The Lexus RX has been one of the brand’s top selling models since it debuted over two decades ago. Today it’s an easy choice for buyers that are looking for a midsize luxury crossover and with the addition of the three-row L version, buyers have more choices than ever before. For the 2020 model year, the Lexus RX has received a mild facelift with some small stying updates, while the interior gets an updated infotainment system to help the RX battle its growing list of rivals.
On the outside, you might notice that the front and rear fascias on the 2020 RX have been restyled. At the front the horizontal slats on non-F Sport versions have been replaced by a mesh pattern that looks more luxurious and the restyled headlights look more modern. The changes at the rear are smaller with the biggest change being new taillights.
There are also two new colors for 2020, Moonbeam Beige Metallic and Nori Green Pearl. We definitely like the new green on our test car.
Inside the RX has some small changes, like a new smartphone holder on the center console and the Lexus Enform infotainment system now has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that can be accessed via a 12.3-inch touchscreen. Yup the new screen no longer relies on the annoying Remote Touch Pad. This now means that it’s easier to change the radio station and enter navigation destinations than before.
While we welcome the updates to the interior, there’s still one thing that hasn’t been fixed in the RX 350L – its tiny third row seats. The current generation RX wasn’t designed to be a three row crossover, so when Lexus decided it needed to add a third row to the RX, it just added 4.4-inches of length behind the C pillars. That means that there isn’t much room back there with only 23.5-inches of legroom compared to 28.1-inches that you’ll find in the Acura MDX. Headroom is also limited way in the back too.
Since the third row is cramped, it’s best for small kids and only for short trips around town. The extra length does give the RX 350L more cargo space though, with 70.7 cubic feet of space with both the second and third rows folded, which is slightly better than the MDX’s 68.4 cubic feet of space.
Besides the cramped third row, the cabin in the RX L is a nice place to be with its comfortable first and second row seats and its exceptionally quiet. We also like the new 12.3-inch infotainment screen, which is now a touchscreen so that it’s easier to use.
The RX 350L is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 that’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The V6 in the RX 350L generates 290 horsepower and 263 pound feet of torque, which is down slightly from the RX 350 with its 295 hp and 268 lb-ft. Front-wheel drive is standard, but all-wheel drive is optional. It takes 7.9 seconds for the front-wheel drive RX 350L to reach 0-60 mph, while the all-wheel drive version takes 8.1 seconds.
The 2020 RX 350L is rated at 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined with front-wheel drive and 18/25/21 mpg with all-wheel drive. The MDX is slightly more efficient, with the FWD version rated at 20/27/23 mpg and the all-wheel drive MDX rated at 19/26/22 mpg.
If you’re looking for a more fuel efficient option, the RX 450hL all-wheel drive hybrid is rated at 29 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined. Here the RX 450hL beats the MDX Hybrid, which is rated at 26/27/27 mpg.
Around town it’s easy to tell that the RX 350L is tuned more for comfort than sport. Lexus did give the 2020 RX’s chassis and suspension a few tweaks, like stiffer dampers and thicker anti-roll bars to reduce body roll and give the RX more steering response. The V6 generates adequate power, but we wouldn’t ever call the driving experience sporty due to its light steering and comfort tuned suspension. Instead the RX gets you and your family from point A to B comfortably and quietly.
The 2020 Lexus RX 350L starts at $48,325 and if you want all-wheel drive, that’s an extra $1,400. That’s a bit more expensive than it’s main Japanese rivals, the Acura MDX ($45,525) and the Infiniti QX60 ($45,375).