2022 Lexus RX 450h Evaluate: Excelling at Core Competencies

For individuals who commerce of their Lexus each couple of years, large jumps in styling or expertise aren’t essentially anticipated. These clients usually tend to admire a mannequin sticking to its core competencies and getting subtly higher through the years. The RX is the poster youngster for that type of iteration. It is change into the archetypical Lexus.

The RX 450h will get its motivation from a 3.5-liter naturally aspirated hybrid V6 engine that produces 308 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque, which is mated to an electronically managed CVT transmission with some pretty pointless paddle shifters. I say pointless as a result of, being a CVT, the shifts are simulated and the paddles do nothing to make the RX really feel sporty. All-wheel drive is customary on the F Sport hybrid, which is the model I am testing right here.

The 450h’s efficiency is completely enough. It isn’t what you’d name athletic, however the RX hybrid does not battle to hit freeway speeds in cheap time and the drivetrain as an entire may be very clean. Being a Lexus hybrid, the RX 450h can also be fairly environment friendly. Throughout my testing, I’ve simply matched the EPA’s 30 mpg mixed ranking.

Including to the widely non-sporting goodness is a tender, compliant suspension and direct however not overly communicative steering. The RX 450h drives like a midsize luxurious SUV with no actual sporting pretense and I admire that, regardless of the F Sport getup. The RX’s suspension soaks up imperfections with zero drama however does not really feel wallowy. The brakes are sturdy and encourage confidence whereas additionally being straightforward to modulate. The RX is the hallmark of a very good Lexus, targeted on being snug and enjoyable, which is one thing many different luxurious manufacturers appear to disregard in favor of “dynamism.”

The RX’s actual celebration piece is its inside. That is old-school Lexus achieved to the max. Positive, the infotainment system feels just a little behind the instances, and the array of buttons is not aesthetically pleasing. Nonetheless, they work with out fuss and are straightforward to get used to, and in a world the place some manufacturers are burying fundamental capabilities inside touchscreen menus, I admire Lexus’ method.

The fabric high quality can also be typical Lexus, which is to say, top-notch. Every thing feels very effectively put collectively and good to the touch. There are not any squeaks or rattles. Nothing feels misplaced, and every part feels prefer it’s constructed to final. Lexus does not sometimes fiddle with this type of stuff and it is served the corporate effectively to this point.

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The inside is the most effective factor concerning the RX 450h.

Kyle Hyatt/CNET

With 44.1 inches of headroom and 44.1 inches of legroom within the entrance row, the RX is loads snug for drivers of all sizes. I am 6 ft, four inches tall and don’t have any points with bumping my head on the headliner, which is one thing I usually battle with, even in bigger automobiles. The second row has a really cheap 38 inches of headroom and 38 inches of legroom, making the RX a champ at hauling individuals. Cargo room maxes out at 32.7 cubic ft with the second row of seats folded, or 16 cubic ft with the again seats in use, which falls just a little behind the likes of Acura’s smaller RDX, which presents 29.5 cubic ft.

In the case of Lexus’ infotainment system, issues listed below are higher than ever as a result of addition of a touchscreen again in 2020. Gone is the depressing touchpad and management knob. The usual display screen measures solely eight inches, however the upgraded 12.3-inch display screen in my check automobile is definitely fairly good. As I’ve come to count on from Lexus, the system does not present the final phrase in responsiveness, however with customary Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, that does not actually matter to me an excessive amount of.

My check automobile is supplied with a wonderful Mark Levinson audio system, which on this occasion packs 15 audio system and 835 watts of energy. Even for those who’re not tremendous into high-quality audio, this needs to be thought of a compulsory improve on just about every part with a Lexus badge. Within the RX, this stereo is as heat, clear and listenable as some other Levinson-branded system.

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Although a brand new mannequin is on the horizon for 2023, the present RX 450h stays a strong purchase.

Kyle Hyatt/CNET

The RX’s listing of security tools is powerful because of the addition of the corporate’s Security System 2.0-Plus suite. Fitted as customary, it comes with all the best hits like adaptive cruise management, blindspot monitoring, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, street signal detection and lane-keep help. All the methods work effectively.

How does the RX stand as much as its competitors? Properly, as one of many originators of the category, this Lexus nonetheless holds its personal pretty effectively. It presents comparable tech and facilities, glorious total high quality and, in hybrid kind, actually good gasoline financial system. The RX 450h is not thrilling, nevertheless it’s quiet, cozy and a strong each day driver.

My check 2022 Lexus RX 450h F Sport tester is available in at $60,980 with an entire bunch of choices, and whereas that is not precisely chump change, it is a truthful worth for this type of SUV. It is the type of pricing that may preserve these repeat patrons coming again. Here is hoping the just-announced 2023 RX does not drastically shake up that system.

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