The 2016 Lexus RX Tries To Have Fun By Copying Its Little Brother

With the 2016 Lexus RX, the transformation of a brand that sells quiet cars to a brand that sells (visually) loud and jagged cars. Form beat up function here.

While the RX is still a strict five-seat crossover, it remains roomy for five people inside. But it’s definitely darker inside, not helped by the F Sport model’s black headliner. Oh, it’s still nice inside, though. Actually, the best thing about the new RX is that the interior finally feels somewhat special. There’s far less of the “nice Highlander” feeling you got from every previous model.

But the styling flourishes at the rear, particularly the slashed rear window that looks like it came off the 2015 Nissan Murano, is pretty much useless for seeing out of. The roofline eats into cargo space, too. It just doesn’t feel as practical. That probably won’t matter too much.

The RX is a longtime best-seller for the brand and it’ll probably only be helped by the fact the 2016 model looks a lot like the smaller Lexus NX. I’m not a huge fan of the sharp edges and weird chin on the NX, but the softening the styling got on the RX sort of works. Having said that, neither the hybrid nor the F Sport have appealing faces. They’re angry, and unless the handling changes are really aggressive, the RX will never be an angry car.

The RX has always been a serviceable product, so I kind of wish Lexus just kept it honest and kept it bland. But then, when the Nissan Murano does a pretty good impression of the Lexus, the RX had to get more desirable. This is a way to do it, and make a nicer-looking NX at the same time.

Photos copyright / Zac Estrada

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