2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV

MSRP $51,200 - $53,520

Ranked #24 in Midsize Suv

FILTER BY YEAR

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: October 19, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


We could have easily said something like electric vehicles is the future but we are already living in the future. With brands like Tesla around with their stellar electric vehicles, some brands are still struggling to straighten out their hybrid technologies. But Lexus’ foray into the hybrid market has been rather fruitful and the RX 450h has been at the forefront of this success.

See detailed review »

Pros

Edgy design

F Sport adds a sporty character and handling

Luxurious cabin

Priced cheaper than many others

Hybrid efficiency

Plenty of standard active safety features

Cons

Options list is just too long

F-Sport will make the ride a little stiffer

What's New?

Wireless charging is now available

Lexus Enform remote for 3-years complimentary

Power folding & auto-dimming side mirrors are now standard

Blindspot monitors & rear-cross traffic alert is now standard


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$51300

bodystyle

dr SUV

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$51,200 onwards

Appearance$51,300 onwards

Black Line$51,885 onwards

Handling$53,520 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV in Atomic Silver color
Atomic Silver

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

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


Well, enough playing around, the 2021 Lexus RX 450h F-Sport is a stunning luxury SUV with added handling extras. The hybrid vehicle segment isn’t matured enough yet to have an entry for every budget so we have a little diverse competition like the Land Rover Discovery Hybrid, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, and Ford Explorer Hybrid

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV Features

The Lexus RX450h comes only in two trims and today we are about to discuss the top trim F-Sport as in every Lexus vehicle. Being the top trim might get you excited as now you will have almost every little feature that you will miss in the base trim. Things don’t always turn out as we want them to be, the F-Sport trim only gets adaptive dampers, bigger 20-inch wheels, and better exterior treatment as a part of the trim. 

The rest of the features set is still the same as the base one. Now, what was an affordable SUV starts becoming a nemesis as the moment you start adding standalone extras, the price just sky-rockets. While the optional feature list is extensive, we would have loved it if Lexus included some of the specifications in the standard list. All this shopping cart frenzy makes buying this SUV a tedious process let alone the money aspect.

Trim

RX450h F-Sport

MSRP (AWD)

$51,300

Key Features

20-inch alloy wheels

 

Adaptive sport dampers

 

Special exterior treatment

 

Dual-zone automatic climate control

 

8-inch touch screen with Android Auto & Apple CarPlay

 

Power liftgate

 

Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 suite

Moreover, the Lexus RX 450h F Sport Hybrid is available in an additional trim level known as the Handling trim, which is similar to the Handling Package previously available. The SUV also gets a host of optional packages, some of which include:

  • Navigation with 12-speaker sound ($2200) – CD/DVD player, Lexus Enform Suite (3 years), 12.3-inch display, navigation system, 12 speaker sound system with subwoofer, SD card, and real-time traffic info. 
  • Mark Levinson Premium Sound ($3100) – Navigation package features plus a premium 15-speaker sound system.
  • Luxury ($3500) – ambient lighting, 14-way power seats for driver & passenger with memory settings, illuminated door sills, wood and metal inlays on doors and dashboard, rear window sunshades, leather upholstery, wooden heated steering wheel, 20-inch wheels.
  • Triple Beam LED headlights - $1900
  • Heated and ventilated front seats & heated power-folding second-row - $1400
  • Towing Preparation ($250) – Auxiliary oil cooler & transmission cooler, heavy-duty alternator & radiator, Trailer tow prep.
  • Panoramic Moonroof - $1800
  • Hands-free liftgate -$150

Which trim should you buy?

Buying a Lexus 450h isn’t an easy process, while initially, it might seem uncomplicated, the optional features list can confuse the buyers. Even the top trim, the 450h F-Sport, misses out on many features, so, after adding them the price easily climbs up to the $60,000 mark. Sure, the adaptive dampers and the bigger wheels do make things better handling-wise, but, it leaves a lot to be desired on the inside. 

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV Engine and Performance

Both of the trims on the RX450h come with the same engine, the 3.5L, the hybrid engine produces 308 hp & 247lb-ft of torque, same figures on the F-Sport trim as well. These numbers are more than adequate for daily grocery runs and even handles highway sprints with grace. Having 500hp inside the city doesn’t get you any significant advantage per se. The SUV will do everyday jobs just fine but forget about towing something, the torque is just too inadequate for that job. There isn’t any choice of drivetrain and transmission, it’s an AWD & a CVT unit as standard. 

