The Lexus RX premium crossover SUV was mainly developed and produced for the North American market.
And yet, a new model of that kind, which was mainly developed for the Asian market, has a 2L 4-unit downsized turbo engine that generates 230ps and 35.7kgm power, and is mated to a 6-speed AT. Compared to the 450h with a price that starts from 6,025,000 yen, its price starts at 4.95 million yen, and above 1 million yen, which is a reasonable price.
First, I was wondering whether it would be alright as its former 2.7L engine from the previous generation model was changed into a 2L turbo. But just by looking at the specs, the previous generation model with the 2.7L unit has 188ps and 25.7kgm power. While the new model with a 2L turbo has 238ps and 35.7kgm power. Its weight became heavier by 100kg, but regardless of that, it is sensibly fast, and it has full torque acceleration. In the first place, that ability is already expected from the Lexus NX cars.
It made me feel its premium characteristic at low speed, which you cannot get with the 450h, including its smooth start and higher level of quietness that highlight the new Lexus model. And when I turned the engine on, its sound was similar with the 450h with 3.5L V6 engine.
Its difference with the 450h was its overall light performance. Particularly, I was able to feel its refreshing driving feel when I drove it in town. During its active performance, its smooth and advanced 6-speed AT gave off a strong impression.
However, the 450h has higher level of quietness when you take off using its motor, than with the sound coming from the engine when taking off. But just like the 450h, I can’t say that its comfort and sensation are perfect when I turned its engine on, as it would generate a booming noise at 3,000rpm. Its steering has a tendency to become rattling depending on road conditions, which it acquired from the previous generation model. And as the world’s best premium crossover, it urgently needs more room for improvement.
It has a flat riding feel that makes you notice its difference at once. However, compared with the 450h, which is equipped with the same Version L 235/55R20 tires, I can approve its slightly rough touch, and it gave me an impression that its gentle riding feel and high overall running quality gives off an impression that it has exceeded the 450h. Nevertheless, I have no complaints towards how I can easily turn it. When I cut into its light power steering, it responsively turned direction more comfortably in a flash. It has a 6-speed AT, and I can say that it has a sportier settings.
In other words, it can be referred to as a refreshing 200t gasoline engine that allows you to have a sporty driving with its premium fuel consumption and performance that’s strong like the 450h hybrid vehicle, the enjoyment in its performance, and its overall lightness.
â– 5 Star Rating
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Naoki Aoyama| Motor Journalist/ Dog Life Journalist
He became a freelance motor journalist after working as an editor for an automotive magazine. He started as a writer specializing on automotive magazines, and then of general news magazines and websites. He also worked on publication related to pet (dog) and overseas travel, pet and drive-related television program, as well as events. He is currently expanding his career as a dog life producer. He is a Japan Car of the Year Selection Committee member.
(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)