2020 Lexus RX: A Touch of Change

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Lexus’ refreshed RX line is all about minor changes, though one new addition for 2020 might have even Lexus loyalists on their feet, cheering.

Despite an outward appearance that hasn’t changed all that much over the outgoing version, drivers of the 2020 RX can plunk themselves behind the wheel, reach out with their right hand, and touch the difference.

Yes, for 2020, the RX adopts a touchscreen infotainment system, allowing drivers to avoid the brand’s much-maligned touchpad controller when accessing menus and icons on the 8-inch (or optional 12.3-inch) multimedia screen. In this writer’s experience, the touchpad required the fingers of a surgeon to prevent the indicator from skittering across the screen and missing its intended target. As using a laptop touchpad already instills a vague sense of nausea in yours truly, it was far from an ideal setup.

Not that Lexus’ touchpad has gone away. No, it’s still there, aft of the shifter, but you don’t need to use it. The only obstacle preventing touchpad abstainers from achieving a moment of motoring zen is the reach required to physically touch the screen.

Drivers will be happy to learn that, finally, Android Auto connectivity has joined the RX equipment roster. This, along with Apple CarPlay, becomes standard kit for 2020.

Outside, the RX adopts slimmer headlamps flanking the ever-present spindle grille, with larger front intakes taking away some of the gaping maw’s terrifying presence. Foglights now reside in a horizontal strip resting at the bottom of those openings. Rear-end changes amount to a tweaked placement of the reflectors.

Other content changes include an upgraded Dynamic Voice Command that Lexus claims will understand more barked orders. Standard safety features now include traffic sign recognition, daytime bicyclist detection, and low-light pedestrian detection. For those who like taking it easy, the RX’s full-speed adaptive cruise control incorporates lane centering to keep the vehicle from straying, using the vehicle in front as a guide if need be.

Should all of this content fail to impress, Lexus saw fit to add spot welds and extra structural adhesive, resulting in a more rigid chassis, then rejigged the vehicle’s suspension with new shocks and stiffer (yet lighter) stabilizer bars to better smooth out road imperfections and improve handling. Active corner braking arrives to lessen the chance of understeer.

There’s nothing new to report under the hood, as both bodystyles and powertrains carry over for the coming model year. Long-wheelbase, three-row “L” variants and hybrid versions of both bodystyles will be there for the taking. For 2020, F Sport buyers gain a choice of packages: an appearance package that omits the cold air intake, active sound control (cabin exhaust amplification), and heated steering wheel, while keeping the upgraded active variable suspension, or the whole kit and caboodle.

The 2020 RX line goes into production in the third quarter of this year. Pricing to come.

[Images: Lexus]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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2 of 19 comments
  • Lie2me Lie2me on May 30, 2019

    I've always associated the RX series with middle aged real estate agents, because the only time I've every been in one was when someone was trying to sell me a house

  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on May 30, 2019

    I bet Lexus has the smallest design budget of any luxury brand. It just doesn't make sense to spend money making a pretty car.As long as it's quiet ,dead nuts reliable, and cushily suspended, and the dealers are in right part of town and pamper their patrons, they'll move product. That's my Lexus run on sentence. It's too bad GM made Buick what it is, they could've had a piece of the pie.

  • Dartdude They need to rebrand the models, The standard model should be Wagoneer and long version should be Grand Wagoneer. There should offer the Ram Rev powertrain in these
  • Irvingklaws Seems more like they're adopting Honda styling queues. Now if they would just adopt their reliability...
  • FreedMike "Obsidian Edition."Oooooh, obsidian is really, really hard stuff.
  • John The awesome Infiniti G series saved this company 20 years ago, but they are right back on track to obsolescence. (yawn)
  • Teddyc73 White with black wheels, I'm so sick of. Or dull grey and black wheels. Just stop.