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2019 Lexus RX Hybrid

$46,245 - $54,905
Price Range (MSRP)
Lexus RX Hybrid

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Review

by Roger Biermann

Luxury, reliability, and efficiency are the defining traits of the Lexus RX 450h, and while it may be an SUV, the midsize luxury crossover is a far stretch from a practical utility vehicle in the traditional sense, catering to a newer audience seeking the comfort of a family sedan with the raised ride height of a crossover. As is the case with many Lexus products, the RX 450h offers American households a vehicle that prioritizes ride comfort and safety, yet retains the infamous Lexus drawbacks of an unintuitive Remote Touch Interface and limited cargo capacity, and in the case of the RX 450h specifically, substandard utility. Direct competition within the segment is nominal, however, and the competition that does exist arrives in the guise of hybrids such as the Volvo XC60 and the Acura MDX. Powering the RX 450h is a 3.5-liter V6 engine linked to three electric motors and a 37kWh nickel-metal hydride battery, culminating in a total system output of 308 horsepower. An electric motor powers each of the front wheels while the third motor powers both the rear wheels, essentially rendering the RX 450h an all-wheel-drive vehicle. Power is routed via a continuously variable automatic transmission.

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 RX Hybrid?

The RX received major cosmetic updates in 2016 and the addition of a range of safety features in 2017, moving into 2018 only got the RX reshuffled optional packages and features. Coming into 2019 the RX 450h still receives minimal changes, only upgraded for integration with the Lexus Enform Connect smartphone app.

Pros and Cons

  • Highly fuel-efficient
  • Angelic ride quality and drive
  • First-rate and well-built interior
  • High predicted-reliability rating
  • Near perfect crash test scores
  • Subpar cargo capacity
  • Distracting Remote Touch Interface
  • Mediocre overall acceleration
  • Cramped third-row seats in 450hL

RX Hybrid Exterior

Based on the standard RX design, little changes on the surface in the transition to becoming a hybrid. The RX 450h and 450hL are fitted with 18-inch seven-spoke alloy wheels and the F Sport 450h receives 20-inch split-ten-spoke allow wheels. Standard base level exterior features include Bi-LED headlamps, LED fog lamps and daytime running lights, and power-adjustable and heated outside mirrors. In addition to that, the 450hL receives power-folding and auto-dimming outside mirrors and an aluminum roof rack. The F Sport 450h receives bespoke exterior styling with a sporty front spoiler and rear valance, and a unique mesh grille.

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Front View
2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Front Angle View
2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Rear Angle View
See All 2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The RX 450h is considered a midsize luxury crossover with a total length of 192.5 inches (196.9 inches in the form of the 450hL), a total width of 74.6 inches, and a total height of 67.7 inches. All 450h models have a wheelbase of 109.8 inches. The 450h has a curb weight of 4,740 lbs and runs 8.2 inches from the ground while the 450hL proves heavier at 4,905 lbs and runs 7.9 inches off the ground. Approach angle is 17 degrees, departure angle 24.9 degrees, and break-over angle is 16.8 degrees.

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Exterior Colors

  • Eminent White Pearl
  • Nebula Gray Pearl
  • Silver Lining Metallic
  • Atomic Silver
  • Obsidian
  • Caviar
  • Nightfall Mica
  • Matador Red Mica
  • Satin Cashmere Metallic
  • Autumn Shimmer
  • Ultra White

RX Hybrid Performance

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Front View Driving
2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Front View Driving
2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Engine Bay

Engine and Transmission

Equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine, three electric motors, and a 37-kWh sealed nickel-metal hydride battery, the RX 450h's continually variable automatic transmission manages 308 combined system horsepower. This carries the RX450h from 0-60 mph in a below-average 7.9 seconds. It also gives the RX 450h a decent maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds. The hybrid system delivers power sufficiently and smoothly though the throttle response does vary depending on which powerplant is providing the motive power. The transmission overall is otherwise swift, silent, and predominantly consistent, but with added weight, it doesn't make the most of the electric torque on hand.

  • Engine
    3.5-liter V6 Hybrid
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    AWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

In true Lexus fashion, every aspect of the RX 450h model is optimized to deliver a soft, smooth, and composed ride while maintaining a sensation of stability and being firmly planted to the ground. The standard RX suspension handles road imperfections suitably and never feels too floaty over undulating surfaces, while the sport-tuned adaptive variable suspension in the F Sport gives even greater composure, with minimal body roll, even if it does ride a little stiffer. In terms of handling the RX 450h, as well as the RX 450h F Sport, isn't as athletic as class rivals. Nevertheless, the base RX 450h behaves well in casual driving but isn't as adept at maintaining stability around bends at higher speeds, incurring moderate levels of body roll. The steering is adequately responsive and weighted and is adjustable with the Drive Mode Select, but communication from the front end is somewhat vague. The brakes aren't always consistent and can be grabby under sudden application as the RX tries to blend friction braking with regenerative braking. They are, however, effective enough for most applications.

