The RX for High SUV Fuel Costs? Lexus

May 7, 2012

In times when every dollar counts, you need a reliable, roomy SUV that’s as good on gas as it is for engine power. And though there are a lot of winning options, the honor of most fuel efficient V6 SUV goes to the Lexus RX 450h. With an impressive EPA estimated 28 MPG city and 32 MPG highway, the RX 450h definitely has the best bang for your buck. The MSRP of $45,235 is not cheap; however, the top safety marks, luxurious interior and fuel economy make it a smart and stylish choice.

The RX 450h model features a 3.5L/295hp V6 engine. It has a continuously variable speed automatic transmission and no manual option. The RX 450h is front wheel drive with an all-wheel drive upgrade available. Fuel tank capacity is 17.2 gallons and premium unleaded fuel is required. It comes with a basic 4 year/50,000 mile warranty and a hybrid component 8 year/100,000 mile warranty.

Lexus RX450h

Measurements for the RX 450h are 187.8 inches long, 66.3 inches high and 74.2 inches wide. With all seats in place, it offers 40.0 cubic feet of space and has a maximum capacity of 80.3 cubic feet. Curb weight is 4,520 pounds and the maximum payload, which may require a drivetrain upgrade to AWD, is 1,245 pounds. It has MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbone rear suspension.

The list of safety features for the RX 450h is quite impressive. It has a 4-wheel ABS, front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, and child seat anchors as standards. Safety Connect, a telematics service with an emergency assistance button, automatic collision notification and a stolen-vehicle locator is also included. The RX 450h comes with a remote anti-theft alarm system, an engine immobilizer and a post-collision safety system. Options include a backup monitor, intuitive parking assistance and a glass breakage sensor.

In frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the related RX 350 with the best possible rating of “Good.” In government crash tests, the RX 450h received a total score of four out of five stars. It earned four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection, making it one of the safest SUV choices in addition to the one with the best fuel mileage for a V-6 engine.

Power features for the RX 450h are remote power door locks, powered and heated mirrors, four 1-touch power windows and remote window operation. For convenience features it offers cruise control, a first aid kit, electric power steering, a universal remote transmitter, 12 V front, rear and cargo area power outlets and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel. For comfort the RX 450h gives you dual zone climate controls, air filtration, front and rear reading lights and a leather steeling wheel.

In car entertainment and telematics are plentiful; with a Bluetooth wireless data link, AM/FM in-dash 6 CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo, auxiliary audio input and iPod integration and Sirius XM satellite radio with 3 months of service. Also included are 9 speakers, a speed sensitive volume control and diversity antenna. Instrumentation gives you external temperature display, a trip computer and low fuel level warning.

The biggest pro of the Lexus RX 450h is the excellent fuel economy combined with the V6 engine. Other pluses are a plush ride, a cabin made with top quality materials, loads of high-tech features and the outstanding safety rating. On the minus side, the greatly improved fuel economy comes at a much higher price than that of its Lexus RX 350 counterpart. The option packages, although sweet, are pricey as well. If power, comfort, safety and fuel economy are your biggest must-haves, however, the Lexus RX 450h is definitely the leader of the crossover SUV pack.

Important StatsLexus RX450h
Engine3.5L V-6
Horsepower245 @ 6,000 rpm
Transmission2-spd CVT with OD
0-60 MpH7.8s
DrivetrainFront Wheel Drive
Seating5 passengers
Cargo Space80.3 cu.ft.
MPG32 City / 28 Hwy
Warranty48 months/50,000 miles
MSRP$45,235 - $46,825

Further Reading:

2012 Lexus RX 450h Review
The RX 450h is a midsize luxury crossover that features all-wheel drive and hybrid-driven performance. While it failed to achieve its rated fuel economy, it provided a refined driving experience and better-than-average economy for this popular segment.

2012 Lexus RX 450h Review – Review | Hybrid Cars
Comprehensive information about the Lexus RX 450, the most popular luxury small SUV with a hybrid drive. Photos, reviews, latest news, and car comparison tool.

Image Source By IFCAR (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Category: Most Fuel Efficient SUVs

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