport trims get adaptive dampers while the top trim level this performance 500h gets rear steer as well which is supposed to decrease the turning radius but more importantly it helps turn in with the vehicle and higher speed stability this car also

Has acoustic glass throughout all of the trim levels in the front of this vehicle this is just a more refined more premium feeling vehicle versus the last rx so that let’s take this thing for a drive lexus rx 500h this is for the creative somebody who doesn’t follow the road or an influencer like you i influence one thing and that is business decisions mark

I can feel my bottom line i’m almost the target demographic for this that’s kind of scary you’re in the you’re in the 40s you’re you’re that that desirable lexus customer you have you you have your family and 40 kids i’m not badge obsessed i change the planet i’m conscious and let’s just talk about the rest of it jack what are they trying to do with the new

Rx they are trying to move this slightly at market like everybody talks about they are they want more money that’s what it means they want to capture the current rx buyer who’s basically in the nursing home and they want to oh so 40s or 50s is not the nursing home pal if they want to lower that age demographic to 40s and 50s versus like 50s to 60s so i will

Say this and i didn’t bring it up on the interior commentary the previous generation rx and it’s strange because i did the last two generations when i started this one of the very first press cars was two generation old rx it’s crazy to think about and you could see the the evolution from that to hyper conservative to the last gen one which turned off so many

People because there were so many creases so many folds so too much over styling much like what hyundai and kia have been trying to do this to me feels like a roll back of some of that and it’s becoming more of what the old car was with that more youthful edge they are injecting some life into the driving dynamics of this vehicle i know they they they go on and

On about a lexus driving signature yeah but when compared to the last start they got to justify that billion dollar test facility somehow creating a marketing term for it but that we’ve driven all every lexus product so so we know there is cohesion they want you to feel like you’re in a lexus product when you drive it and i think this is just an extension of it

How how does it differ than the nx honestly so in the upper trim levels like any of the f sport equipped models this has variable dampers or adaptive dampers in this performance hybrid the 500h you also get rear steer and when compared to the nx even in the base trims it feels more refined they won’t confirm it but there is more sound ethnic material in it does

Have a longer wheelbase to this car so it’s a little bit more refined of a ride i think as i mentioned earlier they have injected some nimbleness into this car where it doesn’t feel like a boat you can drive it on a twisty-ish back road like this and we’re on it right now and this is this is kind of like a hyper unfair experiment because we’re in the highest

Performance version with the electric motor in the back and rear wheel steering and lexus only has two other products that have rear wheel steering right now and while two that come to mind and that’s the rc 350f sport where they throw a rear wheel steering module and the lc 500 with the you know high performance pack or whatever they call it now but they’re

Trying to attempt to make this more nimble and it really does feel far quicker to turn in at speed like this and it does hide the fact that you know it’s front wheel drive first with that that motor in the back that can transfer a lot of power yeah they say up to 80 percent of the torque can go to the rear so for extreme circumstances you can make this a more

Rear biased architecture i’m sure in the real world even under driving conditions like this where we are going flying around these corners it never does go rear wheel drive but theoretically it can it is capable it also has anti-squat and anti-dive characteristics to the suspension duty and the way they deliver power in these motors so it shouldn’t you shouldn’t

Feel the weight transfer as much and you don’t honestly driving this out here if this is the most nimble rx i’ve ever been in and it’s not in a bad way either you know you think oh god did they go to this sporty route this is not sporty at all but the way that it controls heave those heave motions of like flopping all over the place this is still super soft and

Hyper controlled i would have never driven like this aggressively with the old rx so i think they found a really perfect balance of going super soft and making it feel like you could drive this like a dick compared to the last rx yes losing the six cylinder from a refinement perspective and potentially a reliability perspective is a big con it is but from a

