24 May 2016

Lexus RX 2016 car review

The latest medium sized, luxury SUV from Lexus has stepped up a notch. Building on the previous generation, the 2016 RX now sports a new look, improved safety systems and more advanced technology. All models now also include the new Safety System+ package - Lexus’ premium safety and assist system.

Lexus RX 2016

The RX is available in two variants where you can choose from a further three grades – Entry, F Sport and Limited. All grades of the RX 350 variant have a sport, 3.5 litre, direct injection V6 with 221kW. They also have a new 8-speed automatic transmission.

The RX 450h is - you guessed it - a Hybrid! The electric gives it an extra 9kW and its driven through a CVT - this is certainly no snail.

The RX has the huge spindle grille – Lexus’ statement piece – and it actually looks ok from most angles, in fact I think I’m actually starting to like it now. The side profile features a Lexus first with blacked out rear pillars which create a dramatic ‘floating-roof’ effect. The L-shaped taillights wrap around the sides to create a wide profile, giving it a very authoritative presence.

A plus for Lexus safety

Safety System+ is designed to help avoid or decrease the chances of collisions. Lexus have integrated several of their existing safety technologies into one package that has several different features. First up is the Pre-Crash Safety System (PCS) which detects sudden stops initiated by the vehicle travelling in front and warns drivers of potential contact with obstacles ahead. Then there’s Lane Departure Alert (LDA) which warns the driver if the vehicle strays from its lane, and Lane Keep Assist (LKA) which works with a camera to help keep the RX in its intended driving lane while Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is on. The Automatic High Beam (AHB) helps ensure optimal forward visibility during night driving. And, rounding everything up is the All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control which has controlled modes for vehicle cruising and following distances.

Laser cut interior

The RX Limited is the first to feature laser cut wood ornamentation on the interior trim panels. This creates a new level of luxury by exposing distinctive grains of aluminium metal beneath the real wood veneers. We were given the 450h F-Sport to test drive and the interior had some great contrast with black and white leather. The seats were heated and cooled and they provided some of the best comfort I have ever experienced in a car. The massage function was certainly the cherry on top though. There was no shortage of rear passenger leg room in our F-Sport either and the rear seats also received the heating functionality.

The new powertrains are allied to a strengthened chassis for enhanced stability and control while cornering. The fully independent suspension is tuned to deliver both handling and comfort during driving, and I have to say that it does this very well.

The F-Sport has suspension changes that include Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) to keep the RX firmly planted on the road. The driver can select the AVS-enhanced, Sport S+ mode, in addition to the Eco, Normal and Sport S settings. And, there’s also a customise option on the drive mode select control located on the centre console.

The entry level RX 350 is priced at $95,900, with the top of range RX 450h F Sport and RX 450h Limited both priced at $125,900.

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