NEW UPDATES ADD MORE PIZZAZZ: 2020 LEXUS RX 450H F SPORT
Four years certainly have slithered by rather quickly for the Lexus RX and continues to be one of the more controversial premium crossover designs drawing attention from its polarizing lines. As we start to stroll into 2021, there have been some points of interest refreshed aiding into a simpler lifestyle.
Updating some of the exterior details, the RX endures down its abstract design adding in small, yet empowering changes to its front end with a more narrow headlight design element, newly integrated LED fog lights and tidied front grille. The rear has also been treated with classier LED taillights and indicators that represents Lexus infamous ‘L’ logo – if drivers behind you aren’t sure what you’re driving, the taillights are sure to give it them a clue.
The interior represents the same ole as before with one critical change. The infotainment display has been moved nearly 6-inches closer to the driver and now incorporates Android Auto to coincide with Apple CarPlay – most importantly however is that it is now a touch screen so the driver doesn’t have to fuss with the touch pad. The 12.3-inch display featured in our tester is a nice element that suites the RX’s cabin well; however, it isn’t exactly a cheap option. At $3365, the 12.3-inch display replaces the standard 8-inch and comes equipped with an improved navigation system and an impressive Mark Levinson 15-speaker premium audio system.
If soft and cozy is your cup of tea, then the setting of the RX is right up your alley. The seats here are ridiculously soft, like sitting on a cloud of marshmallows swimming through hot coco. Life is much more convenient sitting in the RX – there is now a phone holder in the center console and USB ports in the back for pesky rear passengers that insist on a getting a ride.
Changes to the RX continue to go beyond what the naked eye can see with changes made to the chassis for improved handling. The front and rear stabilizer bars are beefier with improved reinforcements and are now hollow to help reduce weight – this improves handling by limiting body roll and supposedly improves steering responsiveness. The shock absorbers have been tweaked with upgraded dampers to provide a creamier ride quality. And Lexus has improved rigidity by adding more weld spots throughout the chassis.
With the F SPORT package being one of the most popular packages that Lexus has to offer since it was revealed some 8+ years ago on the previous generation IS, it was a matter of time before the F SPORT ways would become more of an appearance upgrade than a performance upgrade. For 2020 Lexus is now offering two versions of the F SPORT package on the RX with one being an appearance package and the other their calling the F SPORT Handling Package. Our sampler here skimped out on the extra $970 the Handling Package calls for.
The Appearance Package is still fairly jazzy with boosted 20-inch wheels, upgraded F SPORT black grille, Performance Dampers, Aluminum interior trim, a body conforming driver seat and a thick bolstered steering wheel. However, being that the pretty boy package costs almost $3500 – what’s another grand to incorporate the F SPORT tuned adaptive variable suspension out of the LC 500 and more inclined boosted steering.
With our variant holding the hybrid badging, perhaps the F SPORT Appearance Package is all it really needs as we really didn’t get too erotic our driving style. Equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 and two-electric motor hybrid system, the RX450h pulls out over 300-horsepower combined. Equipped only with an all-wheel drive system, the front wheels are the only wheels that are gas powered with the rear wheels being driven by an electric motor. Combining these two forms of energy makes the RX450h adequately powerful to get the job done. It’s quick enough to move with motion of the highway speedway by taking 7-seconds to get to 60-mph.
With making life a little simpler and more comfortable from behind the wheel, it’s amazing how all these small changes can lead to bigger, cozier results. Continuing to provide the plush lifestyle with that Lexus quality, consumers can enjoy this extra pizzazz on the RX’s life.
VEHICLE: 2020 LEXUS RX 450H
BASE PRICE: $47,720
AS-TESTED PRICE: $59,545
ENGINE: 3.5-LITER HYBRID V-6
PERFORMANCE: 308-COMBINED HP
TRANSMISSION: CONTINOUS VARIABLE TRANSMISSION (CVT)
DRIVETRAIN: ALL-WHEEL DRIVE
MPG: 31 | 28 | 30 (CITY | HIGHWAY | COMBINED)
AS TESTED MPG: 28.9-MPG COMBINED
FUEL RANGE: 350-MILES
0-60 MPH: ±7.0 SECONDS