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2020 Lexus RX gets a nip, a tuck and a touchscreen

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2020 Lexus RX{ } (Image courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, USA)

Lexus has been criticized for the control interface of its infotainment system. For 2020, Toyota's luxury brand responded by offering a touchscreen in the RX for the first time in a decade as part of a refresh for 2020.

The luxury automaker unveiled the updated mid-size 2020 RX lineup Wednesday with its new infotainment system, a tweaked design, suspension changes, and upgraded active safety technology.

Both the standard 8.0-inch and the available 12.3-inch screens will be touchscreens, but drivers will still be able to control the infotainment system via a touchpad mounted behind the shifter.



Reviewers have found the touchpad distracting to use in other Lexus vehicles such as the NX, but the touchscreens could present their own challenge because they are mounted high on the dashboard where they may be a stretch to reach while driving.

Lexus joined many other automakers by adding Android Auto compatibility in the RX. It recently added Apple CarPlay compatibility to some 2018 and newer models.

On the road, it will be hard to spot the minor visual tweaks to the updated RX. The headlights are slimmer, the fog lights are larger, and the front intakes on either side of the bumper are larger. Out back, the taillight reflectors sit at a different angle. The 18- and 20-inch wheel designs have been updated for the Luxury trim, and Moonbeam Beige Metallic and Nori Green Pearl paint colors are new for 2020.

All 2020 RX models will get improved automatic emergency braking that can now detect bicyclists and see pedestrians in lower light conditions.



Lexus said the 2020 RX will have less body roll than the current model thanks to thicker, hollow front and rear stabilizer bars that are also lighter, as well as reinforced bushings, and retuned dampers that feature a friction control drive to control high frequency vibrations for a smoother ride. Lexus will also use the ABS system to help minimize understeer and improve handling by braking the inside wheel in turns. Rigidity has been increased thanks to additional spot welds and adhesive.

Two F Sport packages will be available for 2020. The updated F Sport and RX F Sport packages—two packages, although they share similar names—can add a cold air intake, active sound control, a specific tune for the electric power steering, a heated steering wheel, sporty appearance add-ons, and an adjustable active suspension borrowed from the LC.

Base RXs are powered by a 295-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission that sends power to the front or all four wheels. Those looking for better fuel economy can opt for the hybrid, which pairs the 3.5-liter V-6 with three electric motors to send 308 hp to all four wheels. Lexus said the hybrid should be capable of up to 30 mpg combined.

The 2020 Lexus RX goes on sale later this year.

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