Predicted to be the best-seller, this PHEV is “very similar” to the one that debuted earlier this year on the new NX and pairs a 2.5-litre petrol engine together with twin electric motors for a combined 304hp. “But it’s the 40-mile electric range that will be the greater attraction thanks to the large 18.1kWh battery,” with scope for some “impressively low running costs if charged regularly”.
The RX has “always excelled” when it comes to comfort and refinement, and that has “only improved thanks to the greater electric-only running ability, which offers scope for plenty of journeys to be completed without waking the engine – particularly around town”.
“Lexus has worked to make the RX into more of a ‘driver’s car’, and it certainly feels more dynamic than its predecessor,” with “improved feel through the corners and less body roll”. It’s “best at a steady cruise”, though, and the 500h “offers a more engaging driving experience”.
Taking on a “bolder look”, the front end is “dominated” by the reworked spindle grille, which is “particularly imposing” in gloss black. “It’s an example of how to do a big grille without being over the top – take note BMW.”
The inside “feels like a huge step up” as the 14in screen and infotainment “immediately modernises the cabin”. The quality “remains as high as ever, with a feeling that the RX has been built to last, while the level of space on offer is impressive – particularly in the rear seats”.
Welford adds: “This plug-in hybrid powertrain would be our pick of the RX line-up, with its usable electric range and impressive refinement. If Lexus gets the price right, it could be onto a winner with this large SUV.”
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