The Lexus RX Hybrid was first introduced for the 2006 model year. Based on the popular, midsize Lexus RX SUV, the RX Hybrid offers excellent fuel economy and optimal power. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available.
2016 to Present: Lexus RX 450h
The third-generation RX Hybrid was introduced for 2016. Its release corresponds with the introduction of its non-hybrid sibling, the fourth-generation Lexus RX. As before, the Lexus RX 450h relies on a 3.5-liter V6 engine and a pair of electric motors. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive are standard. An all-wheel drive model is available, which features a third electric motor that provides power to the rear wheels.
The Lexus RX 450h offers 308 horsepower. This model is EPA-rated at up to 31/30 mpg city/highway.
The RX Hybrid is available in base and F Sport trims. The F Sport edition brings in a mesh grille, graphite alloy wheels and a special spoiler. Inside, the RX 450h F Sport offers bolstered front sport seats, paddle shifters, aluminum sport pedals and special trim. A sport-tuned suspension also comes with the RX 450h F Sport.
With its redesign, the RX 450h adopted a more masculine style, which includes an aggressive grille, body chiseling and sculpturing and a high beltline. The RX 450h projects a forceful stance with sharp angles running from stem to stern. The wraparound headlamp assembly is accented by arrow-shaped LED daytime running lights with deep grooves housing the fog lamps.
The flowing roofline gives way to a floating rear pillar, which amplifies this model’s sportiness. The spindle grille complexion on the front fascia is applied to the rear fascia and is visible from the bottom of the liftgate to the base of the rear bumper. Pronounced rear combination lamps with LED light accents are also present.
Inside, the RX Hybrid offers generous room for five. A slightly longer wheelbase than the outgoing model translates into more rear-seat legroom. Bolstered, power-operated bucket seats are up front, while the second row features a 40-20-40 split-folding seat. The cargo area measures 18 cubic feet, and is expandable to 56 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. When equipped with a proper hitch, the all-wheel drive RX 450h can tow up to 3,500 pounds. The front-wheel drive model is not rated to tow.
All RX 450h models are generously equipped. Power accessories, 10-way power front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, reclining and folding rear seats and a tonneau cover are included. An 8-inch color screen sits above the center stack on the dashboard and displays fuel consumption data, as well as navigation, audio and climate control information.
All models come equipped with a navigation system and the Lexus Enform app suite. Four 12-volt outlets, two USB ports and an auxiliary input are also present. The RX 450h comes with a 12-speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, voice recognition, HD Radio and a backup camera.
Factory options include a heated steering wheel, a head-up display, a Mark Levinson audio system, a panoramic moonroof and heated, power-folding rear seats. A rear seat entertainment package brings in a 120-volt outlet, a DVD entertainment system with two 11.6-inch screens and a pair of wireless headphones.
Safety upgrades include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and lane departure warning with steering assist.
The Lexus RX 450h can be cross-shopped with hybrid competitors like the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid and Lexus’ own NX 300h. Non-hybrid competitors like the Acura MDX, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz M-Class might also be considered.
Earlier RX Hybrid Models
No Lexus RX Hybrid was made to correspond with the first generation Lexus RX 300, which was built from 1999 to 2003. Beginning in 2006 and running through 2008, the Lexus RX 400h was built, representing the first generation for this hybrid model.
The Lexus RX 400h’s powertrain is composed of a 3.3-liter V6 engine, two electric motors and a nickel-metal hydride battery pack along with a CVT. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. Net performance measures 268 horsepower. The RX 400h is EPA-rated at up to 28/25 mpg city/highway. Each model is equipped with a hybrid information system that appears on the navigation display.
The second-generation Lexus RX Hybrid, known as the Lexus RX 450h, made its debut in 2010 and was produced through 2015. No 2009 model year RX Hybrid was made. Aligning with the layout and style of the third-generation Lexus RX 350, the RX 450h maintains the same powertrain layout as before, but it also gained a larger, 3.5-liter V6 engine. Net performance measures 295 horsepower. Despite the more powerful engine and added weight, the RX 450h is EPA-rated at up to 32/28 mpg city/highway.
Every Lexus 450h comes with alloy wheels, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column and a nine-speaker audio system. A navigation system, a rearview camera and a rear-seat entertainment system are among the upgrades available.
Minor changes over the life of the second-generation hybrid included a new grille in 2013 and the addition of a Sport drive mode. Beginning in 2014, Siri Eyes Free iPhone control became available.