• Four Lexus RX variants – all with new hybrid powertrains
  • First F SPORT Performance variant from Lexus
  • Performance model equipped with DIRECT4, a new all-wheel drive system

The fifth-generation Lexus RX has undergone a complete renewal that adopts the next-generation Lexus design, an evolved performance through the Lexus Driving Signature and a new cockpit design based on the Tazuna concept that refines the human-centred philosophy present in Lexus’ vehicles.

Arriving in New Zealand for test drives in early 2023, the new RX will be available here only in electrified hybrid variants. The RX 350h will have a 2.5L petrol hybrid powertrain, E-Four all-wheel-drive system and will be available in three specification levels; RX 350h, Limited and Limited with an Enhancement Pack.

In what Lexus claims is a game-changing move from Lexus, the new RX 500h F SPORT Performance combines a turbocharged 2.4L engine, six-speed automatic transmission, DIRECT4 AWD system, and an upgraded hybrid system to produce 273kW of power.

Lexus New Zealand General Manager Andrew Davis says the fifth generation RX offers a diverse lineup of powertrains focused on meeting customers around New Zealand. Since the pioneering RX arrived New Zealand in 2003 it has become a Lexus bestseller.
“The 2023 Lexus RX is a completely reinvented model that opens a major new chapter in the evolution of this iconic SUV. The RX 350h picks up from and extends the driving and luxury experience of the previous RX 450h, while the RX 500h charges into completely new territory offering the power and handling of a turbo-charged engine matched to our latest hybrid and all-wheel drive technology,” he says.

As a core model for Lexus in New Zealand, the RX contributes to our reduction efforts to become a carbon-neutral society, while staying close to the increasingly diversified needs and lifestyles of customers.

Based on the electrification vision “Lexus Electrified” announced in 2019, Lexus has infused its fundamental performance technology with the electrification technologies in the Lexus RX to provide practical electrified vehicle solutions such as HEVs and PHEVs.

In the latest iteration of the RX, the “Lexus Driving Signature” has evolved further through improvements to the vehicle’s fundamentals, while maintaining the refined ride and high level of quietness that are the origins of the Lexus brand, says Lexus.

For the exterior design, Lexus takes on the challenge of creating a unique identity using the “spindle body”, which provides ample cooling functionality with a powerful design style that now incorporates the body colour of the SUV.

While the RX 350h comprises a high degree of luxury and premium materials, the Limited and Limited Enhancement Pack variants add further features. The Limited adds more than 20 variations including 21-inch dark metallic alloy wheels, a world-first Bladescan adaptive high-beam headlights – a technology which uses a rotating blade-shaped mirror for enhanced illumination from LED headlights, a Qi wireless device charger and adaptive variable suspension.

The Limited Enhancement Pack includes the Lexus TeamMate advanced drive function designed to partner with and assist the driver in safety and convenience while driving, an advanced parking system, a digital rearview mirror, and a panoramic roof.

Apart from the performance upgrades, the RX 500h F SPORT Performance includes 20 further variations to the Limited including Dynamic Rear Steering, and F SPORT styling package.

Lexus RX 2023 Pricing

RX 350h 2.5P HEV $120,900
RX 350h Limited 2.5P HEV $131,900
RX 350h Limited 2.5P HEV Enhancement Pack $135,900
RX 500h 2.4PT 1MHEV F SPORT Performance $142,900

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How on earth to start this? I've been car/bike/truck crazy since I was a teen. Like John, I had the obligatory Countach poster on the wall. I guess I'm more officially into classic and muscle cars than anything else - I currently have a '65 Sunbeam Tiger that left the factory the same day as I left the hospital as a newborn with my mother. How could I not buy that car? In 2016 my wife and I drove across the USA in a brand-new Dodge Challenger, and then shipped it home. You can read more on www.usa2nz.co.nz. We did this again in 2019 in a 1990 Chev Corvette - you can read about that trip on DriveLife. I'm a driving instructor and an Observer for the Institute of Advanced Motorists - trying to do my bit to make our roads safer.

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