2018 Lexus RX 450h Review: Quiet & Comfortable

2018 Lexus RX 450h
Quiet Ride
Fuel Economy
Remote Touch Interface
Heated Seats Not Standard

People looking for a luxury SUV generally want a comfortable, quiet interior and a ride quality that smooths out the bumps. The 2018 Lexus RX 450h delivers in those key areas. Add in the impressive fuel economy with the hybrid powertrain, and you have a recipe for success.

We spent this week driving the 2018 Lexus RX 450h with all-wheel drive.

What’s New For 2018?

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h is less expensive than last year, but some features that were standard are now optional. These include the sunroof, roof rails, heated and ventilated front seats, driver-seat memory settings, navigation system, and blind-spot monitoring. The new Premium package adds some of these features back in, while others are sold as stand-alone options.

Standard Features

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h ($45,695) comes standard with keyless ignition, 18-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting (headlights, foglights, taillights, and running lights), automatic high beams, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, and rearview camera. Safety features include adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic braking, and lane departure warning and intervention.

Inside, the RX includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 40/20/40-split rear seat (reclines, slides and folds), and a cargo cover.

Tech features include the Remote Touch interface, an eight-inch color display, Safety Connect emergency communications, voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 12-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio, plus two USB ports.

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Premium Package & Additional Options

The Premium package ($1,100) adds power-folding mirrors, driver-seat memory settings, and leather upholstery. Other options on our tester included a color heads-up display, the panoramic sunroof, hands-free liftgate, Blind spot monitor, navigation, and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.

Total MSRP including destination: 54,715.  

Related: The Lexus GX 460 has tons of features and is off-road ready!

Interior Highlights

The Lexus RX 450h gets top marks for luxury and comfort. The leather seats are extra comfy and come with contrast stitching. There’s abundant soft leather touches throughout the cabin that make it a comfortable place, front and back. The large display screen sits in the middle of the dash at eye level, making it easy to see.

The optional panoramic sunroof stretches all the way to the back for optimal outdoor viewing.

In the back, seats can accommodate passengers of nearly any size and there’s plenty of legroom. RX 450h riders sit about an inch higher, as the nickel-metal hydride battery goes under the back seat. The rear seats recline back for extra comfort and also slide back or forward to the desired position.

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With the rear seats folded down, the Lexus RX 450h provides 55.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs

The Lexus RX 450h uses a hybrid gas-electric powertrain making 308 total system horsepower and 247 lb-ft. of torque. The luxury SUV is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 coupled with a pair of front-mounted electric motors/generators. The all-wheel drive model has an additional motor powering the rear wheels.

The RX 450h hybrid uses a planetary drive system and is able to start off on battery power alone at lower speeds. It worked well this week navigating through parking lots and especially in stop-and-go traffic in Denver.

EPA-estimated fuel economy is 31/28 city/highway and 30 combined with all-wheel drive.

Driving Dynamics

When looking for a luxury crossover, you want a certain level of quiet and comfort. You want a vehicle that will leave you rested, even after a long trip. And this one will fulfill that need. The RX 450h is exceptionally comfortable and supremely quiet on the road. It smooths out the bumps and turns them into a mere blip on the radar.

Other than the distracting remote touch interface for the radio and climate control, we have few complaints. The ride and handling is not like a European sports crossover, but families will appreciate the RX 450h no less. Lexus softened the suspension somewhat and enhanced the steering feedback for a more pleasant driving experience.

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Related: The 2018 Lexus ES 300h scores high marks during our summer test drive.


The 2018 Lexus RX 450h is more comfortable than ever and carries on the Lexus reputation for superb ride quality. The interior is a strong suite and with the extra upgrades, the cabin becomes an even more desirable place to spend time. We would have opted for the heated steering wheel and seats, however, which do not come standard on the 450h.

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

2018 Lexus RX 450h Gallery

Lexus RX 450h Official Site

Photos: Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.