The clean, straightforward design of the Lexus Rx 2020 is let down only by the turbo model’s excessive add-ons.
When it comes to the midsize luxury crossover SUV sales charts, it’s the 2020 Lexus RX and everyone else. What began as a smooth, reliable foil to the German competitive set has become edgier in recent years, at least as far as its design is concerned, and Lexus has decided to stay on track after adding an RX with a third row seat last year. The 2020 Lexus RX remains the sales champion, and is more versatile than ever.
The RX is still refreshingly bold and eye-catching, though not as polished as years gone by. We’ve given it 6.8 out of 10 on our scale.
Love it or hate it, the giant “spindle” grille is here to stay, as is the RX’s much more angular body styling. The cabin is a touch more reserved, but features interesting curves and lines to break up monotony, as well as a few color choices for more visual intrigue.
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A 295-horsepower V-6 is the standard engine choice, with either front- or all-wheel drive delivered by an 8-speed automatic transmission. The F Sport package adds a bit of character to the exhaust note and pumps the noise into the cabin, something an original RX owner likely would have never expected. The RX 450h hybrid has a lower output V-6 with battery assistance and motors that power the rear wheels for standard all-wheel drive. The RX is more intriguing on a curvy road than before, but still can’t quite hang with more sprightly competition.
The regular RX 350 and 450h seat five comfortably, especially in the front seats, while the rear seats recline slightly for even more comfort. The RX 350L and RX 450hL add a third row seat for family buyers, though that row is best suited for children. Interior trimmings are not as upscale as some competitors, though real wood and metal accents are a nice touch depending on the trim.
All RX models have standard forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, and rearview cameras, though the front-wheel drive model receives only four stars from the NHTSA while the all-wheel drive model earns five.
The RX also comes equipped with synthetic leather and power seats as standard, but many have leather, an upgraded infotainment system (unfortunately without Apple CarPlay), and even rear-seat entertainment.
The 2020 Lexus RX is not the sports car in SUV clothing its design suggests, but it gets the job done. With a supple ride and good acceleration, we rate it at 7 out of 10 for performance.
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The 2020 RX comes in two powertrain flavors, both powered by V-6s but one aided by batteries and electric motors. With front- or all-wheel drive, the RX 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 295 horsepower and 267 pound-feet of torque, running an Atkinson combustion cycle that saves on fuel but slightly throttles power. It accelerates strongly with the help of an 8-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters on the F Sport).hough the all-wheel drive version is heavier, it’s quicker off the line thanks to the ability to shift 50 percent of available power to the rear wheels.
The F Sport treatment also adds intrigue by pumping intake noise into the cabin to simulate a throaty exhaust burble, but this is still a quiet, comfortable SUV above all, The point of the effect is largely lost on us.
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The best value in Lexus Rx 2020 is a base model with manual gearbox, but it’s still decently priced after adding fancy audio, leather, and a moonroof.