2023 Lexus RX 350h Review: This Luxury SUV Empowers You With Elegance

With exquisite materials, a lively driving experience and softer curves, the soothing details of the 2023 Lexus RX 350h add up to the perfect crossover utility vehicle.

The Front View Of The Beautiful Lexus Rx350H. Photo: Holli Tourniquet
The front view of the beautiful Lexus RX350h. Photo: Holli Tourniquet

Calming, Welcoming, and Luxe

The Lexus RX is a very important SUV for the brand as it makes up nearly half of all Lexus models sold last year. When it comes to making updates to the RX, Lexus is sure to take their time and address the concerns of its potential shoppers. With the redesign of the 2023 RX 350h, which starts at $51,800, I feel Lexus has crafted a vehicle that would not only feel at home in my garage for my family of three but many other shoppers looking for a beautiful, efficient, comfortable, and luxurious SUV. 

Related: The 2023 Lexus RX 350h is Everything We Hoped it Could Be

Inside The Cabin, The 2023 Lexus Rx 350H Has Beautiful Design Touches. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

Inside the cabin, the 2023 Lexus RX 350h has beautiful design touches. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

The Lexus RX 350h has an Interior that Delights the Senses 

As a mom of a five-year-old, I gravitate toward vehicles that can help remove the stress of life. This Lexus RX does just that with its quiet and inviting cabin. Wrapped in chocolate brown semi-aniline leather, the front seats are soft and comfortable for a long day on the road or a full day of running errands around town. The automatic ventilation function means that your seat is adding to your comfort on a hot day by blowing cool air instead of scalding your backside.

Let me tell you, as a Texas girl, I covet the ventilated seats in the dog days of summer. On a cold day, you can turn on the heated seats and steering wheel to help keep you warm and toasty.

This level of pampering is not reserved solely for the driver, all outboard passengers get this level of luxury, too. Seat heat and ventilation are available to all passengers, front or rear, with the exception of whoever draws the short straw to sit in the middle seat.

Related: Lexus RZ 450e: Charming, Modern, Electric

2023 Lexus Rx 350H Front Passenger By Holli Fourniquet

The lines are clean and classy in the 2023 Lexus RX 350h. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

First Class Treatment in the Seats

The front seats have a 10-way power adjustment to find that sweet spot, with a 4-way power lumbar, and the Lexus will remember these settings for up to 3 different drivers. I love memory seats, so I don’t have to worry about my husband hopping in my car and moving everything out of the position I have so perfectly crafted for myself. 

Rear seat passengers also have control of their own airflow and temperature from the back of the center console. If, like my son Tucker, you cannot reach the controls from your seat, the rear seat climate is also easily adjusted from the large 14-inch infotainment screen. Rear passengers are further treated well with sunshades that can be manually lifted to cover and shade the rear windows. I could see just as many passengers fighting over rear seat access as for the front.

Related: The Lexus TX Could Be the Perfect Luxury Family SUV

2023 Lexus Rx 350H Steering Wheel By Holli Fourniquet

The steering wheel has beautiful wood accents in the Lexus RX 350h. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

Goodbye Trackpad, Hello Touchscreen

Looking forward, Lexus addressed owner concerns over the necessity of using a laptop-style trackpad to control previous generations’ multimedia screens by adding a large and bright 14-inch touchscreen that is very responsive with little hesitation to driver input.

The software used to power this large screen was designed in-house and was not outsourced to a company like Google, which is currently working with other manufacturers to create content for the increasing number of screens in vehicles. The Lexus multimedia system relies mostly on the fact that users can take advantage of Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto to interface their phone onto the large screen. There is no dedicated Home Screen in the Lexus, leaving drivers to choose between maps, media, settings, or phone mirroring, among other options.

