The 2020 Lexus RX is the ideal SUV for anyone who likes to stand out from the crowd. That’s what the RX was meant to do if not little else. The RX has a playful, yet an aggressive sense of style. It also has 295 horsepower on tap beneath the hood. That’s more speed than INFINITI, Audi, and Honda mid-sized crossovers. That means you’d have to jump up to the pricey BMW or Mercedes-Benz tier to get a faster SUV.
There are six configurations of the 2020 Lexus RX. There’s the base model RX 350 that comes handsomely equipped with pedestrian detection, Amazon Alexa integration, and 27 miles per gallon on the highway. Then, there’s the RX 350 F-Sport with its signature styling, adaptive all-wheel drive, and a tight sport-tuned suspension. There’s also an RX 350L, which adds third-row seating. The hybrid versions of those three models have the moniker 450h added to them.
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2020 Lexus RX Style Points
The style of the RX is a garish afront to subtle design approaches from other automakers in the segment. Frankly, there isn’t a subtle bone in the RX body. It has the same large hourglass front grille that you’ll see across the Lexus showroom. The headlamps are narrow and swept over oversized air vents.
The profile of the 2020 Lexus RX 350 is perhaps the SUVs best side. It’s full of sharp cuts and aggressive edges. You can see the floating roof very well. However, there’s no lack of style gimmicks all along the exterior. The rear of the RX has a wide tailgate and chrome accents along the rear fender.
The F Sport lowers the front bumper a bit and adds some signature accents. Yet, the red leather interior goes a bit overboard. The Lexus RX stretches its frame in the 350L and 450hL variants. 196.9 inches of length makes room for third-row seating, but don’t make significant compromises to the overall design of the RX.
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2020 Lexus RX Interior Comfort
The RX 350L and 450hL have the third row of seating, but passengers will find it especially cramped back there. To open the cabin, you might want to consider equipping the RX 350L with second-row captain’s chairs. Pair this with the available panoramic glass sunroof and you’ll add much-needed illumination to the expansive interior of the RX.
The RX F Sport has aluminum pedals and thick, bolstered seats to cast the illusion of a thrilling race car, but the actual performance of the crossover will leave drivers wanting more. The standard Lexus RX 350 has the best value in terms of interior comfort. For the entry-level, you get multi-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, and power-folding and reclining second-row seats.
Now, there are also packages that increase the 2020 Lexus RXs comfort and quality. The Luxury Package equips the RX with perforated leather seats, power lumbar, ambient lighting, a rear sunshade, and Gray Sapele wood and aluminum trim. The Premium Package swaps out Sapele wood and genuine leather for matte bamboo and synthetic leather.
See also: 2019 Lexus RX 350 Configurations Review
2020 Lexus RX Safety Features
Every 2020 Lexus RX comes with Lexus Safety System 2.0. It comes with a number of electronic stability functions, sensors that detect pedestrians in low light, bicyclists in daylight, provide roadside assistance, and even helps recognize and identify road signs.
Automatic emergency braking is an optional feature. You can also equip blind-spot monitors. One of the most futuristic safety measures in place on the RX hybrids is the vehicle proximity notification. Hybrid and electric vehicles run much quieter than their gasoline engine counterparts. That’s why the RX 350h and 450h models can emit a warning sound from the exterior of the vehicle to alert pedestrians that get too close to the moving vehicle.
When parking and security are a priority, you should take a closer look at the available panoramic monitoring system for the new RX. It uses onboard sensors and an array of four cameras to offer total 360-degree views of your vehicle’s exterior. It even goes so far as to create composites that allow you to virtually see through the vehicle.
2020 Lexus RX Technology Features
Technology is a strong suit for the 2020 Lexus RX. There’s a 12.3-inch touchscreen display that sits high in the central dashboard, new steering wheel controls and an available head-up display that pops up subtly in the driver’s field of vision. Clearly, the emphasis is on the driver. The smart key never even has to leave your pocket to unlock the doors and activate the engine. If the vehicle senses the smart key is present, all you must do is touch the door handle to unlock it.
Passengers aren’t completely ignored by RX designers. The onboard WIFI has a strong, reliable signal that can support up to 5 devices. Amazon Alexa, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay connectivity are standard on all models. That’s a key feature because some automakers won’t allow this on base models, but keep it reserved for their pricier trims.
Navigation goes a step beyond in the 2020 RX, as well. There’s a navigation concierge service called Lexus Enform Destination Assist that gives you a live person at a call center who can sort out your dinner and shopping options and automatically send the destination to your touchscreen.
2020 Lexus RX Performance Capabilities
All 2020 Lexus RX models can be equipped with front-wheel or all-wheel drive. The base model with front-wheel drive can achieve 295 horsepower and 268-pound feet of torque. That makes it quite nimble for a mid-sized luxury crossover, beating out the INFINITI QX50 and the Audi Q5. The Lexus RX has an 8 speed electronically controlled automatic transmission. You can play around with it a bit with paddle shifters, but it’s well programmed for smooth, seamless movement through the gears. The 3-mode drive selector has Eco, Sport and Normal but you won’t find much of a difference in their functions.
The F Sport variant with all-wheel drive is not necessarily the best platform to showcase the RXs best performance capabilities. The RX 350 F-Sport has the same 3.5 Liter V6 engine that’s found in the RX 350 and 350L. In terms of raw speed, the F-Sport isn’t faster than any other model of the RX. In fact, the front-wheel-drive RX 350 does zero to 60 in 7.7 seconds. The F Sport puts up 7.9 seconds. The main difference is that the 350 F-Sport has a sport-tuned suspension for better handling.
The RX 350 F Sport has more horsepower than the 2020 INFINITI QX50 but loses out in torque. Both have about the same handling capabilities, even with the F Sport’s enhanced suspension. The RX 350 might have all-wheel drive, but it only has a towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. So, the 2020 Audi Q5 and its Quattro all-wheel-drive are better options for heavy lifting. Compare that to the Land Rover Defender with its 5,000 lb. limit and you can see that the Lexus RX isn’t really built for off-roading and hauling.
Finally, there are the hybrids – the 450h, 450h F Sport, and 450hL. These models get 30 combined MPG and a boost to horsepower. The 3.5 Liter V6 engine is paired with two electric motors and a battery bank to produce 300 horsepower. This hybrid system is self-charging – relying on the motion of the wheels to charge the system in a closed-loop. The gasoline engine drives the front wheels and the electric motors handle the rear.
The 2020 Lexus RX is a crossover SUV that is well-balanced and luxurious. It manages to be both whiles also steering outside the box of conventional style and design. The 2020 Lexus RX is an attention grabber and it seeks to step on the toes of several of its competitors. This crossover’s got hybrids, three rows of seating, speed, luxurious amenities, and technology.
Yet, the problem with the 2020 Lexus RX is that in trying to install itself in every dimension; it doesn’t gain eminence in any single dimension. The style of the vehicle is adventurous but the design lacks utility. It’s not built for off-roading or towing. The interior is upscale, but the third row can only comfortably fit two small children, not two fully grown adults. The vehicle is fast and decently fuel-efficient, but the F Sport doesn’t add enough performance to warrant all the flashy red guts and badges.
So, the 2020 Lexus RX is worth a test drive and should be taken seriously by potential consumers, especially if you’ve already looked at a BMW or Mercedes-Benz and you’re hoping to shave some money off those astronomical ticket prices. In that case, the RX would make an ideal compromise between luxury price and features. The RX from Lexus will hold up over the years and provide at least the driver with some real enjoyment.