Launched: Lexus RX

The Lexus RX is now in its fifth generation with an all-new design, new powertrains, greater performance and refined luxury. A plug-in hybrid model had now been introduced to the line-up.

We flew down to Cape Town to sample this new and exciting range.

The new RX comes with a line-up of no fewer than three different electrified powertrains. At the
core of the brand’s offering, the RX 450h+ is the first RX to adopt Lexus‘plug-in hybrid technology. The RX 350h hybrid electric is also on offer, aiming to be a more efficient option as opposed to diesel and petrol powertrains. For customers seeking something exhilarating, Lexus is introducing its first performance-focused turbocharged hybrid, the RX 500h, which comes with Direct4 drive force control.

The first rung on the RX ladder is occupied by the RX 350, sporting a 2.4-litre turbocharged inline-four petrol engine, and albeit it whines a little bit at high revs, it proved to be a serene and pleasant drive. The RX450h and RX350h proved to be the sweet spots of the range, providing efficiency and comfort. Driving these models through the Cape Wineland’s and the city allowed us to experience the commendable driving dynamics and handling, the cornering of the RX500h was superb. Even at high speed, the RX stays planted and feels incredibly solid on the roads.

On the Interior

Interior quality is a step up from the previous generation, the interior packaging is pure SUV,
delivering the necessary practicality, convenience and flexibility. The driver’s field of view is increased to provide top-class visibility for safer and more comfortable driving. This is helped by a new ergonomic design for the area around the front pillars to give a better sight-line when cornering. Accurate line-tracing is also helped by raising the front edge of the bonnet, so that it is easier to judge the vehicle’s corners.

Powertrains and Performance

The all-new RX provides more comprehensive segment coverage in terms of powertrain options.
The RX350 produces 205kW from a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with peak torque outputs of 430Nm.

The RX 350h uses the 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor for a combined
output of 184 kW.

The RX 450h+, the very first plug-in hybrid electric RX is a true game changer in terms of the Lexus electrification journey. For the South African market with its ever-present electricity supply woes and fledgling charging network, there is frankly no better option,” states Glenn Crompton: Vice President of Lexus Marketing.
Limited pure electric range is achievable in the city with a battery that can be recharged using a
charger or self-charging as with conventional hybrids. This is what sets it apart from its rivals. A
homologated EV driving range of 65km (more than enough for an average daily commute) with all-
electric driving is possible at speeds of up to 130km/h, but this figure is almost academic as once the battery charge is depleted, the vehicle switches seamlessly to its self-charging hybrid system,
maintaining high fuel and emissions efficiency. This is in contrast to most other manufacturers’
systems, where the powertrain defaults to its internal combustion engine. The battery’s size and
capacity and Lexus’ electrification know-how combine to deliver significantly lower fuel consumption.

RX 500h
Currently the range-topping model, the RX 500h pairs the 2.4-litre turbo from the RX 350 with two
electric motors; one between the engine itself and the six-speed automatic gearbox, and the other
on the rear axle. The setup produces a combined 273kW and 550Nm of torque.

Pricing in South Africa

Lexus RX is delivered with the Lexus Warranty Experience featuring an industry leading seven-year/105 000 km warranty and maintenance plan, with an eight-year/195 000 km battery warranty being standard on the RX 350h and RX 500h.

 RX 350 – R1 424 000
 RX 350h – R1 458 300
 RX 350h F Sport – R1 543 200
 RX 500h F Sport – R1 684 300

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