SUM UP (3 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for RX450h in 2013

An F Sport model is new. In addition to its firmer suspension, shift paddles, and standard all-wheel drive, it gets an eight-speed automatic and a more-aggressive-looking front end. All RX models get a bit of a nose job this year to accommodate the brand’s new ?spindle? grille. The cabin is revised, as are some options packages...more

The name Lexus is synonymous with beauty and luxury. The 2013 Lexus RX450h is no exception to this rule of exceptional beauty and luxurious performance. For people who would like to have the convenience and luxury of a sedan but need the cargo capacity and ruggedness of an SUV, this crossover is an outstanding choice. Having the name alone commands a higher resale value making ownership a good choice on many levels. Adding the hybrid option helps improve the mileage and supports the green initiatives that are in place today although some consumers may not appreciate the increase in price to accommodate the hybrid feature. Available in both front and four-wheel drive gives the consumer added versatility dependent upon his needs.

Exterior

The Lexus RX450h has a new grille to give it a more decisive appeal, but otherwise very similar to earlier designs and a cast of imitators of this style vehicle. A steep slope rear window design helps the Lexus stand out from its many imitators. Hybrid models are also labeled separately with a blue badge on the front. Eighteen-inch wheels are standard while the sports packages and extra packages have 19-inch wheels. It is a very streamlined look that even the pickiest consumer find very attractive and aerodynamic. There are three trim levels available: the RX350, the RX 350 F Sport, and the RX450h.

Interior & Cargo

When looking inside the Lexus RX cabin, a convenient feeling with a polished look and American sophistication is apparent. Plush seats are available as well as power tilt and telescoping steering wheels. The nine-speaker basic audio system, which includes AM/FM satellite audio and a six-disc changer with auxiliary input, is inspiring. Seating and legroom is generous for a five-passenger crossover vehicle of this size, even accommodating for the rear passengers. The reclinable rear seats are just as easily able to be folded out of the way to accommodate cargo or left in place to accommodate passengers. Additional storage in the front of the vehicle that includes dual power outlets will be a plus for the electronically minded consumers of today. When the rear seats are folded down interior cargo capacity is a very healthy 80.3 cubic feet. With the rear seat in use, the passenger volume is 100.9 cubic feet. Some people who are accustomed to a larger vehicle may miss the third-row seat, which is absent in this model. Towing capacity of up to 3500 pounds is standard. Dual-zone automatic climate control is always a great standard feature to ensure the comfort of the driver and the passengers. The power rear door is an excellent feature for the soccer moms who need to be able to juggle lots of groceries and gear without having to hassle with opening the rear hatch by hand. Optional upgrades can include color LCD displays for the driver’s pleasure and a dual-screen rear entertainment system to be enjoyed by the passengers whether they are traveling across town or across the country. The audio system can be upgraded to a 12-speaker system and include the Lexus Enform suite of apps for streaming music and OpenTable app for making restaurant reservations and many other travel related features. For cold weather drivers. The optional heated wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel is a fantastic comfort feature. Drivers who spend a large amount of time in city traffic would consider the upgrade of the smog-censoring recirculating climate system to be a huge plus for health benefits.

Safety

As is typical with most new vehicles front, knee, side, and side curtain airbags are standard features. Adaptive front lighting and traction control are standard. Anti-lock brakes and a backup camera are also standard features. Adding the optional adaptive cruise control will give the driver pre-collision warnings and additional braking power. The RX450h Hybrid models feature the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system for improved traction control. The Lexus Safety Connect telematics system will include a one-year subscription for collision response.

Driving Experience

The expectations of a driver of an SUV crossover vehicle will not be disappointed with the Lexus RX450h. It handles and drives admirably for a vehicle in its price range. Engine options include a 3.5-liter V-6 with 270 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque. Also available is a 3.5-liter V-6/electric hybrid at 295 horsepower for the ecologically minded consumer. The combination of a six- or eight-speed, continuously variable, automatic transmission with a towing capacity of up to 3500 pounds gives this vehicle plenty of pep for the average consumer. The direct-downshift control allows for rapid shifting when needed from sixth to third, or fifth to second, skipping gears for a more instantaneous response in an emergency situation. This vehicle is available in either a front or four-wheel drive configuration depending upon the needs of the consumer. A generous 32/28 mpg city/highway is expected for this vehicle. Overall, it performs well for a vehicle in its class and is worth the price tag and will hold its value better than some of the other imitators of this class vehicle.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Lexus RX450h

  • Audi Q5
  • Cadillac SRX
  • Lincoln MKX
  • Volvo XC60

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2013 RX450h Standard Equipment

Braking and Handling

  • Four Wheel ABS

Climate Control

  • Front Air Conditioning
  • Rear Air Conditioning

Convenience

  • Auto On Headlights
  • Compass
  • Cruise Control
  • Keyless Entry
  • Power Locks
  • Power Trunk/Liftgate
  • Power Trunk Pulldown
  • Power Windows
  • Steering Wheel Scope
  • Vehicle Information Center

Exterior

  • Privacy Glass
  • Rear Spoiler

Interior

  • Cargo Cover
  • Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
  • Premium Interior Trim

Safety

  • Auto Day/Night Mirror
  • Brake Assist
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Driver Air Bag
  • Engine Immobilizer
  • Front Fog Lights
  • Front Wipers, Variable Intermittent
  • Heated Outside Mirrors
  • Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Rear Side Airbag
  • Stability Control
  • Theft Deterrent System
  • Traction Control

Seats

  • Folding Rear Seat

Sound and Entertainment

  • Compact Disc Changer
  • iPod Connector
  • Satellite Radio

Technology

  • Blue Tooth Compatible
  • GPS/Satellite Communication
  • Homelink Universal Transmitter

Tires and Wheels

  • Alloy Wheels
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