• Available EV Mode Uses Electric Motors Only For Short Distances
• Versatility With All-Wheel or Front-Wheel Drive
The RX 450h’s Lexus Hybrid Drive features a 3.5-liter V6 Atkinson-cycle engine, electric motors, a small and light power-control unit and other fuel-saving innovations. It offers up performance similar to V8s, 295 total system horsepower and better combined fuel economy than the average four-cylinder mid-size sedan. The Front Wheel Drive (FWD) model has EPA-estimated 32 mpg city and 28 mpg highway (30 mpg combined) fuel economy ratings, while the All-Wheel Drive (AWD) model has estimates of 30 mpg city, 28 mpg highway, 29 mpg combined.
The RX 450h AWD uses a separate rear electric motor-generator to provide power to the rear wheels when road conditions or throttle response dictates. When accelerating, or starting off on a low-grip surface, torque is quickly provided to all four wheels. At steady speeds, torque is sent only to the front wheels, enhancing fuel efficiency. For handling agility and control, the AWD system increases rear-wheel torque when the vehicle’s front tires start to lose traction and decreases rear-wheel torque when the vehicle’s rear tires start to lose traction.
Lexus engineers provided the RX with an engaging driving experience, and a quiet and smooth ride. A key factor in the RX models’ handling agility is the uniquely designed double-wishbone rear suspension. Another key benefit of the rear suspension is that the packaging yields greater cargo area room. The front suspension geometry was optimized with a thick stabilizer bar. Inversely wound front coil springs compress in opposite directions, preventing the negative effects of suspension compression on steering.
Standard Hill-start Assist Control (HAC) uses brake pressure to help prevent the vehicle from moving backward when starting out on an incline. This system does not wait to detect rollback, however. It can be controlled by the driver and works in both forward and reverse. While the vehicle is stopped and the brake pedal is depressed, pushing it further activates the feature. Brake pressure is then maintained for approximately two seconds after the brake pedal is released and the driver switches to the accelerator pedal.
The RX 450h features Intelligent Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) for high beams of HID headlamp equipped models, and for the low beams of the LED equipped models. When entering a corner, AFS estimates where the vehicle will be in three seconds, based on the vehicle speed and the angle of the tires, and adjusts the lateral aim of the headlamps. AFS can be switched off by the driver if desired and includes an auto-leveling function.
The front-passenger airbag is a dual stage, twin-chamber design that, when deployed, helps provide optimal protection. Active front headrests help reduce the severity of a whiplash injury in the event of certain types of lower speed rear collisions.
Lexus luxury begins with how the customer first interacts with his or her vehicle. All RX models are equipped with the SmartAccess keyless entry with push-button start. As the driver approaches the vehicle, interior and exterior courtesy lamps illuminate. Opening the door, the instrument panel lighting gradually fades in. When the hybrid system is started, the instrument gauge needles and markings illuminate, followed by the multi-information display. After the driver exits the vehicle, the lights fade out at different intervals.
An available 12-speaker system audio system comes with the optional navigation or rear seat entertainment systems and includes two-rear-door tweeters and a compact, L-shaped subwoofer in the rear-luggage compartment.
The available wide-view side and backup cameras help provide the driver with a wider range of visibility. The driver can check hard-to-view areas by simply pressing the camera-select button on the steering wheel or, when in reverse, viewing the camera images on the navigation screen. An optional back-up camera displays images on the eight-inch navigation screen; systems without navigation have a 2.4-inch display in the rear-view mirror.
The Lexus RX models blend a dynamic version of L-finesse design to create a sleek profile that is accentuated by broad “shoulders” for an athletic yet elegant presence. Bright finish side-window moldings follow a subtly concaved line across the A– and C– pillars, extending at the front and rear ends.
Based on Lexus L-finesse philosophy, the dramatically designed interior clearly separates the interior into two distinct zones – the “display zone” to provide information, and the “operation zone” for interaction with controls. The shoulder of the door trim comfortably envelops the occupants, the clear line of the trim beginning inside the cabin and tapering outward toward the exterior. The design imbues a feeling of a continuous line encircling the occupants and defining the controls and displays. Neatly sculpted metallic surfaces, especially on the asymmetrical center stack, showcase a bold contrast of shadow and light.
The attribute that most distinguishes Lexus’ navigation controller from other devices in other luxury models is its “haptic”-feedback technology, which provides a tactile response to the hand. As the user operates the controller near a screen icon, the cursor is pulled to that icon with feedback from a servomotor in the device enabling the user to feel it “click” into place. The driver or passenger makes a selection by pressing the side enter button on either side, and the feedback servo is adjustable for sensitivity. The system then confirms the action with a subtle sound. Remote Touch integrates the functions of seven hard switches used with the previous touch screen, helping users to operate those functions with reduced effort and distraction.
All new Lexus vehicles come with a 48-month/50,000-mile basic limited warranty with roadside assistance for 48-months/unlimited miles. Powertrain and restraint system coverage is provided for 72 months/70,000 miles. Corrosion perforation protection is covered for 72 months, regardless of mileage. The hybrid-related components, including the HV battery, battery-control module, hybrid control module and inverter with converter, are covered for eight years/100,000 miles.