2019 Lexus RX 450h new car reviews

The Lexus RX: Seemingly the vehicle of choice for realtors all across the United States for the past twenty years. Was the RX the first car-based crossover? Maybe, but it’s a moot point; The RX certainly outsold its contemporaries, making it the only relevant crossover for years. Sales for the RX took off and haven’t stopped since. 

It’s chocked full of so much tech it could take you years to suss it all out, by which point your self-driving 9000SUX will be the vehicle of choice for showing houses; assuming we don’t live in pods by then.

Some examples:

  • Lexus Enform Service Connect (complimentary for the first 10 years of ownership) enables the RX to send vehicle alerts and factory maintenance alerts, simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer if opted-in.
  • Lexus Enform WiFi (includes a 4 GB one-year complimentary trial) allows up to five devices to be connected via the vehicle’s 4G LTE service powered by Verizon.
  • The complimentary Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 app offer access to favorite mobile applications through the vehicle’s center console display, including NPR One, iHeartRadio, Slacker and Yelp.
  • Lexus Enform Destination Assist (complimentary for the first year of ownership) acts as an in- vehicle personal concierge, providing directions and destinations delivered by a live agent (Navigation required).
  • Dynamic Navigation (complimentary for up to the first three years of ownership) offers three enhanced features; greater accuracy through continuous cloud-based updates with Dynamic Map; alternative routes based on conditions ahead via Dynamic Route and Dynamic Points o Interest (POI), which automatically sorts POI results based on relevance, and, search the clo using conversational speech for address or POIs via Dynamic Voice Recognition system (Navigation Package required).
  • Lexus Enform Remote (complimentary for the first year of ownership) lets you lock and unlock doors, start the engine and climate controls, check the fuel level, and more all through your smartphone, smartwatch or using the Lexus skill for Amazon Alexa®-enabled devices at home.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. 


Other staff views

J.G. Pasterjak JG Pasterjak
Production/Art Director

The X4 was replaced in our press fleet by the Lexus RX450h, which is basically the embodiment of futuristic transportation as depicted in 1996. At times you’re afraid to look in the rear-view mirror, lest you see a ghostly apparition of Syd Mead grinning at you from the back seat.

If the X4 was papa Bear’s too-hard bed or too hot porridge, the RX is mom’s soft and cold combo. It’s overstuffed with technology and design cues and futuristic gee-whizzery, which is not necessarily a bad thing if properly implemented. But there’s something about the RX which makes it seem like an older platform that’s been continually modified to accept the latest technology. It’s that hurriedly produced final stage on Disney’s Carousel of Progress that gets put together when the Fungineers realize that the current final stage has aged out and they need to keep up with the times. “Just throw some neon and a guy with a green mohawk in there, it’ll look totally futurey.”

You notice it in the little things. Design peculiarities that seem engineered not from the beginning from and endless series of middles. Want to tune to a particular satellite radio station? Well, first you’ll have to enter a menu titled “info” from any other preprogrammed satellite station, then enter another submenu to access direct tuning. Yeah, it’s a little thing, and not really a reason to completely bag on what is really a pretty good car, but at the same time I shouldn’t have to memorize the Konami code to change the damn channel.

On the road, however, the RX is a bit more livable than the X4. You give up some of the X4’s connected feeling, but in a vehicle like this you don’t much care about that anyway. In trade, you gain a lot of room, comfort and easy-to-access cargo space. The RX is also fairly remarkable in its amazing fuel efficiency. The electric-assisted V6 delivered 27mpg in mixed driving over the week we had it, which is impressive.

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