By on April 1, 2015

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The fourth-gen 2016 Lexus RX arrived in the spotlight at the 2015 New York Auto Show.

Power for the standard RX comes via 3.5-liter direct-injection V6 delivering 300 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic, while the RX 450h uses a 3.5-liter Atkinson-cycle V6 in a hybrid setup, also putting out 300 horsepower.

Styling is updated for 2016, with the premium crossover taking on Lexus’ Predator-esque design language. Standard 19-inch wheels with optional 20-inch aluminum wheels are available, while LED lighting flanks the front and rear.

Inside, rear occupants gain more leg and knee room, and have their choice of viewing the sky via a power panorama moonroof, or checking up on their Toyota shares via an entertainment system with a pair of 11.6-inch screens. The driver, meanwhile, has an available HUD keeping important details within sight, along with a 12.3-inch monitor with full-screen map.

Those who want more can opt for the AWD-only F Sport package, which includes 20-inch graphite-finish alloys, perforated leather trim, Sport S+ driving mode, and custom instrument cluster.

Other features include: the Lexus Safety System+ package, debuting with the RX; Michelin Premier tires; adaptive variable suspension; vehicle stability; and three driving modes — four with the aformentioned F Sport package.

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51 Comments on “New York 2015: 2016 Lexus RX Bows...”


  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I like the stripy wood with the brown interior, reminds me of some kitchen wainscoting. The gloss black plastic to disguise the truly massive C-pillar is very unfortunate, and a cheap trick for lazy designers.

    Other than that, the front end is ridiculous as expected, and I think the rest is not as bad as it could’ve been. It’s making the MDX and the Murano Platinum look better and better.

    • 0 avatar
      GS 455

      I just hate when they try to disguise a massive C or D pillar with black plastic. Why can’t they make the pillar out of stronger material but smaller and add real glass? Oh right, it would cost “too much”.

      • 0 avatar
        Blackcloud_9

        If you look at the interior shot of the back seat, you’ll see what appears to be a small port window next to the (probably) Mark Levison speaker. Surmising from this, the black on the outside is probably glass. I think it is a good design element. It breaks up what is traditionally is a design problem for the massive C pillars that seem prevalent.
        I agree that the predator (used to be called spindle) grill is way too big now. I used to give Lexus props for at least trying something different but now they’re pushing it too far.

        • 0 avatar
          SlowMyke

          Piggy-backing on the comments of lazy designers and ridiculous predator-face grills, the giant grill fad strikes me as one of the laziest design features ever. It seems the best solution to designing the front of cars these days is to cover as much of it with grill as possible and fill it up with some textured plastic (kudos to Lexus for not chroming it I guess…). Then all you have to do is pick a crazy shape for headlights (make them big enough to cover the top corners of the front) and tack on some fake plastic intake/fog light pieces to cover the lower corners, and you there you go. The front of the car requires as little thought possible to design. Blech.

  • avatar
    pdl2dmtl

    Either the belt-line is higher or the height of the vehicle is lower. It seems they followed Audi and Volvo in this new trend.

  • avatar
    Thorshammer_gp

    Just when I thought that stupid Predator nose couldn’t get worse, it does. And the cladding/window behind the C-pillar are horrific.

    Those things aside, it’s relatively okay-looking for a CUV. The interior doesn’t look like a bad place to be.

    *Edit: Never mind. The more I see of this, the worse it gets.

  • avatar
    Richard Chen

    Paging Mr. Mehta, DLO fails are metastasizing…

  • avatar
    fr88

    You’re kidding. This is a joke, right? April Fools? You’re not serious that this eye-searingly ugly thing will soon mar the suburban landscape?

  • avatar
    BunkerMan

    Wouldn’t it have been easier to just paint the whole front of the car black? I mean pretty soon it’s just going to be all grille at this rate.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    I don’t get the point of having this and the NX. When I test drove the NX a month or so ago it was very nice and pretty spacious and better than the current RX in my opinion. If they had made the RX more spacious and given it a third row that would have been one thing, but this and the NX seem to occupy the same space.

