2014 Lexus RX 450h

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2014 Lexus RX 450h

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The 2014 Lexus RX 450h is one of the prettiest SUVs on the market, offering excellent fuel economy and a feature-rich cabin. Its 3.5-litre V6 engine with an electric motor can produce a total of 295 horsepower, while carrying the EPA ratings of 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway.

The 2014 Lexus RX 450h is one of the most fuel-efficient SUVs on the market, thanks to its excellent full hybrid system akin to the one in the Toyota Prius. But wait, there’s more! You also get a very decent power output, along with a fantastic body design and a plethora of special features. So, if the Prius is too small for you, then the RX 450h is the next best thing – though it does come with the price tag of $62,300.

The new Lexus RX 450h has gone for a far more aggressive look than the previous models, especially at the front – where its new angular grille is located. The 450h’s profile features a steeply-tilted back window line that melds into its slanted rear. And if you get the hybrid model, you’ll also have a blue-ish L Lexus badge at the front. As a standard, the RX comes with 18-inch wheels, while the F Sport variant gets 19-inch wheels. It’s one of the most stylish yet perhaps impractical SUVs on the market – though we really didn’t expect anything less from Lexus.

On the inside, you get as much charm and polish as on the outside, if not more so. Here you get nice, soft seats with good back support. The car also features the power tilt, telescoping steering wheel and pushbutton start. Not enough? Its base audio system comes with nine speakers as well as a 40/20/40-folding back seat that lounges and slides for better comfort. Speaking of back seats, in this car the back passengers actually get quite a bit of head and legroom, which means that you can easily fit three adults back there. The cargo space is a huge treat as well (no pun intended); once you fold the back seats, you get 80.3 cubic feet of space.

Under the hood, you’ll find one of two possible engines. One is a 3.5-litre V6 that can produce 270 horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque. It’s mated with a six-speed automatic transmission, which utilises direct-downshift control for quick shifting between gears. The RX 350 F Sport model comes with an eight-speed transmission, making things even more exciting. It’s a powerful engine, but its fuel economy could use a bit more work since its EPA ratings are 13.0 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 9.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway.

So, if fuel economy is what you’re looking for, then you should get the 3.5-litre V6 with an electric motor, which can produce a total of 295 horsepower, while offering amazing fuel efficiency. We’re of course talking about EPA ratings of 7.3 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 8.4 litres per 100 kilometres on the highway. Since you don’t lose any power at all, but you gain plenty of fuel economy, we recommend this engine over the other V6 without hesitation.

Overall, the 2014 Lexus RX 450h is an excellent car that more than deserves its hefty price tag. However, if you can’t afford this one, then we recommend getting either the Toyota Highlander or Acura MDX instead, both of which are much cheaper.

Trim / StyleMSRPEst. Monthly PaymentAverage PriceInvoice Price
AWD 4dr Hybrid$62,300 Get Local Price Get Invoice Price
Touring Package$62,300 Get Local Price Get Invoice Price
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General Specs

Engine 3.5000 L
Horsepower @RPM295
Fuel TypeElectric
Body typeSUV
Number of Doors5
Drive Train4X4 Wheel Drive
Transmission TypeAutomatic
Power and Performance:

Powering the Lexus RX 450h is a combination of a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 engine and electric motors. Front-wheel-drive models use two motors; one acts as a starter-generator and the other provides propulsion. The all-wheel-drive RX adds a third electric motor to drive the rear wheels. Total output amounts to 295 horsepower, and it's routed through a specialized continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

In Edmunds testing, the 450h went from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, which is a few tenths of a second slower than the conventionally powered RX 350 and other midsize crossovers.

The upside, though, is that EPA-estimated fuel economy is an impressive 30 mpg combined (32 city/28 highway) with front-wheel drive. The all-wheel-drive version returns 29 mpg combined (30 city/28 highway). Equipped with all-wheel drive and the optional towing hitch, the RX 450h can tow 3,500 pounds.

Originally appeared on Edmunds.

Interiors and Special Features:

The RX's cabin is warm, polished and cozy, but not quite as sophisticated as some European rivals. Still, amenities abound, from the plush seats to the power tilt and telescoping steering wheel. Starting and stopping the Lexus is done with the press of a button, and even the base audio unit is impressive with its nine speakers. Rear passenger legroom is good, and the 40/20/40-folding rear seat is able to recline and slide to accommodate people or cargo. Likewise, the innovative storage bin up front slides and has dual power outlets. With the rear seats folded, cargo capacity expands to an impressive 80.3 cubic feet.

Originally appeared on Kelley Blue Book.

Safety features:

The 2014 Lexus RX includes stability control, 4-wheel-disc anti-lock brakes, active front headrests and 10 airbags (front, front side, front knee, rear side and full-length side curtain). The available Pre-Collision System features emergency braking preparation and frontal-collision warning. All models have Safety Connect, which provides access to a 24-hour response center to get help to you if the unexpected occurs. 

In government crash tests, the RX 350 received four stars out of five overall, while the RX 450h, oddly, got a 5-star overall rating despite sharing the 350's individual scores (four stars for front impacts, five stars for side impacts). The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave both RX models the top rating of Good in all crash tests.

Originally appeared on AutoTrader.

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