The 2013 Lexus RX 450 Hybrid is powered by a phenomenal 3.5-liter V6 Atkinson-cycle engine. It works by converting much of the energy that is generated during combustion into usable mechanical energy. Additionally, it features a remarkably compact and super lightweight hybrid battery.
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The RX 450h boasts 295 horsepower, routed through a very unique continuously variable automatic transmission. Zero to 60 mph is achieved in a brisk 7.5 seconds and properly equipped, it can even tow up to 3,500 pounds. Of course, the strong selling point of this SUV is its amazing fuel-economy, returning 32 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The hybrid comes standard as front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available.
Like its RX 350 relative, the hybrid model does not disappoint where the ride is concerned. It is smooth, lively and incredibly quiet. Even the steering gets rave reviews as it is much more weighted and responsive than most are prepared for.
The RX 450h receives the highest possible rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when frontal, roof and side-protection were tested. Unfortunately, it did take 130 feet to stop from 60 mph, which is rather long for this segment.
This SUV features a class-leading 10-airbag system with a network of sensors to provide passengers with maximum protection. Safety features include:
It is hard not to look at the RX 450h and just be swept away by how artistic it is. It is essentially a masterpiece from every angle. A muscular, yet elegant body screams of sport and sophistication with its new grille design, wide headlamps, aerodynamic hood, rear spoiler, privacy glass and eye-catching wheels.
If you are impressed by its outer appearance, slipping inside the cabin will seal the deal. Rich wood and high quality leather surround you. Controls are thoughtfully placed, but there are a lot of them, which can be both confusing and overwhelming when you are trying to drive.
The front seats are well cushioned, but they are lacking in lateral and thigh support. Surprisingly, the rear seat may be the most comfortable place to be as it reclines and slides to offer optimal comfort. On the downside, the RX 450h only offers seating for five; a third row seat is not available.
Cargo capacity is hard to compete with. When the rear seat is in place, you get almost 40 cubic feet, which is a lot of space. Then, when the seat is lowered, an incredible 80 cubic feet opens up.