2016 LEXUS RX 450H REVIEWJun 21th, 2016
2016 Lexus RX 450h Road Test and Review.
Lexus have returned to form with the all-new Lexus RX 450h. To say the new Lexus RXis a class act would be an understatement. It’s a true luxury car in every sense of the word.
The new RX range from Lexus looks more modern than almost anything on the road. Extreme angles, and a gaping spindle grill that looks as though it’s trawling for plankton, gives the RX a street presence like no other.
Elegant, intelligent and oh so quiet, the Lexus RX insulates from the outside world pampering you in true luxury.
From the soft, supple, super supportive leather seats, to the laser cut brushed aluminum and timber highlights, to the massive central colour screen and groovy digital instrument displays, all of it is finished and fitted beautifully.
The test car came in a questionable shade of chocolate brown, but apart from the colour there is just nothing worthy of criticism.
The available space in the cabin is generous with lashings a leg room in the back and a cavernous cargo area behind the powered tailgate. Up front it’s light and airy, visibilty is excellent all round and the driving position spot on.
Standard equipment includes 20″ alloys, 14-way power adjustable seats, heated rear seats, power folding rear seats, blind spot monitor with rear cross traffic alert, electronic park brake and LED headlights.
Enhancement packs add a 15-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio, adaptive variable suspension, head up display, panoramic view back monitor, panoramic moonroof with sliding roof, sequential LED front and rear indicators, smart key card and sunshades on the rear passenger doors, although the pack will cost you an extra $4500.
The ride is comforting and gentle on even the worst roads, and for a high riding SUV it changes direction and attacks corners better than you would expect, particularly in sport mode.
There are more competent handlers in the SUV segment, but the big Lexus RX performs admirably.
Under the bonnet in the RX 450h is a combination of an Atkinson cycle 3.5 litre V6 petrol developing 193kW and 335Nm, a front electric motor developing 123kW and a 50kW motor driving the rear wheels via the four wheel drive on demand system.
They all work together seamlessly, and at times it is hard to establish which motor is actually doing the work. In sport mode they all combine to produce urgent acceleration…0-100km/k is dispatched with in just 7.7 seconds, not bad for a car weighing 2700kgs.
Even more surprising is the fuel economy, and while we couldn’t replicate the claimed 5.7 litres per 100km, we were impressed with 8.2 litres per 100km in mostly city traffic.
Safety is obviously a high priority for Lexus, the RX is fitted with multi-stage drive and passenger SRS airbags, large-size Thorax-Abdomen-Pelvis front-seat side SRS airbags, full-length curtain-shield SRS airbags and an 18-litre driver’s knee airbag.
There’s a pre-collision safety system and a rear camera, wide-view side camera and parking sensors.
The Lexus RX 450h is also a bargain when lined up against its European competitors. Kicking off at $88,000 before on roads, it’s a good $30,000 cheaper than it’s nearest hybrid adversary.
It’s as good, if not better than its Euro rivals when it comes to the interior and the overall look, and it performs on par with everything else on the road. The reasons to park one in your garage just keep on stacking up.
NUTS and BOLTS – 2016 Lexus RX 450h
Engine: 3.5 litre V6 developing 193kW and 335Nm + electric motors developing 183kW
Transmission: CVT automatic (only)
Safety: Five star
Price: from $88,000