2013 Lexus RX at the 2012 Geneva International Motor Show

2013 Lexus RX 450h 001

  • Competes with: Acura MDX and Mercedes-Benz M-Class
  • Looks like: RX gains some style with a couple of new appearance packages; sweeping LED headlights and a more dynamic-looking grille also help
  • Drivetrain: 270-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission (gas); 295-hp, 3.5-liter V-6 and continuously variable automatic transmission (hybrid)
  • Hits dealerships: this April

Gas and hybrid versions of Lexus' popular midsize crossover get a face-lift for the 2013 model year. The Lexus RX now wears what the automaker calls a bolder version of its signature "spindle grille," and it gets an updated interior, more standard equipment and new appearance packages for the model year.

The five-passenger SUV continues to seat five and reprises last year's powertrains. The gas and hybrid models are available with front- or all-wheel drive. The RX 350 pairs a 270-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. The hybrid RX 450h combines a 3.5-liter gas V-6 with an electric motor for a total of 295 hp.

A Sport mode is available this year on the hybrid model. It tunes steering, throttle and transmission shift points to make more efficient use of the powertrain, Lexus says.

Other exterior updates include a revised front bumper, new headlamp design with LED daytime running lights and rear-end styling tweaks. Four new exterior colors are available: Silver Lining Metallic, Claret Mica, Deep Sea Mica and Fire Agate Pearl. They replace Tungsten Pearl, Matador Red Mica and Cerulean Blue Metallic.

A new optional Sport Appearance Package adds 19-inch chrome wheels, a unique front bumper and halogen headlamps. Available on the 450h is the F-Sport trim. It adds features such as a honeycomb-style grill insert, body aero package, tinted lights, larger wheels and sport seats, sport steering wheel and alloy pedals.

Inside, a power liftgate and USB port are now standard. A redesigned steering wheel should provide a more comfortable and relaxing grip, according to Lexus. Other interior design tweaks include new metallic trim throughout the cabin, Ebony Birds’-Eye Maple wood trim, Saddle-colored leather surfaces with contrast stitching and a redesigned center console.

The new RX gets an updated version of the Remote Touch interface that should make the multimedia system more intuitive to use, Lexus says. The system uses a computer-mouse-like device to control climate, navigation and audio functions. It also uses the next generation of Lexus' Enform application system, which manages apps like Pandora, Bing, FaceBook, Yelp and more.

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2013 Lexus RX

2013 Lexus RX

2013 Lexus RX

2013 Lexus RX

2013 Lexus RX

Comments 

sheth

no interior shots?

Jay

Spindle grille treatment doesn't look as radical as the GS350's. Nice blend. Why would they couple the F-Sport package with the 450h trim? Overall, still bland design...

Bowrider

All the manufactureres are using the LED daytime running lights from Audi (or was it Saab that started them?). They're wearing them out. Audi is going to have to pioneer a new design. Heck, even Kia uses it.

sheth

i dont like the use of individual LEDs in a row like Lexus uses. I prefer the ribbons of LED light you see on Audis or on the CTS or Sebring. Kia uses LEDs in the same way as Lexus.

navy

i think lexus started the LED first in the 600h. anybody?

George

The use of LEDs is to minimize the fuel consumption effects of the useless DRL 'feature'.
LEDs aren't going away anytime soon.

sheth

navy:

LS600h has LED headlights, thats different from LED accent lighting. The escalade platinum was the first in the US with LED headlights. I believe the R8 and LS600h added them after that.

George

No, the LS600h had LED low beams before the Cadillac platinum trim package came around.
Audi had optional LED headlights before Cadillac.
Who cares? LED headlights are inferior than HID projector system.
Maybe by 2015 they will be better.

I would have liked Lexus to explore some new design concepts with their new model of the RX, but ultimately it's still a beautiful vehicle. You really can't beat 295 hp, 3.5 liter V-6 out of a hybrid either. Throw some 20% window tint film on that, and then THAT is a car!

I would have to agree with Sheth on this one, sorry George. I think the LED lights are still a viable option and are economically sound. My own shop does occasionally work with projectors, but they are not worth the ext

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