Premium family SUVs are as popular as ever, with Gen Y shoppers (aged 25-40) rapidly shifting from single to married to parent status. With over 70 million of them that’s a lot of new mouths to feed, dress, and transport. Lexus is looking to help with that last part, with its all-new, 3-row 2024 Lexus TX SUV arriving at dealerships this month.
Built at Toyota’s Princeton, Indiana plant, the Lexus TX will be assembled alongside the Toyota Grand Highlander. Both models are targeting growing families seeking maximum passenger and cargo space, but the Lexus offers a much longer list of standard features, advanced technology, premium materials, and, as expected, higher price tag.
Available in three trim levels, the Lexus TX 350 starts at $55,050 and is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder making 275 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic. The base TX 350 features front-wheel drive, but for $1,600 you can upgrade to all-wheel drive. Or spend $69,350 for the TX 500h hybrid, which comes standard with F Sport performance trim upgrades and includes all-wheel drive. The hybrid drivetrain adds dual electric motors to the 2.4-liter engine, resulting in 366 horsepower and 409 pound-feet of torque.
Both the TX 350 and TX 500h have already arrived in showrooms, but buyers who can wait until early 2024 can also purchase the Lexus TX 550h+, a plug-in hybrid model. Pricing for the 550h+ hasn’t been announced yet, but we’d guess it will start at more than $75,000. The drivetrain will consist of a 3.5-liter V6 paired with dual electric motors, generating 406 horsepower and delivering 33 miles of all-electric range. Zero-to-60 times start at around 8 seconds for the TX 350 and drop to 6 seconds for both of the hybrids. All three models can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
Driving each version of the TX confirmed similar but distinct personalities, with the base TX 350 offering more than adequate power, a smooth, refined ride, and confident steering. The TX 500h, with standard AWD, a six-speed auto, and a motor mounted on each axle, delivers a marked increase in power delivery. It also provides notably more engaging steering response, especially when in “Sport” driving mode. The TX 500h features “Rear Dynamic Steering”, a system that allows the rear wheels to turn slightly for improved stability and handling dynamics.
The TX 550h+ plug-in hybrid also offers standard all-wheel drive, but unlike the 500h it isn’t outfitted as an F Sport Performance model. This means the 550h+ has driving dynamics similar to the TX 350, though at 29 mpg it’s notably more fuel efficient than the TX 350’s 23 mpg. The performance-oriented TX 500h is rated at 27 mpg, which strikes us as an excellent blend of fun-to-drive fuel efficiency with solid value (though we don’t know final TX 550h+ pricing, yet…).
What we do know is Lexus wants every TX to offer sufficient passenger and cargo accommodations. The company focused on interior packaging to maximize space, and the result is 20 cubic feet of storage room behind the third row, enough for seven carry-on bags (or one for each passenger). Fold the third row down and cargo space grows to 57 cubic feet. Drop the second row seat backs and the TX offers 97 cubic feet of carrying capacity, which is surprisingly close to Toyota’s box-like Sienna minivan at 101 cubic feet behind the front seats. Truly impressive for a three-row SUV.
Moving beyond the spec sheet and evaluating the TX’s interior from a driver or passenger perspective reveals a plush cabin featuring an extensive list of standard and optional equipment. Every TX comes with a 14-inch central touchscreen utilizing Lexus’ latest control interface, which includes a much-appreciated knob for volume and power. A 7-inch digital gauge cluster comes standard on the base TX 350, but a 12.3-inch screen is included in the mid-grade Premium and high-end Luxury trims of this model. The larger screen is also standard on both hybrid models.
Additional standard equipment on the base Lexus TX 350 ($55,050) includes 7 USB ports, wireless smartphone charging, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, multi-zone climate control, a 12-speaker audio system, a leather steering wheel, and simulated leather (”NuLuxe”) seats. The standard seven-passenger seating can be upgraded to second-row captain’s chairs with heating and ventilation, plus an easy sliding mechanism that pops the seats forward for third-row access.
Higher trim TXs come with a series of upgrades, from semi-aniline leather seats to a heads up display to a 21-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. Automatic parking, a digital rearview camera, a digital key that lets you use your smartphone to unlock and drive the TX, and a wide range of connected services are also available if you sign up for Lexus’ Remote Connect subscription. There’s also the newest Lexus Safety System +3.0, which includes a full range of advanced driver-assist technology and is included with every TX.
The demand for SUVs has never been stronger, which is why the new Lexus TX brings the luxury brand’s utility vehicle count up to seven, with three of those offering three rows of seating. That’s a lot passenger capacity waiting for you at your local Lexus dealer, though we’d argue the TX may be the best balance of car-like driving dynamics and minivan-like interior space — all wrapped in a sleek-looking SUV body.