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2024 Lexus RX 450h+

Here on PRN I've had the pleasure of driving a lot of classic Lexus models over the years. The mid 90s was a great time for us, with cars like the LS 400, GS 400, and ES 300 all getting the TestDrive treatment, and all being solid buys even in 2024 if you're looking for a reliable, daily driver that won't break the bank in terms of maintenance and up front cost. In the 9 years I've been doing TestDrive I only drove one new Lexus back in 2018, so I jumped at the chance to get behind the wheel of this 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ for an extended period of time.

For those unfamiliar with the Lexus RX, this is a mid-size luxury crossover produced for over 20 years now, and consistently one of the most popular models in the Lexus lineup. A two-row vehicle, the RX expanded with an L or LWB version for the previous generation to add a third row of seating. That model has been dropped for this generation, replaced by the all-new Lexus TX based on the Toyota Grand Highlander I drove last week. For 2024 the RX comes with 4 distinct engine choices, ours being the only plug-in hybrid offering in a growing selection for the brand as a whole.

2024 Lexus RX 450h+

Base MSRP: $86,950.00

As Tested: $89,755.00

2.5L 4 Cylinder Hybrid Engine + Rear electric drive motor

227 kW | 304 Horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

Lexus doesn't officially publish torque numbers, but they're estimated at 200 lb-ft

1-Speed e-CVT

18.1 kWh Li-ion Battery

60 km EV range

6.6 kW on-board charger

The 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ has a uniquely Lexus design to it, with sharp edges, a pronounced front end, and a new rear end with Lexus spelled rather than the company logo that's adorned all previous models until now. Overall features are rich, with full LED lighting, keyless entry, kick-activated lift gate, and more. While most luxury mid-size SUVs are larger, 3 row behemoths, the RX has a similar size profile to the Lincoln Nautilus, Cadillac XT5, or even Audi Q8. Interior space and layout is excellent, with ample trunk space, power second row seating, and features we don't even find on a fully loaded Cadillac Escalade.

The 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ has heated and ventilated front and rear seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, 21 speaker Mark Levinson audio system, 360º cameras, video rearview mirror, a wireless phone charger that actually works, and much more. Lexus has replaced the traditional door handles with electric buttons that double as the emergency latch release. The seating is a mix of leather and suede and are extremely comfortable, I picked up the Lexus after a flight to Montréal and I was ecstatic the seats were so comfortable, they were a need after the flight.

Everything about the interior works, aside from one glaring feature missing on this PHEV. There's no climate scheduling. You can schedule the charging which allows you to save on energy costs if you live in a market like I do where energy rates vary depending on the time of day. But without a schedule for the climate system I feel that money is being left on the table when it comes to the potential of the RX 450h+'s overall efficiency. Every other PHEV we've driven to date allows for a climate schedule, even a basic one, pre-conditioning the car up to 30 minutes before departure so you pull energy off the grid rather than your battery. It helps to extend the overall EV range and maximizing your fuel savings. The Lexus doesn't offer this, the infotainment doesn't have any option and the owner's manual makes no mention of it. This is what's keeping this vehicle from being a perfect luxury PHEV SUV.

So how is 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ on the road? The ride is supple and smooth, with harsh bumps being eaten up by the suspension. It's not too soft, nor is it firm. The active noise cancellation is a stand out feature, being one of the most quiet interior cabins we've been in thus far. It helps having most of the interior covered in soft-touch materials which add to the level of luxury and quality that oozes out of this vehicle. The drive is good also, with electric mode driving all 4 wheels with the rear drive unit and front hybrid motor. The 2.5L gas engine can drive the front wheels and charge the battery to provide power for the entire system. While the eCVT does a good job keeping the drive smooth, an the EV to gas transition pretty seamless, I did notice the gas engine felt a little sluggish compared to pure EV mode.

The more you can keep the RX 450h+ in EV mode the better, and the more fuel you'll save. We averaged 4.4L/100km on our 100 km test loop with approximately 45 kms being fully EV, a bit shy of the 60 kms Lexus says it'll do. Part of this might be due to the lack of climate scheduling. In pure HEV mode we still averaged closer to 7L/100km on the highway which is exceptional for a mid-size crossover such as this.

For more about the 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ and why we love it so much, I encourage you to check out the video we filmed on this vehicle. All of our content is posted on YouTube for your viewing pleasure, and subscribing is the best way to stay up to date on the latest vehicles we're driving.


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