The Lexus RX has been given new exterior features and an enhanced interior.
The new RX is brought in line with Lexus' distinctive "L-finesse" design philosophy evident on other models in the Lexus stable. It was developed based on traditional values and unique and advanced technology.
The revitalised RX is characterised by a number of changes, the most prominent being the change to the South African model line-up. Notable is the change in range, with three models available following the inclusion for the first time of an F-Sport hybrid model. This will ensure that the RX 450h will have the aggressive, sporty style to match its drive and linear power delivery.
By introducing a tailor-made RX F-Sport version, the RX follows in the footsteps of the recently introduced Lexus GS — the first to introduce F-Sport as a driver focussed enhancement package.
The line-up of three new RX models include the RX 350 with a 204kW and 346Nm 3.5-litre petrol V6 in EX trim; the RX 450h with hybrid power pack — comprising a 183kW and 317Nm 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with 116kW electric motor and sealed nickel metal hydride (Ni-MH) battery pack — with SE specification; and the RX 450h F-Sport with identical powertrain, but with F-Sport style and performance enhancements to improve dynamic performance.
On the exterior, the most notable styling changes relate to the adoption of the new Lexus spindle grille design. The new grille is flanked by revised headlights which include DRLs (Daytime Running Lights), a new bumper and fog light design, and new-look rear lights.
The RX 450h F-Sport is instantly identifiable by a more aggressive, model-unique front design with a deeper, more vertical front bumper incorporating a bigger, lower section of the Spindle Grille. Less noticeable yet equally important are other, subtle aerodynamic design elements along the side and rear. Together with unique 19-inch alloy wheels, exclusive designs of the alloy pedals, shift lever, steering wheel, scuff plates and decals, as well as suspension enhancements and performance rods front and rear, the F-Sport matches its show with its go.
It is not just exterior cosmetics that set the F-Sport apart. As with the new Lexus GS the mechanical enhancements have ensured it dynamic abilities are on par with the expectation of drivers yearning for a dynamic, driver-focussed performance SUV with a conscience.
On the inside, noticeable changes include revisions to the steering wheel, door trim, the instrument panel and the console, where a second generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) first seen on the Lexus GS, makes interaction with the on-board information system, navigation (standard on all models) and ventilation system easier and more intuitive. It now features the world's first slide-type joystick control mechanism which functions much like a computer mouse; the enter command is now accomplished simply by pushing down on the controller.
In the RX 450h models, the driver has a choice between various driving modes. Supplementing the existing Normal, EV and Eco drive modes of the full hybrid powertrain, a new Sport mode is available to improve its dynamic ability.
Equipment-wise, the RX 350 with EX trim has as its highlight HID xenon lights with DRLs (Daytime Running Lights), seats covered in natural leather, eight-way power adjustment with driver memory function and heating, leather-covered steering wheel, leather-covered shift lever, cruise control, keyless smart entry system, instrumentation with head-up display (HUD), voice recognition, 12-speaker sound system with DVD and Bluetooth, navigation, moonroof and electric operation of the tailgate.
The RX 450h with SE trim has LED AFS headlights, semi-aniline leather as seat covering, heated and cooled front seats, roof rails, ten-way power fronts seats, a wooden steering wheel and shift lever, and 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system with DVD. The hybrid F-Sport has similar equipment to the RX 350, but is distinguished by its sporty body design.
As with all Lexus models, the RX 350 and RX 450h models are backed up a four-year or 100 000km manufacturer's warranty and Distance Plan maintenance plan. The RX 350 is covered by Distance Plan Plus and the RX 450h SE and RX 450h F-Sport by Distance Plan Complete. The Lexus Distance Plans cover all normal operating condition services up to four years or 100 000km.
The new RX range is introduced at the same price as its predecessor.
Pricing (inclusive of VAT):
3.5 V6 RX 350 EX: R644 000
3.5 V6 RX 450h SE: R768 000
3.5 V6 RX 450h F-Sport: R755 000