Auto Review: 2020 Lexus RX 300 Luxury

UP against some fierce rivals, the 2020 Lexus RX 300 Luxury delivers a vastly improved driving experience over what came before it, with a sharper design, better dynamics and a host of technology and safety updates.

It sports a 2.0-litre turbocharged four cylinder engine, outputting 175kW of power and 350Nm of torque. It’s an impressive unit that delivers plenty of get up and go when you need it.

A smooth shifting and obedient six speed auto that’s lag free and offers linear power delivery makes driving a real pleasure in the RX 300, and the 5-seat model is great on long journeys. It is front wheel drive though, and has bugger all towing capacity.

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If you want AWD, you’ll have to venture further up the model range. It’s capable of the 0-100km/h sprint in around 9.2 seconds and rides on 18-inch alloy wheels, has LED headlights and daytime running lights.

There’s also auto high beam, front cornering lights, rain sensing wipers and a power tail gate. The boot reasonable too, with some 453-litres of space with the seats up, and around 924-litres with them down. It’s not the biggest in class, but it’s still good.

But what’s a road test without a journey to test things out properly. We hit the tarmac and headed down to Wollongong from the NSW Central Coast for a family outing, that included a stop for hot chips at a certain iconic location along the way.

The Lexus offered a beautiful ride and excellent handling on a variety of road surfaces, including the fun-to-drive bends between Stanwell Tops (where we stopped for those chips and some ice creams) and the Gong itself.

The Lexus offers good fuel economy on long journeys. Official figures are 8.1-litres/100km and we managed 8.4. It’s thirsty around town though, slurping the petrol much faster than we expected in traffic conditions (between 10 and 12-litres/100km).

Probably the most exciting change for the RX 300 can be found inside though, with a new 12.3 inch touchscreen infotainment system. Yes, we really did say touchscreen. Lexus has finally succumbed, which is great, and it’s an easy to use solution to boot.

There is a but though, it’s a fair way from the driver’s position, and the angle is a little odd, as it’s deep set into the top of the dash. It means reaching for the touchscreen will not be to everyone’s liking.

The touch pad we’ve come to know and love or loath, depending on your opinion of them, is still on hand should you prefer to drive the infotainment system that way, and we reckon most people will. So it’s a bit of a win-loss in that respect.

It gets better though, because Lexus has also added Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (yes, we were a little excited too). The Luxury edition of the RX 300 also comes with satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, a CD player, and access to Lexus Enform.

The suite of assistance apps adds MyTrips and Places (travel tools that show you fuel station locations and let you find and contact restaurants), Parking, Calendar and Weather. The latter three should be self explanatory.

There’s also Bluetooth, which had a few moments when we first connected but was seamless from there on, a 12-speaker sound system, six, yes six USB ports, spread throughout the front and rear, and wireless phone charging.

Smart key entry and push-button start and a power adjustable steering column complete the package, along with climate control air conditioning and tinted windows. The seats are comfortable, although not really leather, and there’s an abundance of room.

And when we say room, we mean room. This author is 6-foot 2-inches tall in the old measurements and with the seat a fair way back, yours truly could still climb in the back seat and feel like there was a decent amount of leg and head room.

A total of 10 airbags kick off a safety package that includes lane trace assist (which combines lane departure warning and lane centering), pre-collision safety, radar cruise control, and road sign assist.

Autonomous emergency braking, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, a parking support package that detects risks and helps brake, and a head-up display are also included. Any wonder, it has a 5-star ANCAP safety rating as well.

An enhancement pack that adds a panoramic tilt and slide moon roof, 20-inch alloy wheels, a leather accented interior, heated and ventilated front seats and driver seat memory, is also available.

The 2020 Lexus RX 300 is available in Sonic Quartz, Titanium, Onyx, Graphite Black, Deep Metallic Bronze and Deep Blue. Depending on the interior you choose, you can also option three other colours. The interior is available in ivory/3D film or black/3D film.

It will cost you $80,476 drive away to enjoy the spacious and stylish RX 300. It comes with a 4-year 100,000km warranty, capped price servicing and the option of a roadside assistance package.

For the record, those rivals we mentioned include the BMW X5, Volkswagen Touareg, Range Rover Velar, Land Rover Discovery and Volvo XC 60. You might even include the Jaguar F-PACE in that list.

Our test vehicle was provided by Lexus Australia. To find out more about the 2020 Lexus RX 300, contact your local Lexus dealer.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Family friendliness
Value for money


Pros - great value; impressive ride and handling; vastly improved infotainment system.
Cons - polarising design; hungry on fuel; reach for touchscreen may bother some drivers.
Mark Holgate
Mark Holgate
A journalist with more than 24 years experience, Mark Holgate has worked with a number of regional, suburban and metropolitan newspapers, as well as stints with motoring specific publications like Which Car? Motorsport News, Auto Action and Street Machine. He is also a contributor to DriveTribe.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> great value; impressive ride and handling; vastly improved infotainment system.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> polarising design; hungry on fuel; reach for touchscreen may bother some drivers.Auto Review: 2020 Lexus RX 300 Luxury