Living room on wheels

* CO2 cut, fuel economy improved * Ride and interior quality disappoint * On sale now from 41,000...

Living room on wheels

Living room on wheels
Other Lexus traits are there in abundance. The RX is spookily quiet around town especially if it's running on battery power alone and at speed things are just as settled. There is some wind noise around the side windows probably a result of the over-sized (and extremely useful) door mirrors, but you'll only notice it because everything else is so hushed.

Best to turn up the stereo, and if you opt for SE-L models you get an awesome Mark Levinson system. If you want one of those in your house, you'll have to pay more than the cost of the car, but if you like to hear detail in your favourite tracks that you never knew existed, it's certainly worth the investment in the RX.

There are plenty of other gadgets on board, too, many of which are controlled by Lexus's 'Remote Touch' mouse. It's not bad to use, but not as simple as BMW's latest version of iDrive. You sometimes have to spend too long gazing at the 8-inch colour screen to find the cursor and direct it using the handily placed controller.

There are separate controls for the stereo and climate control on the dashboard, while the display showing economy, range and average speed is controlled from buttons on the steering wheel. So too is the side view camera and intelligent cruise control. All-in-all, Lexus still needs to learn a thing or two about ergonomics.

The RX is tremendously comfortable, though there's plenty of space for five and their luggage (the batteries are now under the rear seats), and the front seats are especially comfortable.

The quality of the cabin is generally good, but not as good as BMW or Audi, while cars such as the Toyota Avensis are nudging towards Lexus quality - another 'could do better' on that score.

Where Lexus could struggle to do better is on customer satisfaction. As you'll see from yet another top placing in this year's JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey, Lexus owners are a happy bunch, enjoying the dealer service and the cars themselves.
With this latest version of the RX, we see no reason why that should change.