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2018 Lexus RX 450h SUV

#3
in Midsize SUVs
2018 MODEL

$45,695 - $51,055

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Overview

The Lexus RX series was first introduced in 1990’s and it was actually the first car to use the word crossover. Cut to present times, the car has come to its 4th generation and is back in its hybrid guise. The 2018 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid is a stylish, comfortable and plush crossover that aims to win the hearts of its buyers.

Powering the vehicle is a 3.5L V6 engine working in synergy with three electric motors that move all four wheels. The motor combo is paired with a CVT transmission that provides offers comfortable but not exactly enthusiastic gear shifts.

For a starting price of $45,695, the 2018 variant is actually cheaper than the outgoing 2017 model. The car does lose some of its gizmos in return for a cheaper base price but it’s sure to attract more potential buyers which is exactly what Lexus wants the RX 450h to do.

See detailed review »

Pros

Stylish exterior

Calm and composed on road

Comfortable ride

High fuel economy.

Punchy engine

Cons

Some may find the F sport suspension setup too stiff

Looks too elongated on hl trim.

Not too good as a 7 seater

Tiny cargo capacity

What's New?

2018 variant is now cheaper


Features

Power

308 hp

247 torq

MPG

31 city

28 hwy

Engine

V6 cyl

3.5 disp

transmission

CVT



Styles

 2018 Lexus RX 450h SUV in Matador Red Metallic color  2018 Lexus RX 450h SUV in Nebula Gray Pearl color  2018 Lexus RX 450h SUV in Eminent White Pearl color  2018 Lexus RX 450h SUV in Autumn Shimmer color  2018 Lexus RX 450h SUV in Atomic Silver color
Matador Red Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Exterior

9.1

Engine

9.1

Interior

8.3

Safety

8.3

Fuel Economy

8.4

Driving

9.0

Features

9.1

8.8

OVERALL RATING

Variant Name

MSRP


 2018 Lexus RX 450h SUV 4dr SUV AWD

4dr SUV AWD

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$45,695

Configurations
4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Seating: 5 HP: 308 -hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 247 -lbs.-ft. @ 4800 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(31/30/28)

 2018 Lexus RX 450h SUV F SPORT

F SPORT

Fuel: Premium unleaded (recommended), Transmission: Manual, Seats: 5

$51,055

Configurations
F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
Seating: 5 HP: 308 -hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 247 -lbs.-ft. @ 4800 rpm MPG(City/Combined/Highway): MPG(31/30/28)

Expert Review


carhp editor October 4, 2018

8.8

Overall Rating


9.1/10
Features

 

9.1/10
Engine

 

8.4/10
Fuel Economy

 

8.3/10
Interior

 

9.1/10
Exterior

 

8.3/10
Safety

 
 
 

The Lexus RX series was first introduced in 1990’s and it was actually the first car to use the word crossover. Cut to present times, the car has come to its 4th generation and is back in its hybrid guise. The 2018 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid is a stylish, comfortable and plush crossover that aims to win the hearts of its buyers.

Powering the vehicle is a 3.5L V6 engine working in synergy with three electric motors that move all four wheels. The motor combo is paired with a CVT transmission that provides offers comfortable but not exactly enthusiastic gear shifts.

For a starting price of $45,695, the 2018 variant is actually cheaper than the outgoing 2017 model. The car does lose some of its gizmos in return for a cheaper base price but it’s sure to attract more potential buyers which is exactly what Lexus wants the RX 450h to do

Features

9.1/10

The 2018 Lexus Rx 450h is available in a total of 3 trims. All the trims share the same standard engine configuration featuring a 3.5L V6 engine and 3 electric working in tandem paired to a CVT gearbox.

The base RX 450h trims sports a long list of features including power adjustable front seats, nuluxe leather upholstery and smart access including other things. For a price of $45,695, the car is now a much sweeter deal and even better value for money. The RX 450 hl is the elongated 7 seater version of the RX 450h which same from the inside except for the extra seats.

