LOS ANGELES — Lexus' freshening of its top-selling nameplate will address one of the biggest customer gripes about the RX crossover: its wonky infotainment system.
The Japanese luxury brand showed off its modifications here to the 2020 two-row RX and three-row RXL, including a switch to a touch screen-based infotainment system with a screen positioned closer to the driver than its predecessor has been.
The freshened Lexus RX and RXL arrive in U.S. dealerships in the third quarter. They will also feature a new look and a new F Sport performance package.
"We've listened to our guests. We know that they want more intuitive telematics with increased functionality," said Lisa Materazzo, vice president of Lexus marketing. "The majority of the interface can now be done on the screen."
An optional 12.3-inch touch screen will be paired with a center console-mounted remote touch pad to augment the freshened infotainment system; an 8-inch screen is standard. The screen, formerly nontouch, has been moved about 5.4 inches closer to the driver and will have more user-friendly touch-screen interfaces. And in a first for the brand, the onboard infotainment system will support Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to enhance phone integration.
Materazzo said other Lexus vehicles are likely to get the enhancements to the RX infotainment system.
The RXL joined Lexus' lineup for the 2018 model year. The fourth-generation RX was introduced in the 2016 model year. The RX line is the brand's bestseller in the U.S.; sales of the RX and RXL are reported jointly. Materazzo said RXL sales represent about 16 percent of RX total sales. Through the first four months of the year, U.S. RX sales are down 1.4 percent from the year-earlier period to 31,051.
To update the look of the RX and RXL, designers sought to incorporate a stylized "L" motif repeating the theme in several areas across the fascia, including slimmed-down headlights to accent Lexus' signature grille. In the rear, designers picked up the same motif around the taillights as well as in some of the exterior style lines.
While the drivetrain of the RX and RXL is unchanged, engineers improved the RX's suspension and rigidity to enhance driving dynamics and reduce noise and vibration.
The 2020 RX line will come standard with Lexus Safety System + 2.0, a suite of driver assistance and automated systems to improve vehicle safety. In its most recent iteration, the safety suite has added the ability to detect bicyclists as part of its enhanced precollision system, which also detects motorists and pedestrians. It can also recognize road signs and display notifications on the instrument panel, and it has a lane-tracing assist system that keeps the vehicle in the center of its lane when adaptive cruise control is enabled.
An updated F Sport package will offer active variable suspension to enhance road responsiveness, and a cold-air intake will help cool the engine. Active sound control, electric power steering and a heated steering wheel round out the package.
Pricing will be announced close to the on-sale date, Lexus said.