In-depth reviews

Lexus RX SUV - Engines, drive & performance

The Lexus RX is only available with a petrol hybrid engine. Fans of diesel SUVs will need to look elsewhere

Carbuyer Rating

3.7 out of 5

Owners Rating

5.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

This Lexus RX is faster than the previous model, but in reality it hasn't caught up to rivals such as the Porsche CayenneBMW X5 or Volvo XC90 in terms of driving enjoyment. The steering and suspension have been tweaked to improve how the car handles corners, but it still leans a bit too much and the steering isn’t very involving.

On the plus side, this is a very smooth, quiet and refined car on the move – so if that's what you're looking for rather than sharp handling, you'll be more than satisfied. It also comes with four-wheel drive as standard, adding confidence in poor weather conditions.

Lexus RX hybrid engine

The 308bhp RX 450h is capable of 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds but it never feels quite that fast when you put your foot on the accelerator because its CVT automatic gearbox hampers the car’s responsiveness. Choose the heavier RX L and the 0-62mph time also suffers, dropping to eight seconds exactly.

As well as the alterations to the steering and suspension setups, the RX is stronger and stiffer than older versions, which improves the car’s ability to corner and change direction quickly. An adjustable suspension system called Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is fitted in the F Sport and Takumi versions. This allows you to make the suspension softer for maximum comfort when cruising or firmer when driving on a twisty road.

All versions of the RX 450h come with a drive select system that lets you switch between EV, Eco, Normal and Sport modes for better performance or better economy. The F Sport version comes with additional Sport S and Sport S+ modes, which stiffen up the suspension, improve throttle response and make the steering heavier.

The only problem is that the differences are really quite subtle and they don’t suddenly transform the big SUV into a true driver’s car, so it's best left in Normal or Eco.

Recommended

Lexus RX SUV review
Lexus RX SUV
Lexus RX
23 Apr 2021

Lexus RX SUV review

Most Popular

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained
2021 Road Tax explained
Car tax
20 Jan 2022

UK road tax 2022: VED tax rates and bands explained

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022
Peugeot 3008 SUV front cornering
Best cars
6 Jan 2022

Top 10 best economical 4x4s, SUVs and crossovers 2022

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
21 Jan 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
19 Jan 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
17 Jan 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
21 Jan 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022