U.S.-built Lexus TX three-row SUV: Everything we know [Update]

  • Made-in-America Lexus TX will reportedly replace the RX L in 2023
  • All-new three-row SUV targets active Gen Y American families
  • To be plusher and more comfort-oriented than the GX, far less expensive than an LX
  • Should be available with hybrid & plug-in hybrid powertrains

Update: ‘Design’ and ‘Release Date’ sections updated.

In May 2022, Lexus introduced the fifth-gen RX. Currently, it is working on a successor to the ‘L’ version of fourth-gen RX. The new model could be called Lexus TX, and here’s what we know about the new Lexus SUV.

Lexus TX vs. Lexus LX

There should be no dilemma when choosing between the Lexus TX and LX. The future model will have enough distinguishing features from the current top-of-the-line Lexus SUV, which underwent a full makeover in 2021, and is shipped to the U.S. from the Japanese factory.

Customers have been asking for a full-size Lexus SUV that’s plusher than the LX and with car-like manners for years now. The body-on-frame LX is not the ideal choice for people who want a vehicle to move their children around town or a status symbol for the elites being driven mainly downtown or to other urban areas with well-paved roads.

The Lexus TX is shaping up to be a more spacious and comfortable SUV than the LX. With improved handling and easier maneuvering, thanks to its monocoque chassis, it looks like it will provide a more relaxing ride overall. Thanks to its local production and lack of top-flight off-roading hardware, the TX should be a more affordable option too. And by far the biggest advantage over the LX would be the higher gas mileage and quietness of the hybrid/plug-in hybrid system.

Local production would make the TX quicker to ship to U.S. dealers and give it greater supply stability compared to the LX. Lexus has stopped taking orders for the LX in Japan due to overwhelming demand, and unprecedented supply chain issues. Such instances are less likely for the TX, as the U.S. market supply would be prioritized by the Indiana plant. What this means for customers is that the TX might not be as prone to shortages and dealer markups.

Name

Reports indicate that the next-gen urban mid-size SUV from Lexus would be a separate product, not an RX extension. Toyota filed a trademark application for the name TX in 2009. Then, in 2020, it applied for ‘TX350’ and ‘TX500h’ trademarks, which indicated that it’s considering launching a model called TX in two variants with those names. On March 16, 2022, a new trademark application for another potential variant called TX550h+ further solidified the speculation, with the plug-in hybrid as the top-of-the-line model.

The trademark applications may not confirm, but they clearly indicate that the company plans to launch a TX three-row SUV in place of the RX L. It also looks like the North American Lexus TX units will roll out of a U.S. factory, not the Japanese plant in Kyushu that manufactures the RX L for the world.

A car for the Gen Y American Family

On April 28, 2021, Toyota announced plans to make two all-new, three-row SUVs at the Princeton plant in the State of Indiana, USA, and that one of them would be a Lexus. Obviously, the company wasn’t talking about the new generation Lexus GX. It was clearly referring to a next-gen Lexus RX L or an RX L successor, stating that this will be a model “designed with the active Gen Y American Family in mind.”

Tim Hollander, VP – Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, said: “The two new products we’re going to introduce, the one Toyota product and the one Lexus product, will be electrified vehicles.” Lexus dealers have asked for a large three-row SUV positioned above the RX for years now, one that’s more appealing to American customers than the body-on-frame GX.

While Toyota has not confirmed, a report from Automotive News claims that the TX will be based on a Toyota Grand Highlander, the rumored name of the second three-row SUV allocated to the Princeton plant. Like the RX L, the Lexus TX should come in gasoline and hybrid variants. Toyota had confirmed a hybrid powertrain for the upcoming mid-size luxury SUV, saying that this model will “join a diverse, electrified portfolio” in the announcement in April 2021.

Design

Lexus has released no information about the design of the upcoming three-row SUV. However, Japan’s Mag-X published an alleged spy shot of the future SUV’s profile in its recent issue, which you can find on Carsensor.

The upcoming Lexus model is reminiscent of the Toyota Highlander from the sides, which comes as no surprise as we were expecting both to be closely related. The alleged TX looks much longer than the RX L behind the C-pillar, which signals sprawling third-row and luggage space. The TX is likely to have a less jagged styling than the RX L, focusing on space and practicality with boxy sides.

TopElectricSUV.com reader and Instagram user sugardesign_1 envisions it with design cues from the latest Lexus NX. The photograph is the story’s featured image. The overall look is remarkably different from that of the RX L, though it may not seem from the front.

Features

The Lexus TX should feature an interior design that communicates a premium positioning compared to the RX, and feature more space. It will likely sit on the TNGA-K platform or simply ‘GA-K’ at Lexus, leading to a stiffer unibody structure, smoother and quieter ride, lower center of gravity, and many other improvements over the current SUV. As for the features, Toyota’s press announcement said that “customers can expect a semi-automated driving system” that allows the driver to park and unpark the SUV from outside, a digital key that owners can share with other people, and seating for up to eight occupants.

