The brand’s five-passenger midsize SUV is the 2024 Lexus RX. Compared to the three-row LX and the new TX SUVs, it is smaller but still roomier and larger than the NX. The RX comes in four variants now: the RX 350 base model, the RX 350h hybrid, the RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid, and the RX 500h, a hybrid designed for performance. Overall, if comfort and sophistication are important to you, you’ll like this SUV. Just last year, Lexus gave the RX a facelift that enhanced its driving dynamics.
The heavily criticized infotainment system inside has been replaced with a sizable, user-friendly touchscreen that puts it on par with the RX’s closest rivals. Although it has been upgraded to match, the interior design still maintains the premium appearance and feel that you would expect from a Lexus.
Within the luxury brand’s SUV portfolio, the RX is a groundbreaking midsize crossover that sits above the smaller NX and below the bigger GX. A revised fifth-generation vehicle made its debut in 2023, and this year it gets additional improvements and a plug-in hybrid variant. The Cadillac XT5 and BMW X5 are the rivals of the 2024 Lexus RX.
Although it does so gradually, Lexus is able to improve the RX with the fifth-generation model. This year, additional content has been added to numerous trim levels, making the inside more premium and sophisticated than before. Still, we’re happy that the company upgraded its infotainment systems with touchscreens for this and other models in its line of cars. The RX rides softly and silently in real-world driving, which adds to the cabin’s tranquility. Additionally, the premium crossover is available with hybrid powertrains, which add excellent fuel efficiency as an additional benefit.
What’s New for 2024 Lexus RX?
The new RX 450h+, a plug-in hybrid variant that offers some of the advantages of EV driving without the range anxiety, is the big news for 2024. With the addition of a larger battery pack, the RX 350h can be recharged in as little as 2.5 hours, whether at home or while traveling. According to Lexus, it can travel up to 37 miles on electricity alone if fully charged. The RX 450h+ then functions quite similarly to the RX 350h hybrid. But it does cost a lot more than a standard 350h.
The RX500h F Sport Performance, despite lacking perceived sportiness, is considered the most thrilling RX SUV model. Too bad it costs so much. More casual drivers, in our opinion, will be content with the less powerful and even more relaxed RX350 Premium Plus. A larger 14.0-inch touchscreen screen, leather upholstery, ambient inside lighting, and other extra comforts make this intermediate model stand out.
Competitors to think about
If you’re looking for SUVs in the same price range as the RX, there are many options available. The Acura MDX is probably its closest competitor in terms of feel and price range. But the Genesis GV80 is a handsome alternative that also offers great value. Should you have a slightly larger budget, the Mercedes-Benz GLE and BMW X5 are both excellent options.
2024 Lexus RX: Performance
We had an F Sport Handling trim level in our test car. The RX, equipped with all-wheel drive, managed to reach 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, despite not increasing its power. That is marginally quicker than the V6-powered model that preceded it. But it is slower than the Mercedes-Benz GLE 350, which has four engines. It is more than two seconds slower than the Genesis GV80 and Mercedes GLE 450, which have six engines. The RX 350 does not offer an optional engine, and those seeking superior performance should upgrade to the RX 500h.
Outright braking performance in panic stops at 60 mph is likewise inferior to the competitors, coming in at 132 feet. However, stopping confidently in a range of street conditions is a snap with the RX’s solid and responsive brake pedal. The F Sport model, equipped with a performance-calibrated suspension, lacks authenticity on back roads due to its dull tires. Although the RX’s strong chassis makes for confident handling, we don’t see many advantages for the F Sport.
2024 Lexus RX: Comfort
The F Sport Handling trim, which comes with 21-inch wheels and an adaptive suspension designed for sport, was the one we tested. Though some purchasers may still find it a little stiff, overall, this latest generation F Sport achieves a better balance. Additionally, the F Sport features unique, soft, and comfortable seats that provide additional support, enhancing the overall ride experience and comfort. Our test RX’s back seats had better-than-average support and shaping, and the seat heating and ventilation worked quickly.
The majority of the climate control elements are simple to operate and easily accessible. The three-zone climate system effectively maintained temperature levels, despite the center vents appearing low on warm days.
The RX’s interior combines some perplexing and occasionally annoying design decisions with Lexus’ amazing attention to detail. The 14-inch touchscreen display is a standout feature because of its crisp visuals and responsiveness. The RX has a low learning curve and most controls are easily recognizable, despite its stunning new interior design. An additional advantage of the huge central display is the pristine backup camera and surround-view video system, if available. It facilitates easy RX maneuvering in confined spaces.
However, the shift lever takes after the strange Toyota Prius shift pattern, which sometimes leads us to choose neutral when we should have been in the drive. The steering wheel’s unlabeled buttons are another source of annoyance. Although Lexus has skillfully designed them to be multifunctional, their capabilities are limited to the head-up display and require too much concentration to carry out routine activities.
The rear sitting area of the RX has enough capacity for most adults to be reasonably comfortable. Although it lacks the spacious legroom of the Acura MDX. The driving position is also easily adjustable to accommodate a wide range of body shapes. There isn’t much headroom, especially for taller rear passengers.
Fuel Efficiency and Actual MPG
The RX350h, which is rated at 37 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, is the most fuel-efficient RX model, according to EPA data. The nonhybrid RX350 received ratings of 22 mpg city and 29 mpg highway for front-wheel-drive vehicles, while the RX500h is expected to get 27 mpg city and 28 mpg highway. The combined mileage of the RX450h+ is claimed to be 83 MPGe.
Connectivity and Infotainment
The center of the RX’s revised dashboard houses a 9.8-inch infotainment touchscreen, with a bigger 14.0-inch screen available as an option. The RX infotainment screen is designed with a driver-oriented orientation and utilizes Lexus’s latest software interface, similar to the smaller NX SUV. While options like navigation, a head-up display, and a Mark Levinson sound system are optional, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
As a midsize SUV, the RX has a good amount of cargo space. Although the liftover is a little high, there are no strange forms or uncomfortable cubbies in the cargo space. Nevertheless, the RX lags behind rivals like the Mercedes GLE (33.3 cubes) and the Acura MDX (39.1 cubes behind the second row of seats) with its folded seats up, measuring only 29.6 cubic feet. It’s more of the same when every seat is occupied, with the RX providing significantly less capacity overall than its rivals.
The center console features a smart storage container with a wireless phone charger, providing secure phone hiding while driving. Smaller objects may rattle around in the rather spacious, felt-lined front and rear door pockets. The RX’s second row of seats can be easily loaded due to its easy-to-reach anchor points and individually reclining rear seatbacks.
Less spectacular is towing, which is not an activity the RX is particularly known for. The RX can only manage a 3,500-pound tow rating when outfitted correctly. Rivals with much greater towing capacities include the Mercedes GLE, Genesis GV80, and Acura MDX.
The 2024 Lexus RX carries on the company’s heritage of finely constructed, luxurious cars that are quiet and cozy. The RX provides excellent value in the class due to its extensive standard features and affordable starting price. However, it falls short of certain competitors’ performance and baggage capacity and makes a few technical mistakes with aspects that other manufacturers have perfected.