Refreshed Lexus RX gains tech upgrades (including touchscreen)

Lexus has revealed its facelifted RX (and three-row RXL), handing the luxury SUV revised styling and improved on-board technology.

One of the most significant changes from a user perspective is the switch from the Toyota-backed luxury firm’s controversial controller-type “remote touch interface” to a trackpad-type version, plus the availability of a new (either standard 8,0- or larger 12,3-inch) touchscreen display. A clever smartphone holder and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity have also been added.

Although powertrain options appear to be unchanged, the Japanese firm has made other alterations under the skin, saying its engineers scrutinised “every part of the vehicle” before making enhancements to the rigidity of the body and suspension system, as well as adding new shock absorbers and an updated brake control system.

Furthermore, the refreshed RX is equipped with what Lexus describes as the world’s first “BladeScan Type AHS” (a new version of its adaptive high-beam system). This arrangement shines LED-sourced light onto two blade mirrors spinning at high speed, transferring the light to a lens to illuminate the road ahead.

Lexus says it “precisely controls” light distribution by synchronising the rotation of the blade mirror and switching the LED headlamps on and off, claiming this allows the system to illuminate spots that “may be difficult to see with conventional high-beam systems, such as the shoulder of the road”. It also allows the driver to recognise pedestrians and road signs earlier, says the automaker.

The facelifted RX also comes equipped with the latest version of Lexus Safety System+, which includes a pre-collision system, dynamic radar cruise control, lane tracing assist, road sign assist and a head-up display.

And the RXL? Well, this model’s third row now features two different seating positions, with the new setting offering even more legroom. The second-row pews, meanwhile, have been reconfigured to include “captain seats”.

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CAR magazine