We are always looking for what could be our next car. We are always asking ourselves what is important to us and what we would be looking for in our next automobile for the family. I was given the chance to test drive for a week, the Lexus 450h.
I took it on a short road trip and I loved every minute of this smooth and great looking ride!
I have driven the RX 350 – the non-hybrid version and was very impressed with the smoothness of the ride and the acceleration the 250+ horsepower (not sure what the HP was in 2013), the smooth ride has always been a trademark of every Lexus I have been in, along with the very good acceleration. Having the hybrid, I was very curious to see how the RX 450h accelerated.
The spec sheet says 295 system horsepower (more than the current 350) and when you step on the gas pedal, you have no clue that you are driving a hybrid. So the RX 450h passed the first test for a hybrid – not driving like one!
There are a couple of safety features that really stood out to me and it turns out my favorite uses radar!
The Pre-Collision System surrounds you with advance safety features – using radar this SUV (and many Lexus models) is able to detect other cars in front of you, if one of these cars is tapping the brakes too hard, the Pre-Collision System constantly and quickly calculates the speed and distance of the vehicles ahead and determines if there is a chance of an accident. If a collision is determined to be unavoidable, the system braces for impact and provides extra braking power – pretty impressive!
I also love the size and clarity of the rearview camera and the blind spot monitoring is always great while driving. These are a must for safety, not just in a family vehicle, but for any vehicle.
While I loved the performance and the safety the RX 450h offered, the wife and kids really loved the Lexus Enform technology. You are able to use the Enform system to do much more than play music – which they did plenty of thanks to Pandora and iHeartRadio. You can control it via the cool mouse system or by using the Lexus App Suite on your phone. In addition to allowing you to play DJ, you can also use Enform to get personalized directions, make dinner reservations, order movie tickets and more.
The most shocking thing for me with the RX 450h was the room in the back. I never realized how large the trunk actually was in it. Even with the seats up, the storage area was huge. And when you add in the easy fold down backseats, you have enough room to easily fit a futon mattress (which we did use as a unit of measurement when I helped move one!).
My experience with the RX 450h was awesome, driving a hybrid and having the engine cut off on you at stoplights and sometimes even driving out the driveway on solely electric power (I made it nearly a half mile to my sister-in-laws house without the engine engaging while driving slowly) takes some getting used to. I love the intent to save gas and how the battery recharges throughout basic driving.
The sticker and studies say the RX 450h gets about 30 MPG in the city, my experience had it hovering around 24-25, with some extended use and paying closer attention to it, I believe I could improve that some. So there will be an adjustment period to the hybrid, but in the long run it will be well worth it, especially knowing you are not sacrificing any acceleration while saving on gas costs in the long run.
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