The luxury crossover segment is one that Lexus arguably put on the map when it introduced its RX luxury utility vehicle (no, not “LUV”). With everyone muscling in on the luxury crossover territory in some fashion or another now, the RX can’t just get by on brand prestige. For 2016, the luxury automaker plans to remind us why it holds the honor of making the best-selling luxury SUV with the all-new 2016 Lexus RX.
With a new, sharper exterior look, the latest RX isn’t just a crossover; it’s a fashion accessory. It sports the brand’s signature spindle grille that is flanked by triple L-shaped LED headlamps. The narrow lamps seem to give the RX a stern, confident look. Its seriousness and fashion-forward look is driven home by the angular grooves that cut from the fog lamps down to the aggressive front lip.
Around the side, the RX’s swept back roofline gives the crossover a dynamic, sporty profile. It’s also designed with function in mind, pulling the airflow down and reducing wind noise. Distinctly, the C-pillar is blacked out like the last careful swipe of eyeliner of the RX’s design.
The interior is just as fashion forward, with a high-quality trim meant to emulate the cuts of a well tailored outfit. For that extra bit of bling, Yamaha laser-cut ornamentation is available for those who are looking for that last touch that brings it all together.
Drivers are treated to an available color heads-up-display projected on the windshield, as well as a 12.3-inch color monitor on the center stack.
It’s not just all looks, as the interior offers more leg and knee space in the rear. The second row offers a power 60/40 split, heated outboard rear seats, and a panoramic moonroof to open up the RX’s cabin to the world.
Backing up the style is an updated 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine with direct injection for the RX 350 model. This whips up 300 horsepower and sends it to the front wheels or all wheels, depending on customer selection. It’s now routed through a new eight-speed automatic transmission.
For the RX 450h hybrid model, the 3.5-liter runs on an atkinson-cycle for better efficiency, but the coupling of an electric motor brings it on par with its non—hybrid iteration.
All this power and style runs on a fortified chassis optimized for straight-line stability. The RX sports a fully independent suspension, with MacPherson struts in the front and a double wishbone rear setup. An electronic Adaptive Variable Suspension is available as well to ensure the best ride and handling depending on the conditions. Completing the package is a set of 20-inch alloy wheels.
Of course, those looking for a little extra fierceness can go for the RX F Sport package. This brings a graphite finish to the wheels, an F Sport Multi Information Display instrument cluster and a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters. For the first time, this sporty F sport treatment is offered for both the gas and hybrid engines.
Price and availability haven’t yet been announced, but we’re eager to take the RX out for a night on the town.