The 2013 Lexus RX is refreshed and offers a host of new upgrades in relation to the 2012 model. The five-seat RX has long been Lexus’ best-selling model in the U.S. The RX is offered in two different trims: the RX 350 and the RX 450h (hybrid model). All-wheel drive is an optional feature in both trims.
In many parts, the model almost defines the midsize luxury crossover class. The changes for 2013 should help give reasons for buyers to choose this model over its competitors such as the BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLK350, Cadillac SRX, and Volkswagen Touareg. The all-new 2013 Acura RDX should also be a much more formidable foe.
The most noticeable change for the RX for 2013 is the new front fascia. The model has a splindle grille seen in another Lexus SUV, the LX 570, and new LED running lamps. Lexus is also offering a new RX F Sport model for 2013, which has darker 19-inch wheels, a bolder front end, and smoked out headlamps and tail lamps.
Interior Changes & New Exterior Paint Colors
The RX’s interior is updated for 2013, with a new instrumental panel cluster, a new steering wheel, and new Ebony Bird’s-Eye Maple wood trim. Buyers seeking more luxury can opt for the excellent Mark Levinson premium audio system, a Saddle Leather interior, a HDD navigation unit, and the Lexus Enform system.
The RX is offered in four-new exterior paint colors for 2013. They are: Cerulean Blue Metallic, Claret Mica, Deep Seat Mica Fire Agate Pearl, and Matador Red Mica
Engines & Fuel Economy
One area where 2013 RX change isn’t occurring is in the engines. The RX 350 will continue to offer the 270 horsepower V6 and the RX 450h (the hybrid model) will continue to offer a 295 horsepower electronically assisted V6. Lexus claims V8 level performance with the RX 450h but with stellar fuel economy.
The 2013 RX 450h fuel economy is rated at 32-mpg city and 29-mpg highway (30-mpg combined), making it one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the road. With all-wheel drive, fuel economy drops only slightly to 29-mpg combined. The 2012 front-wheel drive RX 350 has a fuel economy rating of 18-mpg city and 25-mpg highway and features a standard six-speed automatic transmission.
No 7-Seat Lexus Crossover
It is surprising that Lexus has not developed a seven-seat crossover to compete with models such as the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, and Acura MDX. The all-new 2013 Infiniti JX fills this void for the other Japanese luxury nameplate. Consumers want the passenger carrying capabilty and utility of a three-row and as fuel economy improves, these models offer few disadvantages to a five-seat model.
Toyota and Lexus have been playing it safe for several years. The 2013 RX 350 changes are only modest. The company will need to make more bold changes and improvements to their models in the coming years to stay relevant and successfully compete across their product lineups.