2020 Lexus RX and RXL get refined front face, new tech

They're the first Lexus models to get Android Auto

Lexus is updating its RX and RXL lineup of luxury crossovers for 2020 with tweaks to its steering and driving dynamics, interior and exterior, new Android Auto integration and standard Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 technology. The changes also boost the RX 350 starting price to $45,175, including a $1,025 destination charge.

On the outside, Lexus changed the look of the front by updating the spindle grille, which had previously featured horizontal slats, and adding more prominent surrounds to the fog lights that echo the grille. Also echoed are the hand-drawn angles of the grille surround at each corner of the bumper to harmonize the visual flow.

Lexus says the RX line is its first to get Android Auto integration, joining the existing Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa compatibility. The touchscreen — both the standard 8-inch display and available 12.3-inch split-screen version — has moved almost 5.5 inches closer to the driver and now offers control over both audio and climate systems, plus display for the rearview camera when backing up. There are also two new USB ports, bringing the total to six, plus a new designated mobile phone storage area near the front of the center console.

If you opt for the 12.3-inch display, you get dynamic voice command, which Lexus says is capable of recognizing millions more phrases, is more accurate and offers expanded points of interest searches than its conventional voice-recognition systems. And finally, you get a three-year trial with Lexus Enform Remote to remotely start the car from your smartphone.

Lexus is also adding its Safety System+ 2.0 as standard across the lineup, which adds daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection, plus road-sign assist and lane-tracing assist, which works in conjunction with dynamic radar cruise control.

On the driving side, Lexus added hollow front and rear stabilizer bars to reduce weight, but they’re thicker in diameter and feature reinforced bushings to help reduce body roll and improve response on steering. The shock absorbers were re-turned to work with the stiffer roll bars, and there are upgraded dampers with a new friction control device to better control high-frequency vibrations and smooth out the ride. Further refining the ride is a stiffer suspension design, to reduce noise and vibration from the road, and added active corner braking to help prevent understeering by braking the inner wheel and providing more stability to the vehicle’s handling.

There are two new exterior colors available, moonbeam beige metallic and nori green pearl, plus two new wheel designs: an 18-inch wheel and a 20-inch wheel available in the Luxury trim. The interior color palette will also be available in a new birch color.

New for 2020, the RX 350 F Sport will be split into an F Sport appearance package and Performance package. Both include unique a steering wheel and shift knob, plus aluminum pedals and ornamentation, bumpers, grille, 20-inch wheels, front and rear performance dampers, LED ambient illumination and other goodies. The Performance package adds adaptive variable suspension based on the Lexus LC500, vehicle dynamics integrated management, sound generator, electric sport power steering, moonroof and heated and ventilated seats.

Both the 2020 RX and RXL have started production and will be available in dealerships soon.

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