2023 Lexus RX 350h Executive

The new RX manages to uphold the same principles that allowed it to dominate the field it sowed.
The new RX manages to uphold the same principles that allowed it to dominate the field it sowed.

by Ben So | June 28, 2023


Many of you would remember the original Lexus RX being the pioneer of the luxury crossover segment that transformed the automotive industry for decades after. However, a less memorable but equally important fact is that Lexus had also kickstarted the hybrid luxury crossover concept with the launch of RX 400h way back in 2005 and this lead has actually grown over the years as others continue to try and catch up. Lexus has recently unveiled the all-new fifth generation RX and we quickly took the 2023 Lexus RX 350h Executive to evaluate its relevance in a segment that it has established its dominance in.

After drastically redesigning the previous-generation RX, Lexus designers have opted to stay the course with an evolutionary approach and kept the styling of the RX largely the same. Yes, the fascia is completely different, but it remains unmistakable as a Lexus RX and the rest of the body styling including the signature floating roof design is just as recognizable. The only debate about its otherwise elegant design came from the leading edge where it looks like a bulging nose but we find that the gorgeous Nori Green Pearl colour scheme hides it well and overall the new RX was well received throughout the week.

The interior is where the 2023 Lexus RX received a bigger nip-tuck – gone are the old tablet atop the dashboard, the numerous buttons and shortcut keys, and the dreaded trackpad. Our tester’s cockpit has been tidied up with the optional 14-inch touchscreen (9.8-inch standard) as the main control pod for the infotainment and climate control, with a volume knob and a couple of climate adjustment dials sitting over a few shortcut switches. This new look feels more upscale and modern, and the touchscreen operation is a big step up from the old touchpad one so it is definitely a win there.

Our only complaint about the new layout is the lack of a dedicated audio source button for the upgraded 21-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, as the current process requires us to exit the Android Auto or Apple CarPlay interface into the home screen and go from there, or take a two-step process using the touch sensitive touchpad on the steering wheel to bring up the secondary menu on the head-up display for our selection. Confusing? Yeah, we thought so too.

With the help of the optional Executive Package, our RX 350h tester is very well equipped with features such as semi-aniline leather seats over the climate-controlled front and rear seats, panoramic moonroof, enhanced 64-colour ambient lighting, as well as the full suite of drivers assistance system that includes Driver Monitor Camera, Front Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Change and Traffic Jam Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, Digital Display Rear View Mirror, Adaptive High Beam, Radar Cruise Control, and various other warning systems to keep drivers alert of surrounding vehicles, pedestrians, and bicycles.

There are total of three powertrain choices for the 2023 Lexus RX – a 2.4-litre turbocharged engine on the base RX 350, a 2.5-litre naturally aspirated hybrid powertrain on this RX 350h, and a 2.4-litre turbocharged hybrid engine on the top-of-the-line RX 500h. Despite being the middle trim, the RX 350h is actually the least powerful model in the lineup with a 246-net-horsepower and it takes a lot of grunt work for the RX 350h to get places. However, we think the sacrifice in performance is worth it in this case as the RX 350h manages to get around with the most efficient 6.5L/100km fuel rating – far better than most luxury crossovers – with the acceptance of regular grade gasoline being the cherry on top.

Steering is light and devoid of most driving feel and we do not suppose many buyers will mind that. They would, however, appreciate the whisper quiet cabin and compliant ride quality. Most road imperfections are isolated from the cabin, and the RX 350h AWD offers an accommodating space for all five occupants thanks to its excellent head and legroom. It is worth noting that the three row RX L version has been discontinued and will be replaced by the all-new TX-series arriving within the next year. Cargo space is rated at 838 litres and all Lexus RX models will tow up to 3,494 pounds regardless of engine choice.

The 2023 Lexus RX 350 starts at a reasonable $58,650, and asks for a little more for the RX 350h AWD starting at $60,150. Our tester was built with the $15,500 Executive Package that loads the RX up with all the latest bells and whistles and brought our as-tested price to $75,650. Being one of the few non-plug-in hybrids in the luxury crossover segment, the Lexus RX 350h AWD enjoys a significant price advantage than most of the other hybrid luxury crossovers such as the BMW X5 PHEV, Lincoln Aviator Grand Touring, and the Volvo XC90 Recharge.

In a segment where most car companies emphasize acceleration performance over comfort, the 2023 Lexus RX 350h Executive manages to uphold the same principles that allowed it to dominate the field it sowed – it remains sharp to look at, comfortable to ride, and extremely frugal to drive. Combining these factors with its unbeatable retail price, it will continue to be a very popular option and others will have lots of ground to make up if it wants to catch it.

See Also:

2023 Lexus RX 500h F-Sport Peformance

2023 Acura MDX Type S Ultra

2023 Volvo XC90 Recharge Inscription

Vehicle Specs
Midsize Hybrid Crossover
Engine Size
2.5L inline-four hybrid
Horsepower (at RPM)
Torque (lb-ft.)
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
The DoubleClutch.ca Podcast

About Ben So


Ben has been living and breathing car magazines, spec sheets, and touring auto shows for his entire life. As proud member of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada, he keeps a close eye on the latest-and-greatest in the auto industry. When he isn't geeking out about the coolest new cars, he's probably heading to the next hidden-gem ice cream shop with his three quickly growing kids.

Current Toys: '97 Integra Type R, '07 LS 460 RWD, '08 Corvette Z06, '18 Odyssey Touring