Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The RX arrived here in 2009 and has since received a facelift that came in June 2012.

The new-look RX range also received a new entry RX 270 variant that will most likely entice some new buyers.

Lexus has revised its exterior styling by using its corporate identity and signature spindle grille. The new exterior design pulls the RX into line with Lexus' model line up.

Exterior changes include new headlamps with daytime running lamps, spindle grille, model-specific bumpers and new look alloy wheels.

Lexus has added road presence with it's more aggressive spindle grille and sharper lines. We don't love the styling, but it has improved - there's a bolder front and a sportier rear. It's one of those SUV's which people probably won't take off-road - because it's designed to look good on tarmac, not on dirt.
Not so good We all agree that the design is an evolutionary improvement over the previous shape; however some reviewers aren’t big fans of the vertical lined chrome grille – it’s clear that the US is still a very important market for this model.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Interiors don’t come much more refined than this one; it’s also an original design (we actually hope that this is the direction of interior styling for the brand). The computer mouse-like Remote Touch knob eliminates the need for an overdose of buttons around the centre console and is impressively logical & quick to use.

The very comfortable front row seats are excellent, PLUS a decent-sized boot and the rear seats fold flat to create a significantly larger cargo carrying space when required.
Not so good Second row legroom is ok as this is a slightly more 'compact' luxury Large SUV than say an X5 or ML-Class. However, in today’s Green world this could also be viewed as a positive.
Performance

Performance

Good The RX range is powered by a choice of three engines across seven models.

First up, powering the RX 270 a 2.7-litre twin-cam multivalve four-cylinder petrol engine produces 138kW of power and 252Nm of torque. The 2.7-litre is matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift.

Next up and powering the RX 350 the 3.5-litre quad cam dual VVT-i V6 petrol engine delivers 204kW of power and 346Nm of torque when matched to a six-speed automatic transmission with sequential shift.

Rounding out the engine line up and powering the RX 450h is a 3.5-litre Atkinson cycle quad cam VVT-i V6 hybrid petrol engine that produces 204kW of power and 346Nm of torque when matched to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The RX 270 is a very smooth and quiet engine, very little noise is produced when you put the foot down but there is plenty of torque across a broad rev range.
Not so good The RX range has a good mix of engine technology, however, in a segment that is shifting towards four-cylinder turbos or diesel engines Lexus does not offer the option. But, the RX 450h does offer up great fuel economy during inner city driving and the daily commute to work.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The ride in the RX is a touch firmer than that of the previous shape; thanks to revisions made to the chassis steering response and refined handling are the result. The RX range feels nimble for its size and more so than some of its competitors.

The RX 350 F Sport is where it's at in terms of steering and handling performance, thanks to performance dampers which absorb minor vibrations of the body while providing excellent handling stability and ride comfort.
Not so good Handling has definitely been improved however, throw the RX 270 through some twisted roads and the steering starts to feel a bit floaty.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good If you’re like many Australian's and you spend a high percentage of your time sitting in traffic - the petrol-electric hybrid 450h makes a very strong case. Its economy (as you'd expect) dominates that of the already-efficient Diesel competitors. All RX’s come standard with a high level of safety features (of both the active and passive variety).
Not so good As standard the spare tyre is a space saver; however, rural driver’s can always tick the optional full-size spare wheel - we believe everyone should do that to improve the SUV's ability to do long trips safely and easily...