Some people are just naturals — undeniable, inexorable talents who take to x like a duck takes to water. Think if the Picassos of the world. The JRR Tolkiens, Jimi Hendrixes, and Paul Mccartneys. Each has left the world a different place in their wake, and all through the craft of sheer personal expression.
The automotive world has its own XY, and that distinction has long belonged to Lexus. Having defined (and refined) the formula for blending luxury with utility better than any other automaker on the planet, the Toyota-owned Lexus brand remains the high watermark of functionality on four wheels.
For 2018, Lexus has improved upon their award-winning RX, which (already) represents the company’s best effort to place drivers at the helm of a cutting-edge, next generation luxury crossover SUV — today.
Past models were stylish, powerful, and striking. What’s new for 2018?
As you’d expect from a Lexus, the RX’s interior is nothing short of world-class. The cabin is sophisticated, upscale, and neatly laid out. The company didn’t cut any corners with materials, either — everything from the upholstery to the dash trimmings seem to be made from premium materials. Packed into the car no matter which version you hunt down are 10-way adjustable front seats, a telescoping steering wheel, and reclining rear seats.
Optional features include sports seating, heated and ventilated seats and a heated steering wheel, as well as heated (and power-operated) rear seats. Regardless of which RX you choose, there will be ample leg and head room for both the driver and her passengers.
The dash plays host to a number of goodies that bring the car to life, and it’s here where Lexus’ new offering really gives the competition a run for their money.
All 2018 RX will include automatic climate control, proximity-based keyless entry, a push starter, USB ports, voice recognition (for feeling like James Bond), the standard Bluetooth, satellite, and HD radio options you’d expect to find in a high-end auto, as well as an 8-i8inch infotainment monitor.
On and around this monitor you’ll work your rearview camera, as well as your adaptive cruise control, collision warnings, pedestrian and lane departure warnings, and lane keep assist.
Automatic high beams and rain-sensing windshield wipers come standard, while a take-no-prisoners Mark Levinson surround-sound system that’ll pipe in the tunes through 15 speakers is optional. As is a larger display, DVD and entertainment options for the rear seats, a surround-view camera, moonroof, blind spot and rear/cross traffic monitoring, and automatic braking.
Overall, the RX doesn’t disappoint — it’s actually pretty sprite and capable for a midsize crossover, a segment of the automotive market that sometimes lets sluggishness and a lack of get-up-and-go slide. Lexus hasn’t compromised performance for safety or luxury, instead opting to tick all the boxes, packing their new RX with enough of a punch to stand toe-to-toe with smaller, less utility vehicles.
It’s quiet, polite, perfect for the highway and stretches of backroad alike, yet capable and unflinching in the way it delivers its quality.
The athletic RX only needs 295 horses to get the job done, working smarter on the road, rather than harder. The 3.5, 6-liter engine under the hood pairs admirably with an 8-speed automatic transmission to provide a seamless and almost cloud-like roadgoing experience.
The car’s handling profile is handsome, and can accelerate like a much lighter vehicle, making it ideal for drivers who enjoy a smooth ride over almost any road but may need to make the drive a fast one from time to time.
Loyalists of the brand know that Lexus has always had the safety-conscious driver in mind. The RX owns some of the automotive industry’s most distinguished safety awards, including a 5-star NHTSA rating for most trim offerings, and while the IIHS has yet to take a 2018 RX to the road for a safety test proper, the 2017 RX’s numbers were stellar across the board when it came to crash tests.
In fact, the front crash prevention test the car was subjected to showed that the RX could handily avoid both 12-mph and 25-mph collisions, which earned it a “Superior” rating. That’s the highest rating available.
Of course, Lexus packs each RX with their Safety System+ suite, which contains many of the safety and driver convenience features we mentioned earlier.
If safety is a primary concern of yours (as it well should be), this Lexus leaves very little to be desired.
Should You Buy It?
Whether you’re a new member of the Lexus family or are window-shopping the brand for the first time, we can’t recommend the 2018 RX enough. It’s got enough going for it in every discernible category that we can’t really see it letting many motorists down.
Video courtesy of Kelly Blue Book.