Road Test: 2020 Lexus RX 350L

With every generation, we wonder how Lexus could possibly refine their vehicles even further. Quieter, smoother, more engaging, and incredibly technologically advanced, the updated 2020 RX 350L is no exception.

We were given the opportunity to sample the 2020 Lexus RX 350L Luxury trim wearing stunning Eminent White paint. This year, the RX has more responsive steering and improved infotainment options with new touchscreen integration.


Starting with the tech, the Lexus infotainment screen has been moved nearly 5.5 inches closer to the driver and passenger, and offers control of both audio and climate systems, in addition to providing a view of what’s behind the vehicle via the backup camera. Best of all, it’s now a touchscreen in additon to the Lexus Remote touchpad on the center console.

RX comes standard with 8-inch display, and we sampled the optional 12.3-inch crisp, HD display.

Two added USB ports (6 total) ensure everyone can stay charged up without getting dangled in cords, and a new smartphone storage pocket to the right of the shifter is something we are grateful for. Cup holders can now go back to just being cup holders!

The new Lexus App allows owners to do everything from starting the RX remotely with a smartphone, to contacting dealers for a service appointment, and much more. With an active subscription, the Lexus App dashboard provides a personalized view of convenient vehicle and connected service information, including the Vehicle Health Report, scheduled maintenance and vehicle health alerts. Lexus Enform Remote comes with every RX for three years, which includes remote starting. 

Dynamic Voice Command (DVC) is featured on 2020 Lexus RX with the 12.3-inch display system. The voice-recognition system can recognize millions more phrases than conventional Lexus systems. It’s more accurate, seamless, and has expanded Points of Interest.

But really, what we’ve all been waiting for is integration with the devices we interact with more than anything else. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.

With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, drivers seamlessly access and use their phone on the RX’s touchscreen. With larger touch targets, a simplified interface, and easy-to-use voice actions, it’s designed to minimize distraction, so you can stay focused on the road.

Lexus says the RX line is the first to receive Android Auto, in addition to in-car connected technology applications from Amazon Alexa. Alexa in the RX 350L allows you to access check the news, control smart home devices, and so much more. 

When it comes to driving, the head up display system is fantastic and massive. Crisp, clear information is projected and floating in the windshield, from adaptive cruise to navigation guidance.

Advanced Safety for Peace of Mind

In addition to the 3-year Lexus Enform Safety Connect and 10-year Enform Service Connect included with the RX 350L, Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 is standard. This adds daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection along with Road Sign Assist (RSA) and Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) to further expand the scenarios in which the RX is designed to help provide additional safety to everyone inside and outside.

Daytime bicyclist detection is part of an enhanced Pre-Collision System (PCS). Previously designed to detect a preceding vehicle or pedestrian, the Pre-Collision System now has the potential to detect a preceding bicyclist as well. The PCS has also been enhanced to help detect a preceding pedestrian in certain low-light situations by increasing the camera’s sensitivity and dynamic range.

Road Sign Assist (RSA) displays certain road sign information in the instrument panel, while the Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) system is designed to detect visible lane markings to determine lane position and place the vehicle in the center of the lane when working in conjunction with the Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. If road markings are not detected, LTA is also capable, in certain conditions, of following the car ahead of it.

We found it to excel in just about every scenario, with significant improvements in night time driving and picking up lane markings. As with all Lexus vehicles, we find the radar cruise and lane keeping systems to be some of the best!

Also important from a safety perspective are the windshield wiper de-icer and headlamp cleaners that come with the Cold Weather package. We used them constantly in our Western NY winter driving, ensuring the wiper blades weren’t damaged and the headlamps stayed clear of salt and road grime to improve visibility.

The optional triple-beam headlights on our tester are incredibly bright, with auto high beams that work perfectly.

Handling Improvements

The RX received several changes designed to enhance the driving dynamics. Both the front and rear stabilizer bars are now hollow to reduce weight, yet their thicker diameters and reinforced bushings help reduce body roll and improve steering response. The shock absorbers have been re-tuned to work with the stiffer roll bars, while upgraded dampers feature a new friction control device that helps to control high frequency vibrations for a smoother ride.

The suspension has been stiffened in general to reduce the noise and vibration from the road. On turns, the added active corner braking help prevent understeering by braking the inner wheel and providing more stability.

Materials and Colors

Based on owner feedback to Lexus, the NuLuxe seat material was expanded across all trim levelss. For F SPORT models, Circuit Red color has been added, and Birch color interior has been added for non-F SPORT models. New matte and open pore wood also allows for a touch of the Lexus signature craftsmanship to shine.

On the outside, the color palette has been expanded to include two new exterior colors, Moonbeam Beige Metallic and Nori Green Pearl, a popular exterior color first used on the Lexus UX. To further distinguish the exterior of the RX, two new wheel designs are were introduced: an 18-inch wheel design and a 20-inch wheel design in the Luxury grade.

Summary Scorecard (1-10)
Ride and Handling9
Powertrain and Fuel Economy8
Interior Fit and Finish10
Gauges and Controls9
Total Score94

Make: Lexus
Model: RX 350L
Trim Level: Luxury AWD
Engine: 3.5L V6
Transmission: 8-speed Automatic
Options: BSM, Cold Weather, Head Up Display, Triple Beam LED Headlights, 12.3″ Navigation with Mark Levinson Audio

Base Price: $54,700
As-Tested Price: $63,430

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