2023 Lexus Rx 350H Car Seat 1 By Holli Fourniquet

There’s great visibility in the front and the back of the Lexus RX 350h. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

The Cameras are Your Co-Pilot in the Lexus RX 350h

The screen is also the home to the 360º surround-view cameras that actually turn the outline of the SUV invisible in the birdseye view as the camera system remembers what was captured and displays that image underneath the car as it moves. It makes maneuvering and parking in a garage, parking spot, or on the curb at a garage sale really simple because you can see everything around and underneath you. As someone who stands by the tried and true technique of just sticking my head out of the driver’s side window to back up, I can say that I did actually enjoy using these cameras (in addition to my own eyeballs).

Visibility is also sometimes a struggle for me, but I had no issues with this SUV. The windows are large and unobstructed, and the rearview mirror also doubles as the display screen for a camera mounted in the rear window. So, load up those garage sale finds in the back of your RX and know you won’t have to be looking around them in your rearview mirror. At the flip of a switch, you are greeted by a crisp and clear image from the back of the SUV. 

2023 Lexus Rx 350H Rear Storage By Holli Fourniquet

The Lexus RX 350h has a nice amount of rear storage. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

Cargo, Cargo Everywhere

Rear cargo space in the RX350h is impressive as well, with 29.6 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, which is more than most mid-size and full-size sedans on the market now. The second-row split folds in 40/20/40 fashion, allowing for two outboard passengers to ride comfortably while longer items can be passed through the center seating section. Fold the power-reclining rear seats down, and you open cargo space up to  46.2 cubic feet. All that cargo space resides behind a power-operated rear hatch that features a hands-free kick-to-open feature as well.

Storage inside works well for me, with neat hidden spots throughout the SUV. I was able to hide my iPhone 13 in the center stack on a textured shelf just behind the gear lever and the sliding wooden panel that hides the USB ports and Qi wireless charger. Next to the gear selector are two cup holders that are stacked vertically between the front passengers, with the front option showing off an adjustable base that lowers for tall drinks but can be raised at the touch of a button for smaller beverages. I have never seen this feature before, but what a great idea! Sometimes it’s the smallest details that can make life just a little bit easier.

The center console lid opens sideways for easy access from the driver or passenger, thanks to a unique butterfly hinge that allows it to be opened from either side. Each front door has decently sized storage pockets, and the glovebox is damped and lined with felt so it can hold items while absorbing any sound they might make inside. 

I can say that I missed some under-console storage that is becoming a popular design theme of many newer SUVs lately, which would have been a great place to store a purse, diaper bag, or any larger items you would want handy while driving. 

Getting Down to the Brass Tacks with the Lexus RX 350h

Driving this car was a fun experience. This being the all-wheel-drive 350h model means it puts the power down to all four wheels thanks to a hybrid drive system that uses a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine along with 3 electric motors. The whole system is spritely enough for spirited driving while still being relatively efficient overall. Thanks to those three electric motors, it really felt quick, like an EV, but with its gasoline engine, I was not hampered by range anxiety. The EPA rates the RX350h AWD model at 37 miles per gallon in the city, 34 mpg on the highway, and 36 mpg combined. In my 500+ miles with this particular model, I was able to achieve 33.6 mpg in mixed driving. However, keep in mind some of those savings in fuel gallons used to move the RX are negated by the fact that the 4-cylinder requires premium fuel. 

A safety feature that is quickly becoming a favorite of mine is the head-up display. I felt well-informed while driving thanks to the RX’s color head-up display along with the digital driver information center screen. My favorite feature of the head-up display is that it uses some of the driver-assistance technology from Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 to audibly and visually alert me of cross traffic. This really came into play driving around downtown, where visibility around buildings is tough, and streets don’t always meet at a perfect 90º angle. There was one point in particular where a car was coming up in my blind spot, but the system gently alerted me to that fact making my move into traffic so much safer and less stressful.

2023 Lexus Rx 350H Grill By Holli Fourniquet

The 2023 Lexus RX 350h has a gorgeous grille. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

A Genteel Design Language

All of these features are wrapped in exterior styling that has evolved from previous generations into a softer style that still exudes the Lexus design language. The large “spindle grille” has been softened up front as it now more cohesively flows into the design of the front bumper. LED lighting features the Lexus checkmark running light and turn signal. The body sides of the RX are softer without any dramatic harsh lines, using flowing curves to tell the story. An evolution of the floating roof design hides the rear windows that shed light onto the rear cargo compartment. 

