2023 Lexus RX loses the V6, picks up more hybrids

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The overhaul of the Lexus SUV line-up continues this year with the 2023 Lexus RX. This new version of the luxury brand's mainstay is fully redesigned, and gets a roster of new engines, including the RX's first plug-in hybrid.

The SUV is now based on the TNGA-K platform, which also underpins the smaller Lexus NX and the Toyota RAV4, among many others. It and other unnamed tweaks have made it so that the new RX is as much as 198 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. And with the platform change comes the abandonment of V6s. The base RX 350 will come with a turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It can be had with front- or all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. It will get the RX 350 to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds with front drive and 7.2 seconds with all-wheel drive. Fuel economy is rated at 24 mpg.

2023 Lexus RX 350
2023 Lexus RX 350

The RX 350h gets a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid mated to a CVT, plus a rear electric motor for all-wheel drive. It gets to 60 in 7.4 seconds and returns 33 mpg.

The RX 450h+ will be the line's first plug-in hybrid. But Lexus hasn't disclosed any details about the powertrain. It's possible it could be the 302-horsepower hybrid unit from the NX 450h+.

2023 Lexus RX 500h
2023 Lexus RX 500h

Rounding out the line-up is the RX 500h F Sport Performance. It combines the turbo four-cylinder with an electric motor, six-speed automatic and a rear electric motor. This gives the SUV 367 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The 0 to 60 run happens in 5.9 seconds and fuel ceconomy comes in at 26 mpg. Lexus also fits this model with six-piston brake calipers, unique styling, paddle shifters and other interior accents.

Of course, all new RX models have notably different styling from its predecessor. The proportions are tweaked thanks to the 2.36-inch longer wheelbase, and a shorter rear overhang by the same distance. The overall size is basically the same, but the whole SUV has a more cab-rearward appearance. The front grille is a new take on the trademark Lexus design that features a more solid upper section. More body color cladding also makes an appearance.

2023 Lexus RX 350
2023 Lexus RX 350

The interior follows in the footsteps of the NX with a better integrated touchscreen infotainment system. It also features the same upgraded infotainment system that is a massive improvement over old Lexus systems. At least two sizes are available for the screen, the larger being 14 inches. Ambient lighting also appears along with six interior colors and four interior trims.

The RX goes on sale at the end of 2022. Expect pricing to come in the next few months along with details on the RX 450h+ PHEV. In addition to the four engine models, there will be six trim levels: Standard, Premium, Premium+, Luxury, F Sport Handling and F Sport Performance.

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