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2023 Lexus RX350h Singapore Review

The 2023 Lexus RX350h is the all new full size large SUV from Lexus, and is now available in Singapore only as a hybrid with an electric motor paired with its 2.5L petrol engine, making the RX range of luxury SUVs even more economical than before. The iconic spindle grill has also been reworked, and loses the chrome framing of old, in place of seamless integration between the spindle grill and the front fascia.

Better Space Utilisation

Now in its fifth generation, the Lexus RX is now based on an all new GA-K platform, and finally moves away from the Toyota K Platform that has been used since 2003, being employed from the second generation through to the fourth generation RX. The result of this platform change is a car that has a longer wheelbase, which translates to more cabin room. The difference isn't significant, and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference if someone didn't tell you there was a difference, but the latest RX does feel like a larger car to sit in. This is thanks to a redesigned dashboard, which features a sleeker, more compact design, and most importantly, feels like it doesn't extend from the firewall all that much, as was the case in the RX's predecessors.

Despite the increase in width and legroom, the Lexus RX does not occupy a larger footprint than before, and is exactly the same length as the previous car. All in all, what you end up with is a car that has been styled to look larger and more imposing on the outside, without the actual downside of having a larger footprint. To the dismay of a group of customers, the new RX is only available in a 5 seater option, and have done away with the option for 7 seats.

Efficient Despite its Size

It's no secret that the Lexus RX is a large car, and typically, large cars aren't efficient. That's not the case with the RX though. Now running a 2.5 litre turbocharged 4 cylinder petrol engine that is paired to a powerful 134kW electric motor, the RX churns out a combined 247 bhp, while still helping economy conscious buyers achieve a real world fuel economy figure of about 16km per litre - impressive for a car as large as the RX.

As usual, EV mode is hard to come by, and the car is picky about when you're able to run on EV power alone, but the E-CVT gearbox makes it easy to drive this gentle giant in a calm and relaxed way, which does help with economy. While the car has the ability to move when power is demanded, the transmission makes it unrewarding to do so, and I have a sneaky feeling that owners would rather just cruise along leisurely in this car.

Premium Travel Vibes

Lexus has been doing great interiors for awhile now, and the new RX is no different. A luxurious amount of leather with accents of Alcantara, coupled with modern matt finishing and a dominant 14 inch touchscreen infotainment unit, makes the cabin feel properly premium.

It does feel quite similar to other cars in the range, which might be a turn off for consumers who want some exclusivity in the flagship RX, but I am also of the opinion that Lexus drivers prefer to stick with what works, rather than whats groundbreaking - so I'm not expecting a lot of complaints in that department. Insulation feels like a strong step above what you'd get in a NX, and road noise is kept to a minimal in the RX - even the CVT drone is kind of dulled out enough for you not to really notice it.

Rear passenger legroom is a big selling point in the RX and the almost flat floor in the second row makes carrying three in the back quite a viable option. Travelling in the RX is a first class affair as the car is super comfortable, feels silky smooth to drive, and provides all round luxury in the form of ventilated seats for all occupants except the one in the rear middle seat. There is a general unhurried feel to travelling in the RX, and its one that makes you feel very calm and at ease - almost like you're in a lounge on wheels. It's not necessarily the most luxurious lounge on wheels out there, but its one that seems to achieve it without the need to be obnoxiously opulent.

Who will it Appeal to?

The Lexus RX does particularly well in finding the middle ground between pleasing its existing crop of customers who want a fuss free and luxurious motoring experience, while still offering enough style and modernism for conquest customers to jump ship. With the new spindle body design and the very aggressive hood design, I can the the Lexus RX being a hit among the young affluent segment who want to buy into Lexus reliability and just want something they can trust and not think too much about in the long run.


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