It's difficult to stay relevant in the luxury crossover market, but Lexus has done an excellent job with the Lexus RX, a perennial favorite amongst those shopping for a practical and comfortable daily driver. The light redesign afforded the 2013 Lexus RX helps to demonstrate how the Japanese premium brand has managed to keep its mid-size model on top - its continual dedication to improving, tweaking, and refining the SUV has paid off, with loyal buyers coming back for more on a regular basis.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2013 Lexus RX.
01. The 2013 Lexus RX Features Refreshed Sheet Metal
The 2013 Lexus RX has seen its exterior styling updated to reflect the new look that is sweeping across the Lexus lineup. Most prominent is the move to the trapezoidal front fascia that pinches the grille of the Lexus RX and introduces a more aggressive personality to a crossover that has traditionally featured more rounded curves. LED running lamps integrated into the headlights, a sportier front bumper, and LED lights out back round out the major changes to the RX's appearance, which otherwise stays true to the same basic shape that has served the SUV well since it was completely redesigned just two years ago.
02. The 2013 Lexus RX Comes With A Few New Interior Improvements
Inside, the changes that have been made to the 2013 Lexus RX are not quite as comprehensive, but those who are familiar with previous generations of the vehicle will notice several upgrades. Lexus has elected to give the Lexus RX a different steering wheel design that is intended to improve driver comfort over the long haul, as well as new metallic accents for the glove compartment, an additional style of wood trim, a better-organized center console, contrasting stitching for the vehicle's leather upholstery, and the availability of a new hue for the seat's hides.
03. The 2013 Lexus RX Features V-6 Power
The 2013 Lexus RX comes standard with a 3.5-liter, 270 horsepower V-6 engine. Also capable of generating 248 lb-ft of torque, the six-cylinder unit is managed by a six-speed automatic transmission that sends output to either the front or all four wheels (for models that feature optional all-wheel drive). Fuel mileage for the V-6 checks in at a thrifty 18-mpg in stop and go driving and 25-mpg on the highway, and the RX can hit 60-mph from a standing start in 7.1 seconds. This is enough to match the performance offered by several hot hatches and other more sport-oriented sedans.
04. The 2013 Lexus RX Offers Comfortable Passenger Accommodations
The 2013 Lexus RX is a mid-size crossover that splits its passenger seating across two rows instead of three in order to maximize room for all occupants. As many as five people can be hauled in style by the Lexus RX, and the rear row is capable of sliding forwards and backwards in order to accommodate either the longer legs of adults or heaps of stuff crammed between the vehicle's large hatch and seat back. 40 cubic feet of cargo can be transported when the RX is carrying a full family load, and folding down the back row reveals an exceptional 80 cubic feet of total storage space available to move bulkier items.
05. The 2013 Lexus RX Is Available In a Single Trim Level
The 2012 Lexus RX is sold in one, well-equipped model that includes a fairly long list of included gear. The Lexus RX offer tinted windows, a power liftgate, power windows and door locks with keyless entry and ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a shift knob to match, Bluetooth connectivity, an iPod and USB interface for the stereo system (that also provides a six-CD changer), dual automatic climate control, power cloth seats, fog lights, and 18-inch rims. The RX also comes with the Safety Connect telematics system which can automatically get in touch with emergency responders in the event of an accident as well as locate a stolen vehicle.
06. The 2013 Lexus RX Can Be Customized Via Options Packages
The 2013 Lexus RX can be further outfitted with a number of different options packages. The Premium package brings some coveted luxury goodies to the table, including leather seats, a rearview camera, and a sunroof. The Display Audio with Backup monitor package also adds a camera for use while reversing, a bigger LCD screen, the Remote Touch interface, a louder stereo system, and the Enform multimedia and infotainment system. Choosing the Comfort package provides HID headlights, heated and ventilated seats, and automatic windshield wipers, while a navigation system (along with the contents of the Display Audio package) can be had via the selection of the Navigation package. Finally, the Luxury package installs LED headlights, more power adjustments for the forward seating positions, 19-inch rims, nicer leather and a special climate control system.
07. The 2013 Lexus RX Offers An F Sport Model
The 2013 Lexus RX can be transformed into an F Sport edition via the selection of the F Sport package. While the RX F Sport doesn't gain a power bump, it does benefit from the replacement of the vehicle's six-speed transmission with a new eight-speed automatic that allows for more spirited driving. Aiding and abetting this gearbox are a stiffer suspension system, special 19-inch wheels, and mandatory all-wheel drive. Visually, the RX F Sport stands apart from the standard model by way of unique trim inside and out, including special leather upholstery for the vehicle's seats. For drivers who want the look of the F Sport without the harsher ride, Lexus makes available a simpler Sport package.
08. The 2013 Lexus RX Can Be Had As A Hybrid
The 2013 Lexus RX continues to be available as a hybrid model. The Lexus RX 450h is built around a drivetrain that takes a 3.5-liter V-6 that is similar to the gas-only model's engine and combines it with between two and three electric motors (depending on whether found in all-wheel drive configuration or not). A continuously-variable automatic transmission is standard in either case, and the entire setup generates 295 combined horsepower. Fuel mileage checks in at 32-mpg in stop and go driving and 28-mpg on the highway, with the former figure being an immense improvement on the standard RX's rating.
09. The 2013 Lexus RX Emphasizes Safety
The 2013 Lexus RX rolls off of the assembly line with the latest in safety equipment installed and ready to spring into action should the unthinkable happen out on the road. The RX features side impact airbags front and rear, forward dual stage airbags, side curtain airbags, and knee airbags for both the driver and the front passenger. Electronic stability control and traction are also included with the RX, as is the already-mentioned Safety Connect system. Optional with the Lexus is an adaptive cruise control feature that comes with collision warning capability.
10. The 2013 Lexus RX Is The Segment Leader
The 2013 Lexus RX has consistently turned in stellar sales numbers thanks to its ability to successfully blend competent handling, excellent luxury value for the money, and styling that is inoffensive without crossing the border into dull. The RX goes up against competitors like the BMW X5, the Mercedes-Benz M-Class, and the Acura MDX - automobiles that each shine in one or two of the importance premium crossover categories, but which don't necessarily bring it all together in the same measure as the RX. Those looking for the ultimate in handling and performance or the last word in opulence may want to bypass the Lexus RX, but for buyers seeking an all-around high end SUV that doesn't cost an arm and a leg, the RX is an appealing choice.