2020 Lexus RX 350L review: The bestseller gets a little better

The Lexus RX 350 lineup receives some welcome updates for 2020.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

The Lexus RX has been a gross sales juggernaut since it ignited the luxurious SUV section much more than two many years ago. These days, it features reliable design, convenience and efficiency across a wide lineup. You can get a gas or hybrid drivetrain, much more engaging F Activity trims and as of a few decades ago, a 3rd row.


  • Silky drivetrain.
  • Peaceful, peaceful ride.
  • Updated infotainment.

Never Like

  • Cramped 3rd-row seating.
  • Distant Touch Pad is infuriating.
  • Unfastened steering.

But just simply because the RX sits atop the gross sales charts won’t necessarily mean it really is not without the need of shortcomings. The in-your-deal with entrance end just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and the cumbersome-to-operate tech leaves a lot to be wanted. And when the ride veers towards staying supple and luxurious, the RX is a considerably cry from staying pleasurable to operate. Enter the 2020 design, which aims to boost all these matters.

Massaged appears and the ‘third row’

I’ve prepared on several occasions that I don’t mind Lexus’ spindle grille. Like BMW’s kidney grille, it really is recognizable and synonymous with the brand name. The entrance and rear fascias are updated on the 2020 RX 350, with the most noticeable modify happening on the grille. On non-F Activity variations, the horizontal slats are out in favor of a much more impactful mesh sample that, alongside with the altered bumper cover and slim headlights, make it edgier.

On my 350L Luxury take a look at vehicle, the 20-inch break up-spoke wheels are also new this yr, as is the Moonbeam Beige Metallic paint coat that just isn’t mind-numbingly bland, which I pretty hardly ever say about shades of beige. I might go for the other new paint decision of Nori Green Pearl, initial witnessed on the pint-size UX crossover alternatively, nevertheless.

In the RX’s perfectly-designed, soft, leather-lined cockpit, there are some compact structure adjustments to take note, this sort of as the new smartphone holder on the middle console. Positioned in entrance of the cupholders, the slot securely retains phones and offers simple obtain to it avoiding you from fishing it out of cubby. It is not a substantial matter, but occasionally it really is the tiny matters that make a major big difference.

However, what could not be aided is the RX 350L’s 3rd-row seating. It continues to be difficult to obtain and ridiculously tight when you might be again there, with adequate legroom for anyone 10 decades previous  at best, if not youthful. Even then, passengers in the 2nd row will need to scooch their seats ahead, sacrificing their legroom as perfectly. 

Silly rabbit, the RX 350L’s 3rd row is for young children.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

If the way-again seats sound like an afterthought, it really is simply because they are — the RX was never built to have these. This even bigger RX rides on the identical wheelbase as the standard design, but simply receives an additional four.four-inches of length driving the C pillars as band-support to serve 3rd-row hungry consumers. 

That’s not to say it really is all undesirable. If you will need to have much more people today in a pinch, the 350L’s 3rd row is effective for limited distances, and there is much more cargo room when people seats are folded flat. The frequent RX 350 features fifty six.three cubic feet of cargo room, when the RX L packs 70.seven with the two rows of again seats stowed. That stacks up favorably to the Acura MDX’s 68.four cubic feet of room, but is driving the Infiniti QX60’s 76.2.

Tech strides

Probably the most noteworthy 2020 RX enhancement is the out there twelve.three-inch break up-display that’s established closer to entrance passengers, which is now a touchscreen with crisp graphics. That means performing by the Lexus Enform infotainment technique no extended depends on the distracting Distant Touch Pad. Modifying radio stations and moving into navigation destinations is now simpler, with somewhat simplified menus.

Apple CarPlay and Android Car have lastly occur to the RX.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Lexus Enform also lastly gains Apple CarPlay and Android Car abilities in all RX versions, in addition to featuring Amazon Alexa integration and Wi-Fi hotspot. On my tester, a attractive 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio setup pipes tunes into the cabin, and there are six USBs and three twelve-volt scattered through the interior, which means everybody can plug in their phones.

