Skip to main content

Can you believe that the original Lexus RX launched way back in 1998 just at the emergence of drivers desiring a luxury version of what was then pretty boring choices of SUVs. Lexus saw the gap in the market and since then, the Japanese manufacturer has enjoyed great success with the combination of comfort, flawless build quality and renowned reliability the RX offers.

On the outside, the Lexus RX typically has an eye-catching exterior design with the brand’s signature spindle grille and sharp, modern lines. The new Lexus RX is more efficient than ever, with much improved technology on board, and the latest, fifth-generation Lexus RX is also available exclusively with hybrid power in the UK, offered with a choice of ‘self-charging’ hybrid or plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrains.

We were driving the range-topping RX 500h which only comes in F Sport trim. This brings with it some sportier exterior design tweaks and 21-inch alloys. It is a self-charging hybrid with a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine which sends power to a six-speed automatic transmission. The 500h also gets an electric motor on the rear axle for a combined power output of 366bhp and 550Nm of torque.

On the inside the bucket seats are snug but not uncomfortably so, there is plenty space in the front and room for two average sized adults plus maybe a smaller one. The boot space is a bit on the small side, depending on how much you cart around with you. It has a central 14-inch touchscreen comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as you’d expect, but Lexus’s own infotainment is excellent in its own right. The menus are user friendly and easy to use.

We loved the look of this car but it was when we were out on the road that we really appreciated it the most. The drive was simply superb, performance when you needed it and a comfortable ride on all journeys. High priority has been given to safety systems and the dynamic cruise control is excellent once you get used to it. When the car in front slows down, the RX starts braking almost immediately. The lane-keep assist is good too and doesn’t drag you back with any great force. The pre-collision warning system is extra sensitive however, it thinks you are about to smash into another vehicle when in reality you’re just driving beside it. Neither of us liked the speed limit recognition, because it dings constantly when you exceed the speed limit even by just 1mph. Maybe that says more about our driving though!

Unlike the previous-generation RX, this new version is only available with five seats, but let’s face it five seats are enough for most of us.

Now in its fifth generation, the RX has always been a competitive rival to the likes of BMW’s X5 and the Mercedes GLE, thanks to hybrid technology and refinement, and will clearly still be a serious rival for a long time to come.

0-60 in 6.2 seconds

2.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder + 2 electric motors

Prices start from £77,165

Ally says – for those who like me are maybe not quite ready to drive down the fully electric road yet, hybrids are the next best thing and if you want class, quality and reliability, the Lexus RX 500h is one beautiful car and well worth considering.

Lorraine says – the comfort and design is brilliant and although it is quite pricey, you get a lovely car for your money.