The 2023 Lexus RX 350h Only Needs to Change 2 Things
Our week with the Lexus RX 350h has ended, and we admit that we will miss this fuel-efficient, luxurious beast. With a unique style, unmatched comfort, and advanced safety features, the 2023 Lexus RX 350h stands out in a crowded segment. However, two things could be improved.
How are the 2023 Lexus RX 350h and RX 350 different?
The 2023 Lexus RX 350h is a hybrid vehicle with a battery pack that gains electric power while coasting and with regenerative breaks. The Lexus RX 350 has a traditional internal combustion engine.
With the regular RX 350, you get a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine with 275 hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. It gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg in the city and up to 29 mpg on the highway.
The Lexus RX 350h pairs the 2.4-liter engine with an electric motor to generate 246 hp and 233 lb-ft of torque. It gets an EPA-estimated 37 mpg in the city and up to 34 mpg on the highway. Both models take about 7.0 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph.
While the regular 350 RX starts at $47,800, the RX 350h comes in at $49,400. So it’s only $1,600 to upgrade to an abundance of fuel savings. But here are two potential drawbacks to consider.
1. The Lexus RX 350h could have more intuitive tech
The 2023 Lexus RX 350h has an available 14.0-inch infotainment system with attractive graphics and an excellent resolution. However, the system is primarily a touchscreen.
The only physical controls you have are the climate controls and the radio volume. Things such as the driving modes, safety settings, and ventilated/heated seats are accessed through the touchscreen.
This would be fine if the system was a little more intuitive, but it’s a little confusing and distracting to learn. A few shortcut menus are helpful, but finding the settings you want to adjust may take a few minutes.
Also, the touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel have a menu pop-up on the head-up display that can block your view of the road. Lastly, the voice recognition system doesn’t easily understand commands.
Other than that, the available 360-degree camera display looks great, and the vehicle feels advanced and modern.
The temperature dials are back-lit with red and blue lights, the door handles have been replaced by buttons, and new safety features like forward cross-traffic alert have your back. The hands-free driving system works well and changes lanes for you.
2. The 2023 RX 350h could be a little more refined
Don’t get us wrong, the 2023 Lexus RX 350h is extremely luxurious and comfortable. It has a very smooth ride over most surfaces and hardly jitters over gravel and dirt roads. The seats feel like recliners, and even the back row folds back pretty far.
But it has more wind and road noise at higher speeds. Perhaps we expected this vehicle to have more noise insulation. Also, rivals like the Lincon Aviator offer massaging seats and 3D audio.
The available 21-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system makes the noise easy to cover. Also, the engine provides an occasional deep roar that’s satisfying.
Some areas of the doors and dash could have more upscale materials. But the available real wood in the steering wheel/trim, synthetic suede door trim, premium perforated leather upholstery, smog climate control system, and upgraded ambient interior lighting make up for the difference.
Overall, the Lexus RX 350h is an athletic premium vehicle with an excellent fuel economy that was right on the spot. It’s difficult to find anything to complain about aside from a bit of wind and road noise and distracting tech.
To learn about another Lexus crossover SUV that fits into this luxury lineup just below the RX, check out our list of pros and cons for the 2023 Lexus NX 350h.