The range-topping  RX 450 h Sport variant adds a host of sporty elements to the cars. The sport variant features enhancement such as a sport-tuned adaptive suspension, paddle shifters and special driving modes that make the car more exciting, However, its $51,055 price tag makes it an expensive proposition.

 

Trims

RX 450h

RX 450 hl

RX 450 h SPORT

MSRP (AWD)

$45,695

$50,620

$51,055

Features

Smart access

Power open/close rear door

Drive mode select

Dual-zone climate control

Power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel

Nuluxe interior trim

Leather-trimmed steering wheel and shift knob

Lexus display audio with color multimedia display and nine speakers

Bluetooth technology

Lexus enform safety connect

Subscription-free traffic and weather

Hd radio with itunes tagging

Power-adjustable front seats

Lexus safety system

10-airbag system

Lexus memory system

Black electrochromic power-folding outside mirrors

Rear armrest storage compartment

Roof rails

Includes features of RX450 h and adds:

1st and 2nd row leather interior

3rd row nuluxe leather interior

Black electrochromic power-folding outside mirrors

Paddle shifters

Black headliner

F sport perforated leather–trimmed heated steering wheel and shift knob

F sport bolstered/heated and ventilated front seats

Aluminum pedals, interior trim and door-sill scuff plates

Sport-tuned and adaptive variable suspension (avs) with sport s+ driving mode and sport-tuned electronic power steering (eps)

F sport 20-inch split-10-spoke alloy wheels with dark graphite finish

F sport exterior styling

Vehicle dynamics integrated management (vdim)

Rear armrest storage compartment

Ambient lighting

Lexus memory system for driver's seat, steering wheel and outside mirror

We Recommend

The base RX 450h variant easily makes for our choice because of its value for money appeal. The car has a big list of creature comforts which will suffice most of the buyers. As the power stats remain same throughout the trim line, the base variant makes a lot of sense at present. The Sport version might appear juicier but its price tag is sure to be a big let down.

Engine

9.1/10

Engine and Transmission

The engine on duty on the Lexus RX 450h hybrid is a 3.5L V6 engine along with 3 electric motors that is good for 306 hp and 247 lb ft of torque. The continuously variable transmission does its job in a calm and peaceful manner prioritizing comfort over performance. Fortunately, you shall never feels too stressed out while cruising at highway speeds.

 

Models

Lexus RX 450 AWD hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

Acura MDX Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus

MSRP

$45,695

$36,670

$52,100

$39,995

Engine

3.5L V6 DOHC 24-Valve

3.5L DOHC 24V V6

3.0L PGM-FI 24V SOHC i-VTEC V6

3.6L V6 Hybrid

Transmission

CVT Automatic

CVT Automatic

7-Speed Automatic

Single Speed Automatic

Power

308 hp

306 hp

321 hp

260 hp

Torque

247 lb-ft

215 lb-ft

289 lb-ft

262 lb-ft

 

On paper with rivals, the RX 450h is certainly not the most powerful in the segment but is one most expensive. The Acura MDX is actually the most powerful in the segment pushing out 321 hp but is also the dearest to buy at $52,100.

 

Acceleration

Lexus RX 450h takes 7.7 seconds to go from 0 to 60 mph while encounters 13.6 seconds to complete quarter of a mile. It’s certainly no road scorcher but its still decently fast for a 2-ton hybrid SUV. Acceleration from the inside actually makes the car feel more involving and scintillating from the inside.

 

Models

Lexus RX 450 AWD hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

Acura MDX Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus

0-60 MPH

7.7 sec

6.9 sec

5.9 sec

7.4 sec

Quarter mile

13.6 sec

16.2 sec

14.6 sec

14.9 sec

Engine

3.5L

3.5L

3.0L

3.6L

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

5.9

6.0

6.5

N/A


In competition with rivals, the Acura MDX with its most powerful engine in the segment turns out to be the quickest at 0-60 mph sprint taking only 5.9 seconds. The R 450h is actually the slowest in the segment as far as a 0-60mph sprint is concerned. 

 

Ride and Handling      

It is clear that ride comfort and ease of driving have been given th top priority on the RX 450h. That being said, the car still does not leave any loose ends and provides a wholesome driving experience. The overall drive dynamics are not anywhere near sporty but they’re sprightly enough for sure.

