The Lexus RX is the midsize luxury crossover from Toyota’s upscale brand and dominates the class when it comes to sales. It’s not the sportiest ride and has some clunky infotainment system controls but is otherwise a well-rounded luxury vehicle.
Base Price: $53,820
As Tested: $62,450
Mileage: 31 mpg city/28 mpg highway/30 mpg combined
The RX was introduced way back in 1998 and is now in its fourth generation which debuted for 2015. The RX has received a number of updates since then including the addition of Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa and several driver assistance technologies. For 2022, fog lights are available as a stand-alone option.
The 2022 Lexus RX looks aggressive with its edgy styling but it’s really a smooth, comfortable cruiser instead of an athletic crossover. It comes as the standard RX 350, the hybrid RX 450h and its extended-length three-row sibling the RX 450hL. Starting prices range from to $45,320 to $57,410. Prices can climb to the $mid-60,000 range with the addition of options.
The RX 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The RX Hybrid has a 3.5-liter V6 and three electric motors that together produce 308 horses and 247 pound-feet. The transmission is a continuously variable automatic transmission.
As is the case with most Lexus models, the RX 450h is all about comfort and a smooth ride over exhilarating performance. The F Sport model does provide more athletic handling but it’s still not up to what you’ll find in some rivals. With that said, the RX 450h is quick off the line and easily accelerates for merging and passing at freeway speeds; however the CVT can drone. The RX 450 h stays planted when cornering with little body lean, and the suspension absorbs bumps from potholes and rough roads. All in all, the RX 450h is pleasant to drive even if it doesn’t get your heart pounding.
Fuel efficiency for the hybrid is better than the gas-powered engine, but not as good as other hybrid SUVs and crossovers. EPA ratings for my tester are 31 mpg city and 28 mpg highway with a combined rating of 30. I got 28 during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The interior is upscale and luxurious as you’d expect in a Lexus. Materials are top notch with a lovely fit and finish – every stitch is in place. Seats are supportive and spacious, with decent leg- and headroom in both rows of seating.
Standard features include remote start, keyless entry, rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen, nine-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, HD Radio, satellite radio, voice recognition, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, six USB ports, Wi-Fi hot spot, auto-dimming rearview mirror, and universal garage door opener.
Available features include a surround-view camera system, head-up display, tri-zone automatic climate control, semi-aniline leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, front-seat power lumbar adjustment, driver’s seat and steering wheel memory settings, heated wood steering wheel, infotainment system with 12.3-inch touchscreen and Remote Touch controller, navigation, 12-speaker audio system, 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound stereo, wireless device charging, two additional USB ports, moonroof, panoramic roof, second-row captain’s chairs, manual rear-window sunshades, power-folding third row, ambient interior lighting. rain-sensing windshield wipers, and adaptive headlights, and automatic high-beam headlights.
Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, lane tracing assist, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and traffic sign recognition.
Available driver assistance technologies include front and rear parking sensors and reverse automatic emergency braking.
The standard infotainment system with eight-inch touchscreen is user-friendly with sensible menus. The system with the larger screen looks great but is not intuitive. The computer mouse-like Remote Touch controller remains one of the tougher and more complicated systems to use, and can be downright distracting. C’mon, Lexus – please finally get rid of this interface!
The RX 450h has less cargo space than most rivals. There are 16 cubic feet with both rows of seating in place and 32.6 cubes with the second row folded; however the seats don’t fold down completely flat which cuts into available space. A power liftgate is available.
Smooth, comfortable ride
Decent fuel efficiency
Lots of standard and available features and tech
Standard Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa
Less athletic than many rivals
Clunky infotainment system controls
Below average cargo space
My tester starts at $53,820. Wireless charger is $200. The Cold Weather Package is $200 and includes windshield wiper de-icer and fast-response interior heater. The color head-up display is $600. Premium triple-beam LED headlamps, front LED turn signals, headlamp washers and dynamic auto-leveling are $1,675. The navigation system, 15-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system, 12.3-inch touchscreen, Lexus Enform dynamic navigation, and voice command are $3,365. The power rear door with kick sensor is $150. The panoramic view monitor with intuitive parking assist and rear cross traffic braking are $1,365. Delivery fee is $1,075 bringing the grand total to $62,450.
The Lexus RX has been a best-seller for years because it does a lot of things well. It’s not perfect – rivals have more athletic driving dynamics and more cargo space. But the 2022 RX checks a lot of boxes with its pleasant handling, upscale cabin, long list of standard and available features, and decent fuel economy.