The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

Like its other non-hybrid sibling, the RX350, it has been totally revamped inside out. And for the better, of course. Getting a substantial boost is the wheelbase by nearly 2, length by 5, width by .4 and height by 1.4 inches. The 2016 Lexus RX450h is still equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine but this one, mated to electric motor/generators, cranks out 308 total horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 247 pounds-feet of torque @ 4600 rpm. Zero to 60 mph is clocked at just 7.7 seconds with top speed limited at 112 mph. The rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive car is fitted with a 288-volt nickel-metal hydride battery, which is recharged by energy captured as the driver applies the brakes or coasts. Also, the Continuous Variable Transmission-equipped car gets a regenerative braking system. When the car is coasting or the brakes are applied, the electric power functions as a generator, capturing kinetic energy that would normally be lost. Instead, it converts the energy into useable electricity for recharging the batteries.
The most obvious exterior feature of the revamped five-passenger luxury SUV is the incredibly mammoth spindle grille with a chrome-plated border and surrounded by triple L-shaped LED headlights. However, blue highlights incorporated into front and rear L logos make it stand out as a hybrid. The center stack is now more angled toward the driver for easy control of buttons on the lowered dashboard. The 10-way power front seats, three-spoke power tilt/telescopic leather steering wheel, push-button start, auto dual-zone climate control, metallic accents around the center of the overhauled instrument cluster, 40/20/40-split recline/slide fold rear seat, gated shifter and Lexus 12-speaker Premium audio come at no cost. A cool mouse-like Remote Touch (but not the best in the market) can be used to toggle navigation, climate, audio and phone controls, which are displayed on a huge 12.3-inch screen atop the familiar analog clock.
Standard safety features include 10 airbags, Vehicle Stability Control with Traction Control, four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist, active head rests for front seats, free-limiting seatbelt pretensioners for front seats and three-point seatbelts with pretensioners for rear seats, tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.
If in the market for a well-appointed and spacious SUV that boasts decent gas mileage while backed by a powerful engine, the RX 450h fits the bill. With a combined EPA estimate of 30 mpg, you could go almost 500 miles on a full gas tank. It is a tough act to beat.

RX 450h
Wheelbase: 109.8 inches
Length: 192.5 inches
Width: 74.6 inches
Height: 67.7 inches
Weight: 4,608 pounds
Tires: 235/65R18
Fuel capacity: 17.2 gallons
City: 30 mpg
Highway: 31 mpg
Base price: $52,235
Web site:

CALLING ALL LEXUS DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at