2019 Lexus RX 450h Reviews

2019 RX 450h New Car Test Drive

Introduction

The Lexus RX is smooth and striking and versatile-and it's by far the best-selling mid-size luxury crossover SUV. It returns for the 2019 model year with few changes.

The RX 350 is powered by a 295?horsepower 3.5-liter V-6, mated to an 8-speed automatic, with front-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive. The RX 450h hybrid uses a less powerful V-6 and electric motors that combine for 259 hp.

An F Sport package adds a throaty exhaust note, as well as adaptive dampers that firm up the supple ride, along with quicker steering, paddle shifters, and Sport+ to the standard drive modes. 

The standard RX seats five comfortably, while slightly longer seven-seat models called the RX 350L and RX 450hL have third rows that are realistically too small for adults but okay for kids.

The base RX 350 with front-wheel drive is EPA rated at 20 mpg city, 27 highway, 23 combined, with the all-wheel-drive version getting 1 less mpg. The RX 450h hybrid gets 31/28/30 mpg. The longer seven-seat versions get 1 less mpg. 

The IIHS gives the RX its Top Safety Pick rating, and the NHTSA gives the RX 350 with all-wheel drive five stars overall, with four stars for frontal crash protection. But the front-wheel-drive RX 350 and both long-wheelbase models only get four stars overall. Standard safety equipment includes automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. Blind-spot monitors are optional, as are a surround-view camera system and head-up display. 

Lineup

The RX 350 starts at about $44,000. Standard equipment includes synthetic leather, LED headlights, power front seats, an 8.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment, Bluetooth, USB ports and 18-inch wheels. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility aren't even available. 

A Premium package adds real leather, wood trim, and roof rails. A Luxury package adds heated and cooled front seats, upgraded leather, and 20-inch wheels. The touchscreen can also be upgraded to a massive 12.3-inch unit, and there's a rear entertainment display system that can run two videos side-by-side. 

The F Sport package adds the firmer suspension and more responsive steering, plus sport seats and styling touches including aero cladding and unique wheels. 

Luxury options are many, including a panoramic roof, cooled seats, navigation, and Mark Levinson sound system with 835 watts and 15 speakers.

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