The two electric motors provide power at the front and a single unit is dedicated for the back-end duties. The outright acceleration is pretty quick for the weight and size of this SUV. It sprints from a standstill to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds and covers the quarter-mile run in 14.6 seconds. The rival SUVs perform better but they do have better powerhouses under the hood as well. Overall, the mechanical power inside the RX450h F-Sport has enough oomph but it won’t be something like driving a high-performance SUV.

Models

2021 Lexus RX450h F-Sport

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2021 Land Rover Discovery Hybrid

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

MSRP

$51,300

$50,640

$61,900

$54,480

Engine 

3.5L Naturally Aspirated Gas/Electric V-6

2.5L turbocharged inline-4 Gas/electric 

3.0-liter Twincharged Straight 6/ Electric Hybrid

3.3L, Naturally Aspirated, Gas/Electric, V-6

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

CVT

CVT

8-speed shiftable automatic 

10-speed automatic

Power 

308hp @ 6,000rpm

243hp

355hp @ 5,500 rpm

318hp @ 5,500rpm

Torque

247lb-ft @ 4,800rpm

N/A

369lb-ft @ 1,750 rpm

322lb-ft @ 2,000rpm

0-60 MPH (sec)

7.3

6.6

6.2

7.2

Quarter mile (sec)

14.6

14.9

14.8

N/A

Top Speed (MPH)

128

N/A

130

137

We don’t hate a CVT transmission per se, but having a conventional automatic transmission is always nice to compare to a CVT with those fake gear shifts. Ford uses their 10-speed gearbox in every possible vehicle, while in the segment, the Land Rover Discovery also makes use of an 8-speed automatic unit. The RX450h is the least powered SUV in the group in both horsepower and torque but zippy driving and acceleration isn’t the priority for Lexus. On the other hand, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is meant to steer through traffic swiftly and its 60 mph timings of 6.6 seconds is evidence of the fact.

How well does the 2021 Lexus RX 450h Hybrid F Sport handle?

As a luxury brand, the Lexus RX450h is aimed at pleasure and leisure, however, the F Sport does grant a refreshing experience. The standard SUV will drive in plush, pillowy ride quality but the adaptive dampers and 20-inch wheels make the RX450h F Sport a better handler overall, if not a sports SUV. The ride quality with this sport-suspension setup becomes somewhat stiff and that’s great for handling and agility but sacrifices the comfort, something for which you will consider a Lexus in the first place. 

The steering wheel is lightweight and gives a feel of driving a much smaller vehicle, this is one the most common traits of modern vehicles but some people still appreciate some feedback on the wheels. The cabin of the RX450h is dead silent and is one of the most important features of this luxury SUV. Nothing at all seeps inside, wind noise, tire noise, nothing. Yea now that you have 20-inch wheels so there will be a noticeable sound if you hit a bump at moderate speeds and the stiffer springs won’t help in this regard.

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport Hybrid Braking Performance

The RX450h F-Sport being a hybrid vehicle means there will be regenerative braking and that in most cases hampers braking feel and in rare cases performs as well. The brake size is lesser compared to the rivals but that 0.1 inches of difference don’t explain anything. The overall setup is tuned nicely and smoothly stops the SUV and you won’t feel that regenerative braking is at work at all.

Models

2021 Lexus RX450h F-Sport

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2021 Land Rover Discovery Hybrid

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

12.9

13.3

14.4

13.6

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

13.3

13.3

13.8

12.6

Curb Weight (lbs.)

4,740

4,595

5,160

5,076

60-0 MPH (feet)

121

N/A

N/A

N/A

In comparison, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid comes with a larger set of brakes of 13.3 inches, both at the front and rear. Additionally, it is the lightest option in the segment and consequently, we expect the Toyota SUV to perform rather effectively. On the other hand, both the Land Rover Discovery Hybrid and Ford Explorer Hybrid, are heavier vehicles, but with the largest set of brakes at its disposal, the Discovery can surpass the performance of its rivals in this aspect. 

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV Fuel Economy

SUVs generally don’t have great fuel efficiency and that actually makes them a perfect playing ground for hybrid engines. There is no difference in the efficiency numbers of the standard RX450h and the F-Sport. The Lexus SUV gets the best economy among its peers averaging a mileage of 30 MPG and falls behind its corporate sibling, the Toyota Highlander. Like always, it gets a less voluminous tank at its disposal of 17.4-gallons, but a range of 516 miles puts it on par with its competition. 

