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Dec28

2012 Lexus RX 450h Price, Review, Specs

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2012 Lexus RX 450h Price, Review, Specs, what car reviews, The RX 450h is the luxury hybrid crossover SUV from Lexus, which is redesigned for 2010 and replaces the RX 400h, which has been the top trim level of the RX lineup since it debuted for the 2006 model year. The new RX 450h designation is indicative of the updated Lexus Hybrid Drive, which delivers 295 horsepower and improved fuel economy. The 3.5-liter V6 engine adopts the Atkinson-cycle combustion system, and the 288-volt DC nickel-metal hydride battery pack is lighter and more compact. Available with all-wheel drive or front-wheel drive, the redesigned RX 450h features a new version of the Lexus L-finesse design language while retaining the distinctive RX appearance. The original Lexus RX 300 was the first luxury crossover SUV when it arrived in 1998 as a 1999 model, and the RX 400h followed as the first luxury crossover SUV hybrid.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Lexus RX 450h is a five-passenger midsize luxury SUV available in front- or all-wheel-drive versions. It comes in one well-appointed trim level.

Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, foglights, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, 10-way power front seats, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, wood interior trim, sliding and reclining second-row seats and a nine-speaker audio system with a six-disc CD changer, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.

Options are bundled in a number of packages. The Premium package adds leather seating, a sunroof, a power tailgate, driver-seat memory, a rear-seat armrest and an iPod interface. Additional option bundles require the Premium package. The Comfort package tacks on adaptive xenon headlights with automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, heated/ventilated front seats and an upgraded 12-speaker audio system.

The Luxury package includes 19-inch wheels, LED headlights, power-retractable outside mirrors, upgraded leather seating, side-view cameras, a wood and leather steering wheel and extendable front seat cushions. The Navigation package features a hard-drive-based navigation system (with real-time traffic and voice control), the Lexus Remote Touch interface, a back-up camera, increased Bluetooth functionality and Lexus Enform telematics.

Individual options include park assist, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson premium stereo system, a rear-seat entertainment system with twin headrest-mounted displays, a head-up display and adaptive cruise control with a pre-collision system (AWD only). Some of the various package features are also available as stand-alone options.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the 2012 Lexus RX 450h is a combination of a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 engine and electric motors. Front-wheel-drive models use two motors: one acting as a starter/generator and the other providing propulsion. The all-wheel-drive version adds a third electric motor to drive the rear wheels. Total output amounts to 295 hp that is routed through a specialized continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the 2012 Lexus RX 450h includes antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front- and rear-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and dual front knee bags. Safety Connect, a telematics service with automatic collision notification, a stolen-vehicle locator and an emergency assistance button, is also included. Optional is the pre-collision system that comes packaged with adaptive cruise control. It determines when an accident is unavoidable and tightens the front seatbelts and initializes brake assist.

In government crash tests, the RX450h received a total score of four stars (out of five). It earned four stars for overall frontal crash protection and five stars for overall side crash protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the related RX 350 earned a perfect “Good” rating for its performance in frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Upscale appointments, exceptional cabin materials and cutting-edge tech features make the 2012 Lexus RX 450h look and feel much more expensive than its midlevel luxury status would suggest. Authentic wood trim and high-quality leather lend an air of opulence, and the optional Mark Levinson audio is one of the best sound systems on the market.

Another noteworthy option is the navigation system that features the Remote Touch interface, a mouselike controller that replaces the traditional touchscreen operation. The controller features haptic feedback when rolling over on-screen controls, allowing the user to “feel” the buttons. We found this system to be immediately intuitive and easier to use than other competing interfaces.

Rear passengers will find the seating roomy and comfortable thanks to reclining and sliding adjustments. Luggage and cargo space are accommodating as well, allowing up to 40 cubic feet behind the 40/20/40-split-folding rear seats and 80 cubes with them stowed.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Lexus RX 450h doesn’t disappoint when it comes to a smooth ride. The compliant suspension and plentiful sound insulation ably isolate passengers from the outside world. The hybrid powertrain is also pretty silent, though at full throttle the V6 does make a surprising amount of noise. The softly sprung suspension never feels uncontrolled, but it’s far from athletic.

The RX 450h is capable of approaching 30 mph in electric-only mode, which improves fuel economy, especially in stop-and-go traffic. An “EV” mode is also at the driver’s command, which allows electric-only propulsion at low speeds over short distances.

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2012 Lexus RX 450h Price :

MSRP range:$45,235 – $46,825
Invoice price range:$41,164 – $42,611

2012 Lexus RX 450h Specs :

Drivetrain : Front Wheel Drive
Curb Weight (lbs) : 4520
City (MPG) : 32
Hwy (MPG) : 28
Horsepower : 245@6000
Torque (lb-ft) : 234@4800
Wheelbase : 107.9
Length (in.) : 187.8
Width (in.) : 74.2
Height (in.) : 66.3

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