However, light off roading is all this SUV can take as even going over big potholes creates rattling and vibration in the chassis that spoils the experience to an extent.

 

Braking

The Lexus 450h brakes consist of a 12.9 inch rotor in the front and a 12.3 inch rotor in the back which is actually the smallest in the segment. The brakes pedals offer fair travel before the brakes engage fully but there is a slight hiccup when the brakes are applied in pulse.

Model

Lexus RX 450 AWD hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

Acura MDX Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus

Brake Front(in)

12.9

12.9

13.0

13.0

Brake Rear(in)

12.3

12.2

13.0

13.0

Curb weight(lbs)

4740

4398

4471

4943

60-0 MPH (ft.)

123

133

134

131

 

The Lexus is able to stop from 60 mph in a segment leading 123 ft. All the other rivals feature similar stopping distances that range upwards of 130 ft.

Fuel Economy

8.4/10

Fuel economy is often the sole reason why most buyers opt for the hybrid trims of a car. The Lexus RX 450h is able to return a modest mileage of 30 mpg that is sure to keep the buyers happy.

 

The Chrysler pacifica hybrid with its least powerful engine in the segment is only one able to better the fuel economy of the Lexus at 33 mpg.

 

Model

Lexus RX 450 AWD hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

Acura MDX Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus

eMPG (city)

31

30

26

33

eMPG (highway)

28

28

27

33

eMPG (combined)

30

29

27

33

 

Interior

8.3/10

Seats and Comfort

The front seats on the RX 450h are signature Lexus which means that they plush and comfortable to sit on while offering enough padding and thigh support for the taller folks. The rear seats feel upmarket as well but one could have easily used some extra legroom. Due to the floating roofline, the rear headroom is likely to create an issue as well.

 

Model

Lexus RX 450 AWD hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

Acura MDX Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus

Passenger capacity

5

8

7

7

Passenger Volume (ft cube)

121.7

144.9

131.4

165

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

39.4/57.8/44.1

40.7/59.3/38.4

38.1/61.1/41.4

40.1/63.0/39.0

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

38.2/57.6/38.0

39.9/59.0/38.4

38.3/59.1/38.5

39.6/63.0/39.0

Third (Head/Shoulder/Leg)

(In.)

N/A

35.9/55.0/26.7

35.6/54.7/28.1

38.7/61.236.5

 

Passenger volume of 121.7 ft.cube on the RX 450h puts it on the bottom amongst its rivals. The Chrysler is clearly the most spacious with a passenger volume of 165 ft.cube.

Infotainment

Instead of modern touch screens, the RX 450h features a 12.3 inch dashtop display that is controlled by a mouse type joystick mounted on the center console. Even though there is very little lag in inputs but the whole knob configuration makes the vehicle feel outdated. Another major issue is the MMI which requires complete attention to be operated properly which can become a potential hazard while driving. There is huge room for improvement in this sector.

 

Interior Features

All Lexus are known to be tech loaded to the brim and the RX 450 hybrid is no exception. Some of its key features are

  • 12.3 inch dashtop display
  • Dual zone climate control
  • Power adjusted front seats
  • Optional paddle shifters
  • Leather upholstery
  • Steering mounted controls


 

Cargo Capacity

All hybrid vehicles face problems due to the batteries that occupy a lot of space in the boot. The Lexus RX 450h is no exclusion from the list with a tiny 18.0 ft cube boot behind the 2nd row. The utility aspect takes a huge impact as the boot is barely adequate for 2 moderate sized duffel bags.

In comparison, the rivals are way far ahead in terms of boot space. The Chrysler pacifica sits comfortably at the top of the table with a huge 87.5 ft.cube boot. While both the MDX and Highlander feature similar-ish boot capacity of around 43.0 ft.cube.