Models

2021 Lexus RX450h F-Sport

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2021 Land Rover Discovery Hybrid

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

MPG (City)

31

35

18

23

MPG (Highway)

28

34

24

26

MPG (Combined)

30

35

21

25

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

17.2

17.4

24.0

18

Range (City/Highway/Combined, in Miles)

533.2/481.6/516

599/581/590

432.0/576.0/ 504.0

414/468/N/A

The 30 MPG combined economy of the Lexus seems promising as it is on par with the others and the fuel tank is sized pretty well. Ford Explorer somehow gets the best highway efficiency of 24 MPG but the rest of the mileage is nice. The Land Rover Discovery Hybrid gets the largest fuel tank of 24-gallons, but it fails to impress buyers with its underwhelming efficiency of 21 MPG. 

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV Interior

The interior of the RX450h F-Sport is very luxurious as it was expected from a Lexus and we appreciate the fact that designers didn’t overdo anything inside the cabin. The majority of the body panels are covered in faux leather or genuine leather depending on your selection. Extravagant design is on top of the Lexus design team, as extravagant and funky as the SUV looks from the outside, the inside story is pretty much the same. The dashboard has a multi-layered design, like sandwiched layered stacked upon each other. The standard SUV comes with wooden inlays for that premium appeal inside, but the F-Sport trim replaces it with aluminum panels as it suits the sporty nature of the SUV better than the wood. The foot pedals as well are of aluminum and the overall interior is well done with only one major disappointment.

The switches inside this SUV make a beep sound for confirmed input registration but that gets annoying more quickly than expected. Looking at the seating comfort, Lexus is renowned for its best-in-class comfort and the F-Sport seats are heavily bolstered compared to the standard RX450h. The bolstering and contours on these seats hug your body pretty nicely. The heating and ventilation system on the F-Sport adjusts the temperature automatically depending on the ambient temps. Second-row seats don’t lack passenger comfort and have enough headroom and legroom no matter how tall you are and in rare cases, if you still need some more leg space the seats can be slid backward to create even more room. Overall, the cabin of this SUV is great but please get the optional convenience packages to make the most out of it.

Models

2021 Lexus RX450h F-Sport

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid 

2021 Land Rover Discovery Hybrid

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

Seating Capacity

5

7

7

6

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39.4/57.8/44.1

38.4/59/42.1

40.0/60.4/ 39.1

40.7/61.8/43

Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

38.2/57.6/38

37.1/58.4/41

39.0/59.5/ 37.4

40.5/61.9/39

Third Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

N/A

36.1/55/27.7

37.9/47.1/ 33.5

38.9/54.6/32.2

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

16

15.8

9.1

18.2

Lexus is the only 2 row SUV among its peers and that also makes it the most spacious one. The cargo capacity is pretty modest but folding down the seat creates a good 32.6 cubic feet of workable space. The sweet constant beeps tell all your neighbors that you have just opened up your SUVs tailgate. In comparison, the Toyota and Land Rover can seat seven passengers, while the Ford has captain seats for the middle row and can accommodate six occupants only. But even with its three rows, it gets the best-in-class cargo space of 18 cubic feet, making it the most practical option in the segment. 

Standout interior features:

  • Front and Rear Cupholders
  • Panoramic sunroof (Optional)
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control 
  • Illuminated Door sills (Optional)
  • Automatic heating & ventilation
  • Tilt and Telescopic Steering Wheel

What’s there to keep you entertained?

RX450h F-Sport didn’t have any touch input for the infotainment till now but for 2021 it has been implemented in the best possible ways. The standard infotainment system has an 8.0-inch touch screen & gets Android Auto & Apple CarPlay integration. The infotainment system can be used with help of a trackpad which seems easier than reaching for the screen but still is pretty finicky to use when alone. 

The navigation package will get you a bigger 12.3-inch touch screen and a 12-speaker sound system. If you want some serious music listening experience then, the $3100, 15-speaker Mark Levinson system is the way to go. Credit where it is due, the touchscreen system is quick and responsive with logical placements of all menus.

Standout infotainment features:

  • 8.0 / 12.3-inch touch screen
  • 12 speaker / 15 speaker Mark Levinson sound system
  • Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
  • SD card for maps
  • Navigation
  • Real-time traffic info
  • Lexus Enform Suite
  • CD/DVD player

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV Exterior

The RX series SUV has been the seller for Lexus for a few years now and we are a little confused about what did the trick here, the design or the complete package. The RX450h stays with the trend and has a bulbous design overall but somehow, they have also incorporated aggression in the same package. Just take a look at the front end, those triple beam LED headlights in a sleek angular housing look amazing. Be the judge yourself and decide, Lexus uses this headlight and DRL setup on every vehicle yet it looks distinctly different on everyone. 

