The 2017 Lexus RX 350 is the top-selling premium crossover in America. The RX has been around for twenty years and four generations. Lexus invented the premium crossover segment and has evolved its styling over those generations, continuously adding more and more dynamic style elements. Owners are very loyal, both to Lexus and to the RX crossover. However, the newest iteration of the Lexus RX 350s styling incorporated the signature spindle grill. Lover it or hate it, the spindle grill's success is hard to argue. When applied to the Lexus IS sedan line, sales doubled. Sales also increased when the grill was applied to the GS and sales have been steady even in the conservative ES and RX lines.
For 2017 the premium crossover market has expanded. Porsche's models have doubled to two, Jaguar's F-Pace is in its second year of sales, and the new Maserati Levante is now on sale as well. Given the Maserati's strengths as a design house, we thought it fitting to compare the new Levante crossover to the industry's sales leader in this segment, the Lexus RX.
The Levante is a smooth, melted popsicle design with few harsh edges. Almost a high-riding hatchback in certain views, the Levante has much of the appeal that the Maserati sedans and coupes do. Up front, Maserati also uses a bold grill. We chose white to highlight the grills of both vehicles. The Levante has a large center grill section and also two lower grill sections on both bottom corners. Thin headlights and round foglights finish off the front end of this looker.
The Lexus RX, by comparison, is all angles. The RX has a very angular look from all sides and the word "sharp" seems to apply best. Up front, the RX has its bold grill that tumbles down to the bottom lip of the front fascia. Narrow headlights and recesses foglights finish the front.
Which of the two designs appeals to you, and why?