After testing the Lexus RX300, I was left with a very pleasant impression, but refrained from buying. Although there was a visit to the dealer, and ordering a car for yourself, and prepayment, but no, the choice fell on another car. Nevertheless, in general, I liked the car, I continue to follow the development of the model. Just at the end of last year, updated cars appeared: the exterior was refreshed, the interior was finalized, and the driving performance improved.
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As soon as there was time after the sudden forced coronavirus vacation, I decided to take the new RX and once again ride the most popular premium crossover in Russia.
The updated Lexus RX is most easily recognizable by the new grille: it now has a new structure, it is still huge and creates a vicious and predatory look of the car. But this is outside. Inside, there is no hint of aggression, the mind and body relax while driving. Perhaps, if you put a new and an old car next to each other, you will notice the differences in the restyled version. But overall, it's all the same, and the distinctive design of the Lexus RX is still strong. He either like it or not.
Spaciousness and silence
As a family car, the Lexus RX is good: it has a roomy trunk, a spacious interior, and there are many places for storing small things. The driver and passenger have large compartments in the doors with reclining walls, and the cup holder is height adjustable. The rear passengers have a roomy armrest with drawers, where wet wipes and bags of cookies for the daughter lay – everything is hidden and out of sight.
The ease of landing in the back, of course, depends on the driver: for example, I felt comfortable as in business class: I stretched my legs, leaned back on my back, my hands on the armrests, beauty. The placement of the Britax Römer child car seat Dualfix was also no problem. Specifically, I completely prescribe the name of the model, because the seat is bulky and often you have to move the front passenger seat almost all the way forward so that the child does not touch the back with his feet.
At the rear, the angle of inclination of the seat back is separately adjusted, at the same time you can move the seat back and forth, choosing a comfortable position. To keep the sun out of the way, you can raise the side curtains and turn on the heated seats in winter. There are also a pair of USB ports for rear passengers.
And, of course, you need to talk about the roomy trunk. It doesn't look big on the surface, but it can easily fit two 100-liter suitcases, a compact Yoyo stroller and a bunch of small bags. Under the flat floor, you can find a spare wheel and several containers for storing small items. Although there is not as much space here as in the huge Lexus GX460, but nevertheless everything you need fits:
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There are changes in the interior, but you have to look for them very carefully. For example, there used to be a fun little tidy hatch on the center console close at hand to hold an iPhone 5 or SE. Now the drawer is gone. But there was a slot for the phone next to the cup holders, where the smartphone can be stuck vertically if you don't want to put it in a niche with wireless charging. What's sensible, wireless charging is turned on with a separate button.
An improved active safety system has emerged from things invisible to the eye: cameras "see" better at night, and LED headlights adapt the light beam faster and more accurately.
The large screen of the media system now supports touch control, and finally there is support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which was so lacking. But there are some troubles: the cable to connect the phone to the car system must be connected to one of the USB ports in the armrest. Therefore, the wire has to be pulled through the passenger compartment, which is inconvenient. What prevented you from using the USB port located directly under the console?
Controlling the touchscreen while driving is not realistic, it is located too far away and you have to reach there, distracting from the road. However, to control the media, not only the touchscreen is used, but also the touchpad, with its help it is more convenient to control the process.
In the list of available options, there is also a useful 360 ° camera system, I would like to improve the picture from the cameras, otherwise it is still grainy and not as high quality as the German competitors.
Calm, only calm
In terms of handling, there were hopes that the car became more energetic and active, in any case, I read this in car reviews of specialized publications. But according to my feelings, Lexus, in principle, does not like a nimble ride and is set for a quiet movement. The steering wheel is not very sharp, they do not have to turn quite actively, this is especially noticeable when parking. You also need to remember about long overhangs, usually there are no problems with curbs in the city, but I would not dare to move off the asphalt into the field without the prompts of a pedestrian guide.
For quick acceleration when overtaking, you have to switch from Normal to Sport or Sport +. Otherwise, you have to adapt to the fact that Eco-mode is constantly working, which gives the car a strange thoughtfulness. But even in sports modes, the car does not give driver joy, as if Lexus wants to isolate from the environment and concentrate consciousness on other sensations.
Almost two years ago I tested the initial RX300 and did not feel any tangible difference after getting to know the RX350. I thought that a naturally aspirated V6 and an eight-speed automatic would be more emotional than a turbo four and a simpler gearbox, but no. So I concluded for myself that the usual RX300 looks no worse than the RX350: at least it is cheaper, although some of the options are not available for it.
I think you come to Lexus with age. When you realize that all these abrupt rearrangements between the rows are in the past, that there is nowhere to rush in Moscow and you will still end up in a traffic jam. Isolation from street noise is much more important, the car is quiet, calm, it is very soft and smooth, you get comfort and detachment from what is happening. Even the unhurried closing of the luggage compartment drive ceases to be annoying over time.
At the same time, you want familiar things. Instead of Run-Flat tires, there is a "dock" under the floor, instead of touch buttons in the cabin – the usual physical keys, no virtual screens in front of your eyes – the usual devices with arrows, although a projection on the front is also provided.
In addition, Lexus has prestige, high liquidity, rich configurations, relatively small price losses and sustained conservatism on the Lexus side.
Prices for a new generation car have increased, the base Lexus RX300 with front-wheel drive costs 3.6 million rubles, the surcharge for all-wheel drive is small and it is more logical to look at the RX300 AWD for 3.7 million rubles. As for the RX350 AWD, it costs from 4.9 million rubles, and the top-end RX450h AWD – from 5.8 million rubles.
The Japanese held out for a long time, but under the pressure of fashion they still added bells and whistles like a touchscreen of a media system or CarPlay, but these are trifles against the background of a single conservative image of a comfortable car for roads of any degree of wear and tear.
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