2020 Lexus RX first drive review

2020 Lexus RX first drive review
Written by Autofot
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The first region is home to automakers who think that touching a screen to navigate an infotainment system is the best method. The manufacturers who support the second landmass say adding a touchpad or dial to the center console is more intuitive. By replacing the RX’s touchpad with an Android Auto-compatible touchscreen for the 2020 model year, Lexus positioned itself firmly between the two opposing camps.

Actually, Lexus has roots on both sides of this controversy. It began its technological voyage in the touchscreen republic but afterwards fled to the touchpad country. In order to allow customers to choose which side they support, Michael Moore, the national manager of Lexus product marketing, said his team ultimately chose to position itself in the middle of the two positions.

It is impossible to make a touch-sensitive screen using an over-the-air software update. Because most drivers lack Inspector Gadget’s abilities, Lexus had to alter the top portion of the RX’s dashboard to bring the screen closer to the passengers up front. The screen is brand-new as well. Standard displays are 8.0 inches, whereas premium trims offer 12.3 inch screens. Sharp graphics, a rapid response time, and a sensible menu structure make even the smaller screen stand out. Don’t take these features for granted; it’s still possible to get an infotainment system with graphics reminiscent of an 8-bit computer in 2019 or a menu layout that makes as much sense as the writing on the pyramids.
The RX 350 was introduced by Lexus in Costa Rica, which is not the best location to learn the ins and outs of a brand-new infotainment system. There are plenty of 1990s sedans being driven by people who view the seating capacity as a rough guide, as well as motorcycles that are hauling heavy objects that you’d typically see in a pickup on the highways. How come the iguana crossed the street? Whoever taught it not to look both ways before walking onto the asphalt I have no idea. The RX’s spindle grille will feed a coconut tree via the smallest lapse in focus.

However, Lexus did its research. Either of the front seats can easily access the screen, and the icons on the home menu are labeled. On the bottom of the screen, they are neatly placed in a row. A poke will access the settings for the automobile, music, phone, climate, and navigation. Compared to the aging, pre-facelift RX, the new interface is noticeably better, although you still can’t entirely ignore the touchpad. A drawback of the system is that it involves pressing a physical button on the center console to return to the home menu or using the back arrow on the screen to exit each sub-menu separately. So near, Lexus. So near.

Due to security and privacy concerns, Lexus and its parent company Toyota steadfastly opposed Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for years. However, neither company was able to ignore the demands of their customers for very long. Buyers expect smartphone connectivity whether they are purchasing a Ferrari, an entry-level car, or something in between. Even Lamborghini prioritizes it. The RX is one of the first Lexus cars to offer both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, for this reason. Although improved infotainment and smartphone connectivity may seem like inconsequential upgrades, they have a significant impact on daily use of the RX.

The overall picture

I can now spend less time fussing with the touchpad and more time concentrating on how the RX drives, feels, and appears thanks to its newfound standing as a global citizen in the infotainment world. The 2020 and 2019 models have the same mechanical components. The five-seater RX 350, which has a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque, is the vehicle I spent the majority of my time driving. The type I’m driving over the Costa Rican highlands transmits its power to the front wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, but it also has an all-wheel drive system as an option.

While the 4,400-pound RX has a sport mode, it doesn’t like to be pushed too hard because not all 300-horsepower cars are created equal. When I floor it to pass a weighed-down Mercedes-Benz L-Series truck slogging up a hill, it summons every horse in its stable, but it’s much happier to cruise along without flexing its muscles. It shares two qualities with all of its predecessors: it’s a calm place to ride, and it’s among the smoothest-riding vehicles in its class. The 2020 RX retains the traits that helped the 1998 model define the crossover market, but they’re strengthened by a more svelte design and premium inside materials that look and feel expertly put together.

The fact that the RX 350 feels like a Lexus rather than an attempt to copy BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac, or another automaker on the company’s extensive (and expanding) list of competitors is what I like most about driving it. Since the company’s establishment in 1989, one of Lexus’ core values has been to forge its own route rather than just follow an established one when it comes to design, technology, and ride quality.

The 2020 Lexus RX’s touchscreen is notable for its clear graphics, rapid response speed, and logical menu layout.

I return the RX 350 to the hotel that serves as my basecamp, drop it off, and pick up the keys to the more expensive RX 450h while avoiding another iguana. A gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain that combines the previously described V6 with three electric motors to provide 308 horsepower can be added for a few thousand dollars more. The system distributes power to all four wheels, however instead of an eight-speed automatic transmission, it employs a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The droning associated with CVTs cannot be completely eliminated by technology, and although it is present in the 450h (albeit not to a great extent), the hybrid system offers an EPA-estimated combined cycle fuel economy of 30 miles per gallon as a trade-off. For reference, the non-hybrid RX 350 can get up to 22 miles per gallon at best.

Both RX models now have subtle aesthetic tweaks from Lexus. If you squint, angle your head, and look intently, you could notice that the headlights have a new appearance. Small changes were made to the spindle grille, which the business is rethinking as it gets ready to electrify, and designers tweaked the back lights. The technological advancements mentioned earlier take precedence over these changes, though. They serve as the metaphorical icing on the cake.

How this car would be configured by Digital Trends

The five-seater, non-hybrid RX 350 would be our first choice. The third row seats in the RX L are only appropriate for little children, and it is easier to drive than the RX 450h. We also appreciate having a standard automatic transmission. There isn’t much you would need to add to design a cozy, well-equipped crossover because every RX, regardless of powertrain or body style, generously comes equipped with a long list of safety systems including lane centering, cyclist detection, traffic sign assistance, and adaptive cruise control. For added security throughout the winter, we would choose the available all-wheel drive system. Although Lexus hasn’t officially disclosed pricing details, a 2019 model with comparable equipment would cost around $45,000, and we don’t anticipate a significant rise for the 2020 model year.

Do you need one?

The Lexus RX should be your first choice if you want a cozy, worry-free crossover that feels noticeably nicer than a popular model, especially now that its tech quotient is finally up to speed. It becomes considerably simpler to live with thanks to the upgrades it receives for the 2020 model year. The rest has remained the same; despite its laid-back demeanor, it is still well-built, quiet, and vivacious. However, those looking for a sportier crossover would be wise to visit a BMW or an Audi dealership.

You can also check 2020 Range Rover Evoque review, price, and details about this product

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About the author


Autofot is a website that blogs on the importance of taking good care of our automobiles. Little things that are ignored matter the most, hence we try to educate car owners and other different auto owners on how to go about taking care of their cars with little or no cost.

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