Lexus RX 450h Takumi

Lexus RX 450h, 2019, front, action
Lexus RX 450h, 2019, front
Lexus RX 450h, 2019, side
Lexus RX 450h, 2019, rear
Lexus RX 450h, 2019, interior
Lexus RX 450h, 2019, boot
Lexus RX 450h, 2019, rear seats

THE Lexus RX 450h is a large luxury SUV choc full of the latest technology and gizmos - as well as a rather fetching analogue clock.

The designers at the luxury arm of Toyota are obviously not scared of marrying the old with the new in a motor that definitely does its best to stand out from the crowd.

And when even the simplest things - like the turn indicator - are open to three different adjustments and settings it is obvious that a great deal of time and energy has been put into making sure the buyer is getting full value for their £61,000.

Lexus recently upgraded the RX range, so the 450h sports a refreshed front end with sleeker headlights which complement a huge vase-shaped front grille and natty alloy wheels.

Its impossible-to-ignore design ensures plenty of kerb presence and lots of attention from passers by.

The interior is slightly at odds with the avant-garde bodywork as it is more conservative with lots of soft leather fabric and wood inlays giving a sumptuous feel to proceedings.

The multi-function heated steering wheel makes use of both of these materials and is terrifically tactile.

The cabin offers plenty of room for five adults, although the middle passenger of the three in the back draws a bit of a short straw with a slightly raised seat that is not as comfortable as the other two. However on the plus side legroom is not compromised as there is no transmission tunnel. In the absence of a third rear passenger a drop-down centre armrest featuring nifty pop-out cup holders and a storage space becomes available.

Those in the back also benefit from heated seats as all creature comforts are covered.

The cabin is light and airy in the luxury-orientated top-spec Takumi model - a more spirited F Sport is the other option - as it comes with a magnificent powered panoramic roof that is an essay in relaxation to watch open and close.

The 453-litre boot is accessed via a powered tailgate while the rear seats fold flat at the push of a button to create even more space. The rear bench also slides forwards or back to either increase passenger leg room or boot space with a recline function for extra comfort.

A decent driving position is easy to find thanks to full electric adjustment, with a memory function returning you to the perfect spot after automatically pulling back to give you extra space to get out.

The media and sat nav systems are accessed through a large touchscreen situated on top of the dashboard which is controlled via a laptop-style touchpad. I've never been great with this type of system - especially on the move - so using the touch-sensitive screen proved the better option.

For those wanting to display their mobile's apps on the screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring are included as standard.

Lexus includes plenty of toys with all versions of the RX 450h getting a DAB radio, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers and parking sensors, while the Takumi model hits the right note by adding a 15-speaker stereo and a 360-degree parking camera.

Lexus takes pride in its safety systems and the fourth generation RX boasts a modified forward facing radar system which can detect objects or people that may be in danger.

There is also a lane tracing set up to ease cornering when driving with cruise control activated while a head up display shows speed, navigation and road sign information.

Power is provided by a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine coupled with two electric motors and a smooth CVT gearbox in an efficient hybrid drive that produces 308bhp allowing what is a big motor to sprint from 0-62mph in just 7.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of 124mph.

Fuel economy is rated at 35.7mpg at best under the new WLTP regime with emissions of 179g/km - but being a full hybrid the RX is continually switching into pure electric mode whenever possible.

It does have lots of get up and go but this SUV majors more on comfort than exhilaration thanks to an efficient suspension and new shock absorbers. It is ideal for cruising along a motorway, making short work of long journeys.

FAST FACTS

Lexus RX 450h Takumi

Price:£61,705

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

Max Speed:124mph

0-62mph:7.7 seconds

Combined MPG:35.7

Insurance Group:42

C02 emissions:179g/km

Bik rating:37%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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