LEXUS RX 450H
Being a fan of cars I had to give myself a slap on the wrists when it came to the Lexus RX because even though it is a car which I have coveted since I first laid my eyes on it, I found myself asking my Husband where they were from. However I didn’t feel too bad when he didn’t know the answer either. It was only when we looked into it further that we found out Lexus are the luxury division of Japanese firm Toyota. They were first introduced in 1989 in the United States and are now sold globally being Japan’s largest-selling make of premium cars.
My first sight of the car filled me with excitement as I saw it driving down the road towards my house in its sleek black beauty, I couldn’t wait to get started on the test-drive, I think I may even have put the tiddlers to bed 15 minutes early just so that I could make my excuses to ‘pop to the shops’ to get behind the wheel, and yes I may even have gone the looooooong way to the shops too.
The first thing you notice when you get behind the wheel, besides how stylish it looks on the inside as well as the outside, is just how quiet the car is. It has keyless entry and with the push of a button the engine starts without so much as a murmur. This is all thanks to the Hybrid technology which combines electric and petrol engine power for faultless performance and significantly lower emissions. When the car starts up or is travelling at low speeds it will mostly be running on the electric engine, using no petrol and producing zero emissions, but as the power increases the V6 petrol engine will kick in (although you won’t notice it) and seemlessly take over the power of the car. As the car reaches cruising speed the generator will transfer surplus power from the engine into electricity. Likewise, with the regenerative breaking, when the brakes are applied the electric motors act as generators capturing kinetic energy and transferring it to the battery which never needs to be externally charged. The electric motors also provide breathtaking performance when the you accelerate from cruising speed, the electric motors supplement the petrol engine to give a surge of power right when you need it.
This is the first Hybrid car that I have driven and I have to say was not at all what I expected, I really didn’t expect it to have the power that it did and so I was pleasantly surprised. The model that we drove had all the toys, bells and whistles that a car geek could have wished for and so we were truly spoilt but I think that we would have been just as happy with a lower standard.
From a family point of view we often struggle with many of the large 4×4 style cars because despite their size, the rear seat isn’t often side enough to accommodate two child car seats AND a Curly too but Curly said that he had plenty of room in the Lexus. As is often the case, the two tiddlers didn’t have great views out of the rear windows as the styling meant the side windows were slightly too high for them to see out of so this means the children get ‘bored’ far more quickly than if they can look at the countryside passing them by.
From a driver’s point of view I’m not sure I managed to get my seat in the correct driving position, despite it being fully electric as I kept getting pins and needles in my legs but Hubby LOVED it and was more than happy to take over from me. That said, given the opportunity I would buy one of these as our family car at the drop of a hat and spend time making sure I had my seat in the correct driving position. It really was a dream to drive, little features like the auto-close button on the boot are perfect when you have bags of shopping or a baby to carry, the boot was a reasonable size although perhaps not as big as I would have expected it to be. We have a Stokke Xplory which fitted in the boot but there wasn’t masses of room left once that was in. Personally, I love the keyless entry, this is perfect when you have children, changing bags and pushchairs to contend with because I am always losing my keys when I get back to the car.
The integrated Sat Nav was really easy to use and the centrally mounted screen with the on-board computer was brilliant and easy to navigate. The Mark Levinson sound system looked gorgeous, one of the best I have seen in a car for a very long time and it sounded perfect.
When looking at a car from a family car perspective I always like to know how ‘safe’ it is, afterall it will be carrying the most precious cargo in the world so we need to make sure that they will be well protected and in the Lexus RX I felt very secure that they would be in good hands.
One optional feature is the Pre-Crash Safety System (PCS) which can help the driver to avoid a collision, or if a collision is inevitable then the PCS will deploy state-of-the-art technologies to reduce damage and injury to the occupants. The PCS has millimeter-wave radars which sweep the the road ahead to detect obstacles and calculate the risk of impact. If a high-risk impact is detected then the PCS will alert the driver with an audible buzzer and a red BRAKE! signal. The PCS will also activate the Pre-Crash Brake Assist which provides the driver with increased brake pressure.
In the event of a collision being unavoidable the PCS will apply the Pre-Crash Brake which applies the brakes to prior to impact to reduce the force of the collision. Pre-Crash Seatbelts are also activated which retract the front seatbelts before impact to reduce injury.
The new RX provides occupants with the highest levels of safety protection with its impact-absorbing crumple zones, rigid passenger safety cell and ten class-leading airbags. Now that sounds like a pretty safe place to me!
The Geeky Stuff
Maximum Speed mph (km/h) 124
Acceleration 0-62 mph (s) 7.8
Combined mpg 44.8
CO2 Combined(g/km) 145
Insurance Group 41E
Emissions Level Euro V
CO2 Urban (g/km) 147
CO2 Extra Urban (g/km) 145
CO2 Combined(g/km) 145
DISCLAIMER: We were given the use of a Lexus RX450H for the weekend for the purpose of this post. All words and opinions are my own.