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    2024 Lexus TX: A Much-Needed First Drive Review

    Introducing the 2024 Lexus TX: A Three-Row Crossover Done Right

    The 2024 Lexus TX is finally here to rectify a previous misstep made by the brand. Its predecessor, the RX L, was met with disappointment due to its poorly executed attempt at adding a third row of seating. However, with the TX, Lexus has designed a crossover that prioritizes comfort and functionality for seven passengers. Let’s delve into the details of this new offering from Lexus.

    Spacious and Well-Designed

    Unlike the RX L, which looked awkward with its forced third row, the TX was purpose-built to accommodate seven passengers. Sharing the same basic architecture as the Toyota Grand Highlander, the TX features a squared-off profile that not only looks more attractive but also provides excellent headroom for all three rows. With dimensions that surpass the RX L in length and width, the TX offers increased legroom and cargo space. In fact, its 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row is a significant improvement over the RX L. With the rear seats folded, the TX provides up to 54.7 cubic feet of cargo capacity, making it a standout among its main rivals, the Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60.

    Luxurious and Technologically Advanced

    Lexus certainly knows how to create luxurious interiors, and the TX is no exception. The overall fit and finish are superb, with soft leather surfaces that exude quality. The TX feels like a vehicle built to withstand years of use, whether as a family hauler or a premium ride-hailing option. However, it’s worth noting that the pure gas TX model is the only one equipped with a second-row bench seat and seven-passenger seating. If you opt for one of the hybrids, you’re limited to captain’s chairs, reducing the seating capacity to six.

    In terms of technology, the TX comes with a 14.0-inch center touchscreen that runs on Lexus’ latest multimedia software. Thankfully, Lexus has done away with the unpopular trackpad or mouse-like controller. While the menu structure of the infotainment system may take some getting used to, the inclusion of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity is a welcome feature.

    Powertrain Options

    Lexus offers three powertrain options for the TX, including two hybrid choices. The base offering is a 2.4-liter turbocharged I4 engine that delivers 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission. This model, known as the TX 350, is available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Although it’s not the most powerful engine, it compensates with its smooth performance, making it suitable for the TX’s intended purpose.

    The TX 500h F Sport is the hybrid model that pairs the 2.4-liter turbo engine with a small nickel-metal hydride battery and an electric motor. This combination results in a total output of 366 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. The TX 500h also features all-wheel drive and achieves a 0-60 mph time of 6.1 seconds. With its six-speed automatic transmission, this model offers a refined driving experience and improved fuel efficiency, estimated at 27 mpg combined.

    The plug-in hybrid variant, known as the TX 550h+, boasts a larger lithium-ion battery pack that provides an all-electric range of 33 miles. Although it features a refined 3.5-liter V6 engine, the continuously variable transmission leaves something to be desired in terms of refinement. The TX 550h+ weighs 408 pounds more than the 500h, which affects its acceleration despite having the same horsepower.

    Comfortable and Refined Ride

    While the TX may not be the most thrilling driver’s car, it excels in delivering a comfortable and refined driving experience. On the two-lane highways of Texas hill country, the TX proves to be unflappably comfortable, with minimal wind or road noise. Its suspension is well-tuned to absorb imperfections on the road, even with the inclusion of larger 22-inch wheels.

    The TX 500h F Sport stands out with its rear-axle steering, allowing the back wheels to turn up to 4 degrees in either direction. This feature enhances overall agility, although the TX’s steering could benefit from more feedback. However, the F Sport model does offer a nicely weighted steering feel when engaging Sport mode.

    Safety and Pricing

    Lexus equips every TX with its Safety System+ 3.0, a comprehensive suite of driver-assistance features. Adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, pre-collision warning, and proactive lane-keeping assist are among the notable features provided. Unfortunately, Lexus has yet to introduce an advanced Level 2 hands-free driving system comparable to competitors like Ford’s BlueCruise or General Motors’ Super Cruise.

    The pricing for the TX starts at $55,050 for the front-wheel-drive TX 350, with an additional cost of $1,600 for all-wheel drive. The 500h F Sport model starts at $69,350, while pricing for the TX 550h+ has yet to be announced. Although the Acura MDX and Infiniti QX60 may have slightly lower price points, Lexus’ strong brand loyalty and dealership network are likely to attract customers.

    Conclusion

    The 2024 Lexus TX marks the brand’s successful entrance into the three-row crossover segment. With its spacious and well-designed interior, luxurious amenities, and advanced technology, the TX offers a comfortable and refined driving experience. Lexus has addressed the flaws of its predecessor by delivering a crossover that meets the demands of customers who have been waiting for a premium three-row option. As the TX arrives in North America with high expectations, it’s poised to become a top-selling vehicle for the Lexus brand.

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