Just a few days since its first official teaser, Lexus Malaysia has now announced the opening of its order books for the 2023 Lexus RX. The all-new model will be offered in a single RX 350 Luxury variant at launch, priced at RM468,888 (on-the-road, without insurance), and will be available for booking at all Lexus dealerships across Malaysia.
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The exterior design of the all-new 2023 Lexus RX is arguably more evolutionary than revolutionary, but it’s still undoubtedly a striking look. The most notable feature on its exterior redesign is the new ‘Spindle Body’ grille; a fresh reinterpretation of the Lexus signature front fascia that’s evolved into more of a three-dimensional mass rather than a grille, and as such does without any of the traditional “frame” around it.
Flanking the new grille are the new slimmer tri-beam LED headlights, but still with the marque’s signature boomerang-shaped light signature that emphasises on the spindle shape. It’s a cleaner look overall compared to before, yet at the same time a lot more aggressive too.
Over to the side, the all-new Lexus RX’s profile is also fairly reminiscent of its predecessor, but with several mild touches to bring it up to date, including the new surface line treatment, and an A pillar that has been pushed backwards to elongate the bonnet. The black plastic claddings around the wheel have also been removed for a cleaner appearance.
As for the back, there’s a new and substantial full-width tail light assembly that underscores the small Lexus script in the centre of the tailgate. The area around the tail light housing also looks a little more pronounced, thanks to a more rakish rear window. For Malaysia, the Lexus RX 350 Luxury rides on 21-inch alloys, in a classy Hyper Chrome metallic finish.
The more significant change is actually found underneath the car, as the all-new 2023 Lexus RX is now built on parent Toyota’s TNGA-K platform. The new underpinnings should significantly improve on the SUV’s handling capabilities, thanks to its 90 kg lower weight (despite a slightly bigger size overall), lower centre of gravity, and increased body rigidity.
These improvements are coupled with the all-new 2023 Lexus RX’s aerodynamically efficient bodywork, including flush windows and door mouldings, as well as specific aerodynamic devices all around the exterior, to also enhance the SUV’s overall comfort and ride qualities.
Moving inside, you’ll find a new two-tiered, wraparound dashboard design, accentuated by a curved black segment consisting of an air vent, semi-digital instrument cluster, and the 14-inch touchscreen infotainment display with integrated climate control knobs, that forms the cockpit area.
The driver-focused ethos is based on what the marque calls the ‘Tazuna’ concept, which is apparently inspired by the interaction between jockeys and their race horses – think Mazda’s Jinba Ittai. In essence, only the most-frequently used controls are directly accessible to the driver, while everything else is relegated into various menus within the software.
This, according to Lexus, makes driving and operating the all-new RX a lot more intuitive to the driver, while at the same time also enhancing visibility from within the cabin. Case in point, the head-up display also shows a button “map” when you’re touching on the touch-sensitive physical buttons, so you’ll know what you’re clicking on without looking away from the roads.
Other interior highlights include a three-zone automatic climate control system, 64-colour ambient lighting system, NanoeX negative ion air purifier, 12-speaker Lexus Premium Sound System, the e-Latch electronic door lever, open pore wood trims in black ash colour, and a black leather and microfibre mixed upholstery.
The seats – both front and rear outboard positions – are also powered (10-way adjustable for fronts, recline and folding for rear), and all come with heating and ventilation systems.
The switch to the new TNGA-K platform has also translated to an improvement in interior space for the all-new 2023 Lexus RX. Specifically, kneeroom for the rear passengers have been increased by 12 mm, while the lowered floor also helps with the SUV’s legroom and boot loading height – the latter apparently lowered by some 30 mm. Boot space here is now rated at 612 litres, enough to fit four golf bags.
As a luxury product, Lexus has also taken extra care in regard to the all-new RX’s cabin refinement, particularly in terms of noise and vibration control by way of an active noise cancellation system, improved door sealing, high sound insulation glass, as well as a twin-lock structure for the bonnet to suppress vibrations.
The all-new 2023 Lexus RX 350 Luxury in Malaysia is powered by a 2.4-litre turbocharged inline-four engine, which is rated for 279 hp and 430 Nm of torque. Power is sent to all four wheels via an all-time electronically controlled all-wheel drive system, which sends a minimum of 25% of torque to the rear wheels, up to 50%.
Paired to an eight-speed Direct Shift automatic gearbox, the all-new Lexus RX 350 Luxury accelerates to 100 km/h from a standstill in 7.6 seconds. Damping, meanwhile, is handled by the Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) system.
As for safety, the all-new 2023 Lexus RX 350 Luxury in Malaysia comes as standard with the Lexus Safety System+ advance driver assistance suite, which includes the dynamic radar cruise control with stop and go and curve speed reduction functions, lane departure alert and lane tracing assist, autonomous emergency braking, road sign assist, and an adaptive high-beam system with BladeScan matrix technology.
The e-Latch system also works together with the Safe Exit Assist system, which prevents the doors from being opened if it detects a vehicle or cyclist approaching from behind.
The all-new Lexus RX 350 Luxury is now open for booking at all Lexus showrooms nationwide, priced at RM468,888 on-the-road, without insurance, and inclusive of a five-year unlimited mileage warranty.
Five exterior colours are available on offer, including Sonic Copper (pictured), Sonic Quartz, Sonic Iridium, Sonic Titanium, and Graphite Black Glass Flake.