    • 0 avatar
      tekdemon

      It’s not mentioned in the post here on TTAC but Lexus is actually doing exactly that, the new RX is larger and is getting a third row now that the NX exists.
      So no, there won’t be a bizarre overlap of two identical looking crossovers. The RX gets to go further upscale and upsize now that the NX is out.
      Though I guess I won’t he seeing the new RX in the urban landscape anymore since it’ll become near impossible to parallel park in tight spaces.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        It’s not *that* much larger — only about 5″ longer. The third row is going to be optional and won’t be available until sometime in calendar year 2016.

        Frankly, I have trouble seeing how they’re going to fit a usable third row into this thing. I suspect it will be a severely compromised setup like the X5 (which, incidentally, is almost exactly the same length as the new RX).

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Jesus tap dancing Christ in a birch bark canoe what the Hell did they do to the RX?

  • avatar
    duffman13

    I read this as RX blows. Looking at the pictures, the headline wasn’t far off.

  • avatar
    izzy

    Yikes. This car will not age well.

  • avatar
    nguyenvuminh

    I have never been interested in it but it will sell. It will sell, like crazy, like it always does.

  • avatar
    210delray

    Oh man, that grille! Darth Vader returns as a Lexus!

  • avatar
    discoholic

    The blacked-out D-pillar treatment works quite well on the white F-Sport, whereas IMHO on the dark purple/black 450h in the pictures, it’s a hot mess because they simply didn’t know what to do with the chrome strip. You can already see in the interior shot that visibility will be absolutely appalling – that laughable mini-window in the D-pillar really is completely useless, especially on the driver’s side.

    As for the rest, there’s too many creases that go absolutely nowhere, the spindle grille from hell has gone from bad to worse, and the front overhang is so monstrous that your headlights will arrive at your destination about two minutes before you do.

    The NX is so much better resolved…

  • avatar
    blacktsxwagon

    This styling is waaaay too dramatic for such a conservative segment. I’m predicting a very conservative refresh for this a la the last TL

  • avatar

    I quite like it, although it’s obvious that the D-pillars got bigger and the quarter panel windows smaller.

  • avatar
    1st_one

    I’m guessing that I may be the minority but it looks much better than the previous generation. I’m not the targeted demographic but it’s not that bad looking IMO.

    • 0 avatar

      I agree. The old one was milquetoast-looking, and didn’t exactly go with the “predator” look that was grafted on during its 2013 facelift. But this is, at least, a cohesive design, and I like it. I would also say that it’s far less of a mommy-mobile just on design alone. The only thing I don’t like is how big Lexus’ steering wheel badges have gotten, but that’s something that the old RX also was guilty of.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Milquetoast sells – zoom zoom doesn’t.

        Lexus is in the business of selling miquetoast and it has served them very well for decades. BMW is selling more product by heading to mliquetoast, so is Subaru.

        • 0 avatar
          GS 455

          It’s the “Mommys” who have been buying and driving these things. I was expecting a more evolutionary change to a vehicle that has been so successful in it’s segment. The interior has gone with a much more teutonic look so it will be interesting to see how the new RX does.

        • 0 avatar
          PriusV16

          Depends on where you’re selling such a thing, I guess.

          Russian and Chinese nouveau-riches will be all over this thing. The rest of the world…. not so much, I guess. Unless that rest of the world suddenly discovers their love for japanese mangas, out of which this monstrosity seems to have jumped.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        I am pretty sure “milquetoast” is a core tenet of the Lexus identity.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      My MIL has the current RX and while a nice car, it isn’t something that would be on my shopping list. I quite liked the NX but it seemed a little tight for our “do everything” vehicle. With the new styling going away from jelly bean and toward a slightly taller sport back wagon, I could see the RX making it on our list… especially if the gas mileage from the new 3.5 and 8AT push it up to the 30mpg hwy range. The C pillar isn’t conventionally attractive, but I do find it interesting.

  • avatar
    jimble

    One word: Monstrous.

    They really don’t even pretend to put front bumpers on cars now, do they? This thing would last about 2 seconds in my neighborhood.

  • avatar
    PriusV16

    I didn’t know Chris Bangle works for Lexus now.

