The hybrid comes in three
25 years of history and four generations have confirmed its global success: With 3.5 million units produced, the Lexus RX It is one of the most popular in the world, but the same cannot be said in Europe where it has not made the same penetration as in other markets. At least so far, due to the acquisition of new customers, the fifth generation Lexus RX has changed from top to bottom: the dimensions have remained the same as the previous ones – 489 length cm is unchanged and the height is reduced by 2 cm – but under the skin is a completely new skeleton taken from the smaller NX. This allowed the RX to save weight, but above all to provide more space for rear passengers thanks to the wheelbase, which is an additional six centimeters. True to Lexus tradition, in Europe, the engine range It consists exclusively of hybrid units, but there are important innovations inside the hood as well: to the full hybrid we already know with the naturally aspirated engine and continuously variable gearbox (Lexus RX 350h), they are joined by two new clones, an on-click hybrid (RX 450h), and the other, the subject of this test, and RX 500 hrsand is equipped with a much more powerful turbocharged petrol engine and electric rear drive for 371 horsepower combined. For everyone, the prices are those announced at the end of 2022 (read here Find out more) and range from 80,000 to 99,000 euros. The latter is the list price of the 500h F Sport+ for our tester.
has the “right” power
It is also in this case a Non-rechargeable hybrid, but compared to the other two variants, it benefits from a true six-speed automatic gearbox and more lively performance: the shot from 0 to 100 km/h is covered in 6.2 seconds. The rear electric unit alone makes 103 hp and coordinates with the internal combustion engine and the other front electric motor, through what Lexus calls “Direct 4”: a Four-wheel drive system Without physical connections between the front and rear axles, which use a sophisticated electronic “brain” to instantly determine how much torque to deliver to the two motors as needed. three o’clock driving mode Selectable, comfortable, economical and sporty: the latter keeps the petrol engine running at all times and increases the system’s response to acceleration inputs. The six-speed automatic transmission is smooth and can also be used in manual mode using the special paddles behind the steering wheel.
Convenient travel companion
This version of Lexus RX It is also suitable for a spirited ride, but it is still far from the most dynamic SUV in its class. The Japanese prefer driving comfort above all else, and the steering and setup calibration reflect this philosophy. The electronically controlled shock absorbers aren’t overly stiff even in Sport mode: the setting instills safety in fast highway bends, but doesn’t make you want to push through turns, while Steering, light but precisefilter everything that happens under the wheels. Excellent soundproofing The passenger compartment is kept from outside noise even at steady speeds, while the (not very exciting) sound of the four-cylinder makes itself audible when accelerating decisively. Mention of merit Then it moves on to the non-invasive driving assistance systems, which are very effective at detecting hazards and at making long trips more comfortable. This also applies to Braking Assist which gently slows the car when approaching a slow moving vehicle, even without activating the adaptive cruise control.
Lots of quality, as per tradition
an important step forward, Lexus RXas it was accomplished the design, distinctive, but now “cleaner” and sleeker. The large hourglass grille is better integrated into the front of the car thanks to the special aesthetic effect of the bumper that appears to merge with the grille itself. The elongated bonnet line points decisively downwards, giving the bodywork more dynamism, while the lights at the rear are integrated into a single LED strip that runs from one side of the car to the other. The interior design is also inspired by the same philosophy: Finishes and fixtures are of high quality With soft upholstery for the dashboard and doors. The leather seats in this trim level of the F-Sport are refined and really comfortable, trimmed with a combination of leather and Alcantara, a material also used in some door panel inserts. The only comment goes to the door pockets without the anti-noise coating.
High tech without frills
technology sector Lexus RX It has been completely revised, drawing on the innovations introduced by the Lexus NX and RZ. In the center of the dashboard, the multimedia system is completely new: it has a 14-inch touch screen, very specific and responsive to touch and complete with smartphone connections via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, integrated Internet connection and a browser. The layout of the menus is simple, but it is not always easy to find the desired functions and settings and it is not possible to use two applications at the same time by exploiting the generous diagonal of the screen. “Full” technology Which, fortunately, did not completely deprive the RX of the remaining physical keys for the most important functions such as adjusting the radio temperature or volume. Behind the competition is a digital dashboard: the graphics are crisp but the resolution is low and the customization options are few.
The passenger compartment is large, and the trunk is slightly lower
Comfortable and spacious Lexus RX Offers Great comfort for all passengers: Comfort front seats are complete with electrical adjustments, memories, heating and ventilation (but the deflection of the seat and backrest is not the widest). In the back, even those 1m 90cm tall sit comfortably and even the sofa is heated and ventilated. the trunk Offers 461 liters of capacity: not the most spacious in its class, but we appreciated the regular shape and the lack of steps between the floor and the loading sill. Practical, then, is the possibility of reclining the backrests electrically at the push of a button on the right side of the trunk.
It doesn’t come cheap
the new Lexus RX It will arrive at dealerships in March with a starting price of 80,000 euros for the full hybrid RX 350h with 250 hp. For the plug-in hybrid variant of the RX 450h, it commands no less than 89,000 euros, while the more powerful version tested (RX 500 hrs) is only available in the rich F-Sport package The price of 99,000 euros. The price list for the new Lexus RX is significant, justified by a really full range of comfort and safety, but it increases and not quite a bit compared to the last generation (which started at €76,000 with a more powerful entry-level engine), which compares directly to popular German alternatives such as the Mercedes GLE or BMW X5.
in our opinion
> cockpit. Modern and well-equipped, it does not completely abandon the physical keys for the most important functions. Lots of space.
> Lentils. Well calibrated and standard on all versions, they are not only useful in dangerous situations, but also make driving more comfortable.
> comfort. You travel in complete comfort, whether in town or on the highway as the RX is silent and instills confidence.
> trunk. 461 liters is low for this segment: load capacity is limited compared to its competitors.
> Digital dashboard. Small and unconfigurable: It’s not about the competition
> Seat adjustments. For taller people, the seat height extension may not be enough.
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