Lexus RX interior
The Lexus RX’s interior looks absolutely lovely and feels super plush. The only problem is the clunky infotainment system that’ll make you want to pull your hair out
If you have bought Audi, BMW and Mercedes cars in the past, then the Lexus RX’s asymmetrical dashboard design will make for a refreshing change.
The heating and ventilation controls are laid out sensibly within easy reach and the dashboard’s cool swooping design looks far more stylish than the blocky interior you get in the likes of a Range Rover.
Poke your way around the cabin, and you’ll find that almost all of the Lexus RX’s trim feels super plush. The brushed metal strakes on the dashboard and centre console feel cold-to-the-touch and the numerous soft plastics on the dashboard and doors are even more yielding than those in a BMW, Audi or Mercedes. Even the recesses in the front door-pulls come with a soft felt lining.
Look beyond the fancy trim pieces and you’ll find the glovebox glides open smoothly, the buttons on the dashboard feel like they’ll work with the same oily smoothness in 10 years’ time and the gaps between trim pieces are tight and consistent. It’s a refreshing change to the flimsy buttons and wavy leather stitching you’ll find in a Range Rover.
Unlike previous versions, the Lexus RX comes with LED interior lighting and leather seats as standard. Pick an F Sport model and these seats come with more supportive bolsters and embossed F Sport logos to match the F Sport branded gear shifter, sporty aluminium pedals and cocktail-bar style mood lighting.
Push the boat all the way out for a top-spec Takumi car and you get a wood-trimmed steering wheel that’s nice to hold, a beautiful curved veneer around the gear selector and semi-aniline leather upholstery that’s soft but also hardwearing.
Few large SUVs feel as futuristic inside as the Lexus RX, but it's a shame the infotainment system doesn't feel quite so modern
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Despite looking as luxurious as you could hope for, the Lexus RX’s interior isn’t without fault – most obviously with regards to its subpar infotainment system.
Sure, you get a 12.3-inch display as standard in place of the old car’s 8.0-inch unit, but it comes with similarly confusing menu screens and hard-to-read white and purple icons.
The graphics are the least of your worries, though, because the touchpad-style control that Lexus continues to fit between the front seats lacks the accuracy of the touchpad and scroll-wheel controls you’ll find in a BMW. As a result, it’s very tricky to hit the correct buttons on the screen, navigate through menus or enter postcodes – despite there being a few physical shortcut buttons to help you switch from on feature to another while you’re driving.
It’s not all bad news, however – the RX is one of the first Lexus models to come with Apple and Android smartphone mirroring that lets you use your favourite smartphone apps, such as Google Maps and Waze through the car’s built-in infotainment system.
The RX’s 12.3-inch widescreen display doesn’t make the best use of these smartphone mirroring features, but at least it doubles as a touchscreen so you can use your favourite apps without resorting to Lexus’ infuriating touchpad. Unfortunately, the screen itself is mounted quite high up on the dashboard so most drivers will have to lean some distance forward to reach it.
Luckily, the Lexus finds itself on much firmer ground when you start to explore the attributes of the stereo that, even in standard guise, has the power and clarity to match the mid-range options in BMWs and Audis.
If, however, you want your Lexus RX to resemble a mobile opera house, you’ll want to pay extra for the 15-speaker Mark Levinson unit that delivers a much more powerful punch.
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