After taking a big styling risk with the aggressive NX
, Lexus is holding back a bit for the redesigned 2016 Lexus RX debuting at the New York auto show. The consistently hot-selling crossover takes a mostly evolutionary step forward for its fourth generation with carryover powertrains, a sharpened look, and enhanced safety features to keep it at the top of the midsize luxury SUV segment.
Though its lines are a bit more conservative than the polarizing NX, the 2016 Lexus RX still takes plenty of styling cues from its little brother, with an angular front end prominently displaying the Lexus spindle grille flanked by LED headlights. The overall profile is similar to the outgoing RX, though the bizarre-looking “floating roof” design element is a new touch. Wraparound taillights out back are reminiscent of those on the RC coupe.
No, the new RX does not have a third row of seats
, but it is larger than before, with almost 5 inches of extra length and a 2-inch longer wheelbase. This makes for a roomier rear seat and cargo area in the upgraded interior, which features a new horizontally-oriented dashboard design. A huge 12.3-inch display screen is available, which will be controlled by a version of the Lexus Remote Touch infotainment controller.
As before, Lexus will offer a V-6-powered RX 350 and a gas-electric hybrid RX 450h. In fact, the 2016 RX’s engines mostly carry over from its predecessor. The RX 350’s 3.5-liter V-6 gains a few more horsepower for a total of 300 hp (up from 270) and mates with a now-standard eight-speed automatic that was previously offered only on the F Sport model
. The RX 450h hybrid still uses an Atkinson-cycle version of this engine combined with an electric motor for a combined figure of “around 300 hp.” Both powertrains mate with either front- or all-wheel drive and are said to provide improved fuel economy, though we don’t know specific numbers yet.
Though previously only available for the RX 350, the performance-oriented F Sport trim level is now available for the hybrid RX 450h as well. Though this package doesn’t add any power to the RX, it does come with a full suite of appearance upgrades inside and out, like a mesh grille treatment, 20-inch graphite-look alloy wheels, a sport steering wheel with paddle shifters, and “F” badges throughout. The RX F Sport also gains an active stabilizer system meant to reduce body roll and a stiffer Sport+ mode for the adaptive suspension.
The 2016 Lexus RX also ups its feature content, with new options like heated rear seats, a glass panoramic roof, and a head-up display. Also new is a Lexus Safety System+ package, which adds active-safety features like forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beams, lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control.
When it goes on sale later this year, the 2016 Lexus RX will likely be priced similarly to the current model
, which starts at $41,895 for the RX 350 and $48,545 for the RX 450h hybrid. Stay tuned for more information on the 2016 Lexus RX as we get official specifications on the redesigned luxury crossover.