Lexus RX SUV review
"The Lexus RX is a striking and efficient luxury SUV; however, rivals are much more practical"
- Fuel-sipping hybrid powertrains
- Plush interior
- Lexus customer satisfaction is strong
- Rivals are more fun to drive
- Gearbox could be smoother
- Small boot for a large SUV
Is the Lexus RX a good car?
What makes the Lexus RX slightly less usable than some rivals is its rather small boot, measuring just 461 litres in capacity. Regardless, if you can look past this and the rather unrefined eCVT gearbox, the Lexus RX is a solid choice for a luxury SUV if you’d prefer something different from the onslaught of German competition, that’s also impeccably built. In the RX 500h there’s even a high-performance offering, albeit with a different take on the hot SUV formula to its rivals.
Lexus RX range
In recent years, Lexus has made some of the most striking and modern-looking cars on the road. However, many are starting to feel dated and lag significantly behind the best SUVs from rivals such as BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes and Audi. Thankfully, Lexus is currently on a spree of refreshing its current lineup of cars with the latest infotainment and hybrid technology.
The Lexus RX is the latest model to get a much-needed update; a rival to the likes of the BMW X5, Mercedes GLE and Range Rover Sport, the RX is the largest Lexus SUV sold in the UK, sitting above the BMW X3-sized NX in the range.
At first glance, not a huge amount has changed on the exterior for this latest generation; the RX still gets Lexus’ gaping spindle grille and more angles than a trigonometry exam. On the inside, things have taken a more drastic turn, as gone is the old car’s fiddly touchpad infotainment system, in favour of an expansive 14-inch touchscreen.
While intuitive infotainment may be a welcome change, something that remains from the old car is Lexus’ use of high-quality materials. The overall design of the RX’s cabin may not be the most exciting – the inside of a Mercedes GLE has more wow-factor – however, all the trim feels incredibly plush and well-screwed together.
Lexus has become synonymous with hybrid technology and the RX showcases some of the brand’s latest advancements. The range kicks off with the self-charging hybrid RX 350h, with the mid-range plug-in hybrid RX 450h+ being the pick for company car drivers looking for low Benefit-in-Kind tax ratings. The RX 500h sits at the pinnacle of the luxury SUV’s lineup and is also the brand’s first-ever turbocharged hybrid model, sacrificing fuel economy for more speed.
However, while all models of the RX come fitted with punchy powertrains – even the base model outputs 247bhp – a BMW X5 will invariably be a more exciting car to drive. One ace up the Lexus’ sleeve, however, is the inclusion of four-wheel-steering, which makes the SUV much more manoeuvrable at low speeds.