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Lexus Rx 450h Advance Review by Simon Ford @Sf4d74,

A Few Months ago I tested the Lexus Rx 450h under the Twitter Social Test Pilot scheme from Lexus, which meant I could drive it 1 hour in the comfort of my own streets.

My result was inconclusive as it was very hard to make a proper judgement on a £50,000 car within the timescale alloted and I needed more time.

Well those good old people at Lexus Glasgow contacted me and asked if I’d like to try the new model for a couple of days to get a proper judgement for my previous ramblings.

Looks wise there is no change from the previous model that I tested, the low-slung understated looks still remain  making this full size suv appearing quite sporty and smaller than the dimensions would suggest.

Except this time there was a slight difference, the Advance model with Panoramic roof comes equipped with Smoked Alloys, headlights, grill, front and rear under runs as standard over the by no means basic Se model I last tested, making for a slightly more agressive sportier looking Lexus.

The interior is the same as before,  using very high quality materials  throughout the cabin with soft touch plastics on the dash through to the well built plastic buttons on the centre console.

The stereo is a top of the range Mark Levinson unit, which is controlled on the steering wheel, and also uses  the Lexus remote touch system. It can also be used to control the air-con settings, the Sat-Nav system, Phone, calender, Fuel consumption option which allows you to see which part of the engine is driven, whether it’s Electricity, 3.5 v6 petrol engine  or both. Being left handed I found the Remote Touch System incredibly easy to use.

Getting comfortable in the Rx 450h is a doddle with the 8 way electrically adjustable heated seats, which can be programmed for 3 different people of various shapes /sizes.

Once your settled into the Rx 450h you feel cocooned like your in a nice bubble which inspires a joy-joy feeling. Push the start button and the Clear concise dials with the blue hue light up adding to a greater driver ambiance.

Engage drive and for the 1st couple of minutes your using the sweet 3.5 litre petrol engine with Atkinson cycle pumping out  a respectable 249bhp with 317nm of torque @4,800rpm.

The Rx 450h gives a lowdown growl from the outside, but from the cabin you can hardly hear it, Lexus have done a great job Surpressing interior cabin noise as last time I stated that I could hear the batterys when I pulled away, in this newer model the noise was absent which was great.

After a couple of minutes the batterys are ready to use, which is eerie at 1st because you keep checking to see if you’ve stalled the car, but pulling away and driving  anywhere in silence is great because you really do feel like your in your own little world, Keep the Rx 450h under 30mph and you can enjoy your silence for at least a few miles.

Get over 30 mph and the Engine takes over seamlessly giving a little rumble as you acclerate faster and on the straights the Gearbox is super smooth changing up effortlessly while remaining very quiet from the interior.

The Handling is surprisingly Good for a big suv, with very little bodyroll going into either slow city corners, or fast twisty stuff corners, even at parking speeds, the Rx feels light and easy to manouver, the only problem when driving  the 450h is that being a big suv you forget just how big it is, Especially when it comes to parking in shop car park bays luckily the rear camera does a very good job in helping but it’s still a long/wide car.

Taking the Rx 450h for a stretch of motorway driving I switched to the ‘S’ position which is the manual change sports mode,  I noticed a slight flaw, when I accelerated quite hard to overtake, I changed up a gear then to the next gear but found the Rx lagging behind not changing when it was asked to, so the ‘S’ mode is quite fussy but leave it in just ‘D’ then its very good.

So whats the Verdict?

 

Overall the Lexus Rx 450h is a very good car indeed it does everything you ask of it very well, I averaged 30.2 mpg over my journey for the two days,which was mostly city driving, the Tax is cheap at £66.00 for 6m, Business users can get a BIK tax rate of 18%, at £48,405 it’s not exactly cheap, but Glasgow Lexus offer a saving of £3000 on ‘Lexus connect programme’ (pcp) which means this middle of the range model comes down to the price of the basic model which makes it better value.

Would I buy one?

NO! whilst the Rx 450h is a very good car,  for £50,000,The Rx 450H does everything Extremely well, but just misses out on that little bit of Excitement factor thats needed to sway me away from the German alternatives,

Hopefully the New F-sport model due June 2012 will Sway me towards the Lexus !!

After thought, These E.v peugeots conversions cost approx £42-45,000  and the Lexus £45,000 after discounts, without the range anxiety, which would you choose !!

Once again Thank you to Matt Duffy and Glasgow Lexus 20 Kennedy st Glasgow G4 0EB

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