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Car Reviews | The Drives / 09-15-17

2017 Lexus RX450h


By Kevin C. Limjoco

 

The breadwinner of the family

 

Lexus enjoys, with absolute merit, the view from the automotive mountain zenith. Except for the CT200h, which is not actually a bad car, the entire model range is a resounding success. Enthusiasts and pundits can argue until they lose consciousness that their cars lack soul and charisma, but they cannot mar the surface of the products’ dependability, build quality, safety, and technology. We all love our smartphones and smartdevices for what they do for us and the idea of them having no emotion does not come into play, but for cars and motorcycles it will remain an important yet elusive factor for still many years to come.

Still fairly fresh from its 4th generation full redesign and new, longer platform last year, the brand’s most popular product, the 5-seater RX, continues the angular corporate identity first applied to the smaller NX-series followed by the big daddy LX570. Our test unit this time around was the 450h hybrid in Autumn Shimmer that drops the new 8-speed automatic found in the RX350 for an intelligent CVT unit to manage power from the dual electric motors and V6 engine. It is a lot more spacious than the model it replaced and even more dynamic.

It had the new 12.3-inch high-definition touchscreen center infotainment monitor supported with redundant switchgear, a color HUD ($600.00 option), fairly narrow 20-inch alloys wrapped with 235/55R20 102V Bridgestone ECOPIA H/L 422 Plus tires and Semi-Aniline leather interior trim as part of the Luxury package ($3,125.00 option), and the awesome triple-beam LED headlamps ($2,250.00 option) among other highlighted features.

Oddly enough, I did not like the laser-etched Yamaha-produced interior wood trim even if it was the result of a painstaking 14-step process that took roughly eight weeks and apparently involved dozens of supremely qualified craftspeople working on Sapele wood imported from Africa with thin layers of aluminum. That and the fact that the RX450h could have been much more energetic considering the dual electric motors combined with the 3.5-liter V6 engine were my only concerns. The RX350 is still quicker since it does not have to carry an additional 350 or so pounds of weight from the Hybrid system but does lose out on overall fuel economy. The RX450h masks its additional weight expertly and there is no denying the consistent fuel efficiency.

In totality, I’m really being annoying because the RX450h is an outstanding luxury hybrid crossover with deep abilities and versatility. I would be very privileged to have one in my garage.

Specification – 2017 Lexus RX450h

Engine: V6, 3458 cc, dohc 24V, Dual VVT-i, Lexus Hybrid Drive-permanent magnet electric motor 165 hp front & 67 hp rear; combined power rating 308 hp; 1.9-kWh nickel-metal hydride battery pack, E-CVT-i

Max power: 258 bhp @ 6000 rpm

Max torque: 247 lb ft @ 4600 rpm

0-100 km/h (0-62mph): 7.6 sec.

Top Speed: 200 km/h (125 mph) Governed

Fuel Mileage: 31 mpg City / 30 mpg Highway

Price on delivery: US$ 61,420.00

C! RATING 9.5/10

+Ultra-smooth, luxurious, comfortable, seamless power delivery

-Soulless(?), could have been swifter and more fuel efficient