The stylish Lexus RX is one of America’s best-selling luxury vehicles because of its premium interior, comfortable ride, and reasonable ownership costs. Pricing starts at $48,600.
It’s easy to see why everyone loves the Lexus RX. It’s among the best-selling luxury vehicles in the country, and it gets the number two spot on our list of Best Luxury Midsize SUVs, confirming that buyers and experts agree on the overall excellence of the RX. The premium interior and serene ride make this Lexus a pleasant way to get around. It’s also affordable to own; this SUV has earned our Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own Award in its class thanks to its good resale value, low maintenance costs, and great fuel economy, especially with the hybrid variants.
The 2-row RX competes with midsize luxury SUVs like the Genesis GV80, Cadillac XT5, and Lincoln Nautilus.
Also see: These are the SUVs that sold the most in 2023
2024 Lexus RX pricing
The 2024 Lexus RX starts at $48,600. The hybrid 350h model starts at $50,450, and the sporty RX 500h begins at $62,450. The plug-in hybrid RX 450h+ starts at $68,730.
The Lexus RX is on the more affordable side of midsize luxury SUVs. In the world of 2-row premium SUVs, the RX is priced similarly to the Lincoln Nautilus and Cadillac XT5, and it’s priced a bit lower than the Genesis GV80.
|2024 Lexus RX
These are manufacturer’s suggested retail prices and don’t include the $1,350 factory-to-dealer delivery fee (destination charge).
Before buying an RX, check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to know what you should really pay. Lexus RX resale value is a little above average for the segment. The Lexus brand is a repeat winner of our Best Resale Value Award for a luxury brand.
See: The cars, trucks, EVs and SUVs with the best resale value for 2024
The Lexus RX was fully redesigned for 2023, and its lineup is expanded for 2024 with the new RX 450h+. This is a plug-in hybrid with a 35-mile all-electric range, and it only comes in the upscale Luxury trim. This year also brings a new Cloudburst Gray color option, and the popular Copper Crest color is now available on the Premium and F Sport Handling trims.
Power, ride and handling
The Lexus RX 350 is powered by a 275-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder engine matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel drive. The turbo engine brings quicker acceleration, improved fuel economy, and a welcome sense of increased agility compared to earlier V6-powered RX models due to the lighter weight.
We spent a full day driving the RX in and around Santa Barbara, California. We tested it around town, on the highway, and over undulating backroads. Our takeaway was that the RX reigns as one of the quietest, most comfortable SUVs in its price range. This Lexus is easy to drive and a downright pleasant way to make your way in the world.
The acceleration of the 246-horsepower hybrid RX 350h is notably slower than the non-hybrid, but the trade-off is better fuel economy. The sporty RX 500h is a different story. The 366-horsepower hybrid powertrain delivers quick acceleration (Lexus estimates a 5.9-second 0-60 mph time), and upgrades to the suspension, steering, and all-wheel-drive (AWD) system further enhance the driving experience.
We’ve spent hundreds of hours driving and evaluating this generation of midsize luxury SUVs, including this Lexus RX.
The RX 350 gets a combined fuel economy rating of 25 mpg with FWD and 24 mpg with AWD. That makes it a bit more efficient than the average midsize luxury SUV; the Genesis GV80 gets up to 22 mpg, and the Cadillac XT5 returns up to 24 mpg.
For even better fuel economy, consider the RX 350h hybrid, which gets 36 combined mpg. The high-performance RX 500h hybrid gets 27 mpg. Both hybrids come standard with AWD. This segment has a surprising lack of hybrids, making the hybrid RX much more efficient than its closest rivals.
The plug-in hybrid RX 450h+ has a 35-mile all-electric range and a combined fuel economy rating of 83 MPGe when there’s juice in the battery.
According to EPA estimates, the RX 350h burns 17.5 fewer gallons of fuel per month than the non-hybrid RX 350 with AWD. Assuming gas is $4 per gallon (premium is required for the non-hybrid and recommended for the hybrid), the fuel cost difference is about $70 per month.
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Inside, the RX is rich in materials but restrained in design relative to some of its more ornate European rivals. It’s as roomy as just about anything in the segment, with supportive seats that deliver all-day comfort. We liked the placement and design of the cupholders and phone cubby up front.
The massive 14-inch high-definition touchscreen is outstanding, but even the standard 9.8-inch unit is a fine centerpiece. New steering wheel controls are clever and functional but take some time to master. Overall, this is a comfortable, functional, attractive passenger cabin in which we’d gladly reserve a seat for the length of a lease or longer.
We were comfortable in the back seats of the RX. It has 37.4 inches of rear legroom, which is roomy but slightly less so than its closest rivals. There’s 29.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which increases to 46.2 cubic feet with the back seats folded down. Again, that’s fairly spacious, but it’s less cargo room than rivals like the Cadillac XT5 (30/63), Genesis GV80 (34.9/84), and Lincoln Nautilus (35.2/68.8).
We like the handsome design of the Lexus RX. The F Sport models add a sporty appearance package with revised fascias, unique wheels, and black trim giving them an edgier look.
Our favorite features and tech
Traffic Jam Assist: Under the right conditions, the Lexus RX can steer, accelerate, and brake itself through stop-and-go traffic. Sit back and relax, but not too much.
Automated parallel parking: In addition to taking over most of the driving duties in tight traffic, the Lexus RX can just about parallel park itself. Using four cameras and 12 sensors, the RX can steer, brake, and shift itself into place.
Gorgeous color palette: Beyond just black, white, and gray, the Lexus RX is available in a wide range of interesting colors, including Cloudburst Gray, Copper Crest, and Nori Green Pearl. Six available interior hues include Macadamia, Peppercorn, and Rioja Red.
21-speaker surround sound: The Mark Levinson audio systems offered across the Lexus line consistently rank among our favorites.
Use your phone as your key: You can lock, unlock, and start the Lexus RX with your phone. The car senses your phone just like a key, so you don’t need to take it out of your pocket. You can even “send” a key to a friend.
CarPlay and Android Auto: Smartphone integration is even better when it happens automatically.
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Engine and transmission
The most popular engine in the Lexus RX lineup is a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine generating a healthy 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. It’s matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission and front- or all-wheel drive.
The hybrid powertrain in the 350h models is the one we’d recommend if you prioritize efficiency over performance. It’s a hybrid 4-cylinder engine making 246 horsepower and 233 lb-ft of torque. That’s notably less than the RX 350, but it’s a trade-off for better fuel economy.
Power for the RX 500h comes from a sportier turbocharged 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain making 366 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. It’s matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission and the sophisticated DIRECT4 AWD system. Other performance upgrades include an adaptive variable suspension system and 4-wheel steering.
Finally, the new RX 450h+ uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain with 304 horsepower and a 35-mile all-electric range. Lexus estimates a 0-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds which is pretty quick but doesn’t beat the performance of the RX 500h.
Read: 10 top all-wheel-drive vehicles you can get for under $30,000
The Lexus RX has an average basic warranty and a longer-than-average powertrain warranty. It’s covered by a 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty and a 6-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty. An 8-year/100,000-mile warranty backs hybrid components in the hybrid models. Additionally, all RX models benefit from a 1-year/10,000-mile complimentary service plan.
The Lexus RX has received the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. It gets great safety ratings because of its excellent crash-test scores and the standard Lexus Safety System+ 3.0. It bundles features like automatic emergency braking, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, all-speed adaptive cruise control, and more.
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This story originally ran on KBB.com.