2024 Lexus TX first drive review: Lexus families, rejoice

The new 2024 Lexus TX is a car Lexus desperately needs — a family-friendly, full-size crossover that seats seven, and is closely based on the 2024 Toyota Grand Highlander. But does it have the cachet of a proper Lexus? We traveled to Japan for a short drive of two pre-production TXs, and while we didn’t get enough time to do a full evaluation — coming next month — we think the Lexus has the qualities that make it a fun (and tirelessly profitable) car. Three-row four-wheel drive.

Seven seats, take two

Our drive consisted of a few laps around a short track at Fuji Speedway, first in a TX350 with a 275-hp 2.4-liter turbo four-cylinder and all-wheel drive, then a 366-hp TX500h F-Sport hybrid. Combination of engine and engines. Lexus wanted to show us that the “Lexus driving experience” is still alive and well, even in the family-friendly seven-seat transverse engine.

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substantial And graceful…

Our conclusion: Yes, people, it is. Both TXs we sampled struck a good balance between the rigidity one would expect from a large vehicle and agility that kept the same vehicle from feeling cumbersome. The TX tracks well in curves, with steering that is light and responsive but not overly active or jittery. There’s just the right amount of agility, enough to provide helpful feedback but not so much that the kids get sick. The TX feels good enough while cornering that you can forget about its large size, and the ride is quiet, refined, and smooth, just as we’ve come to expect from a Lexus. Exciting to drive? We won’t go that far, but make a big SUV look big And Being light on its feet is a great and often underappreciated engineering feat, and our first impression is that Lexus has nailed it.

Power-wise, we found the TX350’s four-cylinder engine well suited to the task at hand. Acceleration is only adequate, and drivers will have to ground it to make quick merges on the freeway. We liked the TX500h F Sport hybrid better. The powertrain uses the same 2.4-liter turbocharged engine, but its electric motors provide a much-needed boost to the pickup, providing the abundant power we expect from a luxury vehicle. Most Lexus hybrids use a power-splitting transmission — a form of CVT — but the TX uses a six-speed automatic, part of the Hybrid Max powertrain it shares with the Toyota Crown and Grand Highlander. When we floored the throttle, the TX550h charged forward with a quick downshift and a quick burst of acceleration. Lexus has a more powerful version coming, too: the 406-hp TX550h+ plug-in hybrid, but it will use a power-split transmission.

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…But is the interior design luxurious enough?

After our quick drive, we had the opportunity to crawl inside the TX. Lexus reminded us that these were pre-production models and that not all bits and pieces were finished, which might explain some of the less-than-stellar plastic parts we saw. However, we have concerns about TX’s holistic approach to well-being. Like the Lexus NX, the TX takes an unconventional approach, eschewing wood and chrome for a simpler, monochromatic dashboard. It’s different from the Grand Highlander Platinum, but is it more luxurious? This is an open question, and we’ll reserve final judgment until we show examples closer to production spec, and for a longer period.

We won’t have to wait long; We will lead production operations next month, by which time we should also have information about price levels and equipment. For now, our enjoyable drive of the TX has us thinking that Lexus customers — not to mention Lexus dealers — will find a lot to like in this large, practical, family-friendly SUV. The TX may not excite spirits, but it’s shaping up to be a strong contender in a popular segment.

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Lexus TX 2024 specifications
Base price $55,000 (estimate)
Planning Front engine, FWD or 4WD, 7-passenger, 4-door
engine 2.4L/275 hp/317 lb-ft DOHC turbocharged 16-valve I-4; 2.4L turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4 plus permanent magnet electric motors, 366 hp/409 lb-ft combined
moving in 6 or 8 speed automatic
Curb weight 4,400-5,000 lbs (metric tons east)
Wheelbase 116.1 inches
Length x width x height 203.1-203.5 x 78.3 x 70.1 inches
0-60 mph 5.9-7.5 seconds (metric tons east)
EPA City/Highway/COMB Fuel ECON To be determined later
EPA scope, comb To be determined later
For sale Fall 2023

(tags for translation) Lexus

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