Bold Exterior, Swanky Interior. It’s easy to write off the 2022 Lexus RX as being overly sporty based on the way it looks from the outside, but that’s far from the case. The midsize SUV has a striking exterior design thanks to Lexus’ massive spindle grille, sharp headlights, and distinct body lines. The roofline has a heavily raked rear end and a panel that connects the windows with the liftgate in a continuous flow, giving the RX a sporty look. The available RX F Sport features an even more aggressive design with 20-inch wheels, larger front air intakes, black exterior touches, and upgraded bumpers.

For some, the exterior design of the RX may be too much, but the interior hits all of the right notes. The center console is split into two sections with the infotainment screen sitting at the top and a flowing trim piece separating the controls at the bottom. The design helps break up the cluttered center console. The red leather upholstery that’s available on the F Sport model adds some extra color to the model.

Efficiency Over Performance. The standard V6 engine in the RX isn’t a bad engine and it results in an SUV that feels reasonably quick for daily use. The 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 295 horsepower and can get the RX to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds. The three-row RX L isn’t as quick, with a zero-to-60 mph time of 7.5 seconds. These figures are slow for the segment, but they’re not too far off of what’s expected for a midsize SUV.

The RX 450h is one of the few available hybrids in the midsize segment. The hybrid version of the RX features the same V6 engine but is equipped with two electric motors. Combined output is rated at 308 hp. It’s nearly as quick as the regular RX, but brings far better fuel economy. While the regular RX can get up to 23 mpg combined, the RX Hybrid can get up to 30 mpg combined.

The RX Hybrid isn’t too much more expensive than the regular RX, too. It’s $2,700 more than the standard RX, making it a good choice for shoppers that expect to use the SUV in urban areas.

While the V6 doesn’t provide blistering performance, the RX SUV makes up for it with a comfy ride. The SUV’s soft ride irons out bumps on the road and turns into a gentle cruiser on the highway. Even the largest 20-inch wheels don’t spoil the SUV’s ride. The F Sport models come with adaptive suspension and 20-inch wheels that result in a slightly stiffer ride, though it’s not far off of what one expects from a Lexus.

Comfortable Cabin For Five. While Lexus offers the three-row RX L, we don’t recommend that model. It’s only 4.4 inches longer than the regular RX, which means there’s not a whole lot of room for an entire row. So, passengers in the back only get 23.5 inches of legroom. That’s a tiny amount, even for children. We’d pass on that model.

Instead, sticking with the regular RX results in a midsize SUV that’s cozy for all passengers. Both rows of seats feature comfortable seats that are outfitted with supple synthetic leather upholstery. The cabin remains quiet at highway speeds, while the well-built cabin and premium materials result in a vehicle that feels just as nice as others in the class.

The RX has one of the smallest cargo areas in the class. It’s the one major downside to the SUV’s cabin. The regular RX can hold up to 32.7 cubic feet of cargo space, while the RX L offers up to 58.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Going with the RX Hybrid doesn’t decrease cargo space.

Some Frustrating Technology. Lexus’ Enform infotainment system is difficult to use because of the touchpad system that’s standard with the RX. The SUV does come with an eight-inch touchscreen and an available 12.3-inch touchscreen, and we highly recommend touching the screen whenever possible. The touchpad is unintuitive and difficult to use on the move.

Additionally, the way the infotainment system’s menus are laid out is confusing and difficult to sort through. The infotainment system doesn’t have the same level of polish or ease of use as the ones you’ll find in German competitors. We sincerely hope that Lexus updates the RX with a new infotainment system soon.

Final Thoughts. The Lexus RX was once a trendsetter in the midsize SUV segment, but it now languishes near the bottom of the pack. It looks good, though that’s subjective, comes well equipped, and has an efficient hybrid powertrain, but it lacks the power, athleticism, and technology as its rivals. The RX does cost less than a lot of competitors, but it doesn’t quite make up for the price difference.

For a real value option, you’ll want to check out the Genesis GV80. It comes with loads of tech features, has an available 375-hp V6 engine, and features an upscale design. Its third row offers more legroom than the RX L's.

The Volvo XC90 is a premium SUV that focuses on safety. It’s available with a powerful and efficient plug-in hybrid powertrain, has an upscale cabin, and is packed with safety features. Unlike the RX, the XC90 has a simple interior design with straightforward tech features.

Check prices for the 2022 Lexus RX »