After making its global debut last year, the 2023 Lexus RX has finally arrived in the Philippines. The RX’s launch coincides with the 14th anniversary of Lexus Philippines, and for the first time ever, the local RX range is now offered solely as hybrids.
Three variants of the Lexus RX will be sold, all of which feature evolutionary styling that follows the footsteps of the outgoing model, whilst refining its details for an edgier appearance. The Spindle Grille has been updated with an upper portion that’s been closed off, and Lexus now calls this the “Spindle Body”–a design trait that serves as a transition to Lexus’ electrified direction. This is then flanked by new LED headlights, while the sides of the grille feature new air curtains where the foglights are also located.
Moving towards the side, the number of character lines has been reduced for a cleaner appearance. 19-inch wheels are offered on the base RX 350h Executive, while the Premier gets 21-inch alloys. And then towards its rear end, the tailgate design has been resculpted to adopt the full-width LED taillight design with the “LEXUS” script now replacing the “L” badge.
The first-ever RX 500h F Sport Performance model comes with a more aggressive design through its sporty front and rear bumpers, extended rocker panels, and black 21-inch wheels. This is also matched with improved handling as well to match the new turbocharged hybrid powertrain’s quick performance.
The structure of the RX is completely new from the ground up, with this new model now migrating to the GA-K platform that also underpins the ES and NX. Some of the highlights of this platform are its increased rigidity, its weight loss of 90 kg, and a new multi-link rear suspension that promises to offer better handling and ride comfort. The wheelbase has also been lengthened by 60 mm, but its length remains the same at 4,890 mm. As a result, the rear overhang was reduced for more legroom, yet despite that, cargo capacity has been increased.
Inside, the 2023 Lexus RX follows the “Tazuna” design philosophy that puts every control at the driver’s fingertips. The base RX 350h Executive gets a 9.8-inch Lexus Interface infotainment system with a 12-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System, while the Premier and RX 500h F Sport Performance use a wider 14-inch screen with a 21-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound system. Other interior features include power-adjustable front seats, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and wireless charging. Splurging for the RX 350h Premier and above benefits from a panoramic sunroof, a foot sensor for the powered tailgate, and heated and cooled seats (front and rear), just to name a few.
As for engines, the RX 350h comes with a 2.5-liter non-turbo four-cylinder and an electric motor, and it has a total output of 246 hp and 316 Nm of torque. Lexus, however, says that this model is faster than the previous RX 450h, with a 0-60 mph (96 kph) time of 7.4 seconds, which is half a second quicker than the more powerful V6 hybrid it replaces.
The first-ever RX 500h F Sport Performance is also being offered in the Philippines. Blending the turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder with a rear eAxle with a high-output electric motor gives the RX 500h F Sport Performance a total output of 367 hp and 550 Nm of torque. This is the fastest Lexus RX to date, as it can sprint from 0-100 kph in just 5.9 seconds. And because this is a hybrid, expect strong fuel economy numbers, to the tune of 11.05 km/l.
The RX 500h F Sport Performance also gets the new Direct4 all-wheel drive (AWD) system. Making its debut in the RZ electric crossover, Direct4 uses electric motors to balance and shuffle power in each axle. Since it’s all electronic, there’s no mechanical lag to delay the response from the driver’s throttle inputs, thus making the RX 500h F Sport Performance quicker at changing directions or transitioning from braking to accelerating and vice versa. Along with its Adaptive Variable Suspension, the RX 500h F Sport Performance is the most dynamic RX that’s ever been engineered.
The 2023 Lexus RX is now in the Philippines with the following prices:
- RX 350h Executive: P5,058,000
- RX 350h Premier: P6,188,000
- RX 500h F Sport Performance: P6,668,000