We’ve been here before. The feeling of deja vu is strong with this Lexus RX450h. After all, we just drove the 2020 RX350L a few months ago. The ‘h’ in this 450h refers to the hybrid system that employs two electric motors and battery pack under the rear seats. The lack of an ‘L’ indicates that this isn’t the longer, three-row variant. A week with the RX450h served as a good juxtaposition to see how different these two trims are.
Starting with the obvious; the fuel economy is better. We averaged 29.7mpg over a week with this wonderful Nori Green RX450h. Beyond that, what else is different? Well, the ride seems more refined. Comfort, quietness, reliability and the utmost luxury for the price point is what you’re buying here. If that is your wishlist, look no further. However, if you have any semblance of wanting some performance you may want to skip this hybrid.
The CVT transmission does a good job to disguise itself, but the lack of an actual tachometer sort-of gives it away. It’s a slight drawback to an otherwise calm, cool, and collected powertrain. The suspension is soft and never upset by any potholes or bumps in the road, even with the 20″ wheels on our tester. As mentioned before, it certainly isn’t sporty in any sense of the term, and the hybrid even less so, but it will still be as compliant as any Lexus owner needs in any circumstance.
In our previous write-up we discussed the lack of intuitiveness of the Remote Touch Pad as well as the infotainment screen itself. Android Auto is standard, as well as Apple CarPlay, but the mousepad makes it difficult to use while driving with any sort of accuracy, and the touchscreen aspect is too far of a reach to use safely. We’re hoping an all-new Lexus RX will implement an infotainment system similar to the new Highlander we just tested.
So, what do we think about the Lexus RX450h? If you’re looking for a hybrid, you’d be hard pressed to go wrong here, especially as it is pretty much in a segment of its own. Focusing on luxury before all else, the RX still keeps itself separated from the pack, even though its cousin, the new Highlander Hybrid, may be coming to steal some of its market share.
|2020 Lexus RX450h
|Blind Spot Monitor w/ Park Assist, Panoramic View Monitor, and Rear Cross Traffic Braking||$1,865|
|Cold Weather Package||$315|
|20″ Split 5-Spoke Dark Silver Wheels||$1,130|
|Color Head-Up Display||$600|
|Heated and Ventilated Front Seats||$640|
|12.3″ Navigation System w/ Mark Levinson Audio||$3,365|
|Touch-Free Power Rear Door||$150|
|As Tested MSRP||$58,490|
Related: Simple Elegance: 2020 Lexus RX350 L