Luxurious Lexus RX makes cheaper NX look bad in comparison – Los Angeles Times

Interested in a brand-new Lexus SUV? Don’t do just what I did. Don’t drive the very best one first.

Lexus has actually done exceedingly well along with its utility automobile line, a family of four models that entails the brand’s top-selling automobile — the Lexus RX, which far outsells the most popular Lexus sedan.

The premium Toyota-owned vehicle division sold a lot more compared to 100,000 of the RX SUVs last year — two times as lots of as NXs sold, four times as lots of as GXs and lots of multiples a lot more compared to the super-luxury LXs.

On the road, the RX feels plush and purpose-built, quite great for obtaining about town however likewise very pleasant on the highway.

It’s powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 295 horsepower and 267 pound feet of torque, which offer plenty of get-about grunt. Mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, this engine felt effortless hopping up the hills where I live and merging in to traffic on the means to and from work.

Driving modes permit fine-tuning the experience. Sport and Sport+ offer sprightlier drives, while Normal and Eco conserve fuel. Suspension choices, through the vehicle’s “adaptive variable suspension” system, permit the driver to dial in maximum feel or comfort.

Even in standard modes, the handling was so light and limber that I regularly forgot I was driving a five-passenger SUV, along with large headroom and legroom and plenty of storage space. It felt a lot more adore a midsize sedan. Scooting about town after hours was gained much easier by headlamps that swivel along with the turn of the steering wheel, illuminating corners as they approach.

On the open road, the luxury crossover was much more impressive. Smooth and quiet, along with minimal tire and wind noise and almost no engine noise, the RX was simply the prescription for an extended road trip. Even above the speed limit, even on a rough patch of pavement, it was a gentle giant.

The interior space has actually a bright, airy feel. Several glass means Several light and good visibility. The heated and ventilated leather front seats offered fantastic comfort. After several hours behind the wheel I felt adore I’d simply been in the vehicle briefly. The quite good sound system needed some navigation, and so did the navigation system. The RX has actually many, lots of buttons, and it took me half a day of driving prior to I mastered easy skills adore changing the SiriusXM channel.

Lexus calls this “intuitive technology,” which I’ve come to know means that it feels intuitive to the engineers, however may not to the user.

The 2016 RX is being advertised by Lexus as all-new. The exterior design entails a “larger, a lot more aggressively sculpted body.” The overall length has actually grown by almost 5 inches and the wheelbase by 2 inches, and ground clearance has actually increased.

The RX is available for the very first time along with 20-inch wheels — 18-inch is standard — which heighten its muscularity. likewise brand-new this year are the paint colors Caviar, Autumn Shimmer and Nightfall Mica. I can’t imagine exactly how those colors would certainly actually look, however don’t they sound delicious?

The adjustments in exterior dimensions produce a lot more space inside. The seats have actually been dropped slightly to produce a lot more headroom. The storage spaces are bigger. The rear seats have actually been improved to the degree of the flagship LS sedan, and they recline.

Lexus likewise describes its brand-new interior as “futuristic.” however a few of the electronics are quite futuristic too. The efficient head-up display will certainly show, depending on operator selection, speed, speed limit, tachometer, compass and others things.

And a Big Brotherly monitoring system is sustaining an eye on the driver too. At one point on a longer drive, a message on the dashboard asked me, “would certainly you adore to take a rest?” and an icon representing a steaming mug of coffee appeared. Was I obtaining drowsy? Had I nodded off? exactly how the did vehicle understand that?

Lexus explains that this is a brand-new feature called “sway warning.” The vehicle is sophisticated enough to detect driving behavior that is deteriorating because of “drowsiness, inattention or distraction.” The system steps in and asks the driver whether it’s time for a little break.

In retrospect, I wish I’d steered the Lexus NX prior to the brand-new RX. I would certainly have actually been that more impressed along with the higher-grade SUV, and probably would certainly have actually liked the reduced automobile simply fine.

Instead, I spent a week in the sumptuous, futuristic RX, which starts at $50,075, then got in to its little brother, which starts at $40,670.

By comparison, the NX feels underpowered and weak. Its 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine puts out 100 much less horsepower compared to the RX, on a automobile that is only concerning 250 pounds lighter.

It wasn’t as quiet and didn’t feel as tough on the road. Even though it’s 10 inches shorter in length and 3 inches lesser in height, it felt a lot more top heavy.

It was fitted along with seats that, adore those in the RX, were highly adjustable and quite comfortable, and were heated and ventilated. They likewise slide spine electronically as soon as the vehicle is turned off, to permit for much easier exit, then return to their correct placements as soon as the vehicle is started again.

The NX likewise included a wireless phone charger in the focus console. adore all of wireless phone chargers in cars, it is not compatible along with my iPhone, however this is still a forward-looking feature that will certainly probably be standard in all of automobiles soon.

On the others hand, the NX was outfitted along with a small mouse pad, likewise in the focus console, made for much easier operation of the entertainment and navigation systems. Even after several days in the car, I never ever got the feel for it, and found my eyes leaving the road regularly to attempt to follow the weirdly fluid cursor as it danced about attempting to discover just what I was looking for.

The version I drove was a hybrid, which had pluses and minuses. about town, being steered fairly aggressively, the NX easily averaged 30 miles per gallon. On the others hand, it switched from electric to gas drivetrains adore a person waking up grumpy from a nap. (The RX can easily likewise be had in a hybrid drivetrain version.)

I probably would certainly have actually liked the NX simply fine, on its own merits, had I steered it very first — or steered it several months after its a lot more luxurious sibling.

But I had been spoiled by the RX, and the NX endured unfairly for that.

charles.fleming@latimes.com

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