Purely objective let me look at the numbers let me actually drive this and not think 5 10 20 years down the road this is a much better car it’s quieter it’s far more refined it gets better fuel economy and when you’re driving in the real world the torque output from the force induction turbocharged engine that’s in this and the base model not the 2-5 hybrid is

Great it does a really really good job getting you off the line where you don’t again feel like it’s faster it’s better in every single way except you’re going to question reliability yes it’s far more complicated of a drivetrain there’s far more going on to do all of this and i think that’s going to be the really telling sign of how toyota did this long term

You know when we’re talking 10 years in an rx 350 the previous gen with the v6 that’s like nothing like literally nothing um and that’s why people bought them yeah that’s one of the primary reasons you don’t have to worry about it this you’re like okay it’s cool it’s fast it gets better fuel economy and all of those things that go into it to do that it does have

Fine print to it you know you have a rear wheel steering module in this model that you’re gonna have to deal with the lining and if you’re in bad climate with rust it’s gonna be hard to get rod out so i mean that’s the real world part of it but we’re talking about a new car and as a new car it’s far better than the old one the two things that compared this to in

The presentation at least my my takeaway from the presentation is x5 and mdx yeah i don’t think to be honest that many people who are going to buy an x5 are going to get swayed by a lexus product because i like the bmw the x5 drives better than this at the limit as a more impressive drive train the b58 gets similar similar fuel economy to this on the highway it’s

Faster blah blah blah but the ndx to me feels like the more organic competitor agreed yes that’s a bigger car it has a far more sophisticated front suspension lane double wishbone has a tvd or torque vectoring rear differential but it is not as soft as this and more importantly it doesn’t return the fuel economy yeah i think that’s that’s a big thing and while

The mdx does have a third row uh just a bigger vehicle and it gets a v6 and the v6 right which is pretty much tried and tried and true that’s kind of like the last generation of this i don’t know jack i mean we could go on and on and in this short drive there’s really not much more to say when we get this as a press car i think that’ll be the time where we can

Get together put this thing on the lift really look at all the technical details that weren’t made available to us yet and kind of go through all the different trim levels all right mark i look forward to it final thoughts on the new lexus rx and we were on a press trip and we had very minimal time with this car let alone to do video so you know these are a lot of

First impressions overall and here they are the big takeaway is they have a trim level for everyone the mainstream 50 000 price tag all the way up to the 500h which we drove during the drive and i would say very few people are going to opt for that at that price category you know you’re going essentially to the german counterparts rear wheel drive architectures

Better drive trains the the rx is best served in that middle ground of 50 to 65 000 where you get great refinement you have a very solid interior you get good fuel efficiency and then updated technology with toyota connected the infotainment issue that they’ve had in the past is fixed the audio system is good the gauge cluster and the safety system at least in

Terms of the 3.0 safety system we we talked about is far superior than the older vehicle they’ve updated the exterior which is now a good mix between forward a little bit of over styling with more conservative looks which is also very welcome in a vehicle like this and then it’s just what you’ve expected from the brand in terms of interior styling refinement my

Big question mark going into this was the nx in this car look so similar they they just seem like they would be the same thing they’re on the same platform and they’re definitely not we got out of them back to back the rx is far more far more refined it’s quieter it’s softer it just drives better overall you don’t hear the four cylinder it’s more of the the the

One that you want if you care about that type of thing now the last thing to talk about here is there’s a lot more competition than there used to be back when i did the two generation old rx everything’s gone up market even the commodity brands have gone off up market and they faked the luxury very well so the rx has more stiff competition than than they used

To there’s more options out there i think the main thing you’re going for here is the lexus service i’ve experienced it in the dealership it is good you still have that pedigree you still have their durability quality and reliability baked in they do focus on that from the engineering side they’re not completely disposable so i hope this next generation stays

The same so when we get this as a press car i’m going to spend way more time with a normal trim level and we’ll get back to you then thanks for watching you

Transcribed from video
2023 Lexus RX First Drive | Smooth Enough? By savagegeese

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