The 2013 model year for the gas and hybrid variants of Lexus' midsize RX crossover has received a facelift. These were unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Auto Show. Lexus refers to these revisions as a bolder version of the unique "spindle grille," an enhanced interior, additional standard features as well as two new optional appearance packages.
The automaker’s U.S. dealers will be getting the 2013 models next month. It can carry as many as five people and it is offered with 2012 gas and hybrid powertrains either with front- or all-wheel drive.
RX 350 is powered by a 270hp, 3.5-liter V-6 engine with a six-speed automatic. The hybrid RX 450h is powered by a 3.5-liter gas V-6 with an electric motor to deliver up to 295 hp.
Lexus said that the hybrid comes with a Sport mode that improves steering, throttle and transmission shift points so that the powertrain could be made more efficient. The exterior has gotten a new front bumper, a new headlamp design that had LED daytime running lights, rear-end styling tweaks and four new paint colors.
Lexus is considering a new optional Sport Appearance Package that includes new 19-inch chrome wheels, a distinctive front bumper and halogen headlamps. The F-Sport trim is offered on the 450h. It adds features like a honeycomb-style grill insert, body aero package, tinted lights, gas, bigger wheels and sport seats, sport steering wheel and alloy pedals.
For the interior, a power liftgate and USB port are offered as standard. Lexus said that the redesigned steering wheel offer a more comfortable and relaxing grip. Other improvements include a redesigned steering wheel (which were made comfortable), new metallic trim, ebony birds'-eye maple wood trim and saddle-colored leather with contrast stitching.
By itself, the Lexus RX is already able to attract a number of customers due to the amount of space it offers, the luxury features inside, and the highly advanced crossover dual-zone cockpit. However, this was not enough for the brand as it is offering a wider range of color schemes with new trim finishes as well. In addition, the instrument binnacle has been redesigned with a new steering wheel added.
It also comes equipped with the second generation of its Remote Touch Interface. Currently, the choice of colors for the interior includes Black, Ivory, and Light Grey. A new color added is the Saddle Tan. Black and White Grey will be offered as well, exclusive for the F SPORT. Lexus also widened the choice of the trim inserts by adding in the classic Dark Grey and the Walnut.
These new inserts are able to complement the bird’s eye maple Dark Grey finish. There is also a Silver finish that is again made exclusive for the F SPORT. Making it different from the previous generation and their smooth leather finish is the use of the semi-aniline leather upholstery which has been merged with perforations shaped like diamonds.
The use of more pronounced colors and thicker thread allow the stitching of the seats to be enhanced further. Helping the interior have that lively character is the dashboard with the matt silver insert on top of the glovebox. Mentioned previously, there is a new steering wheel and this one offers more comfort considering that the cross-section is not uniform all over the circumference.
Because of this, the driver can experience a more relaxing grip while being guaranteed smooth steering inputs. The brand is offering the option to have the steering wheel that has a wood finish fitted with heated trims. Under the RX 450h variant, the instrument binnacle of the driver has a new Hybrid System Indicator that separates the Eco, Power, and Charge regions clearly.
Illumination is still present though for the new model as it changes depending on what drive mode is chosen and the present driving situation. For example, when the needle of the Hybrid System Indicator points to either the Eco or the Charge zone, the blue ambient illumination is activated. This is possible for the Normal drive mode, Eco drive mode, and EV drive mode. Once the needle points to the Power zone, the blue light is turned off. Under Sport mode though, the illumination is always in red no matter what the current zone is.