The 2019 Lexus RX continues to be the definitive Japanese compact luxury crossover, providing a benchmark for luxury, technology, and reliability that many other brands strive to exceed. While it may not be the sportiest luxury SUV or crossover around, even in the aggressive F Sport trim, it continues to sell well year after year for a good reason. Continuing from last year, the RX is offered in two different lengths with two different powertrain choices, including a V6 and a hybrid.
What's New for 2019
There are no substantial changes for 2019.
Choosing Your Lexus RX
The Lexus RX presents the buyer with two major choices before you start to look at trim levels. The first is what powerplant you want, as RX 350 models are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 with 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque. This is mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, and is offered in both front- or all-wheel drive (as a $1,400 option). The RX 350 has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon city, 27 mpg highway, and 23 combined with front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive models lose one mpg across the board.
The RX 450h has a hybrid system added to that 3.5-liter V6, which gives it an extra 13 hp for a total of 308. The hybrid comes with a continuously variable transmission and standard all-wheel drive. In addition to the extra power, the fuel economy is EPA-rated at 31/28/30 mpg (city/highway/combined), a substantial improvement over the standard RX 350.
Additionally, the RX is offered in both a standard length and a longer "L" version, which adds an extra 4.4 inches to the RX's length. It's enough to add a third row in the back and the ability to have captain's chairs for the middle row. This extra length adds an extra $4,200 to the price.
The RX 350 and RX 450h have largely the same packages and options available to them at their various trims, largely acting as a mirror to each other. The base trim of both the RX 350 and RX 450h have access to the Premium and Luxury Packages, which cost $1,100 and $4,235, respectively. L models also have access to these packages, but the pricing is slightly different at $810 for the Premium Package and $5,015 for the Luxury Package. The Premium Package adds some nice leather trim options, a memory power-adjustable driver's seat, and folding door mirrors, while the Luxury Package upgrades to semi-aniline leather, rear door sunshades, a wood and leather heated steering wheel, larger 20-inch wheels, and ventilated front seats. Keep in mind, if you select the Premium Package, you'll be forced to pay an extra $1,350 for a power moonroof or $1,850 for the panorama glass roof.
The other packages available to both the base and L models are the $2,145 Navigation Package, which includes a larger 12.3 inch infotainment system with navigation and the Lexus Enform App Suite, the $3,225 Navigation/Mark Levinson Premium Sound Package, which adds a premium audio system to the equipment from the Navigation Pack, and the $315 Cold Weather Package with a wiper deicer, fast response interior heater, and auto-leveling headlights. For those who want to tow with the RX, Lexus offers the $265 Towing Prep Package which includes some additional cooling features for the engine.
The F Sport trim is offered on both the RX 350 and RX 450h, and is only available with the standard wheelbase. On the RX, the F Sport trim is almost purely there for looks, as neither variant is anything close to sporty. The only performance upgrades given to this trim are an adjustable suspension and an additional Sport S Plus mode for the transmission. In order to fool you into thinking you're really driving fast, Lexus has included a speaker that plays a more angry engine sound into the cabin. The major draw of the F Sport is the unique design inside and out that gives it a more sporty feel. Additionally, it comes standard with everything offered in the Premium Package and it has access to the Navigation, Navigation/Mark Levinson Premium Sound, and Cold Weather Packages, but you miss out on being able to select the Luxury Package.
If you're looking for an SUV that's quick and sporty, don't be fooled by the aggressive demeanor of the F Sport. The F Sport trim is for people who want to feel like they're going fast but the power to do so makes them nervous. Instead, go for the Lexus 450h, which is the best selling hybrid that Lexus makes. It offers better power and better fuel economy than the 2019 Lexus RX 350 while also being luxurious around town.