The Lexus Safety Procedure As well as 2. is also now standard devices across the RX lineup. The offer brings together new functions this sort of as highway signal detection, daytime bicyclist detection and very low-light-weight pedestrian detection, alongside with formerly standard goodies like adaptive cruise handle, ahead-collision warning with car braking and lane-departure warning with lane-keeping aid. My tester is also outfitted with optional blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-targeted traffic alert, which are have to-have methods in my e-book. 

Clean, but a bit tighter

All RXs keep on to be run by a three.five-liter V6 performing with an 8-velocity automatic gearbox. Front-wheel push is standard, but my tester operates all-wheel push. In the RX 350L, the V6 tends to make 290 horsepower and 263 pound-feet of torque, which is down from the frequent 350’s 295 horses and 267 lb.-ft., thanks to a distinct exhaust technique. The EPA estimates that the drivetrain returns eighteen miles for every gallon in the town and twenty five mpg on the freeway.

The three.five-liter V6 in the RX 350L is a clean operator with 290 horses.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

In Regular method, the even bigger RX needs a firmer press of the throttle to rollout in a brisk method,  nevertheless the transmission seamlessly performs cog swaps. Snap matters into Activity and acceleration is livelier, and the trans retains onto gears extended and is much more eager to downshift. 

In an attempt to punch up the RX’s dynamic chops, Lexus tinkered with the chassis and suspension. Structural adhesive utilization improves tenfold and new welding methods final result in twice as numerous spot welds without the need of harming chassis metallic, generating a stiffer system. That’s joined by stiffer dampers and thicker antiroll bars with strengthened bushings to lower system roll and supply improved steering reaction.

Are the adjustments noticeable? A tiny, but it really is not entrance-page information. Pushing it some around expressway interchanges, the four,600-pound RX L hangs on fairly perfectly just after some initial system roll. Credit history the 20-inch Michelin Leading LTX tires and the new active corner braking security technique that can help lower understeer by implementing brake force to the interior tire. 

A 20-inch wheel and tire offer support the even bigger RX corner competently.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

Of system, sporty driving just isn’t the RX’s main mission in lifestyle. Not with the loose on-middle steering that’s also void of opinions and the cushy suspension. As a substitute, the RX is at its best cruising alongside in a serene method, gliding about bumps and potholes to keep on being a knowledgeable, convenience-focused luxurious crossover.

How I might spec it

The Lexus RX 350L Luxury you see pictured rings up at $63,540, like $1,025 for desired destination. My great 350L would also be an all-wheel-push edition, which commences at $49,725. From there I might equip navigation with the twelve.three-inch touchscreen and good Mark Levinson sound technique for $three,365, and blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-targeted traffic alert for $1,065. To get the latter, Lexus needs you to get the $1,580 Premium Package deal that provides ability folding mirrors, fancy interior trim, memory seats and a moonroof. For creature comforts, I’ll choose the $640 heated and cooled entrance seats, $a hundred and fifty heated steering wheel and $405 2nd-row captain’s chairs. That prolonged checklist of add-ons tends to make my 350L a $fifty six,930 motor vehicle.

With alternatives, this RX 350L Luxury will established you again a amazing $63,540.

Jon Wong/Roadshow

A tiny improved

The 2020 Lexus RX 350L starts at $48,325. Equipping all-wheel push is a $1,four hundred up-charge. That represents a larger price of entry compared to other top quality Japanese three rows this sort of as the MDX ($forty five,525) and QX60 ($forty five,375). The Lexus is the most luxurious and at ease of the trio, but the soar-seat 3rd row is a big strike towards it for anybody needing to transfer six or 7 people today normally.

For people today on the lookout for much more cargo room and only will need to transfer some additional young children sometimes, the RX 350L could operate. But people who will need to make use of a 3rd row normally, the Acura and Infiniti are improved and much more useful deals to consider.

Rosa G. Rose

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