Appeal to base instinct
The RX200T has 10-way power front seats, leather trim, 12-speaker audio, wireless phone charger, heated and ventilated front seats, 20-inch alloys, power tailgate, three driving modes and eight-inch touchscreen.
And that’s just the base model — the others add yet more kit. Of particular note: sequential indicator lights on the 450h that point the direction of travel.
An additional 50mm in the RX wheelbase endows more cabin space, particularly for the critical rear legroom and hip/ shoulder room measurements, and the larger footprint enhances stability. It is strictly a five-seater as the sloping rear glass precludes a third row, though the second row seat backs recline.
New construction technology — such as laser screw welding and greater use of high strength steel — adds strength and cuts weight.
There is conventional double wishbone suspension all around, with drive mode selections changing calibration from comfort to sport. Higher spec models have more sophisticated electronically controlled dynamics.
As expected, the drive experience is somewhat artificial — the RX feels isolated from the road with minimal noise or vibration, light controls, soft ride and smooth progress. Plenty of people like that in a car — it’s a Lexus hallmark, after all.
The 200T has plenty of go from a standing start and through the rev range. It is the sportiest of the RX range and is a contender to be the most popular.
The 350 is typical Lexus, controlled, poised, not really engaging at all — a good- looking luxury transport box. We didn’t get to test the hybrid model but suggest it would be similar to the 350 with perhaps even less noise or vibration.
Unless fuel economy and luxury are paramount, it’s difficult to justify the extra $30K-odd for the top of the range hybrid when the 200 is such a good thing.
It’s handsomely styled although it’s slightly derivative of the smaller NX. Features and performance are noteworthy. The RX is a safe, useful and classy model.
IN the late 1990s, Lexus Australia was reluctant to bring in the RX luxury SUV — but it quickly caved in when it tallied how many private buyers snapped up “grey imports” of the first generation model. Lexus began importing the second generation with...