Lexus served up a double feature during a well-attended event in Austin, Texas Thursday evening: a pair of three-row crossovers.
That started with the all-new 2024 Lexus TX which replaces the luxury brand’s old RX-L model. Lexus officials have big aspirations for the new TX which is more than just a new name for the previous three-row package. It boasts more room, especially in back, more cargo space and more functionality, noted Lexus brand boss Dejuan Ross.
“We expect a lot more (sales) volume than we had with the RX-L,” Ross said in an interview following the officially unveiling of the new TX. The RX-L “did well, but the TX will do substantially better.”
Three-row options gain momentum
Once rare, three-row vehicles are becoming increasingly common. Volkswagen, for example, held off launching a U.S. version of the eagerly awaited ID.Buzz battery-electric vehicle until it could add a third row. For its part, Lexus now makes a third row standard on three of its seven SUVs, including the flagship LX, the new TX and the larger GX — an updated version of that model also unveiled in Austin on Thursday.
“There were buyers who left our line-up” because Lexus didn’t have the right package, Ross said. He expects to draw many of them back, though he acknowledged that the TX may also cannibalize — or take buyers away from — the two-row version of the midsize RX crossover.
Dimensions and exterior design
Based on the automaker’s GA-K platform, the 2024 Lexus TX measures just over 203 inches in length, depending upon the buyer’s choice of powertrains. That’s more than 3 inches longer than the old RX-L. The new crossover’s wheelbase is more than 6 inches longer, 116.1, and it’s about three inches taller and an equal amount wider.
The overall appearance is a bit sleeker than the RX-L, starting with a new and more subtle version of the brand’s trademark “Spindle” grille — now called the “Unified Spindle.” A narrow aperture running just under the hood links the SUV’s slit-like headlamps. Around back, it features a new, cross-tailgate lightbar.
Buyers will get a variety of choices, starting with four different trim packages. That includes a new F Sport Performance option. Unlike some “F Sport” models, however, the TX version is purely an appearance package that includes unique 22-inch wheels, black lower cladding and roof rails.
The cabin is notably roomier than the old RX-L, something that Lexus highlights by declaring it has made “every seat the best.” That should be appreciated by adults who normally view a third row as something of a penalty box.
TX also boasts a significant increase in cargo space. It can fit up to seven carry-on suitcases with all three rows up. Fold the third row down and it offers 57.4 cubic feet of storage space, jumping to 97 cf when the second row also is folded over.
A removable center console adds still more storage, with enough space for a tablet computer.
The instrument panel adopts a more driver-centric design than the old RX-L, and can be ordered with a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. The TX comes standard with a 14-inch infotainment screen that incorporates the Lexus brand’s new, Amazon Alexa-style voice assistant. The system also features standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And there are USB ports throughout the cabin.
As one would expect of a family-oriented vehicle, the 2024 TX also comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 suite of advanced driver assistance systems.
According to a Lexus statement, these include: “Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection, All-speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Lane-Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA), Road Sign Assist (RSA) and Proactive Driving Assist (PDA).”
The new Lexus TX follows the path the automaker has been taking with other recent models, offering a trio of powertrain options, two of them hybrid:
- The base TX 350 package is a 2.4-liter turbo-4 making 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an 8-speed automatic and is expected to get 21 mpg combined when EPA numbers are finalized. Buyers also get a choice of front- or all-wheel-drive;
- A version of that engine is paired with an electric drive system in the mid-range TX 500h, bumping up 366 hp and 409 lb-ft. Power goes through a six-speed automatic to all four wheels using the Lexus Direct4 all-wheel-drive system. Lexus expects an EPA rating of 24 mpg combined;
- The top-end powertrain option is a plug-in hybrid pairing a 3.5-liter V-6 with a larger electric motor to deliver 406 hp. Lexus did not release torque numbers for the TX 550h+ but noted this Direct4 system should yield 33 mpg combined, and get up to 33 miles in all-electric mode.
Pricing and availability
Pricing was not disclosed but the old RX-L started at just under $50,000.
The 2024 Lexus TX 350 and TX 500h models will go on sale this autumn, the automaker said. The plug-in hybrid TX 550h+ will follow “at a later date.”