I want to be perfectly honest with you guys — this is The Truth About Cars, after all — I didn’t like driving the 2022 Lexus RX450h AWD F Sport. It’s not that the Lexus is a bad car, it’s that it’s not the right fit for me … and I mean that both figuratively and literally.
Those of you with checkered shirts in yer closet and a few pogs still kicking around may recall it was the original Lexus RX from the late ‘90s which arguably kicked off the “tall wagon” car-based luxury crossover craze. Sure, the first Ford Explorer put us all on a path to what we see in suburban driveways today, but it was the RX which placed them in the hands of moneyed types.
Lexus introduced a new RX yesterday near its home base in Texas, expanding the number of powertrains and (finally) dumping the ill-advised three-row model. And, oh yeah – we need to have a conversation about that grille.
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.
The grandpappy of all luxury crossovers, the Lexus RX, has long been the runaway sales leader in its segment. Last year, the RX crushed its competition like beetles under its feet, selling 109,435 units. That’s nearly one-in-five midsize luxury crossovers.
Intent on proving that too much of a good thing is a good thing, the RX will further cement its domination with the introduction of a three-row version, set to appear at this year’s L.A. Auto Show.
Well, what we mean is less information is more frustrating. Or less exterior styling is more attractive. Or the less we know, the more we want to know. You get the gist.
Unveiled in Tokyo alongside its legendary 1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport, the RX-Vision “represents a vision of the future that Mazda hopes to one day make into reality,” according to the automaker.
Mazda was pretty mum on the details, including how it plans to update its next-generation rotary engine, dubbed Skyactiv-R, to comply with modern fuel economy standards. Will it be a range extender for hydrogen power? Will it be boosted? Will it blend? These are all important questions, people.
Speaking to Autocar on Tuesday, Mazda’s chief research and development officer Kiyoshi Fujiwara said that the company’s sportscar concept coming to the Tokyo Motor Show this week would in fact be a rotary-powered RX concept. (I can’t help but feel like he just called me out.)
The new engine, which has been dubbed Skyactiv-R (because of course it is), would come “some time in the future,” which would mean he’s coming for me soon.
Pack a lunch, Fujiwara. You and I will be dancing all day.
I remember when the RX rolled onto the scene in 1998. It was truly the first successful crossover as we would know it today. While everyone else was trying to produce a truck-based luxury SUV, Lexus took the Camry/ES platform, put a jelly-bean inspired box on top and jacked the ride height up to 7.7 inches. The result was instant sales success. As we all know however, success has a price. The marshmallow-soft FWD RX lacked road feel, steering feel and sex appeal. Although it’s a bit late in the game, Lexus has decided to fix that last problem with the introduction of the 2013 RX F-Sport.
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