First test review Lexus RX350h 2023: the best?
When the original Lexus RX debuted in 1998, it ignited the still-rising luxury midsize SUV market, and the RX remains the brand’s best-selling model today as it enters its fifth generation. So, is a sector leader still a sector leader?
We’ve got our hands on itLexus RX350h 2023 luxury interior Find out the answer. The SUV features more sculpted sides, upgraded interior materials and a new GA-K platform, and is available with four engines, including three hybrid options.
The all-wheel-drive Lexus RX350h Hybrid combines a 2.5-liter I-4 with two electric motors to produce 246 horsepower and 233 pound-feet of torque, distributed through a CVT transmission. There is a manual transmission, but it doesn’t really offer any benefit.
Embrace the hybrid
The advantage of a hybrid is the combination of power and efficiency it provides. Take the Lexus RX350h, which accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds and covers the quarter mile in 15.7 seconds. This makes it quicker than the regular turbocharged RX350 and shows what a good old naturally aspirated engine can do with a little help from the front and rear electric motors. But the RX500h, with its more powerful turbocharged 2.4-liter I-4 and electric motor, leaves both its siblings in the dust, accelerating to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.
The RX350h takes 135 feet to come to a complete stop from 60 mph, right between the 350h’s 139 feet and the 500h’s 132 feet. In testing, we experienced a grinding sensation and a slight hop in the rear wheel during emergency braking; I never felt unsafe, but it was stressful dealing with him. In normal driving, sometimes the pedal moves too much and then you press too hard, sending vibrations through the pedal. So, the brakes still need some work.
In terms of efficiency, the 350 bests other RX models with an impressive 37/34 mpg City/Highway. This compares to 22/29 mpg on the regular 350 and 27/28 mpg on the 500.
Jump into the Lexus RX350h
If there’s one big point, it’s that this is the most luxurious and technologically advanced Lexus RX yet. That impression starts with the single-point electronic door handles, and once inside, the interior of our Luxury-model test car was mostly black, including black Alcantara seats with perforated leather inserts. Contrast stitching adds visual interest, but the distinctive stitching pattern of the seats continues on the doors.
We appreciate the height-adjustable seat belts — you’d be surprised how many luxury cars don’t offer this — as well as clever touches like the ability to open the glove box from both sides. Annoying: The window controls are too far forward, and many drivers repeatedly pressed the rear window controls in an attempt to lower the driver’s window. Moving the mechanism just one inch can solve this problem.
Our 350h had optional heated and cooled second-row seats. There are storage compartments in the seatbacks, and rear passengers enjoy vents with HVAC controls, as well as USB ports and sunshades. Moving the second-row seats is easy: press a button and the seatbacks close, although they’re not completely flat. Press the button again to return it to the upright position. It’s not a quick process, but it works well and can be done by a child.
There’s also a power tailgate that reveals a luggage area with a privacy cover and more buttons that operate the second-row seats forward to create more space in the back. In the event of an accident, there is a Lexus-branded first aid kit.
Up front, the infotainment screen is an extension of the driver’s display, extending across the dashboard, with the compact unit angled towards the driver. The screen is large enough for easy reading, and physical volume and temperature controls are integrated into the frame. However, Lexus needs its digital suite to match the modern graphics on the infotainment screen. There are cool gauges and displays that show how much an electric car is driving, and graphs that show whether power is going into or out of the battery. An upgraded Mark Levinson audio system provides an excellent listening experience.
The open section of the center console houses USB sockets and a phone tray below the air vents. The coverage area also contains two USB ports, a power port, and a wireless charging pad, with space for storage. It’s all cleverly done and well packaged. You can adjust the depth of the front cup holders to accommodate thicker and taller bottles, and they will hold drinks securely in place, eliminating wobbles and rattles.
Put it in the drive
The shifter looks conventional, but is a bit difficult to operate: you can point it to the side, up or down for Reverse, Neutral or Drive. But for normal driving, the movement has to be angled downward, and in sports, the movement has to be angled downward, which makes it unintuitive and more difficult than it should be.
When accelerating, the RX350h feels like a spaceship taking off, and the SUV holds down gears longer than expected before upshifting, especially in Sport mode. The RX responds quickly when grounded and maintains smooth power delivery. The engine sometimes makes a loud noise, breaking the natural quietness of the cabin. There’s a button for electric mode, but if the hybrid’s battery is low, a message will flash indicating the mode is unavailable.
The RX rides on the new GA-L platform, and its suspension handles smooth and rough surfaces well, with little push left and right. The tires squeal easily if you try to push hard on a winding road, and there’s not much feedback from the steering wheel.
Controversial steering wheel controls
Many driving functions are controlled via new steering wheel controls. These are solid, dual-function, touch-sensitive buttons located on the speaker; Swiping your thumb will bring up a menu in the head-up display. someMotor direction Employees love the upscale atmosphere and the ability to focus on the road. Others find it difficult to use as there is often a slight delay between “activation” and the menu options appearing, and the HUD menu is nearly impossible to see with polarized sunglasses. Redundancy may be the answer – add some hard buttons to control speed, such as “Setup” and “Resume,” and they will be much easier to use.
Once you set the speed, the adaptive cruise maintains it perfectly, even on long, steep hills. Active driving assistance systems are more controversial. This is conservative and too slow for the curves in the road.
Lexus requires you to sit upright
The RX comes with an active eye monitoring system that works with driver assistance systems. One of us received multiple messages asking him to sit upright because the driver’s face was not detected. The fact is that we sit upright. The steering wheel has also been set as high as possible, and the bottom of the seat has been raised. We couldn’t change the length of this rider – she’s on the shorter side, but not too short – so we can only conclude that the changes and adjustments must come from engineering. Fortunately, you can disable this security feature if you encounter the same issue.
A safety system we really appreciate: The door unlock button from inside the car is linked to the side traffic alarm, which means it can prevent you from opening the door if there is a danger, such as oncoming traffic or an approaching cyclist.
Lexus RX350h price
A 2023 Lexus RX350h with standard all-wheel drive costs $52,300, the same price as a conventional RX with all-wheel drive, making a hybrid an easy and smart choice. The base price for the luxury RX350h is $58,750, and the SUV we tested is $63,390. Options include a $100 cold zone package, a $275 digital key and a $200 digital mirror, plus $680 heated and ventilated rear seats, $550 power rear seats, a $500 sunroof, and a $150 power rear sunroof. With kick sensor, $620 for traffic jam assistance. Note that you need a Drive Connect subscription for the latter to work.
Should you buy a Lexus RX350h?
Overall, the fifth-generation RX is certainly an improvement over its predecessor, and the hybrid fills some gaps for Lincoln to launch.New Nautilus 2024. It’s a solid redesign of what was once America’s best-selling luxury SUV, and it should please Lexus buyers. Toyota and Lexus have been slow to move towards electric vehicles, and their efforts in this area so far have been modest, but for those who are not ready to go all-electric and are looking for a quiet, upscale car, a premium SUV.