2020 Lexus RX350 and RX450h debut with refreshed styling and updated tech

The RX now has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

2020 Lexus RX350
2020 Lexus RX350 / Image Credit: Lexus
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The 2020 Lexus RX350 and 450h made their debuts late last night, refreshing the fourth-gen model that made its debut back in 2015. The luxury crossover gets a number of updates, with the changes mostly focused on styling, tech and safety. The new three-row model carries over, too, with the second row sporting a set of captain's chairs rather than a full bench. The 2020 RX is set to go on sale in the U.S. in late August 2019.

The updated model doesn't look all that different than the 2019 model, especially from the profile. That said, the front and rear fascias have both been smoothed out, taking cues from the handsome LC coupe and LS sedan. All the lines look a bit more sleek, with thinner headlights and L-shaped blades in the taillights, again similar to the LC and LS. There's a sharp crease toward the bottom of the RX that carries across the grille, rocker panel and rear bumper. The grille itself gets a new mesh pattern. The interior is mostly unchanged, with changes mostly focused on comfort rather than design. Three-row models now have more adjustment in the back row, and the second row gets the aforementioned captain's chairs.

The infotainment system gets a much-needed update. While the frustrating-at-best touchpad interface is still present, the RX now gets a touchscreen, hopefully improving one of our major complaints with the system. The RX also gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, something long missing from Toyota and Lexus vehicles. Voice control can be used through Lexus' own system or using Apple Siri or Google Assistant. There's also a new USB port and a phone holder to keep things in place.

Underneath the skin, the 2020 RX gets a revised suspension setup and extra chassis stiffness, the latter thanks in part to new welds, high-strength adhesives and stiffer stabilizer bars. The RX has what Lexus calls Active Cornering Assist and a re-tuned stability control system to mitigate understeer mid-corner. The shocks, too, are revised to improve ride comfort and handling. Lexus says the suspension updates should improve steering feel, too.

Finally, there's a few updates to the RX's safety systems. The crossover comes with the latest version Lexus Safety System +, a safety suite that includes features like pre-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and traffic-sign recognition. The new headlights have Lexus' BladeScan Type Adaptive Headlight System, or AHS. LEDs shine onto a spinning mirror to focus the beam ahead without blinding other vehicles on the road. It sounds a lot like Audi's trick matrix headlights. Unfortunately, that means it's not available in America because of our rather archaic lighting regulations.

Power still comes from one of two engines, a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 in the RX350 and a 3.5-liter V6 paired with two electric motors making a combined 308 horsepower in the RX450h hybrid.

Lexus RX 350 Information

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