Lexus hybrid cars Discover the hybrid Lexus range and compare new, used, and leasing deals
It should come as no surprise whatsoever that Lexus knows a thing or two about hybrids. Lexus is, after all, Toyota’s luxury brand, and Toyota wrote the book on the subject, being the first manufacturer to offer a mainstream hybrid for sale in the form of the original Pruis way back in 2000. Now, more than two decades later, the vast majority of vehicles in the Lexus line-up are hybrids of one sort or another. In this helpful guide, we’ll take you all of the firm’s various hybrid offerings, and tell you what they’re like.
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Lexus hybrid models: current range
From crossovers to coupes, Lexus’ line-up of hybrids has it all.
The Lexus UX 250h self-charging hybrid is a compact premium SUV that goes up against popular cars such as the Audi Q2, BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA. It uses a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor to develop 181bhp, but performance doesn’t feel all that strong. The UX 250h is a fairly comfortable and stable car to drive, if rather uninspiring, and while the interior is fairly high in quality, it’s let down by a poor infotainment system and disappointing practicality.
Next up in the Lexus SUV range is the NX, and it’s a considerably bigger car than the UX, being much closer in size to competitors such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC. The NX’s interior is well built and plushly finished and the luxurious feel is also complemented by a vast amount of standard equipment and a driving experience that’s generally comfortable. There are three hybrid versions of the NX: the regular NX 350h is a self-charging hybrid with an electric motor and battery that powers just the front wheels, the NX 350h AWD has an extra battery and motor to drive the rear wheels for better four-wheel drive traction, while the range-topping NX 450h+ is a plug-in hybrid that can do up to 47 miles on electric power alone.
The RX, the biggest SUV in the Lexus line-up, offers both self-charging hybrid and plug-in hybrid options. The powertrain range looks rather familiar to those in the NX: both the RX 350h self-charging hybrid and the RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid use the 2.5-litre petrol engine and are capable of running around on electric power alone. At the top of the RX range sits the RX 500h: a performance-focused self-charging hybrid that uses its combination of electric motors and a turbocharged 2.4-litre engine to deliver 371hp, allowing it to power from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds. In terms of size, the RX is similar to cars such as the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Volvo XC90. However, the Lexus only comes with five seats (rather than seven), and its boot is a good bit smaller than the rest, too. What it lacks in practicality, though, it makes up for with generous equipment levels, interesting design and a plush-feeling interior.
The luxurious executive saloon is far more traditional Lexus territory than the modern SUVs. Sure, the Lexus ES is not an exciting car to drive and a smallish boot undermines its practicality, but that won’t matter to everyone. The cabin is also plushly trimmed and stuffed with luxury equipment, and there’s more safety kit than you can shake a stick at. Just one hybrid powertrain is offered, delivering 178hp to the rear wheels from the combination of its electric motor and 2.5-litre petrol engine, and it returns an average WLTP fuel economy of 51.3mpg.
The 500h hybrid version of the Lexus LC combines a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine with an electric motor to deliver 359hp, doing a 0-62mph dash in just five seconds. Not that it’s particularly clean, mind, with an official WLTP fuel economy figure of 34.8mpg. Granted, the LC is far from perfect: it’s very expensive, the boot is tiny, the rear seats are next to useless and the ergonomics are woeful. However, it’s lovely to drive, fast or slow, and it has a level of glamour, desirability and sheer outright wow-factor that few cars can match.
Lexus’ luxury limousine flagship, the LS, has self-charging hybrid power. That comes from a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine, an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery developing a total of 359hp, which gets sent either to the rear wheels, or to all four wheels, depending on spec. In true LS fashion, it looks great inside and out, and has every item of luxury kit you can think of. These days, however, it doesn’t have the comfort, performance or on-road sophistication of competitors like the Audi A8, BMW 7 Series and Mercedes S-Class. Still, an interesting alternative nonetheless.
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