The 2024 Lexus TX three-row luxury SUV launches a multi-pronged attack
It’s a testament to the RX’s success that Lexus has been able to dominate the luxury crossover space for so long without a legitimate three-row option. The previous-generation cobblestone RX L didn’t really matter, nor did the body-on-frame GX and full-size LX, but the new 2024 Lexus TX finally aims to upend the three-row luxury crossover market — and largely achieves its goal.
Built on the same platform as the Toyota Grand Highlander, the TX is much larger than the latest RX, with a wheelbase about four inches longer, about three inches more width, and an overall length of just over 203 inches. There’s no sliding roofline to be found here, as the squared-off rear end makes it clear that the TX is a people carrier that places work on shape.
Spacious interior space
Space for passengers and cargo is important in this segment, and the TX delivers on that. Regardless of whether you choose a seven-passenger configuration with a second-row seat or a six-passenger configuration with captain’s chairs, all three rows are habitable for adults. The only real drawback to the back seat is the low lower cushion, but that’s true of most of the TX’s competitors, and at least Lexus offers a recline function along with armrests and USB ports.
The surroundings around the front will be familiar to anyone who has driven the new RX, with a large 14.0-inch touchscreen dominating the dashboard and a muted design without many flashy touches. Many luxury cars feature interiors that look better than they look, but Lexus’ latest cabins are the opposite, with plenty of plush touchpoints and high-quality materials but little visual flair or panache. We found the touchscreen to be relatively clear and easy to use, but some functions – such as the drive mode selector – are buried deeper in the settings menus than we would like. And the touch-sensitive control panels on the steering wheel that display selections on the head-up display aren’t the most intuitive.
Wide range of engines
While many competitors only offer a turbo-four or a V-6, Lexus offers a wide range of powertrain options in the TX, including two hybrid engines. The base TX350 has a 275-hp turbocharged 2.4-liter inline-four that delivers just adequate grunt for a car as large as this. We expect 60 mph in the neighborhood of 7.0 seconds, a little quicker with the optional all-wheel drive system, but neither are standout times for this class. The turbo four is relatively well isolated from the cabin, but its sometimes whiny tone made us miss the smoothness of Lexus’ naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6 — though it was also a bit sluggish and didn’t provide great fuel economy.
Things get even more interesting with the 366-hp TX500h, a hybrid that comes exclusively with the F Sport Performance treatment. Its combination of turbo four with front and rear electric motors is almost identical to the Grand Highlander’s Hybrid Max system, and it’s equally impressive here. We enjoyed pushing the TX500h through corners, as the powertrain is quick and responsive, and the F Sport’s standard adaptive dampers tighten up body motions, making the TX a surprisingly enthusiastic handler for its size. The trade-off is ride quality, as the F Sport model is a bit too firm for this car’s mission.
The final setup, which is unlikely to make up a large portion of TX sales, is the TX550h+ hybrid model that uses a 3.5-liter gasoline V-6 (just like the old days) and is the most powerful choice in the lineup. It produces a total of 404 horsepower but is also significantly heavier than the TX350 and TX500h due to its battery pack that allows for a 33-mile electric driving range. We were impressed with the smoothness of this powertrain, and the TX550h+ also performs well due to its softer suspension tuning compared to the F Sport. It’s likely to be expensive (Lexus has yet to release pricing for the plug-in; we estimate $77,500) but it’s a solid option for those able to charge at home and take full advantage of the electric range for the daily commute.
Worth the money?
The price may be a bit of a turn off for the standard models as well. The TX, which starts at $55,050 and rises to more than $76,000 for a loaded TX500h, is a few thousand dollars more expensive than luxury SUV competitors including the Acura MDX, Cadillac XT6, and Infiniti QX60. (It’s also worth noting that the Grand Highlander offers a similar package for thousands less, though without the prestigious badge.)
But Lexus has plenty of tricks up its sleeve to increase its appeal. Compared to those familiar three-row models, the TX has a generous list of standard and optional equipment, plenty of interior space, and countless powertrain options to sweeten the deal. We don’t think it will have any trouble establishing itself as a major player in this important sector, just as RX did decades ago.
2024 Lexus TX
Vehicle type: Front engine, front and rear engine, front or four-wheel drive, 6-7 passengers, 4-door wagon
Base: TX350, $55,050; TX350 all-wheel drive, $56,650; TX500h, $69,350; TX550h+, $77,500 (grandfather east)
Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 275 hp and 317 lb-ft; Turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.4L 4-cylinder, 271 hp, 339 lb-ft + AC motors, 85 and 101 hp, 215 and 124 lb-ft (combined output: 366 hp, 406 lb-ft, 1.4 – Nickel-metal hydride battery pack kWh); DOHC 24-valve 3.5L V-6, 259 hp, 247 lb-ft + 3 AC motors, 179 and 101 hp, 199 and 124 lb-ft (combined output: 404 hp, 18.1 kWh lithium-ion battery; 7.0 kW onboard supercharger )
Transmission: 8-speed automatic, 6-speed automatic/direct drive, continuously variable automatic/direct drive
Wheelbase: 116.1 inches
Length: 203.2-203.5 inches
Width: 78.4 inches
Height: 70.1 inches
Passenger Size, F/M/R: 60/52–54/39 ft3
Payload Size, Rear F/M/R: 97/57/20 ft3
Curb weight (grandfather EDT): 4450-5400 lbs
performance (grandfather east)
60 mph: 5.5-7.2 seconds
1/4 mile: 14.3-15.5 seconds
Top speed: 112 mph
EPA fuel economy (MFR’s EST, TX350/TX500h)
Combined/City/Highway: 23–27/20–27/26–28 mpg
EPA fuel economy (grandfather EDT, TX550h+)
Combined/city/highway: 29/28/29 mpg
Gasoline + electric combined: 60 mpg
EV range: 33 miles
Despite growing up on a steady diet of base-model Hondas and Toyotas—or perhaps because of it—Joey Caparella had an obsession with the automobile industry throughout his childhood in Nashville, Tennessee. He found a way to write about cars for the school newspaper during his college years at Rice University, which eventually led him to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan, to start his first professional auto writing gig at Rice University. Car magazine. It was part of Car and driver Team since 2016 and now lives in New York City.