LEXUS RX 450 HYBRID Worlds Best Suvs Cars

23 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи LEXUS RX 450 HYBRID Worlds Best Suvs Cars отключены
Lexus RX Electric Cars

LEXUS RX 450 HYBRID REVIEW

The RX 450h hybrid gets better mileage yet, especially around town and in stop-and-go traffic. The RX Hybrid is very clean, achieving a Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle (SULEV II) certification in California, and a Tier 2-Bin 3 emissions rating in all other states; that s good, by the way. The 2013 RX 450h is EPA-rated at 32/28 mpg City/Highway; RX 450h AWD is rated 30/28 mpg.

 The 2013 RX 450h includes a new Sport mode that changes the steering effort, throttle mapping and transmission shifting. Acceleration performance is comparable to that of the gasoline-only versions. With its electric motor, the 2013 RX 450h AWD comes off the line more quickly than the RX 350 models do.

 Lexus claims 0-60 performance of 7.4 seconds for the 2013 RX Hybrid with all-wheel drive (7.8 seconds with front-wheel drive).

DESIGN

It’s certainly a clean shape, as testified by its drag coefficient of just 0.32. The front grille, which follows the latest interpretation of Lexus’s L-Finesse design language, is more elaborate and recognisable than that of the previous RX. The angle of the rear screen, rearmost side window and bottom edge of the rear lights all match — a neat piece of design. On first encounter you could be forgiven for thinking the new Lexus RX is a facelift of the previous model, unless you saw the two side by side.

Even then, Lexus admits it has maintained some continuity from the old model. It’s only 15mm longer, is 40mm wider, just 10mm higher and has a 25mm longer wheelbase.


But the proportions are still similar; the cab-forward look suggests crossover rather than true muscular SUV. For those who want a RX450h with more visual attitude, Lexus is offering an F Sport model. Aimed at the popular BMW M Sport and Audi S Line SUVs, the F Sport features a deeper, more vertical front bumper, with a mesh treatment on the upper and lower grilles. 19-inch wheels complete the visual makeover.

Underneath, the F Sport is equipped with a new lateral damper system. Rather than fixed bracing between the suspension towers, there is a single damper connecting them to reduce vibrations and improve stability.

INTERIOR

The hybrid RX 450h has essentially the same cabin as the RX 350, except that the 450h has an Eco driving indicator that displays fuel economy using a bar graph. A hybrid system indicator replaces the tachometer to provide driving feedback. The interior has a bit of dash in its dash, and seating is comfortable for up to five passengers. There s no third-row seat option, but even in the second row adults will enjoy a relaxed seating position that s easy to get to, thanks to a low step-in height and good head and leg room.

The cabin is tightly assembled, though some materials have lost a degree of richness that used to define Lexus cars and crossovers; likewise, there s a bit of rumble in the V-6 that s very minor, but noticeable to anyone who s driven an ultra-refined LS sedan.

The Lexus RX450h’s cabin is one of its strongest assets. It’s a comfortable environment in which to spend time and has enough high-class materials and clever details to make the car feel suitably expensive. Excellent refinement – a result of a class-leading drag coefficient as well as the hybrid drive and quiet petrol motor – is also one of its biggest plus points.

Unfortunately, the main dashboard interface is less accommodating. The colour screen now sits higher in the dashboard, more level with the driver’s line of sight, but the fiddly Remote Touch computer-style mouse is an inconvenient way to control the car’s ancillaries. There’s a nice feel to the square joystick, which clicks when it touches an icon on the screen, but it’s more time-consuming and less intuitive than a simple rotating knob.

Although most functions are also controllable from the steering wheel, this still seems like an unnecessarily difficult system.

PERFORMANCE

The RX 450h is offered in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, but the all-wheel-drive system is different; it incorporates a separate rear electric motor to power the rear wheels. Because it is a hybrid, the transmission is a continuously variable automatic and the brakes are different due to the need to regenerate electricity. And there are a few packaging and styling differences to consider when making a decision between the two.

 Because of the addition of electric motors, the RX 450h has 25 more horsepower than the RX 350, which compensate for a weight penalty of about 160 pounds.

Lexus RX Electric Cars

Using the EPA Combined city/highway ratings, both FWD and AWD versions of the hybrid get 9 mpg better fuel economy than their non-hybrid counterparts. Even with the hybrid s smaller fuel tank, it can travel 115 miles farther on a fill-up. However, at $4 per gallon, you d have to drive close to 100,000 miles before you recouped the $6000 premium Lexus charges for the hybrid. If we follow the badge logic, the Lexus RX450h should provide performance equivalent to that of a 4.5-litre V8 rather than the 3.5-litre V6 actually under the bonnet. With the Lexus’s total output of 295bhp, that claim looks a little doubtful next to the V8-powered X5, Mercedes-Benz ML, Range Rover and Porsche Cayenne, which each have at least 350bhp and some considerably more.

And sure enough, a recorded 0-60mph time of 8.2sec confirms that the RX450h simply doesn’t have the performance to compete with the most sporting SUVs.

A fairer comparison is with the Volvo XC90 V8 and diesel rivals. The bottom line is that for the majority of driving the RX responds more than quickly enough for most people’s needs. Be gentle on the throttle when pulling away and the RX450h will move off under electric power only, and with sufficient juice in the batteries and a gentle foot it calls on the petrol motor only when speeds exceed 30mph.

Ask for a more urgent getaway and the petrol motor kicks in earlier, and if you extend the throttle fully the rear motor lends a hand to give a turn of speed beyond what you could normally expect of a 3.5-litre V6 hauling a 2.1-tonne car.

SAFETY

Safety scores are excellent: the RX earns the IIHS Top Safety Pick, and curtain airbags and stability control are standard. Adaptive lights, a rearview camera and a head-up display are available. Ten airbags are included in all RX models, along with side-curtain airbags and side bags for the rear seats, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control. And there s even a hill-holder feature for safer take-offs on steep, slippery terrain.

Among the RX s many advanced-tech accident-avoidance features are a Pre-Collision System that uses radar sensors to detect a possible impact, then readies the brakes and seatbelts for an imminent crash. Adaptive lighting and automatic high beams are also on offer.

Outward visibility—especially toward the back, when parking—can be problematic for drivers of a particular height range, so we recommend the available rearview camera system for the RX, as it helps with rearward visibility. Crash-test scores have been top-notch. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) testing, the RX has achieved top good results in frontal, side, rear, and roof strength tests, and earned Top Safety Pick status again for 2012. And in federal NCAP occupant-protection tests, the RX models earn four out of five stars overall, five stars for side impact and four for frontal protection.

The RX s five-star side-pole rating is yet another positive sign that you and your loves ones will be well-protected in a crash.

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