In-depth reviews

Lexus RX SUV review

"The Lexus RX is comfortable, refined and luxurious, but like many Lexus cars, isn’t as much fun to drive as its rivals"

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

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Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

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Pros

  • High-quality interior
  • Quiet and smooth
  • Stylish looks

Cons

  • A bit bland to drive
  • Hybrid economy not great
  • Small boot compared to rivals

The Lexus RX benefits from the manufacturer’s ‘origami’ design language, making it one of the most striking large family SUVs on the market. Next to its predecessor, the large grille and sharp lines of the current RX have really transformed the car, giving it the appearance to match the refinement and luxury it offers.

The qualities mentioned above stand the RX in good stead against rivals such as the Audi Q7, Mercedes GLE, Porsche Cayenne, BMW X5 and Range Rover Sport.

It’s not just in the style department where the latest RX trumps the previous one; it’s also bigger, meaning boot space has increased and there is more legroom for passengers in the back. The improvement to the size of the boot was needed because the RX still lags behind the majority of its competitors. Designers drew up the boot around the batteries fitted in the hybrid model, which led to a smaller-than-average load space for all RX models.

If you need more load space, a stretched version of the Lexus – badged RX L – arrived in spring 2018. It ups the seat count to seven and a slight bodywork stretch behind the rear wheels allows for a bigger boot, too. Those two extra seats are very tight, though, and we question whether they're worth the extra £5,000 or so that Lexus charges.

Buyers of the RX have traditionally had two versions to choose from, a hybrid and a petrol, but in late 2017, the 2.0-litre turbo – badged 200t – was discontinued. The hybrid RX 450h uses a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine in combination with an electric motor to produce 308bhp, which made it both more powerful and more efficient than the 2.0-litre petrol-powered RX 200t.

The RX feels solidly and beautifully crafted, with its plush interior offering space, comfort and luxury wherever you sit. All versions come with plenty of equipment as standard, so the car feels really upmarket even if you buy the entry-level model. For 2018, a Sport trim was introduced, based on the Luxury version, but with black exterior trim and some interior upgrades to help it stand out.

The biggest drawback of buying an RX is the lack of thrills you’ll get as its driver. Lexus has focused on making the car comfortable, which makes sense in many ways, but this has led to the car lagging behind a number of its rivals when it comes to handling. If driving dynamics aren’t a big priority, then the RX could be for you; it’s relatively cheap to run, comfortable and good-looking. However, driving enthusiasts should definitely consider alternatives in the class before taking the plunge.

See how this car scored on our sister site DrivingElectric

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