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The Top Gear car review:Lexus RX
Against:Pitiful battery range
450h 3.5 SE 5dr CVT Auto
I thought you’d already tested the Lexus RX…
We have, but in environment-appeasing...
The new Lexus RX – Toyota’s posh, X5-rivalling SUV – tested here in popular 450h form.
If you’re an undemanding driver, meet the least intimidating SUV. It’s simple to drive and rather dull
What we say:
Not as striking as its little brother, the NX, but still pretty economical. Pity Lexus forgot the 'sport' bit in SUV...
What is it?
The original hybrid SUV remains strikingly economical and, thanks to a new nose, is more striking to look at, too. But, wonderful as the cabin is and amazing the refinement all round, it’s a shame Lexus has forgot the ‘sports’ bit in Sports Utility Vehicle.
The RX comes with either conventional steel coil springs or adjustable air-suspension. Both manage pretty well with the RX’s bulk, but there’s more body roll than you might be used to, even though the car actually holds on pretty hard when pushed.
The ride on the RX is why a lot of people decide to buy it, because it deals with the modern urban environment with ease. Speed humps don’t bother it, potholes can’t faze it, and the vision is excellent. As an all-rounder it’s pretty hard to beat; quiet, comfy and tall.
It’s got a 3.5-litre, 295bhp petrol V6 mated to a pair of electric motors. There’s no plug-in system, and the battery range is pitiful. Driven gently, it is a very smooth system, but if you enjoy driving, do yourself a favour and bypass the RX.
On the inside
A tall SUV that carries five in comfort and doesn’t have to worry about poor roads is a good thing. The boot’s only average at 496litres, but if you aren’t carrying rear-seat passengers the seats can be folded for extra space.
Regularly comes top in Top Gear’s reliability and customer satisfaction surveys, and the RX lives up to the hype; it’s built exceptionally well even if it can stray into the ‘Japanese market’ detailing a bit too readily - just take a look at the shiny silver plastic airvents in the centre of the dash.
The 450h manages to emit just 145g/km of CO2, which gives you a bit of a tax saving, but you’ll struggle to hit the claimed 44.8mpg.