If you are looking for a seven-seat premium SUV with a hybrid powertrain, then you currently have two options: the Lexus RX L and Volvo XC90 T8 (all other hybrid luxury SUVs lose their third row). However, choosing between these two is not a simple affair.
You see, on paper the RX L is around £10k cheaper the XC90 T8. However, while the XC90 T8 is a plug-in hybrid that can travel on pure electric power for an extended range, the RX L is a pure hybrid with a very limited all-electric mode. Once its small battery has depleted, you’re left with a rather thirsty, 2300kg petrol SUV, and the prospect of fuel economy figures in the low-30s (the official figure is 34.4mpg combined). If you’re looking for economy above all else, one of the Lexus RX L’s diesel rivals will be a better bet.
The RX L does win points back for being very well equipped. All models get heated and ventilated leather seats that are electrically adjustable up front, LED headlights, a reversing camera, three-zone air conditioning, keyless entry and push button start. Top-spec Takumi trim goes even further, with the aforementioned larger infotainment screen alongside wireless smartphone charging, front and rear parking sensors and a 360-degree camera view. You also get a powered tailgate with hands-free opening, 20in wheels and auto dimming, auto folding and heated door mirrors, plus higher quality leather for the seat upholstery.
Neither the RX L or its shorter RX cousin featured in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, but Lexus itself finished in first place overall – out of 31 manufacturers in all. Safety standards are high, too; Lexus’s Safety System+ is fitted as standard, bringing automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane-keeping assistance, traffic sign recognition and automatic headlight high beam. With all those safety aids, it perhaps shouldn’t come as a surprise that Euro NCAP awarded the regular RX a five-star rating, and this equally applies to the RX L.
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