 

Model

Lexus RX 450 AWD hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

Acura MDX Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus

Behind 3nd Row(ft.cube)

18.0

13.8

15.8

32.3

With 3nd row folded (ft.cube)

18.0

42.3

43.4

87.5

With All Seats folded (ft.cube)

55.9

83.7

90.9

140.5

 

Exterior

9.1/10

Dimensions and Weight

The Lexus Rx 450 hybrid is surely a striking vehicle from the outside. Its sharp and long bodylines make it a lengthy vehicle at 192.5 inches. The bigger length allows the vehicle to ensure enough room for the passengers inside. However, space on the 3rd row is barely fit for kids to sit comfortably let alone adults.

 

The Lexus R 450h weighs in at a beefy 4740 lbs which makes it seconds to only the Chrysler pacifica which weighs around 4943 lbs.

Model

Lexus RX 450 AWD hybrid

Toyota Highlander Hybrid LE

Acura MDX Hybrid

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus

curb weight(lbs)

4740

4398

4471

4943

Length(in)

192.5

192.5

196.2

203.8

Width(in)

74.6

75.8

77.7

79.6

Height(in)

67.7

68.1

67.4

69.9

Ground clearance(in)

7.0

8.0

5.6

5.1

Wheelbase(in)

109.8

109.8

111.0

121.6

Track width(in) F/R

64.4/64.0

64.4/64.2

66.3/66.3

68.2/68.2

 

Exterior Features

The list of exterior features on the 2018 Lexus RX 450h include.

  • HID projector headlamps
  • Sunroof
  • 20 inch alloy wheels
  • Signature hexagonal grille
  • Optional black outside mirrors
  • Optional sport exterior package.

Safety

8.3/10

Lexus has loaded the RX450h with a lot of life saving safety tech. Although there are no offical test rating available yet but they are most likely to be in favor of the SUV.  Be it active safety tech or passive safety tech, the Lexus has it all.

 

  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  • ABS And Driveline Traction Control
  • Side Impact Beams
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
  • Lexus Safety System+ Forward Collision
  • Emergency Sos
  • Lane Keep Assist Lane Keeping Assist
  • Lane Keep Assist Lane Departure Warning
  • Low Tire Pressure Warning
  • Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
  • Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
  • Airbag Occupancy Sensor
  • Driver And Passenger Knee Airbag and Rear Side-Impact Airbag
  • Rear Child Safety Locks
  • First Aid Kit
  • Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners

Competition

Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Just like the RX 450h, the Highlander is a slick looking SUV with hsarp body lines and an imposing road presence. The interior is of superior quality as well with well appointed seats and front seats and space for upto 8 occupants.  Although the power figures are a little lower than the Lexus but it undercuts it by more than $10,000

 

All in all, the Highlander gives tough competition to the Lexus at the price point. But, if money’s not an issue, the Lexus does feel more premium and justifies that steeper price tag.

 

Acura MDX Hybrid

The Acura MDX is another striking SUV with funky exteriors. Step inside the cabin and you’ll be greeted by what are possibly the best in class interiors  The innards are plush with ample of soft touch materials spread generously throughout the cabin. Even on the utility front, the MDX is miles ahead of the RX 450h hybrid.

 

But, one key thing that buyers will notice while comparing the Acura with the Lexus is the eye watering price difference of over $7,000, The Lexus is already one of the most expensive in the segment and the even dearer price tag on the MDX is likely to scare away potential buyers.

 

Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid

 The Chrysler can never run away from the fact that is more of minivan than a crossover. Its bodystyle might be boring to look at but it gives the car a lot of utility advantage, Both passenger space and boot space on the Chrysler is adequately big for any long journeys

 

But where it lacks is the interior quality. Neither the seats nor the overall materials feel quite as plush as the Lexus RX 450h. The cheaper price tag does some justice to the Pacifica. So, if you want a budget people mover, the pacifica will do otherwise, Lexus is a better car.

Final Verdict

The RX 450h is one the finest hybrid SUVs you’d find in the market presently. The engine is punchy and economic. The interior feels opulent with a lot of feed good elements but the weak legroom in the rear will definitely be a problem. As on all Lexus cars, the standard feature list is long even after the recent price reduction. On the safety front as well, there is not shortage of features at all. With the current price tag, it’s one of the better luxury crossovers you’d find.

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