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#3

in Luxury Midsize SUVs

MSRP: $46,410 - $47,810
Invoice: $43,625 - $44,941
MPG: 32 City / 28 Hwy

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Lexus RX Hybrid Performance

Reviewers say that while the 2014 Lexus RX 450h lacks sporty handling, most agree that it is fairly composed through turns. Some reviewers say that while the RX 450h isn't quite a powerhouse, it offers sufficient power for passing, though it might require a hard press of the accelerator.

  • "For motive muscle, the RX 450h features a 3.5-liter V6 paired to electric motors that are powered by a battery pack. The combination provides both the aforementioned high fuel efficiency as well as respectable performance." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The front-wheel drive 2014 Lexus RX Hybrid is equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and two electric motors that produce 295 horsepower combined. All-wheel drive models also make 295 horsepower, but feature a third electric motor that drives the rear wheels. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. The RX 450h earns fuel economy estimates of 32/28 mpg city/highway, which is exceptional for a hybrid SUV.

Most test drivers say the Lexus RX 450h offers adequate power, and that it performs similarly to its gas-only sibling. Still, some note that without a firm press of the accelerator pedal, acceleration can be slow from a stop. Other reviewers are impressed with the RX Hybrid's passing power and responsive transmission.

  • "The hybrid powertrain is also pretty silent. Initial acceleration can seem a little slow unless you really get on the gas, but overall, the 450h feels a lot like its RX 350 sibling." -- Edmunds
  • "RX450h also has impressive thrust and outstanding passing punch. Its CVT transmission is responsive. The well-integrated hybrid/electric powertrain exhibits very little of the surging and bogging typical of hybrid vehicles." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Handling and Braking

The 2014 Lexus RX 450h comes standard with front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is available. Reviewers say that while the Lexus RX Hybrid doesn't match the nimble handling of some rivals, it's competent and generally remains composed through turns. One automotive journalist notes that the RX 450h's brakes are strong and smooth.

  • "Even when driven briskly through turns, this Lexus hybrid remains composed and secure, though it's not as sporty as many diesel-powered luxury crossover SUVs." -- Edmunds
  • "Agile handling is not the RX's forte, but both RX 350 and 450h are competent enough on twisty roads. They exhibit moderate cornering lean but secure grip. The Sports Package provides slightly sharper moves. Brakes are strong, with a smooth, progressive pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide (2012)
  • As for handling, even with the Sport suspension package, the RX450h rolls like a tugboat off Cape Hatteras. This is a tall, heavy vehicle, with the suspension dial set on ‘Xanax.' No corner carving here." -- Los Angeles Times (2010)
Review Last Updated: 5/15/14

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