Lexus RX450h Is Good for the ‘Burbs
This crossover feels premium, says Ellsworth American, which highlights luxury car’s ‘distinctive’ appeal in new review.
The Lexus RX is the best-selling Lexus on the market. Appealing to those who want more size than a sedan, with a little bit of an SUV feel, the RX is the perfect vehicle for many people, and its sales reflect this. In a recent review of the RX450h from The Ellsworth American, the reviewer found a lot to like, but he claims some pretty big flaws, too.
Looking at the new Lexus RX2450h, you immediately are drawn to the looks of the exterior and interior. It’s a beautifully made vehicle, as per usual for Lexus. “Wearing the chiseled spindle-like face that is sweeping the brand, plus a new ‘floating roof’ design that mimics the Nissan Murano, the latest RX is at once distinctive and familiar, says Tim Plouff in his recent review. The RX450h is competing in a very crowded crossover market, so it’s nice to see that the luxury aspect of the vehicle is still top notch.
When a potential buyer purchases a Lexus, they want to make sure they are spending their hard earned money on a vehicle that feels premium. Plouff thinks the RX450h fits the bill, “…the consequential Lexus wagon makes big consumer points with a finely honed and well-detailed interior, lots of driving aids and a coddling cabin that will never go out of style.”
‘The Lexus wagon makes big consumer points with a finely-honed and well-detailed interior, lots of driving aids and a coddling cabin that will never go out of style.’
Now, the looks are only one aspect to the overall thoughts about a vehicle. For many consumers, it’s more important to feel how it drives. “A supple suspension is betrayed by the shortest wheelbase in this class — only 110 inches — while benign steering feel reinforces the general impressions about most Lexus vehicles; nice to travel in, less engaging to drive for the fun of driving,” said Plouff. Of course, these are just opinions, as many of us find that Lexus makes plenty of vehicles that are “fun” to drive. The review just seems to stress that even though the RX450h is a luxury vehicle, it doesn’t feel like a sports car.
“The hybrid Lexus generates a strong midrange punch perfect for highway merging, continued Plouff. “However, the RX revealed that its true operating strengths are at less than the prevailing pace on our highways, as fuel economy precipitously dropped as the speeds increase to keep up with the traveling flow of traffic.”
So, don’t expect to win races or get the best fuel economy if you’re interested in testing the limits of this crossover vehicle, but let’s be honest, that’s not why you’re buying a crossover to begin with. However, fuel economy is one of the big selling points of the RX450h. Since it’s a hybrid vehicle, many consumers are going to expect that the RX450h can save them money at the pump. The RX450h is rated at 31/28/30 mpg, but with the price tag that’s $9,000 more than a non-hybrid RX, you might not see much of a savings.
“Given that the Lexus also prefers premium fuel for peak hybrid power delivery, the Lexus’ returned fuel economy could be an expensive proposition not only on purchase, but over the course of ownership,” said Plouff.
Overall, the reviewer seems to enjoy the RX450h, with a couple of specific qualifications. The RX450h feels like a luxury vehicle with its interior and exterior looks, but don’t expect to save money at the pump unless you’re just driving around town and not long stretches on the highway. If that’s the case, you should probably look at the non-hybrid versions of the RX.