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Original MSRP: $45,235 - $46,825
MPG: 32 City / 28 Hwy
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2012 Lexus RX Hybrid Review

Review Last Updated: 10/10/13

These scores and this review are from when the car was new.

The 2012 Lexus RX 450h provides a luxurious space to spend time on the road, but buyers looking for exciting performance should look elsewhere.

Most people in the market for a luxury SUV prioritize comfort, luxury and fuel economy over tossable driving dynamics, and reviewers say that those shoppers should have the Lexus RX 450h at the top of their list.

Critics agree that the Lexus RX 450h is a great place to be, thanks to its comfortable seats, quiet interior and high-quality materials. Reviewers also praise its quiet, capable hybrid engine and smooth ride. Plus, the Lexus RX comes standard with more high-tech features than many of its rivals, and reviewers say its navigation and media interface is easier to use than those found in other luxury brands.

However, many of the characteristics that make the Lexus RX 450h so luxurious form the basis of reviewers’ criticism. They say that it’s not fun to drive at all thanks to its softly-sprung suspension. If you want a hybrid SUV that puts comfort first, the RX Hybrid is a great choice. Plus, the Lexus RX 450h earned our 2012 Best Hybrid SUV for the Money award for its combination of luxury, fuel economy and value. However, if you want exciting performance, you'll want to shop the competition. 

Other Luxury SUVs to Consider

If you’re looking for a luxury crossover with sportier performance than this Lexus offers, check out the BMW X5. It’s one of the sportiest luxury SUVs available, and packs plenty of punch no matter which trim you choose. It’s expensive compared with the rest of its class, but the X5’s base price is not much more expensive than the Lexus RX 450h.

No SUV can match the RX 450h’s stellar fuel economy, but the Audi Q5’s gas-powered engine gets only 1 highway mpg less than the RX Hybrid does. It also costs a bit less than the RX Hybrid, and brings an equally upscale cabin and sportier performance to the table. The Q5 is also somewhat smaller than the RX Hybrid, but it’s a good alternative if you can sacrifice some cargo space.

Details: Lexus RX Hybrid

The 2012 Lexus RX 450h comes in one trim and can be outfitted with either front- or all-wheel drive. The gas-powered Lexus RX 350 is reviewed separately. The RX Hybrid was redesigned for the 2010 model year, and for 2012, Lexus shuffles some paint colors around. See the full list of 2012 Lexus RX 450h specifications.

  • "But even among this growing competition, the … Lexus RX 450h remains a top pick.” -- Edmunds
  • "RX has a winning blend of luxurious comfort, practicality, and build quality while adding welcome high-tech features. … This Lexus was one of the first premium-midsize crossover SUVs, and it remains one of the best. If you're considering such a vehicle, put this one near the top of your list.” -- Consumer Guide
  • "There are certainly more entertaining, attractive and powerful ways to transport five people and their weekend getaway gear, but that's never been what the RX is about. Simply put, it's about the destination, not the drive. And because of that, the RX will continue to define the segment without ruffling the feathers of public's consciousness." -- Autoblog
  • “The hybrid model is particularly well sorted out, and both RXs are easier to use as mind-numbing, commute-erasing devices than they were before. Even as enthusiasts, we have to admit there are plenty of days when such a device (especially for this Los Angeles-based editor) would come in handy." -- Car and Driver

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