When introduced as an early 1999 model, the Lexus RX 300 became the first “premium” crossover, setting the stage for many to follow. It quickly became the company’s best-selling vehicle, something it continues to be to this day.
In its last full redesign, the 2016 edition went wild. Smooth, rounded styling was replaced by sharp creases and swooping curves, and numerous new high-tech features were added.
As a mid-cycle refresh, the 2020 version revealed this week in both the US and China builds on that theme with styling tweaks joined by some significant equipment additions.
Most of the styling alterations appeared up front, where redesigned grille inserts (distinct designs for base and F Sport models) are joined by slimmer headlights and revised fascia (also different for the two versions). In back, taillights and the rear fascia are also revised – though less dramatically – and new 18- and 20-inch wheels designs have been adopted. A couple new color choices round out the exterior updates.
But there’s more news from the equipment side.
The power liftgate now offers foot-activated hands-free operation, and the forward collision warning system adds cyclist detection. Also added are lane-keep assist and road-sign recognition.
Infotainment systems replace the previous console joystick “puck” with the touchpad now used in most other Lexus vehicles, and the RX gets an available 12.3-inch touchscreen (to replace a non-touch screen) that allows for some redundant touch controls. Furthermore, the 2020 RX has Apple CarPlay, and becomes the first Lexus product to get Android Auto – something long (and oddly) missing from the company’s equipment roster.
While these are hardly huge changes, those from the equipment side, at least, are notable in that they help the RX’s feature list reflect the vehicle’s thoroughly modern styling. Some were long in coming (Android Auto, for instance), and they really round out the RX as a first-class premium-midsize crossover.
2020 Lexus RX