2018 Lexus RX 450h Review: The Original Luxury Crossover SUV
Nearly 20 years ago, Lexus introduced us to the mid-size luxury crossover SUV. Sharing its platform with the ES sedan, that first Lexus RX offered the seating position and styling of an SUV with the plush ride quality of a luxury car. While other automakers have altered the recipe to create larger, richer, and more sporting luxury crossover SUVs, the RX remains the original.
And it’s a formula that works, with Lexus selling nearly twice as many RX crossovers in 2017 as it did ES sedans – the brand’s best-selling car model.
Still, Lexus isn’t simply resting on its laurels, and the Japanese luxury brand regularly makes small tweaks to the model: the most recent being the addition of the three-row RX L. Arguably, the most noteworthy change, though, came with the introduction of the RX 400h in April 2005.
Now wearing the RX 450h designation, the gasoline-electric crossover combines the comfortable qualities of the standard RX 350 with the efficiency of a hybrid powertrain. It’s a relative value, too. Still, time is taking its toll on the model, and the RX 450h is beginning to feel somewhat antiquated next to plug-in hybrid crossovers such as the Volvo XC90 T8.