Lexus's most popular RX model got redesigned for 2016. With falling demand of Lexus's hybrid model, company did not gave up but went on with another upgrade by providing F Sport($3410) trim, all wheel drive for the very first time. F Sport includes black side mirror caps, black mesh grille, better front fascia and rear bumper, 20 inch wheels, Sport+ setting for drive modes along with adaptive variable suspension. Diver settings alter throttle response for damper tuning. Eco mode is for normal pickup, other modes are Sport and Sport+. Normal remains default mode everytime engine starts.
Adaptive variable damping system makes RX450h F Sport handling more sportier in Sport+ mode, firmer suspension and body roll got well controlled, though cornering grip is low compare to what others offers in same segment. F Sport hybrid deliver fuel economy. EPA is 31 mpg and 30 mpg in city and highway when drove in front drive. While all wheel drive delivers 30/28 mpg. Use of hybrid over V-6 did not provide any major advantage. Combined they produces 308 horsepower, if going for all wheel drive this increase in horsepower get negated as AWD weighs 340 pounds more. Lexus RX450h F Sport touches 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, braking takes 178 feet when stopped from 70 mph, point to note hybrid is 0.1 second behind in reaching 60 mph.
On paper RX hybrid is able to cruise smoothly using batter power but not the case always, if to accerelate help from both electric and engine is required, once speed achieved engine can depart and will come back into action for next acceleration, during engine coming back and going out there is not shutdown or shuddering, but point here is hybrid is not able to provide measures response as company depicted. Regenrative brakes makes a strange sound, all of these makes driving non-harmonious.
Interior do no have any grained plastic, has diamond pattern stitching on seats,door panels and soft touch upholstered surfaces.
Front seat is more comfortable than back seats, but back seats provide more room. Currently two row seats is made available, company is planning to offer three row version later on. Optional panoramic sunroof. 12.3 inch center with custom home screen to show elements as phone, map, phone. Remote Touch Interface available on screen is distracting driver, but this RTI can be avoided as lot many physical buttons are available for choosing map, going back to previous screen, selecting audio source and climate control functions. Version without navigation have knob controller instead.
Thinner A pillars and lower dashboard provides better view to driver. Driver aids includes blind sport warning, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with pedestrain detection, automatic emergency braking, a backup camera with 360 degree camera view, rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control with automated steering assist.
Starting from $53,185 which is $10,335 more than RX350, same price range difference exists for all wheel versions.
Paying extra is not going to bring economy, though we can have hybrid advantage. It will hard to decide if go for less price RX350 or RS450h.