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grey lexus rx driving

Lexus RX review

Lexus virtually invented the luxury SUV with the RX. Soon, other makes like Audi and BMW caught on. Lexus has therefore been pushed to continually develop its RX to make it more than stand up to the competition and in the process has created a hybrid that’s got a whole lot going for it.


There’s no doubt the Lexus RX has a look and style that’s all its own – there’s no way it’s going to be mistaken for a Q7 or X5. In profile, it has distinctly sporty lines with a raked rear-end, and an even more steeply raked windscreen.  

The huge grille is flanked on the latest version of the car by a couple of large air intakes, with headlights so narrow they’re little more than slits. Spoilers front and rear don’t just look good, they increase the car’s stability as well – a win/win if ever we saw one.

 white lexus rx

What's it like to drive?

Although it looks like a very sporty SUV, the RX won’t get your pulse racing in quite the same way that the Audi Q7 and BMW X5 might. The handling is distinctly softer than either of these, so you may find yourself rolling round corners.  

On the plus side, this means that the biggest bumps and roughest road surfaces are hardly felt when you go over them. 

The model you’re most likely to find is a 3.5-litre petrol hybrid engine. This can be quite noisy at mid-range speeds before it settles down to cruise comfortably. While going round town, the electric motor can take over to give an even quieter ride. 

white lexus rx

The biggest bumps and roughest road surfaces are hardly felt when you go over them. 


The penny’s dropped with Lexus that to really be a member of the luxury SUV club, they need an interior that’s going to wow prospective owners. The good news is they’ve pretty much managed it with high-quality materials used throughout and a certain plushness all round. 

Starting with the seats, these really are some of the most comfortable out there, and the many automatic adjustments that you can make to the driver’s one mean you’ll be able to quickly find the most comfortable position. You might even want to drag one into your living, they’re that comfortable.  

 The seat and steering wheel even slip back slightly to make getting in and out of the car easier, before resetting themselves to the chosen driving position. 

lexus rx interior

Higher-spec models come with a large 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. On older models, this is controlled by a slightly fiddly mouse-style controller, while newer ones have a trackpad that’s much easier to use. Lower-spec models come with a smaller eight-inch screen. There’s Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and even a charging pad for phones with cordless connectivity. 

Rear seats are equally comfortable, with plenty of room for three, and the use of acoustic glass and other noise-cancelling materials means there’s hardly any wind noise – even when you’re doing 70mph on the motorway. 


The boot’s big – not quite as big as some of the other cars in the category. Even so, there’s plenty of room for shopping bags, luggage, buggies and anything else you might need to bring on board.  

The rear seats can fold down automatically to give even more space. You might be buying an expensive SUV, but you’ll be saving on delivery costs from Ikea.  

Some models even have an automatically opening tailgate. It’s pretty slow so not ideal when you’re stuck in the car park carrying lots of bags in the rain. 

Reliability and running costs

As mentioned, the engine that most RXs feature is a 3.5-litre hybrid. This could bring you an average of 47.9mpg if you drive carefully. A rarer two-litre petrol engine may only manage around 36mpg. 

It might be worth seeking out a pre-April 2017 model, as the road tax could be considerably lower on these. Since even the lowest-spec RX models can cost more than £40,000 when new, it might also qualify for the £335 luxury car supplement. 

Service costs are also high, in line with most cars of the type. So expect to pay around £250 for an interim one and £450 for a major one. 

What we love

If you want a luxury SUV but aim to avoid the traditional choices from the big German manufacturers, the Lexus RX could be a perfect option. It might not handle quite as well as them or have as much room in the boot, but its distinctive looks and all-round quality make it a real contender.

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Perfect for


Town and country drivers



A big car with plenty of personality, the Lexus RX is also a great example of how a hybrid can be terrific in town and magnificent on the motorway. Even the lower-spec models are packed with extras to make driving, and travelling in, an RX a real pleasure.

This review was