Feeling a little chilly in the cabin, or maybe a tad overheated? Just tell your Lexus RX crossover the temperature you want. Or simply say it's too hot or too cold, and the temp automatically will be raised or lowered in four-degree increments.
Want Japanese cuisine? Tell the RX, and it will find the nearest restaurant.
How about some jazz? Just say the word and the vehicle automatically will tune in to jazz radio stations.
These are some of the new features on the redesigned RX, which goes on sale next month. Lexus' best-selling vehicle has undergone a makeover inside and out, and it has received powertrain upgrades as well as those nifty new voice commands.
The basics: The redesigned 2010 RX is slightly longer and wider than the 2009 model and has a longer wheelbase. As before, the RX comes in front- and all-wheel-drive versions.
The RX 350 gasoline model still comes with a 3.5-liter V-6, but horsepower has increased to 275 from 270 on the 2009 model. Torque has risen from 251 pounds-feet to 257. Highway mileage on the base fwd model is up 2 mpg to 25. City mileage remains 18.
The six-speed automatic transmission is a first for the RX 350, replacing the five-speed automatic. Also new is active torque control on the awd version.
For the RX 450h hybrid, a 3.5-liter V-6 Atkinson-cycle engine replaces a 3.3-liter V-6. The redesigned RX 450h makes 296 hp, compared with 268 hp for its predecessor.
The new Atkinson-cycle engine on the hybrid allows more efficient combustion and improved fuel economy — 28 in the city and 27 on the highway vs. 27/24 on the 2009 model.
Lighter electric motors and other smaller components also help the new model achieve better fuel economy.