2020 Lexus RX350 Adds Android Auto, New F Sport Performance Package
Car Pro | June 6, 2019
Lexus is updating its best-selling vehicle, the RX, for 2020, giving it the honor of being the first Lexus ever to offer Android Auto. The 2020 RX also receives updated, “softer”, front-end looks, adds more standard driver assist features and offers a new F-Sport “Performance” package. Also new: improved overall driving dynamics with added standard paddle shifters across the lineup. Other technology highlights include an updated Lexus Multimedia System that now offers dynamic voice and navigation functionality and an optional kick sensor power liftgate.
More Sophisticated Design With A Softened Grill
Let’s start with the outside. All 2020 Lexus RX models include revised front and rear fascias and a new standard 18" wheel design. The updated (and softened) front and rear fascias reflect the brand’s latest design themes with a balance between sophistication and strength. Starting with the signature grille, a symbol of the Lexus brand and distinctive "face" of the vehicle, the designers created an elaborate look based on an L-motif. Each individual block has a different shape and angle to create a varying form that balances a strong yet elegant image. The angles of the grille surround are also echoed by the angles used at each corner of the bumper to smooth the visual flow across the front.
Redesigned triple-beam LED headlamps are optional. Slimmer headlamps add a sharper look up front while the rear tail lamps also utilize an "L" motif across the top that is reflected by inverted "L's" across the bottom. Framed by the dual exhaust, rear diffuser and updated angle of the reflectors, the sharp and rounded edges on the 2020 Lexus RX are accentuated. Adding more utility to the rear of the vehicle, the power back door is now activated by an optional kick sensor to open and close faster.
Two new exterior colors have been added for the 2020 model year along with a new 18-inch wheel design, and 20-inch wheel design in the Luxury grade. Drivers can now choose from Moonbeam Beige Metallic or Nori Green Pearl, a popular exterior color first used on the all-new Lexus UX.
Advanced Technology with Connectivity And Android Auto
All RX models for 2020 come standard with the latest smartphone vehicle integrations and their respective virtual assistants. An 8-inch screen is standard, with a 12.3-inch optional. The screen upgrade comes with Dynamic Voice Command (DVC) that has the ability to recognize millions more phrases than conventional Lexus systems. DVC offers greater accuracy, seamless address entry and expanded Points of Interest searches.
Newly available Android Auto joins Apple CarPlay as an integrated features and both are accessible on the RX's touchscreen display. A larger touch target along with a simplified interface and easy-to-use voice actions through the Android Auto Google Assistant, are designed to minimize distraction. Once connected to each service, drivers can connect to a number of apps, like Spotify and Pandora, Google Maps or Waze. They can also send messages through commonly used apps like WhatsApp.
Through in-car integrations with voice services like Amazon Alexa, guests can access their preferred service and play music, check the news, control smart home devices and more. With the addition of a designated space to store smartphones near the front of the center console, guests can better utilize space to secure their personal items and still engage with the Lexus Multimedia System.
The Lexus Multimedia System touch screen offers control of audio and climate systems in addition to providing a view of what's behind the vehicle via the backup camera.
Connected technology includes a 3-year Lexus Enform Remote trial to remotely start the engine using select smart devices. Six USB ports are standard.
Now standard on the RX 350L and 450hL, guests will find body-hugging NuLuxe seating and interior trim. The number of interior color options has also expanded to include Birch with certain exterior color combinations.
Enhanced Driving Dynamics
Lexus says the 2020 Lexus RX crossover receives a wide range of changes designed to enhance the driving dynamics. This includes paddle shifters standard across the lineup so drivers can be more engaged with the road.
Both the front and rear stabilizer bars are now hollow to reduce weight, yet their thicker diameters and reinforced bushings help reduce body roll and improve steering response. The shock absorbers have been re-tuned to work with the stiffer roll bars, while upgraded dampers feature a new friction control device that helps to control high frequency vibrations for a smoother ride.
To further refine the 2020 Lexus RX responsiveness, a stiffer suspension design reduces the noise and vibration from the road. Even on turns, the added active corner braking will prevent understeering by braking the inner tire and providing more stability to the vehicle handling. Additional rigidity was achieved through additional spot welds and adhesive.
Two New Ways to Add F SPORT
The new 2020 Lexus RX now offers two options for F SPORT packages. The base F Sport package gives you the sportier look. On top of that you can add the F Sport Performance package for additional tuning to provide a more muscular feel on the road. Borrowing from the Lexus LC, the new RX F SPORT package includes the latest active variable suspension (AVS) system that's more responsive than previous systems.
The new F SPORT package also includes cold air intake, active sound control, Electric Power Steering (EPS), and a heated steering wheel. As we mentioned previously, this can be added on top of the F SPORT look which now comes with new front and rear performance dampers, Drive Mode Select with Sport+ and Customer Drive Modes. Circuit Red bolstered seating with grey stitching on the seams is also now available in the cabin.
Lexus Safety System+ 2.0
The 2020 Lexus RX adds Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 as standard equipment. This adds daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection along with Road Sign Assist (RSA) and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) to further expand the scenarios in which the RX is designed to provide additional safety to the driver and passengers.
Daytime bicyclist detection is part of an enhanced Pre-Collision System (PCS). Previously designed to detect a preceding vehicle or pedestrian, the Pre-Collision System now has the potential to detect a preceding bicyclist as well. The PCS has also been enhanced to help detect a preceding pedestrian in certain low-light situations by increasing the camera's sensitivity and dynamic range.
Road Sign Assist (RSA) displays select road sign information in the instrument panel while the Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) system is designed to detect lane markings to determine lane position and place the vehicle in the center of the lane when working in conjunction with the All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. If road markings are not detected, LTA is also capable, in certain conditions, of following the car ahead of it.
Lexus introduced the world's first luxury hybrid vehicle - a gas/electric version of the RX luxury-utility vehicle - more than a decade ago. The RX 450h and RX 450hL continue to serve as a powerful reminder of the brand's hybrid leadership, with 308-combined system horsepower for powerful performance and impressive manufacturer-estimated 30 mpg for RX and 29 mpg on RXL combined mpg.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system pairs the D4-S fuel injection 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with two high-torque electric drive motor-generators for strong acceleration and passing performance. Instead of transfer gears and a driveshaft to the rear wheels, the all-weather drive system employs a second, independent electric motor to drive the rear wheels when needed to help maintain optimal traction.
The new 2020 RX and RXL will start production in the third quarter of 2019. Pricing will be announced closer to the on-sale date.
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