Toned-Down Styling. To be more competitive in the midsize segment, Lexus has given the 2023 RX a full redesign. While quite a lot has changed for the new model year, one of the more noticeable changes is the SUV’s design.

The previous generation of the RX featured a polarizing design with an angular front end and a bulky rear end. For 2023, the new RX’s design is much less polarizing. It manages to split last year’s design with a few angular elements, but overall, it’s a much more appealing look. The nose gets the grunt of the changes with a more upright front end with a grille that now spans nearly the entire height of the front fascia. Lexus has also moved the A-pillar and windshield back by an inch, giving the front end a more elongated look.

Overall, the rear end of the RX has a similar look to the previous model. The taillights have been cleaned up and the rear bumper is rounder, but the floating roof design remains the same. Lexus has taken 2.4 inches out of the rear end for sportier proportions.

The 2023 RX may not have the same shock and awe factor as the Genesis GV80, the upscale look of the Volvo XC90, or the sporty design of the Acura MDX, but it does a good job of looking stylish without going too far.

High-Quality Interior. Lexus has never had a problem making upscale interiors, but the 2023 RX feels like a step above the outgoing model. Just like the exterior, the new RX arrives with an updated design that feels far more modern. Last year’s unsightly center console layout and infuriating touchpad controller are gone. The change gives the RX a more streamlined look with simpler lines and fewer physical controls.

In addition to the modern design, the new RX comes with lavish interior materials. Even the base trim has first-class materials, while the build quality is excellent. While synthetic leather upholstery is standard, higher trim levels come with semi-aniline leather upholstery, fabric door inserts, aluminum pedals, and open-poor wood trim. Higher RX trim levels have a rich-looking interior that fits right in for the luxury segment.

Unlike last year, the RX is currently only available in a five-passenger variant. Lexus hasn’t released official specs for the 2023 RX yet, but the SUV’s wheelbase has been extended for the new model year. Despite the change, the RX is mostly suitable for four adults. With the rear middle seat empty, the RX proves to be a comfortable midsize SUV. Its seats are supportive and well-cushioned, while adults will find plenty of room in both rows.

2023 Lexus RX Interior

Three Available Hybrid Engines. Lexus has kicked the previous RX’s V6 engine to the curb. Instead, the standard engine is a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It makes 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. This is the only non-electrified engine in the 2023 RX’s lineup and it delivers a satisfying kick once the turbo kicks in.

The big news for 2023 is the addition of three electrified powertrains. The 350h Hybrid comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor for 246 hp. This powertrain delivers similar acceleration and performance to the base turbocharged engine.

The RX 500h F Sport Performance is the top dog and comes with the turbocharged engine and two electric motors for 366 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The vehicle has a zero-to-60 mph time of less than six seconds. For the midsize segment, having a hybrid act as the high-performance powertrain is a different way to do things, as Mercedes and BMW both offer their midsize SUVs with V8 engines.

Lexus will also offer the RX with a plug-in hybrid powertrain in the RX 450h+. The automaker hasn’t confirmed specifications for the powertrain yet, but it will feature a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, an 18.1-kWh battery pack, and two electric motors.

Fuel economy figures for the 2023 RX aren’t out yet, but Lexus estimates that the hybrid will be able to get up to 36 mpg combined, which is a large improvement over last year’s RX 450h which was rated at up to 30 mpg combined.

Modern, Yet Unintuitive Tech. Thankfully, the 2023 RX arrives with modern tech features. Unfortunately, the SUV’s infotainment system isn’t the easiest system to use.

The RX now comes with a 9.8-inch touchscreen, a 7-inch digital gauge cluster, wireless smartphone compatibility, and a Wi-Fi hot spot as standard. We’re happy to see Lexus ditch its touchpad system from last year and include an infotainment system with much more modern graphics and menus. The RX is available with a 14-inch touchscreen, a virtual assistant, a wireless charging pad, navigation, and a 21-speaker Mark Levinson audio system.

The major issue with the 2023 RX’s new infotainment system is the lack of physical buttons. Nearly all of the vehicle’s functions have to be adjusted through the screen. That means drivers have to sort through a lot of menus to find what they’re looking for – like accessing Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. A virtual assistant that responds to “Hey, Lexus” is available with the larger touchscreen, but isn’t as intuitive as one would expect.

Final Thoughts. The fully redesigned 2023 Lexus RX is a huge leap forward for the nameplate. Unfortunately, the leap comes a little too late, as other automakers look like they’re a few years ahead of Lexus’ timeline. We are impressed with the SUV’s powertrains, upscale interior, and new look, but these qualities aren’t enough to outshine more well-rounded rivals.

The Acura MDX is one of the sportier SUVs in the segment with athletic handling, a sharp design, and a punchy V6 engine. The Genesis GV80 is a value-packed SUV with an opulent interior, refined driving dynamics, easy-to-use tech features, and a powerful twin-turbo V6 engine.

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