2021 lexus rx 450h review comfortable if not classy scaled

2021 Lexus RX 450h review: Comfortable if not classy

2021 lexus rx 450h

The clearly styled Lexus RX is smooth and coding.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

2021 Lexus The RX 450h F Sport Hybrid crossover is popular, frugal and impressively quiet – exactly what I want in a luxury vehicle. However, one aspect of this Lexus is that it is unforgivable, a mortal sin that topples an otherwise enjoyable vehicle: the infotainment system.


  • Stellar Mark Levinson Sound System
  • Spacious and comfortable backseat
  • Exemplary refinement

do not like it

  • Lothsome infotainment system
  • Very aggressive exterior styling
  • Meh real-world fuel economy

Hybrid versions of the RX come standard with all-wheel drive, but this example is also fitted with the F Sport package, which features a unique grille, aluminum pedal cover, 20-inch wheels and even performance dampers such as a dress -Up items are included. For added sportiness, a $ 970 handling package is also offered, bringing an adaptive suspension system, retuned power steering and more goodness to the table. Beyond those F Sport upgrades, my tester introduced the Black Line Special Edition Package. The good news is that this upgrade costs just $ 685 and includes special body-side graphics, a black grille surround, and a Halliburton Edge light two-piece luggage set. The bad news is that the Black Line Special Edition package is limited to only 750 gas-powered RX and 250 hybrid models.

The Lexus RX’s styling is certainly aggressive, with its comically large grille, angular headlamps and chiselled surfacing, but its interior is much more restrained and pleasant. The quality of the cabin is stellar and its contents are generally very good. The headliner and roof pillars are wrapped in a flannel-like fabric, soft plastic is used liberally and almost all of the switches and knobs feel a little greasy. Sure, you have a smell of Toyota-sorted buttons here and there; The stuff you get in a Camry, but these carryover controls are well hidden and hardly objectionable.

Behind the unusually dark dashboard of this Lexus, the front bucket chairs are comfortable and attractive throughout the day, presented in black and white with blue stitching, a combo of the Black Line Special Edition Package Is also part. The storage space up front is nice, with a decent sized bin under the center armrest, proportioned to a few other small cubes on the console and generously placed front door pockets when you pull them out. Moving backwards, the RX’s backset is almost sprawling spacious, with plenty of legroom and a good amount of naggin space. Comfortable cushions provide considerable support, a good distance above the floor for a chair-like seating position at the bottom. The Lexus rear doors are nice and wide open, providing easy access.

But now for some bad news. I am not aware if there is a worse infotainment system than what is offered in this Lexus. With a stunning user interface as well as a clunky and difficult-to-use control pad on the console, this multimedia system is half a laptop, half a low-end Android tablet and all kinds of awesome. Not only is the menu structure deceptive, the track pad you use to navigate through it is sinuous, distracting even simple tasks. Rubbing salt into the wound, this RX 450h is fitted with a top-shelf 12.3-inch screen (an 8-inch is standard), which is tied into a $ 3,365 option package, so you pay thousands more for a terrific experience. Have been. At least in that outlay you also get embedded navigation and a great Mark Levinson sound system that makes highly compressed MP3 and sloppy satellite radio come alive. During a short reach, the RX’s infotainment screen is touch-enabled, allowing you to leave the trackpad, but only when your arms are sufficiently lean. Thankfully, this system also supports Apple carplay And Android Auto (As well as Amazon Alexa), so you don’t have to use an infotainment system longer than it takes to plug in your phone. The vehicle’s six USB ports ensure that all mobile devices are fully juiced; A wireless charging pad is also available.

