- Most significant changes in the new Lexus RX: More safety features and a GPS app that integrates a smartphone’s navigation system into the Lexus RX are standard. The Lexus RX 350 F Sport model is available with front-wheel drive.
- Price change: Prices are $1,120 higher on the base RX 350 and $1,195 higher on the all-wheel-drive F Sport. Prices have been cut by $600 on the RX 450h and $400 on the RX 450h F Sport. The destination charge is $25 higher at $975.
- On sale: September for RX 350 and November for RX 450h
- Which should you buy, 2016 or 2017? 2017 because of additional standard safety features
Related: More Lexus News
The most popular line in the Lexus stable gets more standard safety features and new smartphone integration for 2017. The newly-standard safety features on this RX 350 and 450h include a blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, pre-collision braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning with steering assist, adaptive cruise control and automatic high beams.
Also standard for 2017 Lexus RS is Scout GPS Link, an app that integrates a smartphone’s navigation into the RX.
Lexus has been targeting younger buyers with sportier models such as the IS sedan and NX crossover, and the RX crossover turned in that direction with a 2016 redesign that incorporates more expressive styling, starting with its gaping, spindle-shaped grille. The result is that sales are up about 10 percent for the calendar year, and the RX continues to be the best-selling Lexus model by a wide margin.
For 2017, this five-passenger crossover SUV returns as the RX 350 with a 3.5-liter gas V-6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission and as the RX 450h hybrid with a continuously variable automatic transmission and electric motors and nickel-metal hydride battery that assist the V-6 in acceleration and boosting fuel economy. The RX 350 comes in base and F Sport trim, and both are available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Previously, the Lexus RX 350 F Sport was all-wheel drive only. For 2017, the RX 450h also comes in base and F Sport versions, and both have all-wheel drive. The front-drive RX 450h has been discontinued.
The Lexus RX continues to satisfy customers looking for comfort, luxury and reliability more than thrilling performance. Plenty of rivals, though, match the RX in luxury and comfort and throw in better overall performance, such as the Audi Q5, BMW X5 and Acura MDX. Even loyal RX owners owe it to themselves to at least look elsewhere.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on Sept. 16, 2016, to reflect that the Scout GPS Link is a navigation-only app.