The Lexus RX has the unique feature of only offering a petrol-electric hybrid engine. Such an engine is expensive to most budgets, but given the target market’s capability it’s not such an impossible reach. The fuel-sipping hybrid engine’s third generation RX has become a popular choice. The latest model also offers significant improvements such as better performance figures, CO2 output, fuel economy, and class-leading low emissions. This makes the RX a practical company car option thanks to its lower taxation.
Don’t be fooled by the “only” aspect of its hybrid engine. The combination of an electric motor with a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine makes its performance environmentally friendly and one of the fastest units out in the market. The Lexus RX is at par with the BMW X5 30d with its 62mph sprint time at 7.8 seconds. You won’t have any problems driving through slow traffic as the battery power maintains that necessary boost. The battery power alone can arrive at 25mph without any help from the petrol side. The petrol and electric motor alone effectively combine a power at 295bhp. The batteries in the electric motor are responsible for keeping the engine charged while under braking or coasting. The electric motor is also handy as you overtake or merge into a motorway.
The engine isn’t the only impressive feature of the Lexus RX. The car’s balance and composure is quite an improvement from its previous life, allowing the RX to standout among the increasing population of 4x4s that promise comfort and on-road agility. The latest RX balances and guarantees both, promising an enjoyable and practical ride. Controlling the air suspension electronically and initiating the active stabilizer for better agility can further improve these features. The SE-L premier includes the active stabilizer and coil springs, while the SE-L models include the air suspension. Expect the active stabilizer to minimize body roll throughout the ride; air suspension can reduce the ride height when going at higher speeds. The air suspension can also improve aerodynamics and enhance the vehicle’s stability.
The interior continues the IS’ improvements, adding more space and comfort for its passengers. All seats sport leather trim as standard and can be heated according to the necessary temperature. Front seats are electrically adjustable on the entry-level SE trim, while the SE-L model includes heating for the front seats and ventilation. The engine remains quiet in the cabin, allowing for a quiet experience while you’re going on long journeys.
Luggage space is adequate on the RX at 446 litres, but not as large as its non-hybrid competitors. You could easily fold down the rear seats for a bigger boot or slide the seats forwards for better legroom. Passengers with longer and bulkier packages, however, will still feel lacking against the 500+ litres of other less expensive cars.
Although the RX offers many enhancements to agility and stabilisation, ride quality tends to be poor on the flat road surfaces. This is off-putting considering that most owners will take the IS on regular motorways or around town. The four-wheel drive system is also not recommended for long off-road use, as it can only enhance stability and traction for the more difficult on-road conditions.
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