The Lexus RX 450h is a car that you rarely see driving in the Netherlands. And that surprises us a bit. Because with no other brand you will find so much comfort, luxury, performance and technology for prices under 80,000 euros. And that certainly applies to the new Lexus RX 450h, which has been updated on numerous points.
RX 450 Lexus
The Lexus RX 450h is a large, luxury SUV in the more expensive top segment. The model competes with the large SUVs from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW and Volvo, but takes it a step further in terms of technology, luxury and refinement. The Japanese brand has its own vision and does many things differently from its European competitors.
An important feature of the Lexus RX 450h is that it is the only one in its class to be delivered exclusively with hybrid drive. A technique that Lexus has continuously developed. After all, the first Lexus RX with hybrid drive was introduced fifteen years ago.
Because Lexus under the umbrella of Toyota Motor Corporation is miles ahead in Full Hybrid technology and can produce more economically, while the BPM surcharge is also favorable due to the low CO2 emissions, the RX 450h can be offered for a lower price than you would expect from an SUV of this caliber.
New Lexus RX 450
That cannot be summed up in a few sentences. Something has been done in every area. Inside, an improved infotainment system with new functionalities has been applied. On the outside, the design has been subtly renewed. Special attention was paid to the grille, bumpers and lighting at the front and rear.
The All Wheel Drive hybrid system has also been further improved and made lighter for faster response and lower fuel consumption. Adjustments to the chassis provide more comfort on bumpy roads and better handling when cornering, especially in the F SPORT version with active stabilisers. Measures have also been taken to additionally limit unwanted noise, vibrations and wind noise.
Furthermore, the new Lexus RX 450h has a world first with its ‘BladeScan’ high beam assistant. The powerful LED light of the headlight is projected through a mirror that rotates at 6,000 revolutions per minute. With this technique, the light beam can be better adapted to prevent than dazzling oncoming traffic, while pedestrians, cyclists and road signs are visible even earlier. To give you an idea, a conventional lighting system makes pedestrians visible from a distance of about 32 meters and the BladeScan system from 56 meters.
Apple Car play and Android Auto
Lexus does everything it can to pamper its occupants. There is a great eye for detail and the top-class interior offers a tasteful mix of colors and materials. You sit in an extraordinarily comfortable seat and the relatively small steering wheel lies wonderfully in the hand. Thanks to the many adjustment options, you will quickly find a comfortable sitting position with an excellent view of the road.
The improved infotainment system has (only now) been extended with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to synchronize your phone with the system. It is now also possible to update the navigation map ‘from the cloud’.
The display is now also equipped with a touchscreen, in addition to the touchpad on the center console. This also allows you to operate the infotainment system, similar to the touchpad of your laptop. It all works flawlessly and the crystal-clear display is well within reach. What is also striking: there is even a CD player in the RX 450h. Where can you still find it today?
How does the Lexus RX 450h drive?
Like a flying carpet. You hardly feel what is happening below you, the RX 450h is so comfortable to drive. Normally that gives little confidence in corners, especially in such a large SUV with a high seating position, but the RX 450h also performs exemplary on winding roads.
Thanks to the ingenious shock absorbers – with variable damping and individual control in the more expensive versions – the SUV also remains remarkably stable when cornering, without leaning over. The carriage remains nicely straight. You feel everything that you are on the road with a very heavy SUV, but the car feels very solid in fast corners.
You can not call the handling sporty, the RX 450h is not intended for that either. That applies to the RX 450h F SPORT with all kinds of adjustments for an extra dynamic driving feeling with a matching look for the interior and exterior.
Furthermore, it is really quiet on board. No wind noise, no rolling noises, nothing. Even the windows don’t make any noise when you open or close them! Those are the typical features that the Lexus technicians have invested a lot of time and energy in. It’s something you normally only expect from a Bentley and Rolls-Royce.
The silence on board is also due to the hybrid system. It consists of a 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine and two electric motors, with the electric motor on the rear axle only assisting if the electronics notice that four-wheel drive is necessary.
With a system power of 230 kW (313 hp) and an enormous amount of pulling power, this SUV weighing more than 2 tons comes out of its place quite quickly. The V6 roar during a heavy acceleration is yet another signal that we are not dealing with a lifted Toyota Prius here, although the drive system works in the same way.
The Lexus RX 450h is a so-called ‘Full Hybrid’ that can drive fully electrically at lower speeds, electrically assists the petrol engine at higher speeds and charges the battery while driving. Unlike most competitors who only supply plug-in hybrids, you do not have to charge the Lexus RX 450h with a plug.
Lexus RX 450h 3.5-liter V6 petrol engine
Absolutely. It is a large SUV of almost five meters long, 1.70 meters high and 1.90 meters wide. You can comfortably sit with five adults and at the same time take 453 liters of luggage. If that’s not enough, you can opt for the slightly longer Lexus RX 450h L with seven seats.
There are also large bins in the doors that slide open, in which you can store a remarkable amount of stuff. Under the wide center armrest you have a lot of storage space and to the right of the automatic transmission lever are two cup holders and a handy phone compartment with wireless charger.
How much does the Lexus RX 450h cost?
The prices of the Lexus RX 450h start at 77,595 euros for the Business Line and go up to 96,595 euros for the President Line. Every Lexus RX 450h comes standard with LED headlights, LED taillights, leather upholstery, climate control with Nano-e technology, heated and 8-way electrically adjustable front seats and the Lexus multimedia system including Lexus Connected Services.
In comparison, the President Line comes with things like 10-way reclining seats, 20-inch alloy wheels, BladeScan high beam, Adaptive Variable Suspension, interior trim with wood, electrically adjustable and heated rear seats and an unparalleled Mark Levinson Premium Surround System with fifteen speakers.
The F SPORT version with a pronounced sporty look inside and out, a sportier set-up of the chassis and almost all the luxury and technology of the President Line costs at least 95,595 euros. The 7-seater RX 450h L is available in three versions with an additional cost of 3,900 euros.
Lexus RX 450h hybrid
The Lexus RX 450h has been developed for drivers who are only satisfied with an absolute top product. It’s all about comfort, luxury and technology and it’s a treat to drive the RX 450h. The driving comfort for long distances and the silence on board are of an exceptional level.
Another important reason to choose the Lexus RX 450h is the hybrid drive. Lexus already delivered hybrid technology when no one believed in it yet. That technical advantage is now paying off, while many other manufacturers are now having to develop (plug-in) hybrids in a hurry to meet the European emission standard and avoid billions of fines.
Lexus can sit back and deliver a 313 hp all-wheel drive hybrid SUV that doesn’t require plug-in charging and has an official fuel consumption of less than 6.0 l/100 km (132 g/km) consumes just as much (or little) as a four-cylinder diesel SUV. As if it’s the most natural thing in the world.
And something that hasn’t really come up in this article: the Lexus RX 450h is one of the safest SUVs you can buy right now. The number of safety and assistance systems bundled under the Lexus Safety System+ label is enormous. In addition, Lexus is almost always number 1 in international quality and reliability surveys. Never nagging with your car, that’s also a nice thought.
Given the properties of the Lexus RX 450h, the favorable pricing and the popularity of SUVs in general, it is therefore quite remarkable that Dutch sales of this SUV lag far behind compared to, for example, a BMW X5 or Volvo XC90 from the same (price) class. .
Does the RX 450h have an image problem? People simply don’t know the model. Is the local dealer not friendly or does the design not appeal to you? We don’t know, but if you’re in the market for an SUV in this segment and still have doubts, then the Lexus RX 450h should simply not be missing from your shortlist.