Just when you thought the Lexus RX series of SUVs couldn’t get any more luxurious — you thought wrong. Unmistakable in design and presence, the all-new Lexus RX has continuously maintained its position as one of the most popular SUVs on the market. The Lexus RX 2019 version has officially launched in Malaysia with subtle revisions to the design and features advanced safety technologies and improved with a new multimedia touchscreen system with smartphone connectivity to improve efficiency while looking as rugged as ever.
Here are some notable features to the new trail-blazing Lexus RX:
All variants are powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, which develops 235 hp from 4,800 to 5,600 rpm and 350 Nm of torque from 1,650 to 4,000 rpm. The mill is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, with the all-wheel-drive coming as standard.
While the powertrain is familiar, the RX’s dynamics have been improved, with new stabiliser bars that are not only hollow to save weight but also thicker in diameter and feature reinforced bushings to reduce body roll and improve steering response. With a turbocharged engine like this, you’ll need power wheels to match it; the 20-inch hyper chrome metallic rims will strengthen your driving performance.
Just A Touch
As for the interior, it remains largely similar to the pre-facelift model, with the biggest change being the addition of a 12.3-inch display touchscreen on the dashboard of all variants except the base Premium that has an eight-inch unit instead.
The award-winning Remote Touch Interface (RTI) has been continuously evolving since it was first introduced. The RTI is now a touchpad type to improve controllability. With the new Remote Touchpad Controller (RTC), the driver can more easily make inputs such as Touch & Drag, Scroll and Pinch to Zoom.
The driver-focused cockpit is also further improved with a new multimedia touchscreen system with the smartphone connectivity that includes Android Auto and Apple Carplay. Upgrades include paddle shifters, a smartphone holder on the centre console as well as dual USB ports at the front and in the rear of the vehicle. For added convenience a wireless charger in the centre console enables portable devices to be charged without a cable.
Further improvements of the interior and design of the RX 300 reflects the Japanese traditional ‘omotenashi’ or ‘hospitality’, like every Lexus model since the brand was created 30 years ago. You can personalise your seating position for maximum comfort with the introduction of 10 adjustments for the front seats (for RX Premium and Luxury only) while the rear seats are only 2-way power-adjustable (for Luxury and F SPORT only).
Each time the engine is switched off, the driver’s seat slides rearwards as the steering wheel rises to allow easy movement in and out. Fans are also installed in the front seats to provide ventilation when desired and both front and rear seats of the RX 300 Luxury and F SPORT are also fitted with seat heaters which can be activated when desired; improving comfort for passengers.
But that’s not all, there is now the convenience of not just a powered back door but also handsfree opening. Particularly convenient for when your hands are full, all you need to do is place a foot under the rear bumper for a sensor to activate the unlocking sequence to raise the door open and voila.
To maximize protection, another update is the fitment of Lexus Safety System+ as standard for all RX variants. This is a suite of four advanced safety systems designed to improve preventive safety performance through driver alerts, semi-autonomous driving assistance, and driver aids. These include the Pre-Collision System with Front Pre-Collision System (PCS) which uses sensors to monitor the road ahead. Depending on the situation, the driver may receive warnings to take action or the system may apply the brake automatically to avoid a collision or reduce its damaging effects.
Next, the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with Stop & Go function is an advanced cruise control system that adjusts the vehicle’s set speed when necessary to maintain a safe gap with a vehicle in front. Additionally, if the vehicle ahead decelerates and comes to a standstill, the DRCC remains active and when the vehicle ahead moves again, the RX 300 will also resume moving forward. This is a form of semi-autonomous motoring which can reduce fatigue in conditions where there is a lot of traffic.
The Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) works in tandem with DRCC by partially assisting steering operation to keep the vehicle within the centre of the lane. Like PCS, the system will take the appropriate action based on the conditions assessed by the computer. If the driver does not take action when warnings are given, LTA can apply force to the steering wheel to direct the vehicle back into the lane.
Lastly, the new Adaptive Highbeam System (AHS) with BladeScan™ is a world-first from Lexus and provides vastly improved illumination of the road ahead for safer night driving. BladeScan works by controlling a rotating mirror (200 rotations per second) and switching LEDs on and off selectively to focus on hazards while avoiding shining into the eyes of oncoming drivers.
All variants now have camera-aided parking with the reverse camera working in tandem with clearance sonar sensors to assist the driver during reversing or parking. The RX 300 Luxury and F SPORT have a 360-degree Panoramic View Monitor which not only gives a bird’s eye view but also a see-through view feature that enables the driver to view vehicle surroundings as though looking out from an invisible vehicle.
Feel The Drive
Drive Mode Select offers up to 3 pre-set programmes (4 for the F SPORT). Using a rotary dial, the driver can select a program that prioritises fuel economy or extremely sporty driving. The F SPORT variant also offers Custom drive mode that allows the driver to custom-adjust the powertrain, suspension, steering and airconditioning system.
The RX 300 has Dynamic Torque Control AWD for maximum grip and stability on all surface conditions. Using various sensors that monitor wheel movements and steering angles, the front axle to rear axle torque distribution can be varied between 100:0 to 50:50. Levels of torque distribution are graphically shown on the Multi-Information Display so the driver is aware of varying surface conditions that affect grip, should they occur.
Ready for the Lexus Experience? The latest RX comes in three variants in Malaysia. Starting with the RX300 Premium that is priced at RM399,888 on-the-road without insurance. Following this is the RX300 Luxury at RM424,888 as well as the RX300 F Sport at RM439,888, with all prices inclusive of a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty.
For more information, visit www.lexus.com.my.