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2013 Lexus RX Debut

Lexus adds an unexpected adjective to its bestselling crossover: Bold

Lexus Research Click to hide

What's New

Since its late-90s introduction, the Lexus RX has been described by a wide variety of adjectives. Comfortable, luxurious, safe, and quiet for example. Also bland, dull and unexciting, which you don't have to tell us all mean the same thing. But with the 2013 Lexus RX, Toyota's luxury division is trying out a new one that so far hasn't been part of the RX lexicon: Bold. Welcome to the era of the "spindle grille," a distinctive look that is making its way across all Lexus vehicles. Besides giving the RX a more recognizable face, Lexus has upgraded the RX's interior, and given the RX 450h hybrid a more sporty role in the lineup.

Who It's For

The 2013 Lexus RX is for anybody who has extra cash laying around for their family hauler. More expensive than many competitors, the RX justifies its added cost with copious amounts of luxury, a high-quality interior, and loads of features. For the new model year, the RX gets a much needed dose of distinctiveness with its panache. While the change is almost entirely confined to the new nose, it could well be enough for those who like the RX's range of features and luxury credentials, but were turned off by the blandly inoffensive styling.

Key Features

You can see from the photos what the exterior changes are. In addition, Lexus has added a few tweaks here and there to make this slightly more significant than the usual mid-cycle refresh.
  • The interior gets a refresh, with a new steering wheel, metallic accents on the glove box, and a redesigned center console.
  • The RX 450h hybrid gets a Sport mode in addition to ECO, which makes the engine and transmission more responsive, and turns the gauge lights red.
  • An optional Sport Appearance Package adds 19-inch "superchrome" wheels, a unique front bumper, and halogen headlights.

What We Think

The 2013 Lexus RX looks like a step in the right direction for the famously conservative automaker. While it doesn't exactly put Lexus in the same sporty-crossover-utility-vehicle league as the BMW X5, or even the Cadillac SRX, the added styling flair, enhanced feature set and the sporty upgrades to the RX 450h hybrid at least combine to give luxury crossover shoppers an excuse to take another look at the Lexus dealership.

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