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2020 Lexus RX now a Top Safety Pick due to structural improvements

Specific headlights are required to actually drive off in a specific RX with the safety award, however.

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Luxurious and safe, according to the IIHS.

Lexus

Lexus engineers have dug into the 2020 RX luxury crossover's internals to make it a safer thing. Thanks to the improvements, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety was able to call it a Top Safety Pick.

The IIHS released the latest crash test results after reevaluating the Lexus RX with structural improvements made to the bumper and front end. Specifically, these updates reinforce the passenger side of the vehicle, which gives a passenger greater protection in the event of a crash. The changes, ultimately, gave the 2020 RX a "Good" score in the passenger-side small overlap front crash test, a necessary requirement for the Top Safety Pick award.

The 2020 model year also earned a "Superior" rating, the highest rating, for its standard frontal-crash avoidance technology -- another requirement for the Top Safety Pick. Finally, the insurance industry-funded safety body gave at least one set of the Lexus RX's headlights an "Acceptable" rating. The score is good enough for the crossover's Top Safety Pick, but "Good" rated headlights would have propelled the RX into a Top Safety Pick Plus.

While all RX models will feature the active safety technology and structural improvements, buyers will need to comb over various trims to pick an RX with the "Acceptable" rated headlights. The models that feature said headlights are the RX 350 and 450 equipped with the triple-beam LED headlights package. Models without the triple-beam package also earn the "Acceptable" rating.

In an abnormal twist of events, the fanciest headlights actually do not score the "Acceptable" rating. The headlight package with the adaptive front lighting system, in addition to the triple-beam package, scored "Poor" in the IIHS' testing. The low beams, in particular, created excessive glare.

The triple-beam headlights are a $1,675 option on the base RX 350 trim, which makes the cheapest price for an RX with the safety award $46,850 after a $1,025 destination charge.

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