2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-Sport – Bottom Line Review

2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: a Fifth of Radiance Crossover has been composed. MSRP as tested = $64k

RECIPE FOR NUMBER ONE LUXE MOVER: The reverence for the great luminous warming star that rises in the Earth’s east and sets in the west is paramount in the Land of the Rising Sun. The theme is appropriate to the the “Radiance X [Cross]over” designation bestowed upon the Lexus Japanese luxury automotive brand’s most popular model. The progenitor for all luxury crossover utility vehicles adopted an anti-truck orb shape, when truck boxy was out. Its hallmark was refinement oozing touches and a stress-less driving environment that few peers could match. However what cemented the success of four generations of Radiance X [Cross]over was bullet proof reliability of the donor EV20 Lexus ES sedan from which it evolved and a concierge level dealership experience.

FIFTH RE- KINDLE WITH SPINDLE:  Today the segment the Lexus RX conceived brims with competition. The challenge for a fifth series would spare no amount of reliable opulence on a canvas evolved from amorphous ovoid into incongruous parabola. The re-designed 2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-Sport arrives to cement the brand’s luxury market dominance well in the second decade the 21st century.

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WHAT: 2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-Sport two row, mid size crossover sport utility vehicle. “RX” = “Radiance X for Crossover”. This ALA10 fifth generation of the Godfather of luxury crossover utes succeeds the successful AL20 is constructed on the modular TNGA GA-K platform. It shares wheelbase with Toyota’s S235 Crown sportback and XU70 Toyota Highlander three row SUV.

Standard Power: 2487 cc turbocharged, dual VVT-i DOHC 24V start-stop idle Dynamic Force T24A-FTS I-4 cylinder gasoline engine: 275 hp/ 317 lb-ft @ 1700 r.p.m.

2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-SportGenesis GV80 2.5T AWD
Curb weight (pounds)4287 lbs.4850 lbs.
Powertrain – petrol/ compression ratio2.5L Turbocharged DI, SEFI 16V DOHC gas I-4(T24A-FTS) / 11.0:12.5L Turbocharged DI 16V DOHC gas I-4 / 10.5:1
Drivetrain / Final drive ratio8 Speed, torque converter automatic planetary transmission, on-demand viscous clutch differential all-wheel drive / 3.33:18 Speed, torque converter automatic planetary transmission, on-demand viscous clutch differential all-wheel drive / 3.91:1
Horsepower petrol / Torque (pound- feet)275 hp / 317 lb-ft @ 1700 r.p.m.300 hp / 311 lb-ft @ 1650 r.p.m.
Fuel Economy – miles per gallon combined EPA / Range (max.)24 m.p.g. (observed), 498 miles22 m.p.g. (observed), 527 miles
Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2024 Roadblazing.com
2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: torquey-er turbo four banger replaces the naturally aspirated V-6.
  • WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE(S): True to the legacy of Radiance X [Cross]over design, the new 2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-Sport banks on a muscular parabolic silhouette derived from the classic laterally laid egg shape. The tall tall beltline, slim greenhouse, contrast dark accent floating sloping roof and cinched rear end are reprised. Designers went so far to perform a Highlights children magazine puzzle on the polarizing spindle grille. A new spill over hood and solid body colored lattice imprint molding cloak the upper half of the beak. A widening mid to lower black lattice trapezoid grille fills out the remainder. A smooth body has but one crease, rising at the 2nd Row. Another neat visual trick are wheel arch top tandem creases emitting a flared look without actual widening. Rear mid liftgate lighting has gone full raceway style, lateral inboard “L” flared at the ends.
2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: body creasing is smoother

F-Sport Touches: Piano black lattice insert full nose depth spindle grille & corner fangs; Darkened window & lighting frames; Gloss black accenting and wheels; Body colored front& rear fascia; Muscular wheel arches and lower body skirts.

2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: azure in Grecian Water blue

WHY: The Sun Also Rises for a prestigious fifth series Radiance X [Cross]over from the Land of the Rising Sun.

WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since Winter 2022-23

WHERE: Lexus new vehicle dealers

WHERE MADE: Cambridge, Ontario Province, Canada

WHERE TO: on-demand “all-weather”drive, w/ rear wheel decoupling, e-varies front/ rear traction from nominal 100/0% to maximum 20/80%, ABS torque vectoring; 8″-inches clearance = Inclement weather beater & dirt road, light mud treader; -1 No Off-Road or torque split lock modes

HOW ROADWORTHY: Lexus now joins other prestige brands in detaching any numeric model designation from corresponding petrol engine size. Thus, the 2023 RX 350 AWD F-Sport, while remaining the only non-hybrid variant, obfuscates with 1000 cubic centimeters less displacement than its slanted-six predecessor. With two fewer pistons, overall mass drops by 100 pounds. Audibly there is a change from under throttle raspiness to a meek purr.

