Review by Veeno Dewan
The Lexus RX450h is the premium brands stellar mid – size luxury SUV and has remained a class act since its inception. Later models has eschewed the bland curves for the current Lexus styling ethos of sharp edges and angles. The once controversial spindle grille now look just right in the edgy design. For 2021 there are a few changes – the current, fourth-generation RX350 and RX450 hybrid models feature new front and rear fascias. The new Triple-beam LED headlamps have been slimmed down and come standard starting on the Luxury grade. There are either 18 or 20- inch wheel packages. New paint colors are also available
Inside, an eight-inch touchscreen or optional 12.3-inch unit adorns the centre, paired with a remote touch pad for the driver’s right hand. The multimedia system now includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto with six USB ports for devices. Engineering wise- there are new suspension tweaks, better damping, and more spot welds and adhesives for a tighter body/chassis rigidity. The Lexus 450 Hybrid as tested has a base MSRP price of $59,400. The pricy F Sport 3 package added options worth $14,050. For as Subtotal of $73,450 plus Freight & PDI $2,095.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive, Sequential Multiport Electronic Fuel Injection 3.5 Litre, 6 Cylinder DOHC with a VVTi electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission. The RX 450h uses the V-6 teamed with a battery pack powering two electric motors to make 308 hp total. The engine drives the front, the motors power the rear for standard all-wheel drive.
Inside the RX 450h as tested added the F – SPORT Series 3 package as an option with too many feature to list. But among the notables: Heated F-Sport Steering Wheel, Wireless Charging, Leather Wrapped Shift Knob, Paddle Shifters, Auto Leveling Headlamp System, Premium Display, Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross Lexus Navigation with Remote – includes Embedded Navigation, Panoramic Moonroof, Panoramic View Monitor, Premium LED Rear Combination Lamps, and Power Rear Door with Kick Sensor, SiriusXM® with 12.3” Touch Display, F SPORT Scuff Plates Protection, and the phenomenal 15 Speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System that has a sound quality up to highest audiophile levels.
There is of course as standard Lexus interior styling, nice leather trim, high quality plastics and a premium feel to all the controls. There is a chunky steering wheel, well designed gauge cluster and the signature Lexus analogue clock. The center touch screen allows you to see two embedded Lexus displays up at the same time. The screen also doubles as back up camera.
The rear compartment is very roomy with big comfortable back seats that can also slide fore and aft allowing for excellent legroom or cargo room. The rear cabin is fitted out of the same standard as the front. The RX offers an impressive amount of practicality – up to 694 L behind the second row of seats, and 1,580 L with them folded.
Safety, of course, is high point with all RX, models gaining Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, automatic emergency braking with bike and pedestrian detection, automatic high-beams, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist and more.
On the road the latest RX 450h is an even better experience with the latest engineering tweaks improving ride, handling and performance. The engine still deliver more than adequate performance and the hybrid- gas engine handover works seamlessly offering plenty of acceleration. The new front and rear stabilizer bars and revised shock absorbers offer more composure on the road, and the upgraded dampers feature a new “friction control” device for a smoother ride. The new damping improvements makes itself apparent when the RX 450h is pushed into hard corners – body roll is more controlled and the RX is less ruffled. The RX “active corner braking” also aids in taking bends by applying some braking pressure to the inside rear tire the new damping also g also improves the RX ride over rough surfaces to huge degree. The Lexus RX 450h offers a combined fuel economy of around – City/Highway/Combined L/100km 8.1/8.4/8.1 which very good.
Not much to complain about the RX450. The touchpad controller is still a bit fiddly, and the RX series can become expensive if you start adding options. Still the RX remains one of the better hybrid buys in this sector with the highest quality, reliability and an excellent dealership experience. Highly recommended as best in class.
2021 Lexus RX450h: base priced from Base MSRP $59,400.
Options $14,050.prcie as tested $73,450.
Freight & PDI $2,095
More info a tww.Lexus.ca