• Image Credit: Autoblog

The Lexus RX was one of the first car-based luxury SUVs and has continued to be one of the most popular crossovers in America. Introduced for the 2010 model year, the RX 450h is the hybrid version of the CUV, designed to achieve great fuel economy without sacrificing any part of its luxury DNA.

I drove the Lexus RX 450h in and around Los Angeles for a week. Is it a viable option for consumers looking to combine fuel economy and luxury features? Click through to find out.

Research the Lexus RX 450h
Lexus RX 450h Photos & Information
Lexus RX 450h Best Deals
Lexus RX 450h Local Dealer Price Quote

How Much?
  • Image Credit: Autoblog

How Much?

MSRP: $45,235 - $46,825
Invoice: $41,164 - $42,611

AOL Autos Average Base Best Deal Price: $42,628

Research the Lexus RX 450h
Lexus RX 450h Photos & Information
Lexus RX 450h Best Deals
Lexus RX 450h Local Dealer Price Quote

Key Stats
  • Image Credit: Autoblog

Key Stats

-3.5L V6 engine with electric motors
-245-hp, 234 lb-ft of torque
-2-speed CVT
-28 mpg Highway, 32 mpg City
-Seats 5
-80.3 cubic feet maximum cargo capacity
-Built in Cambridge, Ontario and Miyawaka/Fukuoka, Japan

Research the Lexus RX 450h
Lexus RX 450h Photos & Information
Lexus RX 450h Best Deals
Lexus RX 450h Local Dealer Price Quote

What We Like
  • Image Credit: Autoblog

What We Like

Michael: The theme of the RX 450h seems to be convenience and ease. While that may not sit well with drivers who prefer a more intense driving experience (see next slide), that philosophy makes the RX 450h perhaps the ultimate commuter vehicle. Great fuel economy, a comfortable interior, a solid infotainment center with spot-on real-time traffic updates and available adaptive cruise control combine to form a car that all but eliminates the stresses of driving. Seriously, I flipped on the heated seats (yes, in LA) and premium sound system and I couldn't even get mad at traffic on I-405.

Autoblog: The RX450h strives to offer as much comfort as possible, so it's packed with luxury touches like side mirror glass that rotate downward when you put it into reverse for curb-finding and friendly interior lights that come on when you approach the car with the wireless key fob in the dark (neither of which is a new feature, but very convenient). The lights remind you that this car wants you to feel at ease. Quite a bit poorer in the wallet, but at ease nonetheless.

Research the Lexus RX 450h
Lexus RX 450h Photos & Information
Lexus RX 450h Best Deals
Lexus RX 450h Local Dealer Price Quote

What We Don't Like
  • Image Credit: Autoblog

What We Don't Like

Michael: While the hybrid powertrain undoubtedly gives drivers a huge boost in fuel economy, it comes at a pretty significant price. And I'm not just talking about the $5,000 it adds to the sticker. The hybrid power-train adds significantly to the CUV's curb weight, making it sluggish off the line and giving it a very heavy feeling when cornering. Factor in a cushy suspension and you're gaining fuel economy, but sacrificing any shred of inspired driving experience with this vehicle.

Autoblog: The green driving gauge isn't nearly as easy to use as similar displays in the Prius or the Ford Fusion Hybrid, but does provide a way to tell if you're charging the batteries from the brakes or pushing down on the gas pedal enough to enter the "Power" zone. We avoided this zone as much as possible – it means you're accelerating quickly – in our effort to get a decent mpg result.

Research the Lexus RX 450h
Lexus RX 450h Photos & Information
Lexus RX 450h Best Deals
Lexus RX 450h Local Dealer Price Quote

Bottom Line
  • Image Credit: Autoblog

Bottom Line

As a general rule, I'm not a huge fan of hybrids because of their poor driving dynamics. But, I have to admit that I enjoyed being in the RX 450h. In fact, I would go as far as to say that it is one of the best hybrids I have ever driven. Sure, it's no Mazda CX-5 -- a truly great driving CUV – but what the RX 450h lacks in fun, it more than makes up for in comfort and ease of use.

Should you buy the RX 450h if you're looking for a luxury crossover? Absolutely. But first, ask yourself if it's worth the extra cost (in dollars and driving experience) to have that hybrid drivetrain. If not, check out the RX 350.

AOL Autos Score:

(4/5)


Research the Lexus RX 450h
Lexus RX 450h Photos & Information
Lexus RX 450h Best Deals
Lexus RX 450h Local Dealer Price Quote



  List

From Our Partners

2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500
MSRP: $32,495 - $54,390
2015 Honda Civic
MSRP: $18,290 - $26,740
2015 Chevrolet Camaro
MSRP: $23,705 - $72,305
2017 Bentley Bentayga
MSRP: $229,100 - $297,400
2015 Nissan Altima
MSRP: $22,300 - $32,350