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5 Fast Facts About the 2013 Lexus RX

3/12/2013
To align its popular crossover SUV, Lexus makes changes to the 2013 RX 350 and RX 450h models, including revised exterior styling, additional standard equipment, and an optional F Sport Package designed to give the RX improved driving dynamics and a sportier look. Here are 5 fast facts about the updated 2013 Lexus RX.

1. The 2013 Lexus RX 350 is equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine delivering 270 horsepower, 6-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. An Active Torque Control all-wheel-drive system is optional, delivering as much as 50% of the engine's power to the rear wheel as conditions warrant. With front-wheel drive, the fuel economy rating is 21 mpg in combined driving. With all-wheel drive (AWD), the RX 350 is expected to return 20 mpg.

2. The 2013 Lexus RX 450h contains an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V-6 engine, a 288-volt nickel metal hydride battery pack, and a 123-kilowatt electric motor for a combined horsepower of 295. Models with all-wheel drive have an additional electric motor at the rear of the vehicle to provide rear-drive assist. A full hybrid, the RX 450h can operate at low speeds on battery power alone. In combined driving, this powertrain is expected to return 30 mpg in combined driving with front-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive model is rated to get 29 mpg in combined driving. For 2013, the RX 450h is equipped with a new Sport driving mode that revises the steering, throttle, and transmission to "fully exploit the capabilities of the powertrain."

3. New standard features for both versions of the 2013 Lexus RX include a power rear liftgate, metallic dashboard trim, ebony-colored maple wood trim, and a USB port. New optional features include a saddle leather interior color, extended leather treatment including exposed stitching, and, for the front-wheel-drive RX 350 models, a Sport Appearance Package with a special front bumper design and 19-inch aluminum wheels in a Superchrome finish. Lexus has also redesigned the RX models' center console and steering wheel for 2013.

4. The Lexus RX 350 AWD can be optioned with a new F Sport Package containing 19-inch aluminum wheels with a Dark Graphite finish, 235/55 tires, a sport-tuned suspension, transmission paddle shifters, a sport front bumper design, a mesh grille insert, and F Sport badges. Inside, this model includes the contents of the optional Premium and Comfort option packages, plus black leather seats with white contrast stitching, a black headliner, and aluminum-trimmed pedals.

5. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Lexus RX receives 4 stars (out of 5 stars) in overall crash-testing when equipped with front-wheel drive, and 5 stars in overall crash-test rating when equipped with all-wheel drive. Dig into the details, and the vehicles receive the exact same individual test results. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the RX its "Top Safety Pick" designation, but has not performed the new small overlap frontal impact test on this SUV as this article is written.