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Lexus RX 450h - Copyright green car magazine

Lexus RX 450 h version F-Sport

Lexus relies on the trend of providers in the premium segment for SUV buyers. The extroverted appearance with the huge radiator grille and the generous dimensions was equipped with a hybrid drive. The large 3,5 liter V6 cylinder with 193 kW (263 hp) is supported by two electric motors with 2 kW (50 hp) and 68 kW (123 hp). How does the drive affect consumption and how does the top dog fare in the everyday test?

Our test car is tested with the premium equipment "F-SPORT". As the equipment variant suggests, it welcomes the driver upon entry with high-quality leather upholstery and a very delicately designed interior. Main competitors are, for example, the Mercedes GLE, the BMW X5 or the Audi Q5 and accordingly the first impression counts here. First of all, take a seat in ergonomic leather seats with individual setting options, especially in the cooler seasons of the year, with seat heating with memory function and seat ventilation that is easy to adjust. The environment was garnished with covered leather surfaces decorated with stitching - combined with high and matt shiny metal surfaces. As brawny as it looks from the outside, inside it looks calm and balanced. The first impression is often decisive when buying and here the doors that fall tightly into the lock, the quietly working electric motors of the window lifters and the generous display in the center console are positively noticeable.
While most manufacturers rely entirely on digital displays and touch displays, there are still a few pleasant accents from the tried and tested analogue era. First of all, there is the rectangular silver clock in the center of the center console; But there are also the displays for the cooling water temperature and the amount of fuel in the tank. And even in the generously dimensioned central display, nothing works with the touch controls; it would be difficult to reach in the large SUV. In the center console on the driver's side, to the left of the automatic selector lever, the joystick button can be used to move the pointer across the screen after a short period of familiarization. The menu items are selected by gently pressing downwards.

Lexus RX 450h - Copyright green car magazine

Lexus RX 450h - Copyright green car magazine

The power of the three engines

Toyota has a decade-long lead over the competition when it comes to the hybrid drive concept. The coordinated interplay of the engines is a big plus. The use of the motors works seamlessly and finely tuned. In driving mode, you can choose between Normal, ECO and Sport modes. Those who prefer the individual settings can adjust the engine and chassis settings personally in the so-called "CUSTOMIZE". The selected mode and your own driving behavior largely determine real fuel consumption. With a dead weight of over 2,3 tons with me as the driver, we were able to achieve an average consumption of 8 to 13 liters of premium gasoline in winter, depending on the external conditions. Toyota relies on a variable power distribution between the front and rear axles by means of an electronically controlled clutch and so the drive power distribution between the front and rear axles varies in a ratio of 100: 0 to 50:50 - depending on the road surface conditions and driving behavior. The rear electric motor is then only switched on when required and acts as a generator to feed the hybrid battery during regenerative braking.
The chassis of the Lexus is based on MacPherson struts on the front axle and a double wishbone rear axle. The chassis has been revised and the new front stabilizer ensures precise cornering when cornering. The brakes apply continuously even when braking several times in a row. When the engine is switched off, the electronic parking brake, which is now installed as standard, is automatically activated.

Lexus RX 450h - Copyright green car magazine

Lexus RX 450h - Copyright green car magazine

Diverse assistance systems in the SPORT variant

The range of systems for driver relief is diverse. The 360-degree camera, which is optional in the vehicle class, makes it easier to navigate with its all-round view when maneuvering the 4,89-meter SUV. With the standard pedestrian emergency braking assistant, braking processes are automatically initiated when a dangerous situation with passers-by is detected. While driving, a lane departure warning system and an adaptive cruise control system that can be regulated differently relieve the driving speed and the distances to the vehicles in front. The interaction of the motors can be observed in a real-time simulation on the multifunction screen: the start-up by the two electric motors, the cooperation between the V6 engine and the front electric motor when propelling or when releasing the accelerator, the function of the electric motors as generators.



Source: green car magazine issue II / 2017

Manufacturer websites:  Lexus RX


N. Hawthorn
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