With the RX, Lexus has dominated the SUV segment in the Philippines, consistently holding the highest market share since 2015. In fact, Lexus closed the first half of the year at the top, with a share of 28%. The RX remains the bestselling model in the brand’s line-up. As of June 2019, the RX has sold 1,413 units since it was introduced locally in 2009.

Say hello to the 2020 edition of Lexus’ bestselling SUV, the RX—a pioneer in the luxury SUV segment, not just for Lexus, but for the entire genre, when it made its world debut way back in 1998. 

And now, with the launch of the RX’s latest iteration, Lexus hopes to cement its leadership in the high-profile luxury SUV segment. As before, the new RX comes in four variants: the RX 350 priced at P4,278,000; the RX 350 F Sport at P4,838,000; the 110mm-longer RX 350L at P4,758,000; and the top-of-the-line 308hp RX 450H hybrid model at P5,078,000.    

The first three variants are powered by a 296hp 3.5-liter direct-injection V6 while the flagship adds a hybrid system to the 3.5-liter motor for a 308hp total output. All (except for the front-wheel drive entry-level model) have all-wheel drive. 

The 2020 RX’s exterior retains the model’s powerful and sporty appearance, while the character line that runs from the front of the vehicle to the rear has been redrawn, giving the RX an elegant, dynamic styling that underscores the Japanese luxury brand’s new design language. 

Newly sculpted front and rear bumper designs achieve a flowing integration of character lines from front to rear, elevating the RX’s dynamic appearance. Connecting the rocker panels to the bottom of the grille in a straight line delivers a feeling of heightened strength and stability.

Lexus designers linked the lower bumper with the rear fenders, which blend with the window graphic on the bottom section of the rear pillar, lending a distinctively elegant and powerful shape to the rear. Furthermore, by presenting components such as the muffler and the underbody shield to accentuate the vehicle’s width, the designers were able to provide the RX with a sporty, aggressive rear.

The signature Lexus spindle grille adds modulation to the ‘L’ pattern mesh and a new frame that blends into the side of the front bumpers provide a unified profile. New slim headlamps give the front fascia a newfound sharpness. In the rear, combination lamps feature an “L” shape motif.

In terms of driving character, the RX remains faithful to Lexus’ exhilarating performance following the path of the LC and LS flagship coupe and sedan. Lexus Chief Engineer Takeaki Kato was determined to deliver pleasurable driving experience through agile handling and exhilarating driving pleasure, and his engineering team worked closely with the production team to achieve this goal.

Laser Screw Welding (LSW) and spot welding have been extensively employed, along with the increased use of high-strength adhesives (4.2 meters of strategically placed adhesive). In combination with the stiffening of stabilizer bars (now hollow and 1mm wider) and enhanced hub rigidity, the result is a more immediate response to steering inputs. 

The new RX features Active Cornering Assist (ACA) that suppresses understeer when stepping on the throttle in mid-corner, as well as dramatic improvements in the tuning of the Electric Power Steering, all of which result in a truly linear steering feel. The engineers scrutinized every part of the vehicle and made enhancements to the rigidity of the body and suspension system, as well as adding a new shock absorber and braking system. The result is an SUV that promises a truly responsive handling feel while maintaining Lexus’ signature luxurious ride.  

Other key new features of the 2020 RX include the introduction of an all-new seven-seat RXL variant that offers an ingenious and truly usable third-row seat. The second-row seats slide forward to provide ample legroom when the third-row seats are occupied.

Meanwhile, the power-folding 50/50-split third-row seats fold away independently, providing extra luggage space to accommodate varying passenger and luggage configurations. The third-row seat design allows a flat, gap-free luggage space, regardless of whether the third-row seats are in use or stowed. A retractable tonneau cover can be stored under the luggage space floor to provide ample legroom for luggage, even when carrying seven people.

The split-seatback design for both the second- and third-row seats enable different luggage configurations. For even easier use, the power-folding third-row seats are controlled by switches located on the passenger side trim of the second-row seats, and on the left side of the luggage space. The third-row seats now feature two different seating positions. In addition to the traditional seating position, even more leg space can be had with the new setting when the situation demands it.

Improved luxury, performance, and versatility—the new Lexus RX certainly has more than what it takes to consolidate its position as a true pioneer and segment leader.

One Response

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