Lexus RX review

Category: Luxury SUV

Section: Performance & drive

Lexus RX450h 2021 rear cornering
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 front right cornering
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 rear cornering
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior dashboard
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior rear seats
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior infotainment
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 right tracking
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 rear left tracking
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior front seats
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior steering wheel
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior detail
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 boot open
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 front right cornering
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 rear cornering
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior dashboard
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior rear seats
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior infotainment
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 right tracking
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 rear left tracking
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior front seats
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior steering wheel
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 interior detail
  • Lexus RX450h 2021 boot open
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Performance & drive

What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is

The Lexus RX's 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine (the only option) drives the front wheels via a CVT automatic gearbox and is paired with two electric motors.

One motor helps out the engine while the other is fitted to the rear axle to give you four-wheel drive, with a combined power output of 308bhp. That's more than a diesel-powered Audi Q7 50 TDI, but because the Q7 has more low-rev urgency, it feels stronger on the road than the RX.

The RX makes a very relaxing motorway cruiser, though, with little wind noise save from a quiet rustle around the base of the screen. The dominant noise at motorway speeds is road noise, but it's no louder than in big-wheeled rivals such as the Mercedes GLE.

As for the noise from under the bonnet, the RX will run almost silently for short periods on battery power alone when driven gently, and the changeover between electric and petrol power is hardly noticeable. The engine is hushed when pootling around at low speeds, and while the revs do soar when put your foot down harder, it's nowhere near as raucous as previous versions of the RX.

The regenerative brakes, which recover energy that would otherwise be lost when braking to recharge the battery, are not so well-mannered. They’re quite grabby, which makes it difficult to slow your progress smoothly. You’ll notice the difference if you’ve just driven an SUV with conventional brakes.

Lexus RX450h 2021 rear cornering
New car deals
Save up to £5,070
Target Price from £52,128
Save up to £5,070
or from £508pm
Swipe to see used and leasing deals
Nearly new deals
From £35,000