The SUV is filled with a lot of sharp body panels and body lines. The F-Sport trim adds blacked-out wheels and LED fog lights but the overall design is very similar. We still have chrome on the window sills, that should have been removed in this trim, could have created a much better seamless sporty look. Design-wise the F-Sport trim has nothing groundbreakingly different as the standard SUV itself is full of aggression and curves, this time the designers went all in.

Models

2021 Lexus RX450h F-Sport

2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

2021 Land Rover Discovery Hybrid

2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

Curb weight (lbs)

4740

4,595

5,160

5076

Length (inches)

192.5

194.9

195.1

198.8

Width (Inches)

74.6

76

81.6

78.9

Height (Inches)

67.7

68.1

69.9

70.2

Ground clearance (inches)

8.2

8

11.1

8.2

Wheelbase (inches)

109.8

112.2

118.1

119.1

Ford Explorer Hybrid is the biggest SUV in the group today and that makes it a more practical choice for bigger families. It gets a wheelbase of 119.1 inches, almost 10 inches longer than the Lexus, but shares a similar ground clearance of 8.2 inches with it. The width of the Discovery gets it more overall room inside compared to the Lexus and it’s the one that comes close when the interiors are compared. It also gets the highest clearance from the ground, while the Toyota has the least. But considering the latter’s rather compact dimensions, it feels proportionate and apt. 

Standout exterior features:

  • Triple beam LED headlights
  • Blacked out wheels and some exterior trims
  • Floating roof design
  • Split front bumper at the bottom
  • 20-inch wheels 
  • Running Boards

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV Safety

The 2021 Lexus RX450h has skimped on a lot of features that should have been standard but in the safety section, it's not that bad. The RX450h F-Sport has done fine in the crash test as well, in the NHTSA tests the SUV gets only 4-stars for overall safety and the driver side suffers from a 3-star rating. 

The side crash ratings are all 5-stars and even the rollover rating is pretty good for an SUV at 4-stars and 16.40% tip-over risk. The IIHS seems to be more satisfied here as they have given it a “Top Safety Pick” rating. Those triple beam headlights don’t really do the job and get an Acceptable rating only.

Standout safety features:

  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Active lane keep assist
  • 360-degree camera view
  • Lane departure warning
  • Forward collision warning with pedestrian & cyclist detection
  • Road sign recognition
  • Front & rear parking sensors
  • Reverse automated emergency braking
  • Head-Up display

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV Competition

2021 Lexus RX450h F-Sport Hybrid vs 2021 Land Rover Discovery Hybrid

The Land Rover Discovery Hybrid is renowned for its off-road capabilities on the outside and an uber-luxurious cabin on the inside, which justifies the highest price tag in the competition. The moment you set foot inside the opulence and quality will make it difficult to leave. But if a comfortable ride is the name of the game for you, then the Lexus is a no-brainer. But, on the Lexus, you will need to add the optional packages to make it a proper luxury SUV. Both the SUVs have something special of their own to offer. Better to check them out in person.

2021 Lexus RX450h F-Sport Hybrid vs 2021 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Being corporate cousins, you would expect the Toyota and Lexus to deliver a similar kind of performance, however, both SUVs here have unique abilities and shine in their respective aspects. While the Lexus vaunts a comfortable and supple ride quality with a rather finely-built cabin, the Toyota adds an extra row of seating and is the quicker option amongst the two. But being hybrid vehicles, you’d want the fuel economy to be top-notch. While the RX 450h F Sport does perform underwhelmingly in this aspect, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the more frugal and practical option. 

2021 Lexus RX450h F-Sport Hybrid vs 2021 Ford Explorer Hybrid

Ford Explorer Hybrid is a completely different SUV inside and out. The design of this SUV is rather orthodox, brawny, and muscular, whereas, the Lexus looks like a super-rich & swanky dude. The interior on the Ford is basic if compared to the Lexus but it will do the job especially in the higher trims. Explorer can seat up to 6 or 7 passengers but we all know the comfort of that 3rd row so let's not compare that. compared to the performance the Ford entry is the most powerful and is still very fuel-efficient. If a stealthy, yet, bad-boy SUV is your preference then the Ford Explorer is really a great option to consider over the F-Sport.

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport SUV Final Verdict

2021 Lexus RX450h F-Sport is a plush SUV that lets you have some driving fun over its dulled-down sibling. The interior is very luxurious and passenger comfort is not an issue. Though the SUV doesn’t come with many desirable features even on the top trim and that makes you spend on it a little more than expected but after all the extras the RX450h becomes a fully loaded leisure experience with a top-of-the-line music system and climate control. On the safety front, nothing is as packed as the Lexus. Looking at all these, the RX450h sure is a great luxury SUV, just see if you can live that over-the-top exterior.