In 1999 Lexus launched its RX 300 SUV. At that time, automakers were shifting from wordy names to names made up of letters and numbers. Lexus was also one of the first manufacturers to never have a word as a name for a model, instead they have all been acronyms. Really, the RX for Lexus means something more, and it’s not a “recipe.”
What does the Lexus RX stand for?
While Lexus may have had the recipe for a best-selling SUV, that’s not what RX stands for. Instead, RX stands for “Radiant Crossover,” and always has, according to Lexus of England. The idea was that it would represent the future of Lexus near the turn of the millennium.
When the RX came out, I was beaming. It was the first luxury SUV based on a car. In this case, Lexus took the Camry platform and added a taller suspension and all-wheel drive to build the first RX 300 SUV. Since then, it has also sold radiantly as it is the best-selling Lexus SUV.
What do the Lexus names mean?
Almost all Lexus vehicles are acronyms. The swoopy LC? luxury coupe. The LS? luxury sedan.
While those two names are pretty self-explanatory, what about the ES? When Lexus launched the brand in 1989, the slightly smaller sedan was the ES, or Executive Sedan. However, the plucky little NX gets the name Nimble Crossover, while its Urban Crossover counterpart became UX. The RC has a more ambitious name: it’s Radical Coupe.
There’s a new RX for 2023
Since the RX is the brand’s best-selling SUV, any update must be taken very seriously. Drive through almost any suburb and you’ll see dozens of Lexus RX SUVs, which is hardly a surprise. Lexus redesigned the RX for 2023, adding the new Lexus Safety System Plus 3.0, a new F Sport handling package, and updated styling.
It comes standard with a 2.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with front or all-wheel drive. But you can order it in hybrid and plug-in hybrid models. The new model has a longer wheelbase, which should help with stability, but it’s the same length as the previous version, which should help with parking.
How much does a 2023 Lexus RX cost?
New trim levels for the 2023 Lexus RX include the gasoline-powered RX350 wagon, RX350h hybrid and new 450h+ plug-in hybrid, as well as the top-rated RX500h F Sport Performance trim. Pricing for the 2023 Radiant Crossover hasn’t been released yet, but the base RX350 should start at around $49,000. Higher trim levels like the RX450h+ and RX500h should be around $60,000.
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