autoX Awards 2023: In the realm of luxury SUVs, the Lexus RX is a rather alluring proposition, especially because of its hybrid powertrain, which, as we’ve seen in various contexts, offers much better fuel efficiency and lower running costs compared to its ICE counterparts. Additionally, the RX’s longer lifespan of 15 years, in contrast to the 10-year span of diesel engines, adds to its appeal. So, how did it fare in our annual test?
As for the aesthetic appeal, let me just say that we all were rather enamoured by the RX’s design. The unique Lexus grille at the front, lending the vehicle a wide chin-like appearance, significantly contributes to its commanding road presence. The vibrant colour options offered by Lexus further accentuate the car’s allure, rendering it a distinctive visual appeal. I also really like the intricate detailing of the full-width taillight, which looks absolutely fantastic. Now, once you step inside the RX, the experience gets even better, for its interior is simply stunning. The high-resolution screen in the middle, coupled with impeccably crafted and exquisitely-finished seats, makes the Lexus RX a delight to spend time in. It also features some distinctive Lexus touches, like a unique way to shift gears and button-operated doors, which hardly take a few seconds to get used to and add a layer of sophistication to the whole experience. The RX also stands out for its brilliant quality level, which was easily one of the best in our test.
Powered by a Hybrid powerplant, the RX is available in two variants – 350h and 500h. Our test car, the 350h Luxury trim, was equipped with a 247bhp producing 2.5-litre petrol engine, coupled with an electric motor, enabling all-wheel drive capabilities and a 0 – 100km/h acceleration time of 7.9 seconds.
On the road, the first thing you notice is the exceptional isolation of the cabin from the outside world – not to mention the brilliant audio quality of the Mark Levinson audio system. The ride comfort is quite good, and the refinement is impressive. The only issue is the rubber-band effect of its CVT transmission, which detracts from the overall pleasure of driving the RX.
This also affected the RX’s performance on the track during the test. The system’s inability to deliver power quickly enough resulted in a compromised lap time. In this aspect, a traditional automatic has an advantage over a hybrid system. Despite all this, we loved its in-car experience and striking design. So, if you’re looking for an efficient and environmentally-conscious SUV with an exceptional luxury experience, the RX indeed is a highly recommended option.
- Lexus RX (Lap Time: 01.16.4)
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|RIDE & HANDLING
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