We recently got behind the wheel of the all new Lexus RX450h+ for a week long test drive. This is a hybrid SUV that combines luxury, efficiency, and a smooth driving experience effortlessly and in our YouTube video which we will link below, you can see our top ten features about this very vehicle. The RX series is known for its distinctive and bold exterior design and it looks as good parked up in the Dublin mountains as it does out on the motorway. The RX450h+ has some slight visual cues that differentiate it from the standard RX models but the most notable has to be the “+” badge added on the back! Well this denotes that it is indeed the plug-in hybrid variant of the standard Lexus RX hybrid. Lexus are already famed for their hybrid drivetrains but the “+” variant takes that one step further mating the 2.5 litre petrol engine to a 40 kWh electric motor with a large 18.1 kWh battery. This can be used in the same way as any conventional Lexus Hybrid which self charges as it drives or you can plug it in, to benefit from up to 65 kilometres of emission free electric driving.
So aside from being extremely good looking what is it like inside? Well, Lexus is well known for its luxurious interiors, and the RX450h+ is no exception. The cabin features high-quality materials, comfortable seats, and a modern design. As expect you get a range of features and technologies, including a user-friendly 14-inch touchscreen infotainment system, premium audio options, and advanced driver assistance systems. The driver-centred seating position is what Lexus calls a ‘Tazuna’ cockpit which focuses on giving the driver direct, intuitive control of the vehicle with a ‘hands on the wheel, eyes on the road’ approach. We found everything within easy distance to reach and super simple to navigate compared to some models of the past.
It’s spacious also even with the five luxury seats occupants get excellent legroom with ample luggage space. Thanks to more intelligent packaging, Lexus were able to make the RX feel roomier inside and easier to load into the boot. In fact the 612-litre luggage compartment is now 50 mm longer which helps accommodate bulkier objects, whilst the 40:20:40 split rear seats can easily swallow lengthy items. It’s worth mentioning that although its a decent sized vehicle its actually a doddle to park thanks to the Advanced Park system. It uses the vehicles array of four cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors to gain an all-round picture of the car’s surroundings making it super simple to park in tight spots.
The hybrid powertrain in the RX450h+ has been designed to strike a balance between performance and fuel efficiency. As mentioned above it features a four-cylinder 2.5-litre hybrid engine with a rechargeable lithium-ion 18.1 kWh battery. The additional rear 40 kWh electric motor enables full-time all-wheel drive producing 306 hp combined. Expect the 0-100 km/h dash to be completed in around 7 seconds!
Lexus tends to equip its vehicles with a variety of technology features, and the RX450h+ features the upgraded Safety System+ which has the usual Pre Collision, Blind Spot Monitor, Lane Assist and perhaps our favourite Safe Exit Assist function. This can prevent the driver from opening the door into traffic like scooters, cyclists, motorbikes or even cars approaching from the rear. You are in safe hands with this vehicle!
Their are two variants available on the Irish market. Kicking off at €89,000 you can have the Luxury model which our test car trim was or you could opt for the €97,000 Premium model if you want even more from the RX450h+. If truth be told, we found the Luxury model more than adequate during our time with the vehicle. As always Lexus offer a range of finance options purchase plan options.
It’s not hard to see why the pioneering RX has become one of Lexus’s bestsellers over the last two decades. Believe it or not, more than 3.5 million units have sold worldwide since its introduction in 1998, of which 300,000 were were purchased in Europe. This 5th generation RX is pivotal to the brand’s future ‘Lexus Electrified’ strategy and we have no doubt it will do very well here in Ireland. During our week long test drive we charged the vehicle twice to experience full electric motoring and easily carried out a 55 kilometre trip to the office and back without combustion power. No doubt the favourable summer temperatures aided in this journey but even using the RX without charging still tends to see it sip petrol on a motorway easily returning a combined 5.2 L/100 km. We loved the comfort wafting about listening to the incredible 21-speaker Mark Levinson audio system and it wasn’t an easy vehicle to return to Lexus HQ. Leaving the car park I glanced back to see the 21-inch machined alloys twinkle in the sunshine as if to say, goodbye until the next time we meet!