Lexus Malaysia continues to expand its premium SUV lineup in the country with the launch of the new RX. With over 2.2 million units sold worldwide since 1998, the RX seeks to repeat the success with fresh aesthetics and new innovative features.
The fourth-generation model will be offered here in six variants with a choice of three different powertrains: RX 200t Premium, RX 200t Luxury, RX 200t F Sport, RX350 Luxury, RX350 F Sport, and RX450h.
Like the NX crossover, the RX adopts the brand’s new bold design language, highlighted by a bold version of the company’s signature spindle grille, and a unique floating roof design at the C-pillar. The SUV is equipped with L-shaped headlamps (which incorporate no less than 18 individual LEDs), fog lamps and daytime running lights. The L-shaped tail lights enhances the SUV’s wide stance.
The F Sport models, meanwhile, get a different mesh insert design for the spindle grille, roof rails, metallic lower bumper moulding, black mirror housings, as well as 20-inch alloy wheels finished in dark metallic shade.
In terms of proportions, the new RX is longer than its predecessor by 120 mm, allowing the engineers to stretch the wheelbase by another 50 mm.
Inside, the RX features a newly redesigned cabin that incorporates refined materials (including Shimamoku wood trim) for that sense of quality. The driver is treated to a new instrument panel with large and easy-to-read gauge faces. A 4.2-inch multi-info display (MID) is positioned between the tachometer and the speedometer. The driver and front passenger seats are equippped with a ventilating system, complemented by the dual-zone climate control system.
The RX 200t F Sport variant get an exclusive instrument panel design with a G-Ball and boost meter in the MID. There are also F Sport seats, aluminium trim and foot pedals, leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and shifter knob, paddle shifters, as well as scuff plates. The RX 350 F Sport and RX 450h come with a heads-up display (HUD) with a large 240 x 90 mm colour screen.
Depending on variants, the RX can be had with either an 8- or 12.3-inch monitor that provides access to the vehicle’s navigation and infotainment systems. Operation of the menus is through a Remote Touch Interface (RTI) with a joystick-type control.
Two audio systems are offered – 15-speaker Mark Levinson for the RX 350 F Sport and RX 450h, and Lexus Premium Audio Surround System with 12 speakers and a Class D amplifier for the rest of the models.
The rear door is powered and can be operated at a touch of a button. Both the RX 350 variants, and the RX 450h get an even more advanced rear door that can be opened just by holding a hand near the Lexus emblem.
On the powertrain front, the RX 200t models are powered by the new 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that made its debut in the NX. Mated to a six-speed ECT automatic gearbox, the drivetrain makes 235 hp from 4,800 to 5,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,650 to 4,000 rpm – 27 percent more power and 39 percent more torque over the previous RX 270.
The RX 350 variants, meanwhile, continue with the 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine that comes with a new cylinder head design with reshaped intake ports and combustion chambers. The unit delivers 295 hp at 6,300 rpm and 370 Nm of torque between 4,600 and 4,700 rpm. The unit is coupled to an eight-speed electronic automatic gearbox.
As for the RX 450h, the model comes with a 258 hp/335 Nm 3.5-litre V6 engine as part of its Lexus Hybrid System. Combined with the electric motor, the RX gets a total system output of 308 hp, which is 4.4 percent better than the model it replaces. New functions for the model include new Power Control Unit (PCU), HV ECU, improved control functions for the rear electric motor, and an electronically-controlled braking (ECB-R).
The available drive modes include Eco, Normal and Sport. The F Sport variants get an additional Sport S+ mode and a new, Lexus-first, Customize mode that allows users to combine modes of the engine, suspension and air-con functions according to personal preferences. The RX 450h gets an EV Drive mode that enables the vehicle to operate on pure electric at low speeds.
All variants are equipped with an All-Wheel Drive system, with the torque distribution ranging from 10:0 to 50:50 front-to-rear. As for suspension, the F Sport models get an Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) with exclusive performance dampers. New is Roll Skyhook Control that reduces body roll for further comfort.
Safety-wise, the RX boasts 10 airbags, ventilated disc brakes, ABS, EBD, brake assist, traction control, vehicle stavility control and hill-start assist control.
Eight exterior colours are available – White Nova Glass Flake (F Sport models only), Platinum Silver Metallic, Sonic Quartz, Sonic Titanium, Red Mica Crystal Shine, Graphite Black Glass Flake, Amber Crystal Shine and Deep Blue Mica.
Prices start from RM388,800 for the RX 200t Premium, RM408,400 for the RX 200t Luxury, RM422,990 for the RX 200t F Sport, RM457,800 for the RX 350 Luxury, RM486,300 for the RX 350 F Sport and RM520,200 for the RX 450h.
All variants are covered by a manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years/100,000 km. The RX 450h has an additional Lexus Hybrid battery warranty for eight years.