aboard the fifth generation hybrid SUV

Launched in 1998, the Lexus RX is one of the manufacturer’s most successful models 3.5 million copies sold worldwide since its introduction, including more than 300,000 in Europe. The 4th generation, launched in 2015 and redesigned in 2019, comes out this year. It gives way to a fifth iteration, even more successful.

A drawing close to the old generation

Close to the old generation, this new version of the RX takes on similar proportions. The length is identical with 4.89 m, while the width and height are 1.92 m wide (+ 2.5 cm) and 1.71 m high (-1 cm). The wheelbase is 6 cm long, reaching 2.85 m. The tracks are also widened: + 1.5 cm at the front, + 5 cm at the back. The RX line is recognizable, but with some tweaks: the grille is more aerodynamic and more prominent, in the spirit of the recent RZ. The optics are refined and the hood is a bit elongated, which changes the profile a bit, with the waist still very high. At the front, the F Sport finish of our presentation model differs slightly from the other variants with reworked shields, incorporating grilles and honeycomb air intakes.

The floating roof remains, one of the features of the RX thanks to the black quarter panel of pillar C. In the profile, we highlight the presence of 21-inch wheels and large handles, which are however equipped with an electronic opening button. At the rear, a strip of light is placed across the width of the vehicle, such as the NX, UX and RZ, and the new Lexus logo appears entirely on the tailgate. At the top of the tailgate, a spoiler extends the roof.

A 14-inch touch screen on board

As with the recent NX and RZ, the RX adopts a driver-centered dashboard. All information is grouped on the 14-inch multimedia display and the single-dial digital counter. while a header screen is placed a little higher. The materials are perfected with sewn leather and inserts in the wide center console or on the board. A Lexus ambience selector allows you to customize your RX’s ambient lighting from a 64-color palette and 14 custom themes.

At the rear, the space is generous thanks to the slightly longer wheelbase and the almost flat floor. The bench seat can be divided into 40/20/40, convenient for carrying long objects. The feet are deep and all three passengers are pampered with heated and ventilated seat controls or USB-C sockets on the back of the center console. The volume of the trunk has not yet been announced, but Lexus says it is a little more spacious and practical than the previous generation thanks to a lowered trunk threshold 3 cm and a longer loading length 5 cm.

More and more technologies

Using the NX’s GA-K platform, slightly redesigned at the rear to extend wheelbase and add multi-link suspension for more stability, the RX includes the brand’s latest technologies. It can benefit from Direct4 all-wheel drive, inaugurated by the RZ, but also from the steering of the rear wheels. in some versions. E-latch electronic door handles are installed for boarding and departure. Connected to a rear-facing vehicle or bicycle detection system, they prevent accidents when the driver wants to open his door but a vehicle or cyclist approaches.

On board, the SUV also receives a digital rearview mirror, such as the Toyota RAV4 for example. An advanced 360 ° camera system offers a panoramic view and a view from above, which is practical during maneuvers. Besides, the automatic memory parking system, inaugurated by the great sedan LS, it is also in play with up to three parking spaces stored when used regularly. Finally, some improvements have been made to pre-crash safety systems and adaptive cruise control.

Engines: hybrids only

Under the hood, the RX has only three hybrid gasoline engines. The simple hybrid “350h” (which will not be available in France) combines a 2.5 petrol engine with a single electric motor for a cumulative power of 245 hp and a torque of 335 Nm. The 0 to 100 km / h is sent in 8 seconds, and CO2 emissions and consumption are shown at 143-150 g / km and 6.4-6.7 l / 100 km respectively.

For the first time, the RX also offers a plug-in hybrid “450h +”. grabbing the engine of the Toyota RAV4 PHEV: a 2.5 petrol engine paired with two electric motors and an 18.1 kWh battery for a cumulative power of 306 hp. The block offers 572 Nm of torque and rises to 100 km / h in 7 s. The electrical range would be about 65 km, subject to approval. In terms of consumption, Lexus announces 1.1 to 1.2 l / 100 km and CO2 emissions between 24 and 26 g / km.

Finally, a non-rechargeable turbo hybrid (for the first time in Lexus) is included in the catalog named “500h”. More focused on sportiness, this 2.4 turbo engine is paired with two electric blocks, a six-speed automatic transmission and R4 All-wheel drive Direct4. The set offers 371 hp and 645 Nm of torque, with a 0-100 km / h achieved in 5.9 s. Fuel consumption is set at 8.2 to 8.5 l / 100 km, and CO2 emissions are set at 182-189 g / km.

Marketing and pricing

Available for booking online from June 1 at a final launch of the Paris Opera (50 units), the new RX will be officially launched between late 2022 and early 2023. This time, no seven-seater variant is expected, unlike the previous generation which was offered in an extended version with the name of RX L. The full prices have not yet been revealed but we already know that the 450h + rechargeable hybrid will be available between 88,900 and 98,900 euros. For the record, the fourth generation of the RX was so far available from € 70,390 with a simple hybrid of 313 hp.

Photos: Hamdi Ben Lagha / DR.

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