Lexus RX review - parsimonious SUV is still no driving machine - MPG and running costs

Luxury SUV is now available with a 2-litre turbocharged engine, but hybrid is still the car to go for

Evo rating
Price
from £39,995
  • Luxurious and eco-friendly with lots of equipment
  • Not particularly exciting, turbo engine lacks sparkle

The RX 450h’s most obvious appeal for buyers has long been its low emissions rating, and this has improved in the latest model. 120g/km won't net you free Vehicle Excise Duty, but it's usefully lower than the old 145g/km figure and on-paper fuel economy is strong, at 53.3mpg.

The chances of achieving that in the real world are low unless you spend an inordinate amount of time trundling around town, where the hybrid system is best able to turn off the engine and run on electric power alone. But if you're only trundling around town then we'd question your decision to buy over two tons of SUV when there are umpteen other hybrid models across the Toyota and Lexus ranges that would prove cheaper to run and take up less space on the road...

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We digress. If you do choose the RX 450h then you've still made a better decision than you would had you chosen the RX 200t. It exhales CO2 at a rate of 181 grams every kilometer (and that's if you stick to the base model on its smaller wheels), and achieves 36.2mpg combined on paper. There's no electric running here to bolster it in town and you'll work it harder on the open road too, so 36mpg may soon look optimistic.

In other words, you can add economy to the list of reasons to pick the hybrid model over its turbocharged four-pot brother. There are - in usual Lexus style - no diesel models available, so long-distance drivers may be better served by something German powered by Rudolf's fuel.

Fixed-price servicing is available from Lexus, and you'll pay identically whether you choose petrol or hybrid. Residual values are decent, while spec-adjusted the Lexus has always looked like decent value against its German rivals.  

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