Lexus rx450h: more precise, but still loves “sweet” driving
Four years after its debut, the biggest of the suvs of the Toyota luxury brand, the Lexus RX, is updated. Offered in Italy only as a hybrid and also with seven seats (the two in the trunk are now sliding 10 cm, to give more comfort to the knees), will arrive in dealerships in November, with indicative prices of about 72,000. The restyling is of the light ones: it has slightly different bumpers and change the headlights (thinner). In addition, the fog lights are mounted lower down and in a protruding position, at risk of touching. Behind, you only notice the new internal graphics of the lights. The hybrid mechanism is unchanged, with the 3.5 V6 petrol engine with 262 hp combined with two electric motors (front 167 bhp and rear, which moves the wheels behind, 68 hp). The combined value is 313 hp.
More friendly than cell phones
Even inside, the Lexus RXs changes little: the quality finishes remain, the generous space for people and the practical controls for the air conditioning and the main audio functions; but the refrigerated compartments are still missing. On the other hand, the infotainment has taken a leap forward: the screen is bigger (8 or 12.3 “) and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard. Under the console two USB sockets have been added, which are added to the two under the armrest and to the charging plate for the predisposed mobile phones. The “joystick” on the tunnel was then replaced by a no less uncomfortable “touchpad”, but, fortunately, the possibility of controlling the system directly from the screen was added, which is touch sensitive and quite responsive. Not having modified the bridge, however, this remains distant from the driver, who must stretch the arm a lot to reach it. Furthermore, the now widespread mobile phone control services (such as real-time tracking of the position, opening and closing of windows and doors, and so on) are still missing: from the official app you can manage the repairs, change the financing plan and little else.
Improvements also in terms of safety: there are the system that shows the speed limits in the dashboard (“reading” them in road signs and in the navigator’s maps), the one that keeps the car in the center of the lane and the automatic braking of emergency that now also recognizes pedestrians and cyclists. Really hi-tech the headlights with BladeScan technology of the Lexys rx, a variant of the LED matrix headlights where, to create shaded areas that do not dazzle the other vehicles, individual light diodes are not switched off: the light beam is intermittent at very high frequency (so as to be perceived as constant by the human eye) and is deflected by a mirror mounted on a rotating support (hence the name “blade”). According to the house, this allows a much faster operation, with a more precise shape of the light beam.
To increase precision in cornering, the house worked on the rigidity of the body (the different panels are now joined with more welding points and making greater use of structural glue), on the electronics and on the suspensions. When accelerating in corners, the Active Cornering Assist brakes the Lexus RX histori internal wheel to transfer the motion to the outer one, thus reducing understeer. Furthermore, anti-roll bars and shock absorbers have been modified: the latter are electronically controlled, with damping regulated in real time and based on the driving mode.
Test drive Lexus rx450h
Very safe, not very manageable
On the road, this Luxury version of the Lexus RX (with softer suspension than those of the F-Sport) is pleasant to drive on wide radius curves: the steering does not shine for accuracy, but the car faithfully follows the set trajectory. On the smooth asphalt of Ibiza it was impossible for us to understand how much it can absorb the irregularities of the asphalt; the feeling is good, but not from before the class (partly due to the absence of air springs, offered by other large suvs). Even the maneuverability in the tightest curves is not fully convincing: to “weigh” is also the lack of rear steering wheels (always present on some rivals).
In his own way, he convinces
Lexus rx450h: more precise, but still loves “sweet” driving. From the mechanics (guaranteed for a good 10 years or 250,000 km, provided you carry out the coupons at the official service network) only confirmations arrive: the push is ready and generous thanks to the work of the two electric motors, and overtaking and shooting take place in a short time . When the car is fully exploited, a bit of a “scooter effect” emerges from the continuously variable gearbox, with the V6 revving up and held at high rpm; but this is certainly not the best way to enjoy a car like the Lexus RX, also because fuel consumption suffers a lot: with this driving style and without even exaggerating, we soon went from 12.5 to 8.5 km / l , read in the on-board computer. Guided in a “fluid” way, the Lexus RX offers relaxing movements (thanks also to the soundproofing taken care of), with a heat engine that is kept off for a good part of the time.
In our opinion
> Habitability. In five you travel very comfortably, and there is also seven seats.
> Easy to drive. Light steering, intuitive controls and all-out roadholding ensure care-free travel.
> Soundproofing. The noise remains out of the cockpit and the V6 feels little (also because it is often turned off).
> Control via app. Strange that a car that focuses on technology is not manageable on the phone.
> Infotainment management. The “touch” mat is awkward to use and the screen away from the driver.
> Position of the fog lights. So low and protruding, I’m at risk-of-rupture.