“Few vehicles have triggered more contrasting opinions regarding style, design, and overall look, as the 2016 Lexus RX. It seems as most people either love-it or hate-it. But is such debate even relevant?”
Less than 5 minutes had elapsed since my first Instagram post of the day, when the first comment came through – “You couldn’t take a less flattering photo of the RX if you tried”, a few minutes later – “Does that grille come with a car?”, and finally – “This is such a departure from the typical Lexus design”. Whether that last comment was meant as a compliment or complaint —I don’t know. What I do know is that Lexus has done a heck of a job at getting people to take notice and see them in a different manner.
Lexus organized an incredible trip to the historic state of South Carolina, home of the most expensive rice ever —the “Carolina Gold”, which costs upwards of $15 per pound, as well as home to some glamorous little critters called “Palmetto Bugs”. Otherwise referred to as a cockroaches by everyone outside the State of South Carolina.
Now that you’ve had your daily dose of Americana, I can go on and say that despite the local’s infatuation with assigning glamorous names to non-glamorous things, the city/port of Charleston is perhaps one of the most charming places I’ve visited in the States, and it most certainly fit the overall aura of Lexus’s new flagship SUV.
The 2016 model which just hit dealerships this week will surely appear very, very different to most new and old customers alike, and with good reason. Lexus worked their butts off to design a vehicle that suddenly found itself in a generational divide, and faced the challenge to continue its sales-success with loyal customers, but also penetrate the ever more important younger segment. In other words, Lexus wants to please young and old people alike, but as you may imagine — that’s no easy task.
I personally think the new RX is rather gorgeous, and trust me when I say that I’ve always hated the look of every model ever designed, with the exception of the very first RX300. The beauty of the new model isn’t just skin-deep, it’s actually well thought out and even the body has grown by a whopping 5-inches, which were wisely distributed through the rear seats and trunk, therefore making the RX even more family-friendly and road-trip worthy.
I’d be lying if I said that I really got up close and personal with RX during my time in Charleston, because I didn’t. And even though it was a fairly long event, I actually spent most of my time sightseeing, drinking cocktails, cooking with pro-chefs and I even visited a haunted jail in the middle of the night. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Nonetheless, after a solid 150-mile stint in the RX350 F-Sport and roughly a 20-mile stint in the RX450 Hybrid, I was able to comprehend some of the basic characteristics of this new model and what it has to offer. Which in-turn allowed me to come up with the following conclusion…
It doesn’t matter at all whether the new RX is pretty or ugly, radical or conservative, young or old. Lexus will sell a boat-load of them regardless. Why? Because anyway you look at it, it’s an excellent vehicle all-around! In case you weren’t aware, it’s Lexus that takes the credit for inventing the luxury SUV segment as we know it, and they have never shown any signs of slowing down since 1999. What makes anyone think such thing will happen now?
Few more reasons why the new RX will rock the charts:
- It looks striking! You may disagree, but I’m right.
- Up to 28-hwy mpg for the 350 and 30-hwy mpg for 450h.
- It has one of the sharpest and most modern interiors in the business.
- More standard luxury features than the Germans.
- Affordable advanced safety systems.
- It drives like a real SUV and not a cloud, like previous models.
- 3 different driving modes offer versatility and excitement.
- You can now get the cool F-Sport trim in the Hybrid model.
- It has a foot-long center screen. (No 6-inch screens for Lexus customers)
Last but not least, my favorite characteristic of the new RX is that it feels like it’s built with passion and purpose. Gone are the days of sterile and numb interiors that resembled Beverly Hills plastic-surgery operating rooms.
I left Charleston a better-traveled man, a better cook, and even a connoisseur of all things “Southern”. But more importantly, I left knowing that Lexus actually pays attention to customer feedback and acts on it. And the proof is in the pudding…
The 2016 Lexus RX and RX Hybrid are on sale now and start at $41,900.