2020 Lexus RX Unveiled with New Style and Crucial Tech Upgrades
Club Lexus was on the scene for the RX reveal. Here’s what to expect from the updated luxury crossover.
Club Lexus was at the May 29 debut of the 2020 Lexus RX lineup in Los Angeles. Revealed at a special media-only event at Playa Studios in Culver City, the Lexus RX and RXL received a mid-cycle refresh for the 2020 model year, and they went bold. Both the RX and RXL three-row have improved driving dynamics, an updated Lexus Multimedia System, additional standard safety features, and elevated styling. And it looks fresh and luxe, which is important for the brand’s key model. After all, Lexus claims that they build an RX every two minutes of every hour of every day, five days a week. That’s what it takes to produce a claimed 1.3-million RX models since it’s debut, over two decades ago.
“The new 2020 Lexus RX improves our best-selling vehicle with a focus on the future of the brand–one of sophisticated yet bold design,” said Lisa Materazzo, V.P. of Lexus Marketing. “We heard very positive feedback from our U.S. guests about their experience in the RX, and we worked to improve upon the success with key areas of focus.”
Inside and Out
All 2020 Lexus RX models feature updated exterior styling, including revised front and rear fascias, a newly designed emblem for the grille, and a new standard 18” wheel design. Upgraded 20″ wheels are also available on the new F-Sport model.
We really like the new grille, which designers created based on an L-motif. Each individual block has a different shape and angle to create a varying form that balances a strong yet elegant image. The angles of the grille surround are also echoed by the angles used at each corner of the bumper to smooth the visual flow across the front. It is a notable evolution of the brand’s spindle grille design, and it looks better than previous models, from every angle.
The headlights have been slimmed down for a sleek style, and the rear lights also utilize an “L” motif, to match the front light’s daytime running-light element. The sharp and rounded edges on the 2020 Lexus RX are further accentuated by the dual exhaust, rear diffuser and updated angle of the reflectors. Adding more utility to the rear of the vehicle, the power back door is now activated by an optional kick sensor to open and close faster. Triple-beam LED headlamps have also been redesigned as an option.
Two new exterior colors have been added for the 2020 model year: Moonbeam Beige Metallic or Nori Green Pearl.
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Inside, an available 12.3-inch touchscreen paired with the remote touch pad supports added dynamic voice and navigation functionality. Crucially, the “Remote Touch Interface” touch pad is larger than previous models, and combined with the larger screen, make for much easier, more intuitive use. After playing around with the system in this RX350 F-Sport model, we are happy to see the improvements compared to older Lexus models.
The updated Lexus Multimedia System paired with that massive screen now includes advanced in-dash technology to simplify a guest’s life, such as Apple CarPlay integration, and Android Auto for your phone. This is something Lexus has been slow to implement in their vehicles, so we are glad to see its inclusion here.
All RX models for 2020 come standard with the latest smartphone vehicle integrations and their respective virtual assistants. Guests can access the same familiar interface of their desired technologies through the RX’s standard 8-inch touchscreen dashboard display. And, with six USB ports throughout the RX, both the driver and passengers can keep their smart devices charged and ready to use.
The Lexus Multimedia System touchscreen offers control of audio and climate systems in addition to providing a view of what’s behind the vehicle via the backup camera. In addition to the standard 8-inch display, the optional 12.3-inch high-resolution, split-screen multimedia display is a brilliant upgrade.
A Smooth, Safe Ride
The 2020 Lexus RX crossover has several changes designed to enhance the driving dynamics across the lineup. Both the front and rear stabilizer bars are now hollow to reduce weight, yet their thicker diameters and reinforced bushings help reduce body roll and improve steering response. The shock absorbers have been re-tuned to work with the stiffer roll bars, while upgraded dampers feature a new friction control device that helps to control high frequency vibrations for a smoother ride.
To further refine the 2020 Lexus RX responsiveness, a stiffer suspension design reduces the noise and vibration from the road. Even on turns, the added active corner braking will prevent understeering by braking the inner tire and providing more stability to the vehicle handling.
There are additional safety features added. For example, the suite of standard advanced safety features in the 2020 Lexus RX adds Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 as standard equipment. This adds daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection along with Road Sign Assist (RSA) and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), expanding how the RX provides additional safety to the driver and passengers.
F Sport Options
The new 2020 Lexus RX now offers two options for F Sport packages. The updated F Sport package offers the option between the look of the signature Lexus F Sport brand and the additional tuning for a more muscular feel on the road. Borrowing from the Lexus LC, the new RX F Sport package includes the latest active variable suspension (AVS) system that’s more responsive than previous systems.
The new F Sport package also includes cold air intake, active sound control, Electric Power Steering (EPS), and a heated steering wheel. This can be added on top of the F Sport look which now comes with new front and rear performance dampers, Drive Mode Select with Sport+, and Customer Drive Modes. In addition to the interior colors offered, new Circuit Red bolstered seating (pictured here) with grey stitching on the seams is available.
Hybrid options have improved once again. The RX 450h and RX 450hL continue to serve as a powerful reminder of the brand’s hybrid leadership, with 308 combined system horsepower for powerful performance and impressive manufacturer-estimated 30 mpg for RX and 29 mpg on RXL combined mpg. The Lexus Hybrid Drive system pairs the D4-S fuel injection 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with two high torque electric drive motor-generators for strong acceleration and passing performance. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, the all-weather drive system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.
Overall, the new RX lineup is fresh, elegant, stylish, and drives like a dream. And the additional safety features and on-board technology are a smart and welcome addition.
The new 2020 RX and RXL will start production in late summer. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
Photos and video for Club Lexus by Jake Stumph