2020 Lexus RX450L
model. 2020 Lexus RX450hL AWD
price. $45,175 RX350 FWD (incl dest)
as tested. $63,683 (RX450hL AWD) incl dest
seating/style. 6-7-pass/5-door SUV
powertrain. 3.5-liter V6
transmission. Continuously Variable
driveline. FWD, AWD available
fuel economy. 29/28/29 (hybrid AWD)
also shop: Acura MDX, Volvo XC90
The RX SUV is a perennial favorite amongst well-heeled families the country over for decades. The RX450hL adds two key elements: a cozy third row seat (or more cargo room), and a hybrid powertrain for maximum fuel economy.
Driving the RX450hL is not the most exciting experience but it’s ideal for navigating the school pickup line. The 3.5-liter V-6 engine has plenty of pep and the hybrid part is nearly transparent, just as it should be. The RX rides and handles with restrained luxury. There’s good acceleration and the steering is obedient and predictable.
The interior is quiet and well-appointed with textured matte chrome and detailed top-stitching throughout. But the infotainment system is maddening, with an annoying and overly sensitive touch-pad, causing distraction while driving. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are not available, a key competitive disadvantage.
There’s space for seven people – preferably five adults maximum as the third row is cramped – but when the last row folds flat, there’s a good amount of cargo in the back.
The RX450hL is packed with standard safety features, but optional blind-spot monitoring is a highly recommended upgrade. There’s a lot of competition in this segment, so it doesn’t hurt to shop around.