Lexus RX 450h L

Premier

Lexus RX450h L, dynamic
Lexus RX 450hL, 2018, front, action
Lexus RX 450hL, 2018, front
Lexus RX 450hL, 2018, side
Lexus RX 450hL, 2018, rear, action
Lexus RX 450hL, 2018, rear
Lexus RX450h L, front
Lexus RX450h L, rear
Lexus RX450h L, profile
Lexus RX450h L, boot
Lexus RX450h L, interior
Lexus RX450h L, rear seats

THIS seven-seater SUV monster from Lexus is one ‘L' of a motor

With the extra 110mm in length - just over four inches in old money - compared to the five-seat model, Lexus ensure the RX 450h L Premier has the third row of seats that now seem essential to many families.

They are part of a luxurious interior and futuristic exterior plus cutting-edge hybrid drive system that more than justifies the Premier version's price-tag of £61,995.

The sumptuous leather seats are comfortable and supportive while three-zone climate control and an optional £995 sunroof ensure the cabin offers a light and airy atmosphere.

A decent driving position is guaranteed thanks to powered adjustment controls and indeed this RX is a button-pusher's paradise.

They are present on the steering wheel, dashboard and driver's door, while the car's many goodies can also be accessed via a large central colour display screen operated by a slightly overactive joystick giving access to the sat nav, audio system and many other goodies. There's a space behind the joystick to charge a smartphone as well as a deep covered bin for all your odds and sods.

Up front there is plenty of room, while those in the middle row will surely campaign for just two passengers rather than the three allowed for as, with the centre berth unoccupied, a large arm rest can be dropped down revealing controls to heat the seats as well as power points and cup holders hidden beneath a pop-up lid.

The middle bench folds and slides forward with the help of a single lever giving good access to seats six and seven which offer a decent amount of headroom thanks to a more upright rear window than the five-seater model. Legroom is helped by the slight raising of the middle seats but on long journeys the rear seats are only a realistic proposition for small children.

Heating and ventilation for the third row can be adjusted by the passengers sitting there and a couple of cup holders next to them are a handy addition.

If you don't need these seats then they artfully fold flat into the floor at - you've guessed it - the press of a button. With all seven in use boot space is still plentiful at 495 litres, while reverting to a five-seater creates 966 litres for luggage and shopping.

The bootlid is also powered and the focus on reducing the amount of effort needed to interact with this SUV extends to driving it.

So when you park or prepare to pull away the electronic parking brake automatically switches on and off when a gear is selected.

The driver's seat and steering wheel automatically adjust to give you more room to get in and out of the car, while returning to your favoured driving position once the ignition button is pressed.

The automatic transmission ensures seamless gear changes while the self-charging full hybrid system provides plenty of power allowing 62mph to be achieved from a standing start in eight seconds on its way to a top speed of 112mph should you venture on to a track. This is achieved through a partnership between a 3.6-litre direct injection V6 petrol engine and two electric motors - one for each axle - giving all-wheel drive in a vehicle boasting 308bhp. Fuel consumption is officially rated as 47.1mpg with carbon dioxide emissions of 138g/km.

A dial next to the driver allows you to change driving modes between Eco, Normal and Sport settings with the economy metre in front of you converting to a conventional rev counter as you make the change.

There is a fighter pilot-style head-up display so you always know how fast you're going and what the speed limit is.

The raft of safety features that saw the five-seater gain a Euro five-star NCAP rating are also on the RX L .

FAST FACTS

Lexus RX 450h L Premier

Price:£61,995

Mechanical:308bhp, 3,456cc, 6cyl petrol engine plus electric motors driving four wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed:112mph

0-62mph:8.0 seconds

Combined MPG:47.1

Insurance Group:43

C02 emissions:138g/km

Bik rating:28%

Warranty:3yrs/ 60,000 miles

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