2024 Lexus TX Up Close: At Last, a Truly Spacious Three-Row Lexus

lexus-tx-500h-2024-01-exterior-front-angle 2024 Lexus TX 500h | photo by Rasy Ran

There’s been a gaping hole in Lexus’ SUV lineup for quite some time: The Japanese luxury brand has never had a proper three-row crossover-style SUV with enough room for adults in all three rows. The Lexus GX and LX are old-school truck-style SUVs at their cores, and the short-lived RX-L mid-size SUV had a highly compromised third row that was barely big enough for small children.

That product-line deficit is set to be rectified this fall, when the all-new 2024 Lexus TX is slated to go on sale. At long last, Lexus will have a vehicle that squares off directly against rival three-row SUVs like the Acura MDX, Cadillac XT6 and Lincoln Aviator. We had the chance to check out Lexus’ long-anticipated all-new model in person at its reveal event in Austin, Texas. (Per our ethics policy, pays for its own airfare and lodging at such automaker-sponsored events.)

Related: 2024 Lexus TX: An Admission That Putting a Third Row in the RX Wasn’t the Best Idea

Like a Toyota Grand Highlander, Only Fancier

The TX shares its basic platform and two of its three available powertrains with the Toyota Grand Highlander, which is also new for 2024. To some eyes, the TX’s exterior styling might not go far enough in truly differentiating the TX from its Toyota counterpart — the overall profiles and body shapes are very similar, but there are a fair number of Lexus-specific touches on the TX. These include larger headlights with unique checkmark-shaped daytime running lamps, a subdued version of Lexus’ signature spindle-shaped grille and a sleek full-width taillight treatment. The grille design is particularly intriguing, as the grille slots are seamlessly integrated into the surrounding front bumper for an unusual one-piece look.

Compared to the Grand Highlander, the TX also gets a bit more brightwork, available 22-inch wheels and a blacked-out rear roof-pillar treatment, all of which provide a unique upscale look. We examined a TX 500h F Sport Performance variant at the reveal event, which was finished in a muted gray color (appropriately named Incognito) and livened up by its standard 22-inch wheels in a dark finish and model-exclusive design.

Posh Interior

Even if its exterior embellishments might not be assertive enough for some luxury-brand shoppers, the TX does a better job of standing out when it comes to cabin ambiance. On the TX 500h we examined, the upscale details included handsome suede-looking accents on the dash and door panels, classy contrast stitching and supple perforated leather upholstery in all three rows. If you’re familiar with Lexus’ recently redesigned NX and RX SUVs, you’ll recognize several components of the TX’s control layout, including the available 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and multi-function head-up display, the standard Lexus Interface multimedia system with a 14-inch touchscreen, and a stubby gear-selector lever (the lever’s short height makes it a bit easier to access the center console and its cupholders).

The outer-hinged console lids open like bomb-bay doors, which makes the deep console bin easier to access from the second-row seats; the console doors themselves are nicely padded for center-armrest duty. The TX also gets one of my favorite features in new Lexus vehicles: digital electric-release door handles. Simply press the door-mounted button, and the door pops open. Some might consider this a frivolous feature, but it makes getting in and out of the vehicle a smidge easier every time — a tangible plus if you’re lazy like I am. The latch buttons can also be pulled manually in the event of a power loss. Among the other lux features on the TX 500h on display were a panoramic moonroof, pull-up sunshades in the rear doors, heated and ventilated second-row seats, and a digital camera rearview mirror that should come in handy when the headrests for the third-row seats are slightly blocking the view out the rear window.

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Space Aplenty

The TX can be equipped with second-row captain’s chairs for six-passenger seating (which includes an uncovered second-row console bin with dual cupholders) or a 60/40-split second-row bench for seven-passenger capacity. There’s excellent passenger space in the second row, and those seats tilt and slide forward at the press of a seatback button to create a decently large opening to the third-row seats.

The third row is spacious enough for average-sized adults to ride in comfort, especially with the available power-reclining seatbacks. Third-row amenities are respectable, as well. Handy storage bins with cupholders are integrated into the interior side panels, as are molded-in grab handles (for easier third-row entry and exit) that double as mounting points for the third-row USB charging ports. There are seven charging ports and three power outlets located throughout the TX, so occupants should have no problems keeping their devices powered up.

Cargo space is generous, as well. According to Lexus’ measurements, there’s 20.1 cubic feet behind the third row, which expands to 57.4 with the third row folded and 97 with both the second and third rows folded.

Powertrains Aplenty

The TX launches with a choice of two powertrains. The entry-level TX 350 trim is powered by a 275-horsepower, turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and is available with front-or all-wheel drive. Stepping up to the TX 500h (which comes only in F Sport Performance trim) nets the turbo 2.4-liter four paired with an electric motor system for a total output of 366 hp and standard AWD. These two powertrains are slightly stronger versions of the ones offered in the Grand Highlander, but the TX has another ace up its sleeve. Arriving later in the model year is the TX 550h+ plug-in hybrid; it gets a new 3.5-liter V-6 hybrid powertrain that delivers 406 hp and an estimated 33 miles of pure electric driving on a full charge.

The 550h+ is expected to be the most economical as well as the most powerful of the TX trio — it’s estimated to achieve 30 mpg in combined driving, compared to 24 mpg for the TX 500h and 21 mpg for the TX 350.

Lexus hasn’t released any pricing information on the TX yet, and we won’t drive one until later this summer, but it nonetheless strikes us as a surefire addition to the Lexus lineup — it seems all but guaranteed to bring new customers to the brand. We’re especially intrigued by the impressive specs of the forthcoming PHEV version, though we’ll have to wait a while longer to get behind the wheel of that one.

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Senior Research Editor Damon Bell has more than 25 years of experience in the automotive industry, beginning as an Engineering Graphics researcher/proofreader at model-car manufacturer Revell-Monogram. From there, he moved on to various roles at Collectible Automobile magazine and Consumer Guide Automotive before joining in August 2022. He served as president of the Midwest Automotive Media Association in 2019 and 2020. Email Damon Bell

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