2020 Lexus RX and RXL Reviews by Larry Nutson
2020 Lexus RX & RXL
Change for the better
By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Change is sometimes slow to come about. And, we always hope things change for the better.
Lexus hosted a small cadre of Chicago-area auto journalists at their regional office to learn about and test drive the new 2020 RX and RXL. Here in the Central States region about 73% of all Lexus Sales are SUV models. Of that, about 55% are RXs.
Lexus gave the RX lineup a mid-model freshening with tweaked front and rear styling and revised suspension tuning. A change we all were happy to learn about is a new dash mounted touchscreen that has been moved 5.5 inches closer to the driver compared to the previous non-touch screen.
The previous mouse controller is no more. Yay! The touchscreen controls audio and HVAC and provides a rear view via the backup camera. Standard is an 8-inch display and there’s an available 12.3-inch high-resolution, split-screen multimedia display. There is also a touchpad if you prefer that alternative. The RX line is the first Lexus to receive Android Auto integration, in addition to in-car connected technology applications from Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa.
Another change for the better is the new kick-to-open rear hatch. Now you can open the rear hatch with a big load of groceries in your arms with a kick under the rear fascia. Previously, you needed a free hand to place over the Lexus badge to open the hatch.
The basics of the RX are unchanged for 2020, although there has been some added stiffness to the body. The RX seats five and the RXL seats seven. Both can be had in the 350 model with a 295-horsepower 3.5-L V6 or the 450h model with a gas/electric hybrid rated at 308-HP. The 350 comes in front- or all-wheel drive. The 450h is only all-wheel drive.
There’s now two F-Sport packages for 2020. The regular F-Sport has unique front and rear bumpers and grille, performance shock absorbers and unique wheels. The F-Sport Performance Package adds adaptive shocks with adjustable firmness, selectable drive modes, and an engine air intake with a sound generator.
The RX 350 is priced at $43,820 to start and the 450h starts at $46,245.
Also new is a center console mobile phone pocket, shift paddles on all models, and six USB outlets. Lexus has enhanced safety with new driver assist systems that now include daytime bicyclist detection, low-light pedestrian detection, road sign assist and lane tracing assist.
The RX also gets some tweaks to the color palette and interior trim choices. Check out more details at www.lexus.com. We often hear stories of car owners not knowing how to use some of a vehicles features. To help owners better understand and be able to use all the tech on the RX there are over 100 instructional videos that can be accessed on YouTube.
My take on the Lexus RX and RXL is that they are perfectly sensible choices for those drivers wanting a refined, quiet, comfortable ride with good overall driving dynamics. Of course, size and price need to meet match those needs. Whether they be urban or suburban dwellers the RX lineup will provide refined transportation to go about daily living. Our brief drive around the Chicago suburbs demonstrated this clearly.
© 2019 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy