Her + His Car Reviews

2020 Lexus RX450h with AWD

Our car reviews are innovative and interesting as we provide insightful and expert reviews from both Her + His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate, women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

Prices start at $45,175 $65,340 as test driven
The all new 2020 Lexus RX 450hL AWD Luxury edition is an outstanding large SUV to drive and a top contender in its category. Delivering an impeccably smooth ride with excellent handling, this 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 308 horsepower and has plenty of get up and go. The All Wheel Drive SUV holds up to seven passengers with its three rows and is a hauler.

As a hybrid, it attains one of the top in gas mileage for large scale SUV's on the market, with an overall marking of 29 miles combined. Braking and performance were somewhat diminished; for a stronger line up look to the RX Hybrid F Sport, which houses a sport-tuned suspension.
The RX 450h, a hybrid SUV/crossover, is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine and three electric motor-generators. One of those electric motor generators is found on each front wheel, and there is a single unit that controls the rear two.

All that said, you can expect 308 horsepower from the setup, which includes a continuously variable automatic transmission. So how does it do on the road?

It is, after all, a Lexus, and that means silky smooth on the road, supreme comfort--except in that third row of seats--more on that later--and it does everything you would expect of a luxury SUV and does it well. And it is beautiful--you won't be mistaken for anything else on the road--and thank heaven!

I would also suggest that if you are looking for astonishing acceleration, firm, precise and responsive steering, and cornering like a bobsled, you will be less satisfied with the RX. Steering was adequate but offered very little feedback from the road, and the car sometimes felt like it was wandering, when it wasn't. I suspect that was at least partly due to the softness and looseness of the steering. I'm told that there were some improvements in steering made for this model year.
Fuel Economy
29 combined miles, 31 city miles and 28 highway miles 31 city, 28 highway
The Car
This fourth generation long RX is a beauty to drive. We thoroughly enjoyed how composed it was on various driving surfaces, as it is a top choice for families looking for excellent gas consumption and mileage. Driving in the Lexus one will have plenty of clear skies as blind spots are few. It is facile to park this large vehicle with the panoramic view monitor.

This year's version the entire interactivity of the 12.3" touchscreen is easier to use and intuitive - well done, and nice upgrades to make this happen.

While a large enough vehicle, the cargo space is not as hefty as the main competitors. Impacting packing space is the sloped roofline.
The sleekly styled RX 450h is a stretched, three seat version based on the smaller, two rowed RX 350, which features just about the same equipment except for the hybrid system. The RX450h is aimed at those who had families with two or more children, which could not be accommodated by the smaller RX350.

The challenge that the RX 450h has is that, despite its beauty, quiet and lavish equipment, there are now products like Kia's Telluride and Hyundai's Palisade which are far more lavishly equipped, feature more contemporary designs for their interiors, and a more up to date air about them. And those two products aren't the only ones on the market that give the top drawer brands a run for their money.

For 2020, Lexus made a few adjustments to the suspension and handling elements of the RX450h, and Apple CarPlay and Android connectivity are now standard equipment. There's also a new optional 12.3-inch touchscreen, and some of the safety equipment that once cost optional are now standard on this year's RX 450h. It also looks somewhat different from the previous model because of new appearance features front and rear.
Blind Spot Monitor with Intuitive Parking Assist, Lexus Safety System 2.0 with Lane Tracing Assist, Road Sign Assist, Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, and Intelligent High Beam Headlamps. Integrated Turn Signal Mirrors, Traction Control.

10 Airbags, Brake Assist, Smart Stop Technology, Child Safety Locks Smart Access with Push-Button Start-Stop, Bi-LED Headlamps, LED Taillamps, Illuminated Door Handles, Daytime Running Lights.

Lexus Enform Safety Connect provides comfort and convenience with a 3 Year Subscription. Lexus Enform Service Connect allows immediate access to Health reports of vehicle for 10 Years. Lexus Enform Safety Connect provides comfort and convenience with a 3 Year Subscription. Lexus Enform Service Connect allows immediate access to Health reports of vehicle for 10 Years.
Standard are auto emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane departure warning system, lane keeping assist, and just about everything provided with its luxury competitors.
The 2020 Lexus RX 450hL has it going on from a technology standpoint all day and all night! With Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Wi-Fi Hot Spot, Bluetooth, eight (8) USB ports, Tri-Zone Auto-Climate Control for all 3 seats. Twelve (12) Mark Levison Speaker Audio System for full surround sound. DVD Player Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Trace Assist, Lane Departure Warning.

Panoramic Moonroof, Handsfree Liftgate, 12.3" Touch Screen Multi-Media & Navigation Touch Screen Display. Park Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Braking, Rearview Camera, Forward Collision Warning, Surround-View Parking Camera System.

Sirius XM Satellite Radio - with 3-month trial subscription included. Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0 with Amazon Alexa Integration, 4.2" Color Multi-Media Display. Power Tilt and Telescopic Steering Column, Rear View Mirror and Auto Dim, HomeLink® Garage Door Opener, Rain Sensing Wipers, 12-Way Power Seats that are Heated and Cooled. Windshield Washer De-Icer and Headlamp Cleaners, Triple Beam LED Headlamps, Captain's Chairs.
You can get your 2020 Lexus RX 450h in two flavors. Regardless of whether you buy the standard 450h, or you walk on the wild side a bit and choose the F Sport, you will get standard all-wheel drive, and a powertrain system that includes a 3.5 liter V6 and three electric motor generators--put them all together and you come up with 308 horsepower and a continuously variable automatic transmission.

Get standard features like a power liftgate, dual-zone automatic climate control, simulated leather upholstery, adaptive cruise control, a suite of driver safety aids (Lexus' Safety System+ 2.0), an 8-inch touchscreen, and a nine-speaker sound system. And as I mentioned earlier Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is also standard this year.

If you want a bit more in the basic model, consider two packages, called Premium and Luxury. Check with your dealers for the contents. Now for the F Sport. This is the model you want if you have a thing for decent sport handling, want a bit more fun in your drive, and you want some touches inside and out that don't come with the basic model. The F Sport includes the Premium package's contents plus sportier exterior styling, a sport-tuned suspension, sport front seats, and unique interior trim. The optional F Sport Performance package adds adaptive suspension dampers and specially tuned steering.

For both versions, Lexus offers a Navigation package, which gets you a navigation system, a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen, and either a 12-speaker sound system or an optional 15-speaker Mark Levinson system. Other options to consider are blind-spot monitoring, power-folding second-row seats and a hands-free liftgate.
Aesthetics & Styling
Driving in the 2020 RX is likened to a cockpit or simulator, there are buttons and lights at every inch Introduced first in 2016, this updated model keeps getting better each year. Designed with more exaggerated front and rear fascia, the look and hardware of this model are well appointed. Slimmer headlights make for a sleeker appearance bookended by the updated, chiseled hourglass grill.

With the reliability of Lexus's strong showing, safety, and consistency year in and year out, there are so many things to love about this large SUV that make it a family favorite. Let's start with the size for a large family and cargo hauling, as well as the hybrid gas mileage. Again, cargo is good, but is impacted by the reshaped, streamlined roofline.

The infotainment system is still a little sensitive - though it is showing signs of improvement over last years' model, especially on the engagement side. The rest of the interior is spot on, classy, as to be expected with the Lexus look. Captain's chairs give passengers an upright and comfortable longer ride. No spare tire included.
Though the RX450 is a larger vehicle than most other Lexus crossovers, there still is a family resemblance that is quite pleasing, with a more subdued version of what I call the more creased, Origami look that has become a trademark for the brand. I've really enjoyed watching the transformation of Lexus products into style leaders that look like nothing else on the road.

The interior is lavish, and well-done generally, but don't expect to see anything that reaches the "wow" factor. While the dash certainly looks substantial and expensive, I would not call it eye-catching, and surprisingly, there are some hard plastic features in the interior in spots where you not likely to notice it--but I did. The interior design, themes and styling presentation of the seat materials remind me more of the 1990s than 21st century interior automotive design, and really needs some attention.

The interior is roomy--as long as you don't get relegated to the third row. Sitting back there for adults can be torturous. The sloping roofline, tiny windows, and chronic lack of real seating room make for an experience that feels isolating and cramped for the average adult. Leave it only to children to sit back there. It does, however, have climate controls in the third row--a nice touch, along with fold-down compartments near the base of the captain seats--great for kids who want to stash little snacks here and there.

The touchpad mechanism for using the infotainment system is at best, oversensitive and touchy, despite some adjustments made by the brand to make it less skittish, and the controls are a nightmare for anyone who tries to connect phones and set up music with the Bluetooth feature.
4 Year/50,000 Mile Basic Warranty. 6 Year/70,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty. 8 Year/100,000 Mile Warranty on Hybrid System. 3 Year Subscription included for Safety Connect. 10 year Subscription included for Service Connect. 4 years, 50,000 mile basic warranty, 6 year/70,000 mile powertrain warranty, hybrid battery warranty is 10 years/150,000 miles, the remainder of the hybrid system is warrantied for 8 years/100,000 miles.