Gas and hybrid versions of Lexus’ popular midsize RX crossover get a face-lift for the 2013 model year with what Lexus calls a bolder version of the now-signature “spindle grille,” an updated interior, more standard features and two new optional appearance packages.
The 2013s unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show will be at U.S. dealers next month. They still seat five and carry over the 2012 gas and hybrid powertrains available with front- or all-wheel drive. The RX 350 pairs a 270-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine with a six-speed automatic. The hybrid RX 450h combines a 3.5-liter gas V-6 with an electric motor for a total of 295 hp.
The hybrid now will have a Sport mode that tunes steering, throttle and transmission shift points to make more efficient use of the powertrain, Lexus says.
Other exterior updates: a new front bumper, a new headlamp design with LED daytime running lights, rear-end styling tweaks and four new paint colors.
A new optional Sport Appearance Package adds 19-inch chrome wheels, a unique front bumper and halogen headlamps. Available on the 450h is the F-Sport trim. It adds features such as a honeycomb-style grill insert, body aero package, tinted lights, larger wheels and sport seats, sport steering wheel and alloy pedals.
Inside, a power liftgate and USB port are now standard. A redesigned steering wheel should provide a more comfortable and relaxing grip, according to Lexus. Other interior tweaks include a redesigned steering wheel (more comfortable says Lexus), new metallic trim, Maple wood trim, saddle-colored leather with contrast stitching and a redesigned center console.
An updated Remote Touch interface that should make the multimedia system more intuitive to use, Lexus says. The system uses a computer-mouse-like device to control climate, navigation and audio functions. It also uses the next generation of Lexus’ Enform application system, which manages apps like Pandora, Bing, FaceBook, Yelp and more.