Lexus' RX SUV line has achieved the highest possible five star safety rating from independent vehicle safety advocate the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) following extensive crash tests.
ANCAP in particular praised the high level of standard safety features on RX, such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) (via the Pre-Collision Safety System (PCS)) and Lane Keeping Assist (LKA).
"The RX joins a competitive SUV market and offers a range of safety technologies as standard, including AEB, lane support system and reverse collision avoidance," said ANCAP chief executive officer James Goodwin.
"These new technologies can help avoid a crash in the first place, so we would urge consumers to look for a car with not only good structural performance but with features to potentially prevent a collision.
"It's encouraging to see the Lexus achieve the highest pedestrian protection rating of 'good', scoring maximum points for the protection provided to a pedestrian's legs and pelvic region.
"In the frontal offset test the passenger compartment of the RX held its shape well and all doors remained closed, and there was good protection for the driver in the side impact test," Mr Goodwin added.
RX's PCS uses a millimetre-wavelength radar sensor to detect vehicles or other obstacles, and warns the driver or applies the brakes depending on the circumstances*.
Lane Keeping Assist*, which is supported by a forward facing camera, is a multi-faceted technology that includes Lane Departure Warning (LDW) to warn the driver if they are veering outside the lane to help avoid a collision.
PCS and LKA are included in the Lexus Safety System+ package, as well as All-Speed Active Cruise Control and the Automatic High Beam system.
Lexus Safety System+ is standard across all RX models.
Lexus Australia chief executive Peter McGregor said the rating highlighted Lexus' unwavering focus on safety features.
"This safety rating underscores the extensive lengths taken by our engineers in the development of the RX SUV to ensure the maximum level of safety for the driver, their occupants and those around the vehicle," Mr McGregor said.
"It also provides, via independent and thorough testing methods, an additional level of confidence in the safety of the RX for our existing and prospective customers."
Other standard safety features on RX include Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).
BSM uses a quasi-millimetre wave radar to detect vehicles in the blind spots (areas that cannot be seen using the outer mirrors alone) and informs the driver*.
The RCTA function uses the BSM radar system to detect vehicles approaching from behind the vehicle*.
RCTA alerts the driver via visual and audible warnings to help avoid vehicle damage.
RX also benefits from 10 SRS airbags including dual-stage twin-chamber driver and front-passenger airbags, driver knee airbag, front-passenger cushion airbag, and rear-seat side airbags.
This is backed up by a body structure that incorporates increased use of hot-stamped steels with up to 980MPa tensile strength, a new construction method for the door surrounds and a high-strength, lightweight aluminium rear-bumper reinforcement.
The brake-control system is also comprehensive, featuring ABS with electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, traction control, enhanced vehicle stability control and Hill-start Assist Control.
News of the five-star rating for RX comes a year after the NX crossover SUV was also awarded a five star safety rating from ANCAP.