The new Lexus RX 450h+ looks similar to the previous model, but a closer look shows it to be much more cutting edge in appearance. Take for instance the new strong front end, no sign of the 'spindle' grille. Next take a look at the rear end, gone is the Lexus 'L' logo that has been replaced by the Lexus lettering on the tailgate. Then there’s the colour schemes, how about Sonic Copper paint that uses an innovative system of sound waves during spraying to create that striking bronze colour.
What would you expect to see from a leading premium car maker, well think of that plus and you won’t be disappointed? The Lexus RX 450h+ delivers its customers a stunning premium interior. It’s clean and minimalist, with smart wood trim and ample plush leather.
The highlight is the new central touchscreen, which is far more intuitive than that of the previous RX 450h+. Once again Lexus has taken ‘the old’, rethought it, then improved it.
Taking the unit from the NX Lexus has very cleverly lifted its infotainment technology into the present. Perfect – maybe not, but the improvement is outstanding, and the RX 450h+ tech is fully ‘fit for purpose. Taking the rest of the of the interior, the quality is just as you would expect from a Lexus.
Every aspect of the interior of the RX 450h+ is beautifully stitched, moulded, or perfectly aligned with its partner, upmarket and solid. The fact it’s also more stylish than ever makes the cabin arguably the best feature.
The RX 450h+ is quite a big car, (4.8 metres long), luggage capacity is pretty good. Officially the boot measures 461 litres, which should be enough for most occasions.
When it comes to passengers there is plenty of space inside, with ample rear leg and headroom, so carrying four/five adults isn't an issue.
The RX 450h+ combines a 2.0-litre self-charging hybrid system with a plug-in hybrid system, which means the car is more efficient when the battery is depleted. With a real-world range of over 30 miles on a single charge, most of the time you will barely need to use the petrol engine.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is a touch noisy when pushed, but with the electrical assistance on offer it rarely comes into use thus remaining whisper quiet. The official figures quote that the you can use its battery so much that economy of more than 200mpg is possible, this is a figure we managed to achieve with some careful driving.
An additional bonus - the system produces CO2 emissions of 25-26g/km, meaning company car driver costs will be low.
Ride & Handling
The RX 450h+ powertrain is smooth to use, and so too is the driving experience, which is definitely awesome. You might expect a big SUV like this to be supremely comfortable, even with the weight of the battery and multi-motor powertrain, the ride is better than many sports cars.
The ride is firm but not hard, the handling is exceptional with zero body roll and finger - responsive steering that underlines its sportiness. It is easy to drive, with light controls, great all-round visibility and is fitted with a host of driver aids, which include speed limit assistance technology, and front cross traffic alert system.
The new RX 450h+ models in the more upmarket Premium Plus Pack and Takumi grades come in with price tags in excess of £70,000, but you get a huge amount of tech for your money. There is head-up display, a panoramic roof and 21-inch alloy wheels, as well as a remote parking function and a 21-speaker Mark Levinson sound system. That’s all on top of the usual luxuries such as a heated steering wheel and heated seats. Taking all this into account it’s great value.
On Test with The RX 450h+
Starting our journey from central Manchester we set of on our drive through the city amid the busy early morning rush hour. The RX 450h+ was easy to navigate, perfectly behaved when we had to park, pick-up and set down, even when manoeuvring in the tightest of spaces.
From there we headed out via the M61 to the M6 heading south again plenty of stop – start traffic but again our RX 450h+ was perfectly well behaved.
When we cleared the slow-moving traffic, we continued on our journey to Hampshire and the New Forest and progress was great as the RX 450h+ consumed the miles quietly, assured, and with pleasurable ease, making our long journey a pleasure.
Taking into account a break mid-journey, we arrived at our destination surprisingly fresh five hours after leaving home, and our passengers were also complimentary about the journey.
The RX 450h+ hybrid fulfils its brief extremely well. On long runs it is a pleasure to drive, quiet thanks to the hybrid system, so you arrive at your destination feeling fresh and relaxed ready for the rest of your day. While on shorter runs and in an urban environment it handles like a dream, assured, and easy to manoeuvre and easy to park.
The RX is an improvement on its predecessor, with a beautifully styled interior and a very clever infotainment system. Lexus has taken a class leading vehicle and improved it so that it continues to lead where others may aspire to follow. The RX 450h+ ticks all the boxes and its certain that Lexus has a winner.
To find out more on the Lexus RX 450h+ visit Lexus
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