Auto123 updates the Lexus RX 450 h 2020 review.
The Lexus RX has been present in the luxury vehicle market for already fifteen years. Arriving at its fourth generation, it receives some aesthetic and technological updates. However, note in passing that the 2020 vintage finally offers compatibility with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto applications – which is not trivial for many consumers today. Or should I say, it should be trite; it was time for Toyota / Lexus to catch up with the others…
See also: The Lexus RX, a magic carpet? A story of my adventures in Costa Rica in RX 2020
What changes between 2019 and 2020?
Nothing major, in fact. On the outside and at the front of the vehicle, the fairing is more massive. The fog lights have also changed places to be positioned at the bottom of the grille and in a horizontal position. At the rear, the changes are almost imperceptible; note the lights, very slightly changed, and the exhaust pipes which are now hidden under the rear apron. Lexus has also made some modifications to its suspension system, resulting in better vehicle stability.
Here, the huge central screen will not leave you indifferent. In the hybrid model we tested, its size is 12.3 inches and it offers several types and display formats (unlike the basic 4.2 inch screen). First, we have a "home" page which allows us to separate the information between the radio, the GPS or any other such as consumption, telephone, etc.
The multimedia system can be approached in more than one way, either by the new "Trackpad" touchpad (which still requires a few days of adaptation) or simply with your fingertips, directly on the screen. However, its general use is still difficult and requires practice to be tamed. It can even put off several buyers who are less tech-savvy than the average. In short, once configured, you don't touch it anymore.
The comfort of the seats is still as royal; the leather is flexible and the door trim and the materials used are all of very high quality. We understand why this vehicle is prized by many buyers.
On the engine side, we still find the 3.5-liter V6 that develops 295 horsepower and 268 pound-feet of torque in the base model. This hybrid version uses the same mechanics, but adds three electric motors to it. The first two work on the front wheels and the third is for the rear wheels, all for a total of 308 horsepower.
The basic version's eight-speed automatic transmission transforms into a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on the hybrid version. Needless to say, this part of the equation really disappointed us. With each acceleration, the engine howls, which makes the experience very unpleasant. So we will avoid rushing this vehicle and we will opt for a cushy, economical and comfortable driving, in order to avoid any nervous breakdown.
The good news is that we have managed to record consumption of less than 10 liters per 100 km, in winter conditions and having suffered two consecutive snowstorms. That's pretty good, especially if we compare to the 16 liters per 100 km generated last year during our test of the RX L.
Ranges and safety
Not surprisingly when dealing with a Lexus, safety is taken seriously in the RX 2020. A variety of traction and path control systems are implemented to guarantee perfect stability on winding or uneven roads and are standard on the 450h model (or optional on the 350 versions).
All 2020 RXs are fitted with a blind spot monitor, no less than 10 airbags, the Lexus 2+ safety system which includes automatic headlights, dynamic cruise control with radar, lane departure assistance and collision alert with pedestrian and cyclist detection. And let's not forget the recognition of traffic signs and lane keeping that helps you stay between the lines. And if there are no lines visible on the ground, the system will follow the vehicle in front.
As for options, four sets are available. They include many choices and you will have to spend between $ 7,900 and $ 13,800 to get them. Apart from the 20 inch wheels which give the vehicle a very nice appearance, the other proposals are more techno and depend on your dependence on them.
The experience aboard the Lexus RX is one of great tranquility. The silence is impressive thanks to the excellent soundproofing. Then, the great comfort provided is also remarkable. The latter comes largely from the high-quality seats and the level of refinement of the interior, but also from the suspension system, adjusted with the specific goal of removing from the mind all the inconvenience of our Canadian roads.
You just have to be gentle with the accelerator to avoid making the engine howl. It is possible, via the central console, to modify the parameters a little by choosing the Sport or Sport + modes. The latter effectively awakens the powertrain and we are therefore entitled to a more lively level of performance – always under the constraints imposed by this CVT, it must be said.
Otherwise, the RX is relatively agile on the road, it does not behave like a big bully; the steering is precise, although it lacks a bit of firmness for our taste. The lot of Lexus …
The hybrid model is an interesting variant, considering that the RX 350 starts at $ 58,640 and that the hybrid version is barely more expensive at $ 61,390. The difference of $ 2,750 makes the switch to hybrid inexpensive.
The big news for 2020 basically comes down to the addition of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. This luxury utility is ideal if you are looking for a vehicle that is reliable, comfortable, safe and has enough room to accommodate five people with their luggage, and you are able to afford a vehicle of $ 60,000. The Lexus RX 450h will give you your money's worth while retaining excellent resale value.
Comfort and silence on board
Fuel economy of this hybrid version
We like less
Unnecessarily complex multimedia system
The main competition
Land Rover Range Rover Sport
2020 Lexus RX 450h pictures