RX Hybrid Gas Mileage

When it comes to Lexus' hybrid models, high-level fuel efficiency is the name of the game. Deemed as one of the class-leaders in fuel economy, the 450h earns EPA estimates of 31/28/20 mpg city/highway/combined. Utilizing premium unleaded gas only, the 17.2-gallon gas tank capacity gives the RX 450h a total range of 516 miles in mixed driving conditions. The Acura MDX Hybrid as a direct competitor doesn't quite match up to the RX 450h with EPA estimates of 26/27/27 mpg.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    17.2 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 30/28 mpg
* 2019 Lexus RX 450h AWD

RX Hybrid Interior

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Dashboard
2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Dashboard
2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Front Seats
See All 2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The base RX 450h and RX 450h F Sport seat five occupants in total, while the RX 450hL receives a third-row to seat a total of six. Head and legroom in the cabin overall are appreciable, however, as is the case with most three-row SUV's, the room in the RX 450hL's third-row is very limited and should be reserved for use by smaller teenagers. The seats throughout the cabin are otherwise spacious, comfortable and supportive, the F Sport receives bolstered front sport seats which are beneficial for spirited driving, and the RX 450hL features pleasant second-row captain's chairs as standard which tilt and slide for convenient access to the third row. The seats are set optimally for easy ingress and egress supported by narrow doorsills and wide-opening doors.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

RX Hybrid Trunk and Cargo Space

The slanted roofline of the RX 450h hampers trunk and cargo versatility, many direct rivals offer more in utility and practicality in this regard. Trunk capacity in the RX 450h and F Sport is capped at 18 cubic feet, folding down the 40/20/40 split-folding and reclining second-row seats expands that space to 55.9 cu-ft. Seats in place, there's enough room for luggage for four on a weekend getaway. By cause of the third-row seating in the RX 450hL trunk capacity is diminished to a mere 7.5 cu-ft with all seats in place, room enough for a gym bag and laptop case. However, folding down the power-folding and reclining 50/50-split third-row seats expands that space to 23.5 cu-ft and the second row of seats opens up 58.5 cu-ft of space when stowed.

In-cabin storage comprises a sizeable center console, a suitably sized glovebox, dual cupholders up front, and door side pockets that fold out for additional width. In the rear of the cabin, the center seat backrest folds down to reveal a small storage cubby along with dual cupholders, and there's a seatback map pocket behind each front seat. The third row of seats in the RX 450hL features two cupholders.

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Trunk Space
2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Trunk Space
2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Maximum Cargo Space

RX Hybrid Infotainment and Features

Features

The RX 450h is the entry-level RX and features the base range of standard features including SmartAccess with push-button start/stop, an auto-dimming inside mirror, power-operated trunk, leather-trimmed shift knob and steering wheel with power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, dual-zone automatic climate control with interior air filter, and ten-way power-adjustable front seats. The 450h F Sport receives performance-centric interior elements such as sport-inspired instrumentation, aluminum pedals and door-sill scuff plates, perforated leather-trimmed sport shift knob and steering wheel with paddle shifters, heated and ventilated sport front seats with bolsters, and LED interior illumination. The RX 450hL is equipped with a third-row of power-folding and reclining 50/50-split seats, second-row captain's chairs, three-zone climate control, and the Lexus Memory System. All RX models are equipped with Lexus' Safety System+, a rearview backup camera, and Lexus Enform Safety and Service Connect.

Infotainment

Featured in the RX 450h is a Lexus multimedia system comprising an eight-inch color display, Remote Touch Interface, and 12-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio. Subscription-free traffic and weather updates are provided via the HD radio. Smart device connectivity is made viable through Bluetooth, voice command, and Siri Eyes Free capability, and an auxiliary input and two USB ports are available for device charging. The system is installed with Lexus Enform App Suite and offers Scout GPS Link with TurnStream mode complimentary until 2023. A navigation system with 12.3-in high-res split-screen display, Lexus Enform Destination Assist, Lexus remote App and Amazon Alexa compatibility, and a 12-speaker premium sound system is available in the optional Navigation Package. A Mark Levinson 15-speaker surround sound audio system is also available. Neither Android Auto nor Apple CarPlay is supported.

RX Hybrid Problems and Reliability

So far there have been no major recalls commissioned for the 2019 Lexus 450h, but there has been a single complaint lodged by an owner, who claims that due to the soy-based electrical wires, rodents are in rare instances inclined to chew through them. J.D. Power allocated a predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five to the 2019 Lexus RX 450h. The RX 450h range is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, six-year/70,000-mile powertrain warranty, and an eight-year/100,000-mile hybrid component warranty.