When closed, the doors do a great job of hiding the fixed running boards that run between the front and rear wheels, aiding short gals like me when climbing in. While I always appreciate a good running board, in this SUV, they almost felt unnecessary, as the RX is not really that tall.

Moving to the back, Lexus has added more LED lighting, including a red lighter that runs the width. Gone is the traditional Lexus “L” logo that has adorned all previous iterations of the RX in favor of a new “L-E-X-U-S” that is meant to invoke subtle elegance.

The whole design works well for making the RX interesting and not boring, daring, but not over the top, ensuring that you arrive in style wherever your adventures take you. This “Luxury” trim model is high on the hierarchy of 350 models, but the entire RX line features 16 different powertrain and trim options making this 350h Luxury AWD model more middle of the pack. The Iridium Silver model with its semi-aniline leather, heated and ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, head-up display, and more stickers for $67,590, which delivers a lot without breaking the bank.

2023 Lexus Rx 350H Side By Holli Fourniquet

The side view of the 2023 Lexus RX 350h Photo: Holli Fourniquet

Trims and Options in the Lexus RX

The 2023 Lexus RX comes in three different varieties and many different trims:

  • RX starting at $49,950
  • RX Hybrid starting at $51,800
  • RX Plug-in Hybrid $70,080

Our test vehicle was the traditional hybrid, which comes in 6 different trims:

  • RX 350h AWD $51,800
  • RX 350H Premium AWD $43,950
  • RX 350h Premium+ AWD $55,800
  • RX 350h Luxury AWD $60,930
  • RX 450h+ Luxury AWD $70,080
  • RX 500h F Sport Performance AWD $63,800

The Lexus RX is available in both hybrid and gas-only models. The primary difference between the two lies in the powertrain and how the SUV generates and utilizes energy. Gas-only models are powered solely by a traditional internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline and not supplemented by an electric motor. The hybrid models of the Lexus RX feature a combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The electric motor works in conjunction with the gasoline engine to provide power and improve fuel efficiency.

The model I tested was a hybrid. It was smooth and effortless on power. There is no mechanical link to the rear wheels but instead are powered by an electric motor that delivers instantaneous torque to the rear wheels when you need it. All around it was easy to maneuver in traffic, on the highway, or pulling into a parking spot. 

Both gas-only and hybrid models have their pros and cons. I usually gravitate toward hybrid models because I like the smoother drive and the fuel efficiency of the hybrid. But oftentimes, as is the case in this SUV, the hybrid comes with a slightly higher price tag. 

When choosing between a hybrid and gas-only model, things you should consider are your driving habits, environmental preferences, and budget to determine which option aligns best with your needs.

The 2023 Lexus Rx 350H Rear Opens By Waving Your Foot Under The Back Bumper. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

The 2023 Lexus RX 350h rear opens by waving your foot under the back bumper. Photo: Holli Fourniquet

Who Should Drive the Lexus RX 350h?

The Lexus RX truly stands out as a remarkable choice for families in search of the perfect SUV to complement their lifestyle. With its unparalleled blend of luxury, versatility, and safety, it effortlessly checks all the boxes for what our family would want in an SUV.

The spacious interior provides comfort for both passengers and drivers alike, making long road trips a breeze and daily errands a pleasure. Its advanced safety features and top-notch reliability give parents like us peace of mind, knowing that our loved ones are protected on the road.

If you’re in the market for a family SUV that delivers on every front, the Lexus RX 350h AWD should undoubtedly be at the top of your list. This SUV is a class apart, setting a high standard for what a family vehicle can and should be.

A Girls Guide To Cars | 2023 Lexus Rx 350H Review: This Luxury Suv Empowers You With Elegance - Vision Board 2023 Lexus Rx 350H Awd By Holli Fourniquet

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I'm Holli Fourniquet; wife to Cory, mommy to 4-year old Tucker, and long time servant to our yappy chihuahua,... More about Holli Fourniquet