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2020 Lexus RX: First Look

  • It’s the first Lexus to get both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
  • Updated suspension tuning for sportier driving dynamics.
  • There’s a new F-Sport "look" package.

For more than 20 years, the Lexus RX has been the go-to luxury SUV for many Americans. Did Lexus invent the luxury SUV? Not really — that’s likely the Jeep Wagoneer or the Oldsmobile Bravada. However, Lexus may have invented the luxury crossover vehicle way back in 1997.

For 2020, the top-selling Lexus gets a bit of a makeover. This isn’t a fundamentally different car, but rather a set of enhancements that add features and update the look of the Lexus RX.

What’s Different Outside?

The look is updated front and back and there are two new F-Sport packages. F-Sport is, essentially, the Lexus version of a "sport package." Leuxs has offered the F-Sport option on many of its cars and SUVs for a while now, but the big difference here is the fact that you can get an F-Sport appearance package. Basically, it makes the car look sportier while keeping the soft ride many Lexus buyers want. But there’s also the RX F-Sport package that actually provides additional suspension tuning for a sportier feel via a more responsive active variable suspension (AVS). The 2020 Lexus RX also gets new colors like Moonbeam Beige Metallic and Nori Green Pearl. Wheels for the 2020 RX also get revised too.

What’s Different Inside?

The biggest and maybe even the most practical change is the availability of Android Auto, the first Lexus model to get the phone and data connectivity feature. That means the 2020 Lexus RX has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and can be accessed via an 8-in touchscreen or an optional 12.3-in touchscreen. And that 12-in touchscreen is a new addition as the RX’s information and entertainment features used to be accessible only via a mouse like controller and a touchpad mounted near the shifter. Now, owners can use whichever one they want. The Lexus touchpad has been divisive as some feel it’s clunky and counter-intuitive, but many owners find it invaluable.

Active sound control and a heated steering wheel can be added on F-Sport vehicles. RX 350L and RX 450L get Lexus’ NuLuxe (a kind of synthetic leather) seating and interior trim as standard and "Birch" is a newly available interior trim.

What’s New Under the Hood?

The engine choices for the 2020 Lexus RX are the same as with the previous version. That means a 3.5-liter V6 connected to an 8-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional. The hybrid RX 450h and 450hL combine a 3.5-liter V6 with two electric drive motor/generators. AWD is standard on the hybrid.

What Are Some New Features?

For the 2020 model year, Lexus adds Lexus Safety System+ as standard equipment. This means daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection, Road Sign Assist and Lane Tracing Assist are part of the safety detection system. Much of this is accomplished by increasing the camera’s sensitivity and range. Find a Lexus RX for sale

Brian Moody
Brian Moody is an author specializing in transportation, automotive, electric cars, future vehicles as well as new, used, and certified pre-owned advice. He also specializes in liking ridiculous cars like the Buick Reatta, Studebaker Lark, and the GM A-Body wagons from the late 80s and mid-90s. Why? You'd have to ask him. Brian graduated from Cal State Long Beach and has been creating written... Read More

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