    • 0 avatar
      cpthaddock

      He still secretly works for BMW – now trying to rescue their design by out-uglying the competition.

      • 0 avatar
        PriusV16

        Before laying eyes on that thing here, I would have said, “Go check your tinfoil hats, man.”

        *After* laying eyes on it, I’m pretty sure you’re right….

        (;^]

        (On a more serious note, I *really* wouldn’t be surprised if Bangle liked this design. He’s a guy who likes to talk about “the narrative to come out of a design”, and if that “narrative” is “Let’s make our previously boring cars outlandish and ostentatious”, he’s probably fine with it. Just a guess, of course.)

  • avatar
    cpthaddock

    Something about the white full frontal pic almost makes the orifice appear top be clad in a fish net stocking.

    Lexus are definitely not alone in this trend, but overall I’m reminded of the 1980’s design trend in mainstream HiFi, which lead manufacturers to include ever greater numbers of spurious design elements that served no purpose other than to make their latest gear stand out on the shelf.

    – More blinking, flashing lights and shiny bits – check.
    – Extra buttons – check.
    – More plastic – check.
    – Gratuitous lines, bumps and indentations – check.

    Years from now, this will be very apparent. The design of the first RX was fresh and attractive. It’s just been downhill ever since.

    My last best hope is that the next generation of Google Glass will have an app that blur censors the lines of these vehicles like genitalia in Japanese porn, circumventing the need to choose between averting my gaze and flinching.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    I am amazed at how ackward Lexus lines have become. I saw an RC350 in a parking lot and as I looked closer, I just kept looking at the strange lines, the odd creases, the obnoxious grill. Whereas Acura has an odd grill, the more I see curent Lexus, I feel more and more like the entire car is just plain ackward. I’ve never been a Lexus fan, but the more I see stuff like this, the less and less I care how good it actually might be.

  • avatar
    dtremit

    I’m really struggling to understand how a company that does this good a job on the interior can do something that horribly tone-deaf on the exterior.

  • avatar
    Acubra

    So Darth Vader and Predator walked into a bar…

    When you thought that it cannot get any uglier – it did.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Man what happened here? The current RX appeals to the more conservative crew with decent looks, straightforward interior, comfy ride etc.

    Is Lexus trying to sport-out everything now? Did I see metal pedals? Ridiculous dash?

    My grandmother has owned the last 2 gen and I look at this and think no way.

    They’ll still see but I see this car struggling… Its just too radical of a departure.

  • avatar
    SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

    Every time Lexus reveals a new model or concept with the spindle grille, the “B&B” are all up in arms about the grotesque “predator” grille and “horrible lines”, DLO “Fail”, etc.

    Every time the monthly sales are posted, those commenters are baffled.

    Interesting how that is.

    • 0 avatar
      dtremit

      Well, they haven’t sold any concepts, and the bulk of their sales come from models currently sporting much more subtle grilles.

      The RX alone makes up 29% of Lexus sales in the US, making it particularly important. The ES comes in second (18%) and has the most restrained grille in the lineup. The GS and the GX, both in the top 5 models, both have toned-down spindles.

      The NX is selling well, but it’s a brand new model in a hot segment.

      • 0 avatar
        SELECTIVE_KNOWLEDGE_MAN

        Those comments were exactly the same when the RX was face lifted and when the GS and ES debuted with the spindle grilles. Go back to the comment threads for those vehicles and you wouldn’t know those designs were “toned down”.

        Both the IS and the GS became relevant in the market with the new styling and the NX seems to not only do well, but also boost the current spindle-treated RX.

        Edit:
        To be fair the ES comments are void of the “predator” comments which typically come with F-versions. Actually. There seems to be quite a lot of comments giving into the reality that the ES seems to be nailing its market.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Really fussy and overwrought. Like the floating d-pillar though. The high belt-line on these stretches the lower part of the grille out of proportion. In profile it loks surprisingly low and wagon-like. Overall, they should have put a Lexus interior in a Venza. The NX in comparison looks much better.

  • avatar
    gasser

    I have actually bought 3 RXs since 1999.
    This won’t be the fourth one

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