So far absent from the 7-seater vehicle market in Europe, Lexus is getting the better of it by stretching its RX450h to compete with another family hybrid, the Volvo XC90 T8.
A Hybrid SUV and 7-seater , an exotic proposition represented so far on the market by the only Volvo XC90 T8. The Swede, more expensive and rechargeable, had not abandoned its third row on the altar of hybridization, unlike another competitor, the Audi Q7 e-Tron.
More surprising than this Scandinavian omnipotence, it is undoubtedly the absence of Lexus on the 7 seater SUV segment in Europe. Especially since the premium branch of Toyota offers two models of this type in the US, the GX and LX, equipped only with a large V8 petrol.
No V8 so for Europe but an extended version of the RX hybrid , the emergence of family SUVs (Peugeot 5008, Skoda Kodiaq and Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace) having completed to convince Lexus.
A third extra row
The – slight – transformation of the RX logically concerns its rear overhang. Lengthened 11 cm, he asked the designers to adapt the flag fall, more at right angles to provide the best possible roof guard for third-row passengers… as long as you’re not too tall!
For children and adults under 1.70 m, the clubhouse should not play sticky with the top of their skull. A few more centimeters and the journey becomes much less pleasant. Same thing for the limited legroom that will require a real contortionist work to access the third row and find a correct position. To book so children or very short trips!
Too bad because for the rest, everything had been well thought out. The cupholders or automatic air conditioning at the back are welcome, as is the split and sliding rear seats or the third row that can be folded down electrically thanks to controls located in the trunk.
In this configuration, the latter offers 176 liters of cargo volume, less than the Volvo XC90 T8 and its 314 liters. In 5 places also the value is not that exceptional, 591 liters with the maximum bench seat, the flip side of a vehicle certainly large but embarking a very large hybrid system: V6, electric motors and batteries require!
Regulars Lexus and more generally the Toyota group will quickly find their marks at the wheel of this RX450hL. Softness of operation in town, comfort of first order and quiet at low speed in electric mode (up to 2-3 km) do not change compared to the 5-seater version.
The same goes for the CVT box and its tendency to spin when it is asked for a little too virulent, thus boosting consumption: 7 liters in the city and expressways at 90 km / h, around 10 liters on more sinuous course .
Also penalized by a weight of more than 100 kg (2,200 kg), the RX450hL is really not a sports car. However, with its V6 3.5 265 horsepower and its electric motors allowing it to develop a cumulative power of 313 horses , it could have been a little more alive (0 to 100 km / h in 7.7 seconds) and fast (V- Max of 200 km / h). Especially if its chassis is not sharpest, it still contains quite well the taking of roll and the movements of cash in turns, suffering more than a well understeer.
An additional cost of 3.200 €
To qualify for the extra 11 cm and the third row, customers will have to pay 3,200 € more than the classic version of the RX450h . The range is based on the only hybrid variant and 3 finishes (RXL, Luxury or Executive), with an entry fee of € 72,100 against € 79,700 for the Volvo XC90 T8 .
As always among Japanese manufacturers, the standard equipment is rich from the first level of finish with for example the rearview camera, adaptive cruise control and leather seats. While the high-end is literally all options with equipment such as mobile induction charging, head-up display, heated / ventilated seats, controlled damping or the sound Mark Levinson.