2021 lexus rx 450h

The RX’s interior is very well built and refined, though its infotainment tech leaves very to be desired.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

The Lexus RX was updated in 2020, with a revised suspension to achieve a stiffer structure and better handling. This year, the vehicle acquired some new technology, including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alerts, both now standard across the range. Auto-dimming, power-folding mirrors are included at no extra charge, as does the Lexus Safety System Plus 2.0, a suite of driver aids that include day-time cyclist detection, low-light pedestrian detection, road Sign recognition and lane-keeping assist are included. . Thank you is No There was an opportunity to test pedestrian detection systems, but lane keeping assistance is gentle yet quite effective.

Running, the RX 450h is a smooth operator. Whether you’re walking through a frost-high street, poking a pothole road or cruising around your subdivision, this Lexus ride is always sinful. Even when rolled on 20-inch wheels, small expansion joints are barely registered and large impacts are easily deflected, all with no stiffness or gritty vibrations through the passenger compartment. . Despite its smooth ride, the RX 450h’s body is decently controlled. Sure, it can feel a bit tight in the corners and it can be nice if the steering is fast and heavy, but the entire chassis feels so well balanced that these changes aren’t necessary, other than they make the fluffy ride Can waste, which will be a shame.

2021 lexus rx 450h

Sophisticated, punchy and affordable, the RX 450h’s powertrain has little to complain about.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Matching its over-the-road refinement, the RX’s cabin remains incredibly silent, quieter than a naptime in a nursing home, with almost no wind, tire or engine noise heard. The RX 450h’s hybrid powertrain is built around a 3.5-liter V6, augmented by two electric motor-generators in the front that create a continuously variable transmission and a separate motor at the rear, providing all-wheel drive . Whispering while working, this arrangement provides a pure 308 horsepower, although a torque figure is not listed because the math with the hybrid is awkward. On its own, however, the V6 engine completes a 247 pound-ft twist. The RX 450h’s easy handling and all-wheel drive adds another day to my confidence as the weather goes from bad to dangerous, with winter stormy dumping on the roadways.

Accelerator and stand on this Lexus scooter. The performance, while not awe-inspiring, is still very good, with the engine feeling like it is being driven away from your toes rather than a few inches ahead. The hybrid parts of this drivetrain are similarly polished, barely drawing any attention to itself. The brake pedal is also friendly, with a smooth transition between regenerative and friction braking. For added versatility, the RX 450h offers an EV mode, which allows you to play it only on electrons. The onboard battery pack has enough juice to get into a pull-du-sac or garage without running the engine, but as you move too fast or blow the throttle too aggressively, the engine rises rapidly. . Remember, this is not a plug-in hybrid, so the electric-only range is not the primary focus.

However, cutting fuel consumption is one of the main objectives of this Lexus. Expect 31 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mph on highway drives. In mixed use, the RX 450h should return 30 mpg, however, in the real world I only average around 25.1, a disappointing score. It is a breeze to meet the fuel-economy score commonly advertised in Toyota Hybrids, which slightly surprised this performance (or lack thereof).

2021 lexus rx 450h

The Lexus RX is something of a mixed bag.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

With its luxurious interior, sophisticated manners and, yes, Unfortunate Infotainment Tech, a base 2021 Lexus RX 450h starts at just shy of $ 49,000, including a destination fee of $ 1,025. This is about $ 2,650 more than the entry-level, front-wheel-drive, non-hybrid RX 350. As it sits, this F Sport example checks out for $ 59,380, a figure known by some add-ons such as a $ 200 wireless charger. $ 640 heated and ventilated front seats, $ 1,365 for parking assistance and a 360-degree camera system, and some additional goodies as well. Nevertheless, that outlay gets you a family-friendly vehicle that is more modest and sophisticated than sportier. Acura MDX And, thanks to its aggressive styling (which you may or may not love), more than one visually interesting Lincoln nautilus or Mercedes-Benz GLC.

Great examples of German, American and Asian automakers are the abundance of luxury crossovers available today. Many of them offer massive interiors and loads of fancy features, but some are sophisticated, fuel efficient – and in a special way – it’s mostly as disappointing as the Lyxus.

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