RX Hybrid Safety

The NHTSA rated the 2019 Lexus RX 450h with an overall safety rating of five out of five for crash test safety and the 2019 RX 450hL with an overall safety rating of four out of five. The IIHS evaluated the RX 450h in five crash test scenarios in which it received top scores of Good in all.

Verdict: Is 2019 Lexus RX Hybrid a good SUV?

The RX 450h is an exceptional vehicle for its class exhibiting class-leading gas mileage estimates, above-average predicted reliability ratings and top-notch safety evaluations. Albeit lacking in trunk and cargo space relative to direct rivals, the overall room in the front and rear seats is cavernous. Unfortunately, head- and legroom in the third row of seats in the RX 450hL are almost non-existent, though, with those seats folded away, the trunk capacity is benefitted by the RX 450hL's additional length. A unique quality of the RX 450h is its ability to deliver the venerable ride quality Lexus vehicles are famous for, and at the same time deliver poised handling dynamics at low to midrange speeds. The RX 450h F Sport follows that trait through into the high-performance limits of its capability. Aside from those special advantages, the RX 450h retains Lexus' otherworldly craftsmanship and build quality and the selection of high-quality elements and appreciable range of vehicle features.

What's the Price of 2019 Lexus RX Hybrid?

The most affordable RX 450h model, the base RX 450h is attainable at a starting MSRP of $46,245, the RX 450hL comes in with a starting MSRP of $50,970, and the RX 450h F Sport, the most expensive variant holds a starting MSRP of $51,605. All the above-stated prices are excluding tax, registration, and licensing fees and are exclusive of Lexus' delivery, processing, and handling fee of $1,025. Dealerships may also include dealer-specific incentives and price structures.

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
RX 450h
3.5-liter V6 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$46,245
RX 450hL
3.5-liter V6 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$50,970
RX 450h F Sport
3.5-liter V6 Hybrid
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
All-Wheel Drive
$51,605
See All 2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Trims and Specs

What Lexus RX Hybrid Model Should I Buy?

Each RX 450h model has a unique appeal, with the decision of which to opt for coming down to personal lifestyle and requirements. The base RX 450h is suitable for a family of no more than four that needs to be accommodated on a regular basis. In-cabin comfort is optimal in this model and the standard range of features are satisfactory for accommodating a small family. The 40/20/40-split reclining, sliding, and folding rear seats allow for versatile storage capabilities too. The RX 450hL is aimed more towards those who would either benefit from the additional length of the body which expands trunk space when the power-folding and reclining 50/50-split third-row seats are down, or from those additional two seats. Adults will more than comfortably fit into the first and second row of seats, but only really small occupants will fit comfortably in the third row. The RX 450h F Sport greatly improves the ride quality and handling of the RX 450h, but at quite the price hike. Unless the performance-oriented cosmetics are a high priority for you, then the standard RX 450h should suffice.

Check out other Lexus RX Styles?

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid Comparisons

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid
2019 Lexus RX Hybrid

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid vs Volvo XC60 Hybrid

Only slightly more expensive than the RX 450h, the 2019 Volvo XC60 Hybrid delivers more than the RX 450h in almost every regard other than fuel economy and ride comfort. The T8 eAWD Plug-in Hybrid is the hybrid variant of the XC60 lineup and is equipped with a turbocharged and supercharged two-liter engine with an electric motor and battery pack to produce a total 400 hp and 472 lb-ft driven through an eight-speed auto transmission. Though the XC60 delivers superior power and acceleration, it doesn't quite match the ride quality from the 450h. It is, however, faster and a lot more fun to drive enthusiastically. Where the XC60 demolishes the 450h is in its standard technology, vehicle safety, and advanced driver-assist features which are far superior in quality and modernity and feature Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility - neither of which can be found in the RX. The RX 450h may offer a more luxury-oriented ride overall, but it's the sporting performance and contemporary vehicle features of the XC60 that makes it the better buy.

See Volvo XC60 Hybrid Review

2019 Lexus RX Hybrid vs Acura MDX Hybrid

The 2019 Acura MDX Hybrid is around $2,000-$8,000 more than the RX 450h but standard features include an adaptive suspension which delivers an equally comfortable ride quality to that of the RX 450h F Sport, and is a three-row SUV with a more spacious third-row offering than the RX 450hL. With Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality included as standard the MDX already offers superior technology, however, the dual-screen setup is as unintuitive as the RX 450h's Remote Touch Interface. The interior of the MDX isn't as opulent and refined as the RX 450h's, but overall the MDX offers more versatility and practicality in storage and occupant solutions. The MDX offers better tech, better storage utility, and more room than the RX 450h, but as the MDX is nowhere near as fuel-efficient or as luxurious as the RX 450h, the RX 450h is the better hybrid vehicle.

See Acura MDX Hybrid Review

Lexus RX Hybrid Popular Comparisons