Net power out of the 2.5 liter turbocharged straight four motor takes a slight dip. However, peak torque jumps by 21% at not far above idle speed. Surface road driving is more responsive, with lower consumption. Despite the F(for Fuji Speedway test grounds)Sport nomenclature, expected snappy cog swaps still fail to materialize as transmission torque converter lock is dialed for paradigm smoothness and efficiency. -1 Difficulty in sensing position detents with the new corporate toggle shift lever becomes maddening when searching for Neutral in a tunnel car wash.

While adaptive dampers compress the 21″ wheels gently, enhanced rebound control at elevated speeds enhances confidence. Springing is on the soft side, lending to a bit of roll. Tail out tugging at the limits corners is a function of all-season Goodyears. Though the big front brake kit, with disc venting at all corners, likely amplifies pedal effort, pedal reaction is a bit static. 2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport steering wind has premium vehicle heft without the kind of resistance needed to respond with precision to enthusiastic inputs.

2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-Sport
Ground clearance (inches)8.1″
Approach / Departure / Breakover angles (degrees)15.0o / 20.0o / 18.2o
Suspension F:RF: Strut + Lower A-arm / R: 4-link, anti-sway bars + e-variable dampers
Brakes F:RF: 12.9″ vented disc, 1-piston fixed caliper R: 12.5″ vented disc 1-piston caliper
Tires / Wheels235/50-V Goodyear Eagle Touring A/S M+S / 21″ diamond cut alloys / doughnut spare tire
Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2024 Roadblazing.com

HOW FAR: 24 combined miles per gallon rated, 498 miles maximum range

HOW BIG/ LITTLE: 5 Occupant seating; Snug sloped headroom owing to optional panorama roof; Nominal cargo volume nearly doubles from predecessor.

2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: split reclining 2nd Row seats

2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-Sport Vital Size Stats

2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-SportGenesis GV80 2.5T AWD2021 Lexus RX 350 3.5L AWD F-Sport
Wheelbase (inches)112.2″116.3″109.8″
Dimensions Length x Width x Height192.5″ x 79.6″ x 67.3″194.7″ x 77.8″ x 67.5″192.5″ x 74.6″ x 67.7″
Headroom Row 1, 2 (inches)37.6″, 37.6″ (w/ panorama roof)40.2″, 38.4″39.4″, 38.4″
Legroom Row 1, 2 (inches)41.1″, 37.4″41.6″, 37.8″41.1″, 38.0″
Cargo Capacity (nom. – max. cubic feet)30.0 cu.ft. – 46.2 cu. ft.34.9 cu.ft. – 84.0 cu.ft.16.0 cu.ft. – 32.6 cu. ft.
Curb weight (pounds)4287 lbs.4850 lbs.4387 lbs.
Towing / Roof support (pounds)3494 lbs. / N.L. lbs.6000 lbs. / N.L. lbs.3494 lbs. / N.L. lbs.
Manufacturer Provided Specifications @2024 Roadblazing.com

  • HOW USEFUL: Power liftgate(avail. Approach Activation); Power cargo bay release 40:20:40% split folding + tilting 2nd Row seat backs; Cup holders x 4, Bottle holders (doors) x 4; Deep center armrest bin w/ power, connectivity + reciprocal lateral fold lid; 2nd Row center armrest storage & power ports
2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: 40:20:40% split power release folding 2nd Row seatbacks

HOW SAFE: 10 airbags; IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus ; Rear camera; First Aid Kid x 1(cargo bay)

STANDARD Lexus Safety System 3.0 Plus = Pedestrian & cyclist detection braking; Forward collision avoidance braking; Left turn oncoming traffic warning, braking; Oncoming traffic warning; Lane Departure Warning, Keep Assist, Trace; Full adaptive cruise control w/ variable curve speed reduction; Safe Exit Assist, traffic side warning (no lockout); Automatic High beam LED headlamps; Rain sensing windshield wipers

Optional:(included on tested 2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport) Blind spot & Rear Cross-traffic warning; Surround camera; Fore and aft sonar audible park warning, braking; Digital rear view mirror; 10.0″ inch multi-mode Heads Up Display (HUD) + road sign detection; Triple beam LED headlights

2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: Heads Up Display projects steering wheel spoke controls

View Outwards: +1 FORE sloping hood, door mount wing mirrors; -1 SIDE looming over shoulder blindspots; +/- REAR: short backlight mitigated by digital rearview mirror.

HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: Releasing doors for entering the 2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-Sport merely requires a light grab of the handles, with nary a tug, sets the tone for a nearly effortless cabin occupant situating. The newest RX challenges the competition to offer such uniformly close panel seams, Japanese minimalist artistry, ingot build, buttery aperture or control movement and a pampered sensation without extolling excessive complexity. Media display mice / touch pads remote controllers have been comprehensively nixed.

2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: plush surfaces abound, metal pedals for Sport

Perforated two-tone NuLuxe Rows 1, 2 seating, heated & cooled Row 1; Shoulder bolster F-Sport front bucket seats; Power 10-way front seats, w/ 3 position memory driver’s memory; Heated Leather power tilt, telescoping steering wheel with spoke integrated redundant controls; 7.0″ inch 3-D gauge cluster Multi-Function display w/ F-Sport G-Forces graph; 3-Zone automatic climate control; Keyless entry, push buttton ignition; Full express power windows x 4; 2nd Row + cargo bay privacy window tint;

  • + 1 Generous steering wheel reach adjustment; Wide center armrest; Generous steering wheel reach adjustment; F-Sport enhanced shoulder & torso seat bolstering, lumbar support + cushioning; Adjacent front center console dual cupholders; NuLuxe seat covering = could fool almost anyone as leather
  • -1 Narrow front seat cushions

Cool Gizmo(s): Lexus Interface 14.0″ inch infotainment display bottom virtual climate controls overlay, twin rotary climate adjust knobs, with integrated temperature displays; 10.0″ inch Heads Up Display includes dual function left media / right cruise controls, w/ forward vehicle into lane movement, navigation and road sign recognition display; Soft touch power ventral exterior door handle, interior door button Digital Latch actuation; Digital rear view mirror.

2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: push actuation cabin door release

Details Done Right: Contrasting stitched seat & soft panel surfaces; Turned aluminum door accents; F-Sport aluminum pedals; Center stack to console contrast saddle padding; Tight grained plastic panels; Precision rotating control dials; Soft close power windows; Cabin pillar & ceiling velour fabric; Dense pile carpeting, including 3rd Row outboard walls; Foot well & door panel 64 color, 11 theme ambient lighting;

Nearly Non-Descript: -1 Simulated matte metallic accents

HOW CONNECTED: Lexus Interface center dashtop tablet 14.0″ -inch portrait HD LCD capacitive touch infotainment screen; Adaptive voice command interaction & Bluetooth hands-free communications; GPS Cloud based Navigation w/ real time re-routing, Google POI, OTA updates; Lexus Interface wireless device apps = Apple Music, Amazon Music, Amazon Alexa, Siri Eyes, Doppler weather, Traffic Updates; 400 watt, 10- speaker, 8-channel DSP Pioneer streaming audio, HD-Radio; USB-A x 1, USB-C x 4, 12V x 2.(incl. cargo bay)

2023 Lexus RX 350 F-Sport AWD: sport elegance avoids splashy even w/ upgraded 14.0″ touch infotainment display

HOW “APP” -LICABLE: Lexus Human Machine Interface infotainment designed to be very voice interactive via “Hey Lexus” wake-up phrase hence more streamlined (vs. previous Lexus Enform architecture); Google browser search; Driver profiles x 5, personalized operation, comfort convenience & infotainment settings, portable (to other equipped Lexus Interface equipped vehicles); Driver digital key card (via wireless device app)

Audibly Speaking: 21 speaker, 1800 Watts, 12 channels Mark Levinson, Clari-Fi audiophile audio = soothing timbre, powerful low frequency without thumping, accurate imaging.

  • +/- No more CD player or Lexus Media Display remote mouse or touchpad control
  • -1 Infotainment screen exclusive audio switches; Touch screen could benefit from absent haptics feedback;

BY SUBSCRIPTION:

Sirius XM satellite radio (1 year trial); Safety & remote connect (1 year trial); Drive Connect (3 years trial); AT&T 4G LTE Wi-Fi (2GB trial)

HOW MUCH: $64,395 = 2023 Lexus RX 350 AWD F-Sport

WHAT’S MISSING: Getting accustomed to touch action steering wheel spoke and HUD controls & joystick shift lever.

ANY COMPETITION: Genesis GV80: +1 standard power, cabin materials, cargo bay space

BOTTOM LINE: Although the V-6 is missed, Roadblazing.com expects the latest Lexus RX to remain a prescription for luxury vehicle sales dominance in the States.

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