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  • Writer's pictureMitchell Weitzman

2024 Lexus RX 450h+ review: Complicated luxury

This luxurious hybrid SUV is undone by needlessly complicated features

2024 Lexus RX 450h+ review | The Road Beat

2024 Lexus RX 450h+ Luxury review by The Road Beat

Words and pictures: Mitchell Weitzman


With already plenty already written about Lexus' ability to make even the most mundane tasks frustrated, I'm frankly tired of going on about the shortcomings in the new batch of refreshed Lexus models. The fact is the cars themselves are so uninteresting, no doubt on purpose, that there isn't much else to be said about them beside complaints. This expensive SUV, a $75,755 drain on your account, might be a well-made and quality product, but it lacks the charm and moves needed at this price point against ever-impressive and increasingly captivating rivals.


Strengths


This is a properly luxurious car, with the term Luxury being an actual trim name for this specific RX. Lots of leather and soft-touch materials make up the cabin, and there's attractive wood adorning the steering wheel that does well to not appear dated. This is not an exciting appearing interior, but it's definitely a luxurious one at least, and that's very comfortable and hospitable. Even the back seat space isn't too cramped for longer travels for what is technically considered as a relatively 'compact' SUV.


2024 Lexus RX 450h review

This hybrid powertrain delivers 304 total system horsepower and is the same unit you'll find in a Toyota RAV4 Prime. Power is enough for the class, but with the added weight the Lexus' luxurious nature brings, performance is less compelling than it is in the surprisingly quick Toyota. The real highlight, though, is the thriftiness of this hybrid, averaging 28 MPG during my week of driving. While that may fall significantly below the EPA estimate of 35 by a considerable 20%, as many hybrids do, 28 MPG puts it right to the top of the class when it comes to efficiency and is one of the most efficient luxury SUVs without going fully electric.


Weaknesses


With a focus on soft luxury, the RX is floaty-boaty when it comes to handling and dynamics. Okay, so it has no sporting intention (and neither does its customers), but Genesis can make an SUV both comfortable and compelling to drive, so why can't Lexus? I still dislike the weird exterior door handles that are not actually moving handles, but which then makes them pointless to still have such bulbous elements on the exterior. Further, the parking brake button inside is too small and weirdly stiff to press. There's now the usual array of too-many-buttons on the steering wheel, and they actually activate via the head-up display, making it more confusing than it should be and creates more problems than solves.


Read my RX 500h Performance review here


2024 Lexus RX 450h+ interior

There are some electronic annoyances, too, like an alarm that goes off each time the car thinks you've left something behind in the rear seat. I say 'think' because half the time that the warning went off, I hadn't actually left anything in it; This is normal behavior for most new Lexus and Toyota models now. There's also the weird fact that this RX 450h+ is more expensive than the (relatively) performance-oriented RX 500h by about $5,000. There's no obvious discernable quality difference here, except this 450 is even lazier in handling and has less power. Why would you pay more for that?


2024 Lexus RX 450h+

A new gadget (and gigantically annoying) implemented in new Lexus is this active driving assistant that means the radar cruise control is basically on all the time,. Even if you're not using cruise control, the Lexus will slow you down if it thinks you're approaching a car too quickly. In practice, it's dreadful and had me fighting it by applying throttle to keep up and defeat the automatically-insisted braking when on a variety of roads - and I wasn't even that close following another car. Luckily you can turn that feature off, and good riddance once dismissed. Does Lexus really think that little of their drivers and customers? That they can't pay an ounce of attention when behind the wheel? There's also an default alarm that sounds each time it thinks you're distracted, such as looking at street signs, or looking over toward pedestrians so that you don't mow them down like a bowling pins.


A luxurious cruiser at heart


While the RX 450h+ Luxury is built to a high and quality standard and is as comfortable and cushy as a Lexus can be, it's sadly very boring to drive and the switchgear and electronics are compromised to a sometimes frustrating degree. The gas mileage is at least highly impressive, but even as a luxury car, it lacks the 'wow' factor that other rivals have. Upgrading from an older Lexus will likely be met with applause, but if you shop other competing models, it's likely you won't venture back to the Lexus dealer.


2024 Lexus RX 450h+

Price as-tested: 75,755

Pros: Luxuriously crafted cabin; Great mileage

Cons: Complicated functionality; Expensive for a Lexus


2024 Lexus RX 450h exterior rear

2024 lexus rx 450h+ exterior detail

2024 lexus rx450 exterior detail

2024 Lexus RX 450h+ review

lexus rx 450h+ exterior

2024 Lexus RX 450h interior rear seats

2024 lexus rx 450h

20024 lexus rx 450h+ interior

lexus rx 450h+ interior

lexus rx 450h mark levinson stereo




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