2015 Lexus RX Hybrid

Starting MSRP: $47,620 - $49,020

Estimated MPG: 32 city / 28 hwy

2015 Lexus RX Hybrid Review

The 2015 RX 450h offers excellent fuel economy, a roomy cabin and a refined driving experience.

By Aaron Turpen
Last Updated 05/03/2016

When the Lexus RX 450h launched about ten years ago, it broke the mold for SUVs. The assumption at the time was that a fuel-efficient, hybrid-powered midsize SUV seemed impossible. Now, of course, hybrid crossovers are relatively common. Yet the RX Hybrid has remained a top seller in the segment, and for good reason.

The combined EPA fuel economy rating for the 2015 RX 450h is 30 mpg, making it one of the most efficient crossovers in its class. Available with both front- and all-wheel drive, the RX 450h has a host of standard equipment. Though there are no trim levels for the 2015 Lexus RX Hybrid, there are several option packages to add comfort, convenience or technology to this SUV.

Exterior

Exterior
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The design of the RX 450h is meant to convey motion and stability. A car-like front fascia gives way to a wide and tapered hood. The beltline of the RX Hybrid curves upward to narrow the windows toward the rear, giving a hint at a roof taper to create a coupe-like fastback appearance. Accent lines across the body panels add refinement to the overall appearance.

On our test model, the 19-inch alloy wheels with trident spokes were a great additional touch that adds $700 to the base price. Standard 18-inch wheels are available in a choice of patterns.

Interior

Interior
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The interior of the RX 450h is nicely appointed. In the base model, the interior comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, rear vents, 10-way power-adjustable front seats, a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat that slides and reclines, a power liftgate and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Wood trim, a multi-information display and a 12-speaker premium audio system are also standard equipment.

Front head, leg, knee, and shoulder room are all excellent for the class. With the amount of seating adjustments available, it is easy for anyone to find a comfortable position.

Rear seating is also somewhat adjustable and most will find it accommodating, though knee room can be an issue for taller folks. One note is that the RX 450h does not have a third row option.

Our test Lexus RX 450h also included several package upgrades to boost interior comfort, such as heated and ventilated front seats, a Mark Levinson premium sound system, a navigation system with voice control, intuitive parking assist.

Performance

Performance
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Few hybrids in this class can match the performance offered in the 2015 RX 450h. A 3.5-liter V6 engine is mated to two electric motors and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). In all-wheel drive models, such as the one we drove, a third electric motor powers the rear wheels.

Fuel economy is EPA rated at 32/28 mpg city/highway for front-wheel drive models. All-wheel drive models have slightly lower estimates at 30/28 mpg.

Technology

Technology
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Technology, outside of the impressive drivetrain of the RX 450h, centers on the Lexus Remote Touch system that’s part of the navigation system upgrade. When the vehicle is not outfitted with this upgrade, the central infotainment screen is very limited in its uses, being relegated largely to controlling climate and audio.

The Remote Touch system is a good upgrade over the standard Toyota Entune system, sharing many of the same menus and options, but Lexus adds a mouse-like controller to the center tunnel just ahead of the armrest. This makes the system far easier to use, though the menus can still be clunky to wade through on occasion.

Safety

Safety
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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the front-wheel drive RX 450h four out of five stars for its overall performance in crash tests. All-wheel drive models received an overall rating of five stars.

The 2015 Lexus RX 450h comes standard with a rearview camera, front knee air bags, and Lexus’ Safety Connect emergency communications system. Optional parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and pre-collision warning are available options.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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The RX 450h has a base price that is about average for the segment, and its amenities for that price are very good. The vehicle’s track record for cost of ownership is also impressive. Additionally, the RX Hybrid offers excellent fuel economy, high resale values and an exceedingly high number of luxury fittings for the price.

Overall

Overall
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The 2015 Lexus RX 450h is one of the better luxury crossovers in the hybrid segment. With a good throttle response, great fuel economy and a smart interior, the RX 450h is a great choice in the midsize luxury crossover market.