Almost Every Lexus RX That Consumer Reports Has Tested Earned This Award

Every vehicle strives to have its “thing”. The Dodge Charger has a rumbling and powerful engine, the Toyota Prius has eco-friendly technology, and the Lexus RX has consistently high marks from critics for nearly two decades.

When shopping for a vehicle, many consumers rely on what critics have to say about their prospective purchases, and a low score from reviewers can be enough to siphon customers to another make or model. Compared to the Lexus RX, however, it’s hard to find a vehicle with more regular praise and recommendations. 

The interior of a Lexus RX luxury SUV
The interior of a Lexus RX | SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

Critics have almost universal praise for the Lexus RX

Consumer Reports is one of the most trusted review sites on the web. For cars, they take tons of data and metrics, as well as road tests, reliability scores, and safety ratings into account, as well as survey data from real owners.

As a result, customers feel that they can rely on Consumer Reports, especially when they see that the site has gone as far as putting a “recommended” label on the car.

Having that little checkmark with the word “recommended” next to it on the Consumer Reports website can be just the assurance a prospective customer may need in order to go through with their purchase.

The Lexus RX has received that label for nearly 20 years in a row now, missing the accolade only during its first few years in production, 2000 and 2001. 

What happened in 2000 and 2001?

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By the year 2000, Lexus had just begun making its first luxury crossover, the RX 300. Like many things in life, it experienced growing pains during its first few years, but Lexus managed to work out many of its unhelpful quirks by the 2002 model. 

Consumer Reports gave the 2000 Lexus RX a lower-than-average score due to its awkward handling, noisy interior, distracting dash screen, and slightly uncomfortable seats. Compared to its competitors at the time, such as the Acura MDX, the 2000 Lexus RX just didn’t appear as well put together. Despite the relatively low score from Consumer Reports itself, their survey data showed an owner satisfaction score of four out of five — not bad at all. 

Not much changed from the 2000 to 2001 RX, but power equipment and motor trouble spots likely prevented the 2001 Lexus RX from earning the “recommended” badge on Consumer Reports. Even still, the survey showed an overall owner satisfaction score of five out of five, better than the previous year’s model. 

Since the 2001 Lexus RX, however, the critics at Consumer Reports have liked and recommended every year of RX without exception. 

Is the 2021 Lexus RX a good luxury SUV?

The 2002 RX received a much higher reliability rating than the previous year’s model, and it actually scored higher on nearly every metric. Since then, Lexus hasn’t looked back. It has turned the Lexus RX into a beloved crossover SUV that many customers continue to purchase every few years.

Recent versions of the RX have earned praise for high predicted reliability ratings, improved gas mileage, and numerous standard safety features with more being added each year. 

The 2016 remake of the SUV propelled the vehicle to a stylish and modern-looking machine, and Lexus has only improved upon the appearance of this crossover SUV. Since this key redesign, the RX has become a more polished, attractive version of itself, which leads us to the latest version — the 2021 Lexus RX. 

The 2021 Lexus RX is notably quiet, and it finally comes equipped with a touch screen infotainment center. The infotainment center is not perfect by any stretch, but Lexus customers have been waiting for a touch screen for quite some time. Overall, the 2021 Lexus RX is a brilliant vehicle, well deserving of the 80/100 score given by Consumer Reports.