2022 Lexus RX 450h Review

The Lexus RX helped usher in the scorching luxury SUV category more than two decades ago and has consistently dominated the sales segment since its debut. The latest hybrid model, the 2022 Lexus RX 450h ($49,795), aims to continue that legacy and gets a few exterior and handling tweaks. You also get support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a touchscreen entertainment console and over-the-air software update capabilities. That said, the SUV doesn’t accelerate as quickly as top competitors from Audi or BMW, and doesn’t travel as far per gallon. As such, we continue to recommend the Audi Q5 55 TFSI E Quattro ($43,330) as an Editors’ Choice winner in the luxury hybrid SUV category.

Trims and fuel economy

The hybrid version of the Lexus RX comes in three main versions: the base RXh ($49,795), the RXh F Sport ($53,275) and the three-row RXh L ($53,185). Lexus also offers Black Line Special Edition versions of these last two models which feature various exterior and interior upgrades. All variants use a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with three electric motor-generators (one for each front wheel and one for additional traction via the rear wheels) that produce a combined 308 horsepower. An electronic continuously variable transmission governs these motors.

The RXh and RXh F Sport variants both get a combined rating of 30 miles per gallon (mpg), while the rating for the RXh L is just under 29 mpg. Neither rating compares well to the 2021 Audi Q5 55 TFSI E Quattro, which gets a combined 50 mpg. The 2022 BMW X5 xDrive45e Hybrid ($63,700), which we didn’t review, matches the Audi’s rating. The more affordable 2021 Kia Sorento and 2021 Toyota RAV 4 hybrids also top the Lexus with a combined rating of 37 mpg and 39 mpg, respectively. And if you’re ready to go the all-electric route, the Ford Mustang Mach-E ($42,895) and Hyundai Kona Electric ($34,000) cost less than the Lexus and offer ranges of 230 and 258 miles, respectively. on a single charge.

Features and design

The base RXh gets exterior features like 18-inch alloy wheels and body-color door handles, heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, LED headlights and taillights, and a power liftgate with rear spoiler.

Standard interior features include dual-zone automatic climate control, eight-way power and heated front seats with two-way lumbar support, leather and metallic trim, leather shift knob, paddle shifters , a power sunroof, a manual reclining rear 40-20-40 bench seat and synthetic leather upholstery.

Center console Lexus RX 450h F 2022

Standard technical equipment is an 8-inch touchscreen and Remote Touch touchpad, AM/FM HD radio, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth for hands-free phone and wireless music streaming, CD/DVD player, Lexus Enform connectivity, a nine-speaker audio system, SiruisXM satellite radio and six USB ports.

You also get the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0, which activates features like adaptive cruise control with lane centering, automatic high beams, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic monitoring, cyclist detection daytime and low-light pedestrian detection, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, and traffic sign recognition.

The RXh L trim adds a 50/50 split third-row seat, NuLuxe synthetic leather seats and interior trim, second-row captain’s chairs and tri-zone climate control.

The F Sport model we tested unlocks 20-inch alloy wheels, front and rear performance shocks, stiffer chassis, special exterior styling, Sport+ and Custom modes for the base RXh’s drive mode , as well as a sports suspension, steering and exhaust. . Inside, the F Sport model features aluminum pedals and accents, faux leather bolstered front seats, an instrument cluster with motorized dials that slide out to reveal a multi-information display with real-time data such as G-forces and 3D navigation information, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Our tester got a 12.3-inch touchscreen, on-board navigation, and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson Premium audio system ($3,365), along with a cold weather ($200) that adds an ice-ready wiper and quick-response interior heater. Individual options are rounded out with triple-beam, auto-leveling and adaptive headlights ($1,975), color head-up display ($600), wireless device charging ($200), panoramic sunroof and aluminum roof rails ($500), tailgate kick sensor ($150), automatic rear cross-traffic braking and automated parking ($560) and carpeted cargo cover ($140 ). With all those options and a $1,075 shipping, handling, and handling fee, the list price of our tester landed at $62,700.

Long known for its conservative exterior styling, Lexus has significantly relaxed those restrictions in favor of more angular sheetmetal and adding its signature, gaping “spindle” grille across its entire model line. The interior is a bit more conservative, though it’s ultra comfortable and, of course, quiet at Lexus levels.

Interface and connectivity

We’ve long hated the Lexus Remote Touch infotainment interface because it’s awkward and distracting to use on the road. Lexus improved operations slightly by introducing a new trackpad a few years ago, but it was still not practical to align the cursor with an icon on the screen. The trackpad is still there, but this model’s 12.3-inch touchscreen is a huge improvement: it makes it easier to quickly access features and sits almost 5.5 inches closer to the driver than the old one. interface system.

2022 Lexus RX 450h F interior

In addition to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the 2022 Lexus RX 450h works with Amazon Alexa to play music, access news and other information, and control compatible smart home devices. Other Enform features in the RX 450h are subscription-based (after a three-year free trial), including telematics services, a smartphone app for remote services, and in-cabin Wi-Fi. Lexus’ Dynamic Navigation System also leverages Enform’s built-in connectivity to enable over-the-air software updates.

On-road performance

The RX 450h F Sport is the trim to get if you want the best performance. That said, it has significantly less power than the BMW X5 xDrive45e (389 horsepower) and can’t compete in terms of acceleration and agility. New rivals, like the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid (with a maximum of 455 horsepower), raise the performance bar even higher.

But in terms of ride comfort, the RX 450h outperforms competitors such as the X5 xDrive45e and the Acura MDX Hybrid. Its significantly stiffer chassis improves handling and helps keep its interior quiet.

2022 Lexus RX 450h: Still Cool, But More Remarkable

When we reviewed the 2020 Lexus RX 450h two years ago, there weren’t many luxury hybrid SUVs available. But now, in addition to the BMW X5 and Acura MDX, the Audi Q5 and Porsche Cayenne also come in hybrid variants. We still like the styling of the Lexus RX 450h, even if it doesn’t quite match its competition in terms of performance or fuel economy. Nor is it more affordable than our top pick in the segment, the Audi Q5 55 TFSI E Quattro, not to mention the onslaught of premium EVs that now offer startling levels of performance and fuel efficiency. .

The inconvenients

  • Lower performance and fuel economy than main rivals

  • Infotainment interface remains blurry

  • Price higher than last year

The essential

The Lexus RX 450h hybrid builds on the model’s long heritage in the midsize luxury SUV segment, but it’s more expensive than ever and falls short of its main rivals.

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