I have only just come back from the beautiful Garden Route where I got to experience the facelifted Lexus RX. With over 3 million of them sold globally since it first launched, and contributing 15% to Lexus sales in South Africa since 2013, it is no wonder this premium brand decided to add another model to the range.
Before I speak about the new F Sport model, it might interest you to know that the Lexus RX was the first hybrid luxury SUV to be introduced to the world. This elegant and sophisticated model now features a few nips and tucks to give it an even more aggressive appeal.
The F Sport stands out with its F Sport emblem on the front and rear, bespoke multi-spoke alloy wheels, an exclusive lower bumper and garnish as well as jet black plating. The grille sports the vertical mesh pattern and the black side mirrors contrast with the exterior colour. It is finished off nicely with a 20-inch Aluminium wheel design.
Speaking of colours, you can choose between six, but two are exclusive to the F Sport. These are White Novo and Heat Blue Contrast. This exclusivity extends in to the cabin where you can choose between black or Flare red. The interior has an aluminium finish and F Sport steering wheel.
The F Sport shares the same engine as the RX 350 EX which is a naturally aspirated 3.5-litre V6 which sees figures of 221 kW and 370 Nm. It is a punchy enough engine, but what is noticeable is just how refined the ride is. There are few cars this smooth. It is an absolute pleasure to drive and although not exactly exhilarating, it allows for comfortable cruising as well as a bit of dynamic fun. It’s all you need really. It is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.
For interests sake, if is the hybrid you are after, the RX450h, combines this petrol engine (although slightly detuned) with an electric motor which sees 230 kW and 335 Nm or torque being produced.
Lexus has also introduced a world first in the form of its BladeScan AHS (Adaptive High Beam System) which provides finer and deeper automatic forward illumination which makes it easier to see pedestrians on road margins. It also avoids dazzling drivers of vehicles ahead of you.
An impressive maintenance and warranty plan is offered with the RX line up which is a seven-year/105 000 km full maintenance plan and warranty. The Hybrid comes with an eight-year/195 000 hybrid battery warranty.
If it is elegance you are after and a ride that is comfortable and premium, then consider the RX. It is a sophisticated drive rather than a fun one – and that is not necessarily a bad thing.
PRICING OF THE NEW LEXUS RX
Lexus RX350 EX: R1 012 000
Lexus RX350L EX: R1 087 000
Lexus RX350 F Sport: R1 132 200
Lexus RX450h SE: R1 315 800