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As a perfect halfway house between family-sized and luxury-orientated SUVs, Lexus' RX has a lot going for it, thinks June Neary
Added 5th July, 2019
The Lexus UX positions Lexus optimally in the compact part of the mid-sized premium brand SUV sector. Jonathan Crouch drives it
The Lexus RX isn't the most capable luxury SUV you can buy. It isn't the sportiest to drive. And it's not the most affordable to buy. But despite all of that, it will continue to attract a significant following in this segment. Once you've bought the thing, after all, its running costs can be usefully less than even the most frugal of its diesel competitors.
While other manufacturers dithered over hybrid technology, Toyota's Lexus division got on and developed it. Their first hybrid RX was an impressive achievement and this one has added more stylish looks and extra technology to existing strengths of comfort, refinement and a high specification. There's also a slightly lengthened RX L seven-seat bodystyle if you want it. Overall , the reasons you'll want to buy this car really haven't changed very much. Comfort, efficiency and class. As ever with Lexus.
The Lexus RX is more versatile in its seven-seat body style. Jonathan Crouch reports on the revised version.
The fourth generation RX was certainly a much improved product - primarily to look at but also in terms of luxury, safety and technology. Less telling, we think, are the handling changes Lexus claimed to have made here: the car itself remains an SUV for the Riviera, rather than the racetrack. For most potential buyers though, that's as it should be. As one writer observed, 'the RX replaces dynamism with the calming aura of whale music and scented candles'. There's something in that.
We still like it though. Forget what the magazines tell you: buyers in search of a large luxury SUV typically prioritise luxury, style and tax-friendly efficiency above almost everything else, these elements being things that this Lexus can here nail more effectively than ever before. According to the brand, it's all about 'sharpened sophistication' and 'seductive strength'; we'd prefer simply to call this a more sensible way to own what remains a very indulgent kind of car.
In summary, if you're in the market for an executive sports saloon of this kind, we'd urge you to look beyond the press reports and make your own mind up about this GS F. Let's be clear: if somebody took us to the Nurburgring and made us choose between this Lexus and, say, an M3 or a Mercedes C63, we'd pick the German option without a second thought. But if we had to drive the model in question every day for a year, there's no way we'd go with the Teutonic choices - something we never thought we have said before we tried this Lexus. It's old school in feel but new wave in execution. And there has to be room in the market for that combination.
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