The Lexus TX would borrow the Lexus Interface multimedia system from the NX. The North American-developed infotainment system is available with touchscreens measuring 8- to 14-inches.

Lexus Interface infotainment system
The new Lexus three-row SUV would feature the Lexus Interface infotainment system. Image Source: Lexus

The top-end Lexus Interface infotainment system comes with an anti-glare 14-inch HD touchscreen that allows operating it simply like a smartphone. Hey Lexus voice assistant, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Apple Music and Amazon Music streaming, dual-Bluetooth pairing, cloud navigation, and OTA updates are some of its key features. Plus, there are plenty of connected vehicle solutions, including remote vehicle start.

Safety

The Lexus TX should get Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 as standard, and that would be a significant upgrade over the RX L’s Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 package. With enhanced radar and camera capabilities, the Pre-Collision System of the TX should additionally include Left Turn Vehicle Intersection Support, Right/Left Turn Oncoming Pedestrian Detection/Braking, and Front to Front Oncoming Car Detection.

Also new in the TX will likely be Enhanced All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control that can maintain a safe distance at a wider range of speeds—right down to a complete stop. Lexus says that it has an enhancement that allows overtaking smoothly. Plus, the latest version of the cruise control system includes an additional function – Curve Speed Management. Lastly, Lane Tracing Assist in the upcoming three-row SUV would be an enhanced version, with improved stability.

Electrified powertrains

The Lexus TX may come in no less than three variants: TX350, TX500h, and TX550h+. The TX350 could be the base variant that employs a conventional gasoline engine with zero electrification. The TX500h could be the hybrid variant slotted above it, and the TX550h+ could be the range-topping plug-in hybrid, offering sufficient pure-electric driving range to cover daily commutes.

Production

Shortly after the announcement in April 2021, Hollander said that Lexus awarding the Indiana plant a new SUV proves the brand’s confidence in the operations:

It’s really the pinnacle to be a Lexus plant. There’s very few Lexus plants outside of Japan. We’re very proud to be one of them now. And it’s really a big feather in our cap, and it is a testament to the workforce that we have here, it’s a testament to the support we get from the community, and it’s a big deal. And we can’t really emphasize that enough how big of a deal that it is. So, if you become a Lexus plant, you know that really sets you apart into the next level as a manufacturing company within the Toyota network in the Toyota world. So, it shows that TMC has a lot of faith in us, in our ability to achieve this level of quality that we must achieve to be a successful Lexus producer, and that we’re up for the challenge. We’re excited about it, and we’re gonna knock it out of the park!

Tim Hollander, VP – Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing

Release Date

According to the report from Automotive News, the Toyota Grand Highlander will arrive at dealers in mid-2023 and the Lexus TX will arrive approximately half a year later. Hollander had suggested in April 2021 that sending the two SUVs into production at the Princeton plant will take a while:

It is a very intense challenge, there will be major retooling throughout the entire operation, and we’ll have a close collaboration and partnership with our equipment manufacturers, our regional production engineering team and our team here, our engineering and maintenance team, and production team here to really bring this thing to life. It will take a couple of years to really get everything ready to go for the development of this product. It’s a huge undertaking and we’ll be spending a lot of weekends and shutdown time really getting the plant ready.

Tim Hollander, VP – Manufacturing, Toyota Motor Manufacturing

With the launch of the Lexus TX, the brand would strengthen its presence in North America, and to some extent, even the Middle East. This model would be a testament to Lexus’ continued efforts to offer tailor-made regional solutions. The TX should contain better margins than the RX L, which, along with greater demand, could make it a favorite with dealers.

Lexus President Koji Sato has said that the company will have more opportunities to satisfy the needs of customers in North America, Europe, and Asia independently in the future, as per a report from MotorTrend. Responding to the varied needs of different markets with tailor-made products could be an expensive but rewarding move.

TopElectricSUV says

While the RX L is an extension of the RX to accommodate up to seven occupants, the TX would be a model conceived as a proper three-row SUV. In addition to being spacious and comfortable, the advanced electrification and new convenience technologies like a semi-automated driving system and a remote parking system will make the Japanese SUV feel convincing to family car buyers in the high-end market.

Lexus TX FAQs

What is the Lexus TX release date?

The Lexus TX three-row SUV should be launched in late 2023, made in Princeton, Indiana.

What will be Lexus TX price?

The base TX is projected to be priced around $60,000.

What will be the Lexus TX alternatives?

Lexus TX rivals would include the Acura MDX, Cadillac XT6, and the 2024 Volvo XC90.

Featured Image Source: Instagram/sugardesign_1