The Lexus RX 350 was a fine mid-size luxury SUV that was saddled with one gigantic catch: a terrible multimedia system. This was not unique to the RX 350; the rest of the Lexus lineup also induced frustration (unless you happened to be in the LC 500, which is so pretty that we seem not to care). But there’s good news: The 2020 RX 350 seems to be patient zero, carrying the cure that the rest of Lexus’ vehicles also need: a touchscreen.
That’s right folks, it’s time to sound the trumpets and raise the flags. Common sense has come to Lexus in the form of a standard 8-inch or optional 12.3-inch touchscreen that sits perched atop the well-appointed dashboard. It is a bit far away — as we noted in our review, you’ll have to lean forward to reach it (especially the right side of the screen), but I’d rather lean forward than be stuck using that touchpad again. Granted, the touchpad is still there behind the gear lever to be used as a menu button or if you long for the sad old days.
The multimedia updates take the headlines, but there are other changes to like on the 2020 RX. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity come along for the ride to give you a welcome alternative to the native system, though the built-in navigation functions have improved and the system will recognize a wider range of voice commands now. Lexus is also splitting the F Sport packages into two for 2020 — one as more of an appearance package, the other with more tangible performance upgrades. The RX 350 we tested came with both packages, and we found they added more road feel, though not enough to make the vehicle engaging. For a family-oriented SUV, that’s fine.
Speaking of family-oriented, I’d also like to give Lexus a shout out for its new kick-to-open tailgate. These systems never work right; you end up standing behind the vehicle kicking under the bumper and cursing furiously while bystanders wonder if they should call the police or a psychologist. The RX 350’s system, however, worked flawlessly: Our reviewer went 5-for-5 in trying to open the liftgate.
Remember that if this version of the RX doesn’t do it for you, there are also hybrid (RX 450h) and three-row (RX 350 L and RX 450h L) versions, as well. Interested in purchasing a 2020 Lexus RX of some variety? We’ve driven it, tested it and reported on it. If you’re shopping for one, here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 RX 350 (and family):
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