Lexus RX Review & Prices

The Lexus RX is a large hybrid SUV that features a cool design and high-end features, but isn’t quite as practical as its alternatives

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Reviewed by Jack Healy after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Excellent materials used throughout
  • High level of equipment
  • Really nice to drive

What's not so good

  • Poor boot space
  • Infotainment menus aren't easy to use
  • Overly sensitive brakes

Find out more about the Lexus RX

Is the Lexus RX a good car?

If you’re after a large premium SUV that isn’t from the main German brands, the Lexus RX is a cool-looking model that goes up against the likes of the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Porsche Cayenne and Volvo XC90.

It’s like picking an expensive sake that’s clean and crisp over a more hearty and filling German beer.

The look of the RX is sharp, with the latest grille design from the brand dominating the face of the car. There’s also angular headlights, but some fake vents too.

It doesn’t look too tall from the side, and with the help of a panel towards the rear, you get a floating roof effect, while wheel sizes start from 19 inches. At the back, you get a full-width lightbar and ‘Lexus’ written out across the back – as are the current trends.

The cabin is a mixture of clean lines, pleasing shapes and premium-feeling materials, such as the soft-touch leather and wood inlays of the top-spec Takumi models. It’s nicely laid out and you can find a good seating position on the comfortable seats.

But there’s some classic Lexus quirkiness that can detract from the experience. You have an infotainment screen with weirdly placed menus, a driver’s display with a small customisation section and a chunkier gear lever – holding firm against the button revolution in most new automatic cars.

In the back, the sense of quality is retained from the front. You get decent legroom, while even having the optional panoramic sunroof you have decent headroom. The roof does angle in quite aggressively though, so sitting three adults across the back will be tricky.

While it might not be as practical as a BMW X5 or Volvo XC90, the RX feels just as premium and is a lovely place to be in on a long drive

Up against its alternatives, the boot of the RX isn’t that great. At 461 litres, it’s roughly the same as a hybrid BMW X3 that’s quite a bit cheaper than the Lexus. Similarly sized alternatives, such as the Audi Q7, BMW X5 and Volvo XC90, offer a lot more space.

All versions of the RX come with a petrol hybrid setup, with three variants to choose from. You get two using a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder, with one being a self-charging hybrid, the other a plug-in hybrid. The third option is a turbocharged 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol that’s only offered with the F Sport.

With that electrical assistance, you get quiet progress around town, while light steering helps you get around easily. The hybrid's turning circle is okay, but if you go for F Sport models you get more low-speed manoeuvrability thanks to rear-wheel steering. Visibility is good, too, while you can lock the RX into electric-only drive in the PHEV to make town driving even quieter.

Out on the motorway, the RX is comfortable thanks to its plush seats, while the combination of petrol and electric power gets you up to speed pretty swiftly. Economy may take a hit, especially with the plug-in hybrid, but you’ll make wonderfully smooth progress, with the standard-fit adaptive cruise control helping out.

Surprisingly, twisty roads don’t take the RX too far out of its comfort zone. It’s no Porsche Cayenne, but it stays composed and could even be classed as fun in some respects – even with the fake gear change effect from the CVT gearbox.

While it loses badly to its alternatives on practicality, the RX is comfortable, feels high-end and comes with plenty of kit to make it an excellent large SUV to choose.

Check out the latest new Lexus RX deals on carwow, where you can also find used Lexus RX prices as well as deals on other used Lexus models too. To change your car completely, you can sell your car through carwow, where our trusted dealers will get you the best price.

How much is the Lexus RX?

The Lexus RX has a RRP range of £62,140 to £82,250. However, with Carwow you can save on average £4,941. Prices start at £57,444 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £547. The price of a used Lexus RX on Carwow starts at £44,900.

Our most popular versions of the Lexus RX are:

Model version Carwow price from
350h 2.5 5dr E-CVT [Premium Pack] £57,444 Compare offers

While it may be as practical as a BMW X3, the RX is similarly-sized and priced closer to the X5 or Volvo XC90, which might not make a lot of sense to some. But the RX feels as premium as its alternatives, if not more so, hence the price.

You get a decent amount of equipment for the price, while the top Takumi model is one of the nicest-feeling large SUVs around thanks to a great spec – although that commands a rather high price.

For a sportier option, the F Sport version will offer more performance with some electrical assistance, but the Porsche Cayenne will offer more fun overall.

Performance and Drive Comfort

The RX is comfy and composed in most scenarios, but the brakes can be a little sensitive if you’re not gentle

In town

With the electric motors helping efficiency, it also aids cruising around town. By putting either the plug-in or self-charging hybrid in EV mode, you can drive around on electric power alone – up to 40 miles with the plug-in hybrid and much shorter bursts with the self-charging one.

While the turning circle of 12.6m (11.8m with the F Sport) isn’t the best, you get cameras all-round to help with manoeuvring around in tighter spaces. You also get good visibility out of all the windows and mirrors.

One area of concern is the sensitivity of the brakes. While it’s never a bad thing to have brakes that work well, they probably work a little too well in this instance. Even with light pressure on the pedal, you get a lot of force, so be gentle to prevent the RX from feeling too much like a waltzer.

On the motorway

Fitted with supremely comfortable seats, long-distance driving in the RX is no problem at all. You get adaptive cruise control as part of the standard Lexus Safety System+ setup on all cars, moving in traffic at higher speeds is really simple. Blind spot monitoring – also standard – helps with all-round safety as well.

The petrol-electric drive combination helps with getting up to speed too. The electric motor gives the initial punch before the petrol motor kicks in for the extra torque to get you up to speed. While the CVT transmission can mean the engine drones a touch when you’re accelerating, it’s really not bad.

If you really want to, you can drive at up to 80mph in EV mode alone, but acceleration in that setting – unlike full EVs – is pedestrian at best.

On a twisty road

If you’re after a sporty SUV, you probably won’t be looking at the RX. It’s more likely you’ll be seeing what a Porsche Cayenne is like. But that doesn’t mean it’s dull.

Putting it in sport mode does sharpen up the throttle response slightly over normal mode, but there’s little difference with the suspension and steering. Even without a sportier set-up, the RX handles really well and is very balanced. It does lean a little in corners, which is to be expected for a large SUV, but it’s certainly not bad.

Space and practicality

While you get a lot of space in the cabin, boot space is severely down on alternatives

The RX has a good amount of space in the cabin, and you can get in a comfortable position really easily with lots of electrical adjustment in the seat and steering wheel. The seats are supremely comfortable once you’re settled in, while you get decent stowage throughout.

That includes a deep central console space under the armrest, which opens either side, while there’s two cup holders and a space to wirelessly charge your phone. The door bins are also pretty big, while the glovebox and small storage pocket to the right of the steering wheel are lined to stop things rattling around.

Space in the back seats

The good amount of space up front continues into the back. You get plenty of head and legroom without the optional panoramic sunroof, while adding that glazed area can limit room above you somewhat. Sitting three adults across the back can also be a squeeze, as the roofline does cut in quite sharply so the outer passengers will be leaning in towards the middle one.

In terms of storage, you get covered cupholders in the fold-down armrest, folder-style pockets on the seat backs and decent door bins. Child seat fitting is pretty straightforward, thanks to a large door opening, and ISOFIX points that are easy to access on the two outer seats.

Boot space

Compared to similarly priced alternatives, the RX is down quite a bit for luggage space. The 461-litre boot is well off the Volvo XC90 (680 litres), BMW X5 (650 litres) and Audi Q7 (770 litres) – with all three of those also able to sit seven, which the RX can’t match either.

You do get electrically-folding rear seats that makes dropping them much easier. The space when they’ve finished moving isn’t quite flat, but it’s a smooth floor so sliding things to the front is easy. You can only get this version as a five-seater, but there could be a seven-seat RX L – as with the previous generation – coming in the future.

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

The quality of materials is excellent and it’s all pleasingly laid out, but it's a shame the infotainment has classic Lexus quirkiness

Where Lexus excels is in the quality of its interiors. Being the high-end SUV, the RX gets synthetic leather on the entry model, but the other three trim options get proper leather upholstery for the ultimate comfort. The steering wheel follows the same theme, plus the top-spec Takumi gets wood inlays for additional premium feel. You mostly get piano black plastic on the other trims.

Even at the lower points of the cabin – where you’d expect scratchy plastics – you’ll find soft-touch materials that let you know you’re in a high-end product.

All versions of the RX get a 14.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, which has two dials either side for the climate control. The screen itself is bright and easy to use, but the user interface isn’t that great. The small menus when you’re navigating it are not located on the driver’s side, so when you’re driving, reaching that far can be a severe issue.

It’s the same case here as it is with most other cars – it’s much easier to connect your phone with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. With wireless for Apple’s system and wired for Android Auto, you can use the multiple USB-C ports or the wireless charging pad for charging.

The only options you get to choose from are a panoramic roof, body panel protection or sill illumination, so your only true choices are the trim levels where you get four alternatives – Premium Pack, Premium Pack Plus, F Sport and Takumi.

MPG, emissions and tax

The best version of the RX for efficiency is the 450h+, which is the plug-in hybrid. That does come with a caveat though – you have to make sure you charge the battery pack when you can and use as much of the 40 miles of range after a charge. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at figures well below the 235mpg quoted by Lexus. You get 26g/km CO2 for emissions, so that means lower initial tax costs and Benefit in Kind for company cars than the other RX models.

Going for the 350h self-charging hybrid means you do get lower claimed efficiency figures (42.8mpg) and higher emissions (149g/km), but you’re more likely to get close to those figures.

The sportiest version of the RX, the F Sport, gets the 500h. That comes with emissions of 189g/km CO2 and efficiency of 34mpg. Not the best for a hybrid, that’s for sure.

Safety and security

As with many Toyota-built models, the Lexus RX comes with an excellent suite of safety systems as standard. In this case you get pre-collision warning, sway warning (effectively stops you weaving in and out of your lane), road sign assist, adaptive cruise control with lane assist and adaptive high beam with each RX, while you also get blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert with automatic braking too. All but the entry level car get lane change assist and cross traffic alert as well.

Not only do you get good safety kit, but the RX comes with an excellent safety rating. Tested by Euro NCAP, the RX gets a five-star rating with high scores in every category. All areas of testing scored around the 90% mark, which is excellent.

Inside, you get ISOFIX points on the outer rear seats and airbags all round the cabin.

Reliability and problems

Cars from the Toyota family tree, as Lexus is, are known to be near bomb-proof, with high build quality and reliability. Over the history of the model, the RX has had very few recalls in the UK, and in the last decade, only some faulty airbags of the previous generation have been an issue.

As with every Lexus, the RX gets the standard three-year/60,000-mile warranty. If you want further peace of mind, you can get up to a 10-year or 100,000 miles warranty by getting your car serviced with a Lexus garage. You get 12 months/10,000 miles for every visit, up to a decade after purchase.

Buy or lease the Lexus RX at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £62,140 - £82,250 Avg. Carwow saving £4,941 off RRP
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