Lexus RX 450h 2019 - A Luxury Hybrid SUV

The Lexus RX is a mid-large luxury crossover SUV, which has proved highly successful in sales worldwide. Lexus is the premium brand of its parent company Toyota and targets sales in a market filled with big hitters, such as the BMW X5, Volvo XC90 or Audi Q7.

The Lexus RX began production in 1997 and was first sold in its home nation Japan, before being distributed worldwide in 1998. The RX is now in its 4th generation model, which was released in 2015 and has seen subtle updates over the years. The 2019 model features the latest tech updates from Lexus along with a single-engine line-up, featuring an E-CVT (electronically controlled continuously variable transmission) and AWD. The Lexus RX is badged as the RX 450h and is available in a choice of 3 trim levels which are; the standard RX, F Sport and Takumi.

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The design silhouette of the Lexus RX is very distinctive, with crisp, sharp lines and the imposing Lexus grille. This makes the RX stand out in a crowd, asking passers-by to take another look. There is also an RX L model available, which is 4.4inches longer than the standard RX model and comes with up to seven seats. The RX L does offer the option of exchanging the second row of 3 seats to two 'Captains Chair' seats, making the RX L a six-seater. I will just be focusing on the stand 5-seater RX model, but the RX L features the majority of the same technology and design as the smaller model.

Continue reading the yoauto review to help you decide if the Lexus RX 450h is the right car for you. If the RX 450h doesn't tick all of your boxes, then don't forget to visit our Used Car buying page, where you will find thousands of cars available across the UK at excellent prices.

Engine, Power and Performance

The Lexus RX 450h is powered by the same engine no matter what trim level you choose and delivers the same performance levels. The engine is a 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V6, which is joined by a pair of electric motors, one which works in conjunction with the petrol engine and the other which is located at the rear axle, to give four-wheel drive. The four-wheel-drive system used, is called E-Four, meaning part-time four-wheel drive, which helps to reduce emissions and increase economy figures.

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The petrol engine and electric motors combine to produce a total of 313hp and 335Nm of torque. The engine/motor collaboration is coupled to an automatic transmission (E-CVT), to offer responsive and smooth gear changes at any speed. The RX is capable of getting from 0-62mph in just 7.7secs. Which, for a vehicle weighing in at just over 2.7tonnes, is mightily impressive and will climb to a top speed of 124mph. The hybrid function in the RX is 'self-charging', so there is no need to plug-in at any time to regenerate the batteries. Lexus uses its latest advanced technology systems to recharge the batteries by innovative energy conversions and regenerative braking similar to that found in Formula 1 cars 'Kerrs' systems.

Every RX model comes with the same standard drive modes; Eco, Normal and Sport, with higher trim models getting Sport S and Sport S+. Even in the Sportier modes, the RX still has a fairly soft ride compared to some of the other sportier themed SUVs available, such as the Porsche Cayenne. The handling overall in this new facelifted version RX is as good as it's ever been. It certainly gives you a lot of confidence when attacking corners at a more aggressive speed than normal.

Interior Quality and Technology

The interior of the RX 450h is well built, stylish and luxurious. It's not quite up to the super high standards found in some of its European rivals, such as the Audi or Mercedes equivalents. Although it's still a fantastic place to sit and enjoy. Every RX in the range comes with a host of Lexus's advanced tech features as standard. The latest infotainment system from Lexus is controlled via a new 12.3-inch colour touchscreen. It includes Lexus Premium Sat-Nav, wireless phone charger and smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, to list just a few.

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Some of the other standard features found as standard across the range include; a multi-functional steering wheel, Lexus Link Connected Services and a smooth sounding 12-speaker Pioneer sound system.

Both front seats are 8-way electrically adjustable, feature 2-way electrical lumbar support and come heated and ventilated as standard. This ensures a comfortable and relaxing seating position, no matter how long your journey is. The steering wheel column is electronically adjustable, heated and trimmed in leather. The amount of standard equipment found on the RX base model is very impressive and increases as you go up the spec levels.

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Space, Practicality and Safety

The RX is very spacious inside, which is thanks to only seating 5 passengers, rather than the 7 found in many of its rivals. If you did want an RX to seat an extra couple of passengers, then you would need to opt for the RX L model instead. Upfront in the RX, there is plenty of headroom and legroom for even tall 6ft plus occupants, to get comfortable and still have plenty of excess room. In the rear again, space is generous. 3 passengers will fit with plenty of legroom and headroom, apart from the middle occupant who gets slights less headroom, due to the design of the roof-line, but still better than in most rivals.

There are various storage cubbies throughout the RX. These include large door pockets, cupholders front and back, a generous glovebox and large storage compartment under the centre armrest.

Boot space in the RX is not as good as most of its rivals, with a capacity of just 453-litres. With the press of a button, the rear seats will fold down to increase capacity to a maximum of 924-litres.

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The Lexus RX 450h achieved a top 5-star rating at the Euro NCAP safety tests. This is thanks in large to the extensive list of safety features and assists included as standard, with more included as you go up the trim ladder. Some of the standard features are; Front Pedestrian Detection, Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB), Road Sign Assist, multiple airbags front and rear and a Pre-Collision System (PCS), along with many others.

The Lexus RX 450h is a great car, with an excellent selection of features across the model range, offering great value for money in comparison to its rivals who charge extra for a lot of the standard features. With this being a hybrid, it makes for a good choice when choosing a fleet/company car and should certainly be considered if you're in the market for a well built, reliable and luxurious mid-sized SUV. Click here to find your next car.

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Stuart Porro

Stuart is a nationally and internationally recognised automotive content creator. Reviewing cars for some of the biggest names in the four wheeled world, you can catch him right here on Yoauto.
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