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Lexus RX450H Sports Luxury (2010)
Think of a 2.2 tonne Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and the phrase ‘gas guzzler’ might instantly come to mind.
But not in the instance of the hybrid Lexus RX450h.
Its petrol-electric technology returns an Australian Design Rule combined cycle figure of 6.4 litres/100 km and C02 emissions of 150 g/km – numbers that would flatter a mid-size sedan or hatch. Our week-long test failed to match such thrifty consumption, but a best of 8.8 litres/100 km around the city is still impressive for such a vehicle.
The point of difference is the RX450h’s drivetrain – a combination of conventional petrol engine, CVT, three motor generators, nickel-metal hydride storage battery and the smarts to make it all happen.
Our test vehicle was the Sports Luxury, the range topper of three RX450h variants. As such, it fairly bristled with standard safety and equipment features. Access to much of what it offers is via a controller similar to a computer mouse, which places up to 20 easy to follow key functions at your fingertips.
On road, the big hybrid carries its bulk well, being responsive though not as athletic a handler as its Luxury 4WD segment major opposition, the Audi Q5, BMW X5 and Range Rover Sports. The quality of ride, while compliant, is a tad short of that expected of a Lexus but overall the RX450h is still one smooth, comfortable drive.
Economy, emissions, smoothness
Poor rear three-quarter vision, space saver spare
Immobiliser, bluetooth connectivity, smart key entry, dual climate control, tilt/reach steering adjustment, power front seats, power sunroof, satellite navigation, premium audio system
10 airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic brake distribution (EBD), pre collision brake assist (BA), electronic stability and traction controls, front/rear parking sensors, reversing camera, front active headrests, active cruise control
||RX450H Sports Luxury
|Price when new
|Current price range
$ - $
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||3.5-litre, V6 petrol + two electric
||183 kW (petrol)/123 kW (electric, front)/50 kW (electric, rear)
||317 Nm @ 4800 rpm
|Acceleration to 100 km/h
||7.9 (8.1, as tested)
|Braking from 80 km/h
||24.4 m (as tested)
||6.4 litres/100 km (9.2, as tested)
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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.