We recently spent a week driving the highest ranked and best-selling hybrid crossover, the Lexus RX 450h. Introduced in 2010, the RX 450h boasts daring looks and plenty of power. Priced at around $58,000, though, does the price tag of this hybrid make as much financial sense as it does environmental sense? We were determined to find out.
The car is beautiful, it’s luxuriously appointed with real woods, supple leathers, easy controls and an intuitive infotainment system. Because this is the best-selling Lexus around, there was little need to make improvements from the 2014 version. The body benefits from the addition of LED fog lamps, and a backup camera now comes standard.
The lineup includes both FWD and AWD versions, which get anywhere from 28 to 32 MPG, 295 horsepower and will get you to 60 MPH in under 8 seconds. All these numbers translate into a car that is peppy on the highway, but still wallet friendly at the pump.
The Lexus’ “Enform” suite is developing right along with the car. You can now use your Lexus to make dinner reservations, order movie tickets and personalize your Pandora playlist with the push of a button. Safety Connect notifies emergency crews if you’re involved in a collision and unable to call for help, your vehicle is stolen, or there is any other type of emergency. It uses your vehicle’s GPS location to get aid to you right away. Navigation and a growing suite of media apps are all available, too. Bluetooth, a heads-up display and voice command all come on your RX 450h.
The best new feature is probably Siri Eyes Free. With Siri Eyes Free, you can send e-mails and retrieve text messages — without ever taking your hands off the wheel. Among its interior amenities, you’ll find heated/cooled 10-way power-adjustable front seats, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob and height-adjustable headrests.
The ride is fun and effortless. As the original luxury crossover, the RX is no stranger to providing capable agility and fun acceleration. It does all of this while providing low emissions and notable fuel economy. Drive Mode Select enables you to make your vehicle more responsive or efficient. ECO mode moderates the throttle response, engine power output and climate settings for increased fuel efficiency. Normal mode optimizes fuel efficiency and engine performance. Sport mode alters the powertrain for faster and more dynamic throttle mapping. EV (only available on the RX 450h) mode enables you to drive for short distances at low speeds (under 25 MPH) on battery power alone. The EV mode features is great when coasting through traffic jams. Pair this with the 8-speed paddle shift transmission (F Sport version) and you’ve got a wonderful ride.
This car just might have it all. The five passenger seating makes it spacious enough for everyone and everything. The powertrain will get you where you want in an efficient and comfortable way and the gadgets inside are worth the sticker they come with. It stands to reason that the RX line will continue to be the best-selling Lexus for a long time.
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