The success of the Lexus RX has been particularly strong in the United States, where it has been the best-selling luxury SUV since its introduction. The RX name stands for Radiant Crossover. From 2005 through 2018, Lexus has sold 1.4 million RX 450s in the United States (Wikipedia). As of 2015, it had sold more than 2 million worldwide, making the vehicle incredibly popular.
Andrew Ganz, auto reviewer for thecarconnection.com: “The 2019 Lexus RX remains the luxury crossover SUV sales standard for its design, comfort, and features. When it comes to the midsize luxury crossover SUV sales charts, it’s the 2019 Lexus RX and everyone else.”
Lexus offers three trims for its 2019 RX 450h: RX 450h ($46,245 MSRP), RX 450h F Sport ($51,605) and RX 450hL ($50,970). The 450hL adds a third row of seats, making it a seven-seat SUV.
Kelley Blue Books kkb.com says: “The Lexus RX is smooth, quiet and comfortable with a luxurious interior and a long list of safety features.”
Car & Driver says: “There's a reason the 2019 Lexus RX is regularly atop the sales charts in its highly contested segment: Its flashy styling and unperturbed comfort are two important attributes buyers of compact luxury crossovers want. As auto enthusiasts, we prefer offerings from carmakers such as BMW and Alfa Romeo, but the RX finds a home in many driveways thanks to its softly sprung suspension, refined ride, and comfortable interior. Its optional hybrid powertrain is appealing to fuel-conscious buyers, and a new three-row variant provides a little extra space for people and cargo.”
The car had some redesigns in 2018, so not much is new for 2019. A shuffle of features occurred: the optional parking sensors are now bundled with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, the auto-dimming exterior mirrors, and a 360-degree camera system. Also: the Enform Remote app now comes with smart watch and Amazon Alexa integration features.
When the 2020 model goes on sale this fall, it will feature refreshed exterior styling and an upgraded infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto. The 2019 versions do not have these systems.
The RX 450h has an EPA-estimated mileage of 31/28/30 city/highway/combined, and a Total Range of 516 miles. It reaches 60mph in 7.9 seconds, has an aerodynamic drag coefficient of 0.33 and a top track speed of 112mph. The 450h has a Certified Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV II) emission rating.
To stop and slow, RX 450h uses 4-wheel power-assisted discs with Electronic Controlled Braking (ECB); four-sensor, a four-channel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD); and Brake Assist. Its brakes are regenerative; they pump lost friction energy back into the car’s batteries.
A 3.5L 6cylinder gas/electric hybrid CVT engine plus three electric motors and a nickel-metal Hydride battery pack power the car with a total of 308 horsepower.
Forward collision warning and mitigation are standard, as are lane keeping assistance, automatic high beams and adaptive cruise control. You can also opt for a front-wheel-drive F Sport model. The 5-passenger midsize SUV is available in front- and all-wheel-drive versions. Standard equipment for the base RX 450h include 18-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting (headlights, fog lights, taillights and running lights), automatic high beams, automatic wipers, a power lift-gate, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic braking, lane departure warning and intervention, a sunroof, and keyless ignition and entry.
The RX cabin includes dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated power front seats, driver-seat memory settings, a power-adjustable steering wheel and a 40/20/40-split rear seat (reclines, slides and folds). More standard features include the Remote Touch interface, an 8-inch color display, Safety Connect emergency communications, voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity and a 12-speaker sound system.
Cargurus.com auto reviewer Tom Blackett: “The RX Hybrid’s assortment of desirable amenities also extends to the various infotainment features. Standard on every model is smartphone integration that makes a host of apps easily accessible via voice commands or the 8-inch touchscreen mounted atop the dash. Lexus is in the process of incorporating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality into its lineup, but those features are not yet available in the RX Hybrid. However, buyers can subscribe to different Lexus apps that provide Wi-Fi connectivity, personalized navigation assistance, and remote operation of certain vehicle systems using a smartphone or smartwatch.”
The 2019 RX Hybrid earned a five-out-of-five-star overall crash test rating from the NHTSA. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the RX Hybrid a top rating of Good in five crash tests.
The 2019 RX Hybrid earned a reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 from J.D. Power; an outstanding rating few of the hybrid’s rivals achieve.
If you’re looking for a luxurious hybrid with generous cabin space, meticulous quality, a comfortable ride, good looks and decent fuel economy, the RX 450h is a good place to start.
Rewritten July 2019
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