Like the latest NX, the new 2023 Lexus RX 350 Luxury sports utility vehicle (SUV) is fitted with the e-Latch electronic door release which is linked to the car’s Blind Spot Monitor to provide Safe Exit Assist (SEA), preventing the door from being opened if there is a vehicle or cyclist approaching from behind.
SEA is expected to help prevent 95% of "dooring" accidents.
SEA first alerts the driver or passengers and disables the e-Latch.
This was recently demonstrated to a group of media writers during a day-long drive organised by Lexus Malaysia, on a 130km route on mostly free-flowing expressways in the Klang Valley, to provide a first-hand experience of the improved driving dynamics and comfort features of the new RX.
Setting from the Lexus Klang dealership, we drove 40km to have lunch at the Bamboo Hills dining enclave in Kuala Lumpur.
At a closed-off section of the car park area, a car was driven at a slow 20kph past a line-up of RX 350 units, while temp staffers tried unsuccessfully to open the driver's doors as the car approached.
After lunch, it was another 45km to Putrajaya for a photo shoot session, before returning to Lexus Klang.
The test drive units looked outstanding in the exterior signature Sonic Copper paint job, and the upgrades in vehicle dynamics allowed confidence-inspiring handling at higher speeds on highway bends.
The RX has newly designed 21-inch wheels, and our test drive unit was shod with high-performance Dunlop SP Sport Maxx 060 tyres sized 235/50.
The 2.4-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine paired with a Direct Shift-8AT 8-speed automatic transmission with shift-by-wire technology, produces 279ps at 6,000rpm and 430Nm of torque at 1,700 to 3,600rpm.
The 8-speed automatic transmission is a smooth shifter, and stepping hard on the accelerator pedal resulted in quick sprints from near-standstill.
We found the steering to be communicative and accurate, and there's hardly any turbo lag.
Lexus claims the new RX 350 can do the 0 to 100kph sprint in 7.6 seconds.
Regarding the interior premium ambience expected of a Lexus which carries the "Luxury" tag, we certainly enjoyed the black leather-clad seats and smooth, soft-touch surfaces.
Cabin appointments have a high-quality look, and the rear seating area has ample leg and headroom for 1.7-metre people.
The new RX excels in refined ride quality, and the quietness in the cabin is exceptional as even the noise from speeding small underbone motorcycles or kapchais on the road is muted.
As a luxury highway cruiser, the RX 350 delivers power and handling, as well as refinement and top-notch ride quality.
The fully-imported SUV is priced on-the-road without insurance at RM468,888 and is backed with a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty.
2023 Lexus RX 350 Luxury SUV arrives at RM468,888