For the 2013 model year, the RX 450h, which joined Lexus’ lineup in the 2010 model year, features a slew of changes on the inside and outside. Outside, the RX 450h receives Lexus’ now-signature spindle grille flanked by new headlights, a revised bumper, LED daytime running lamps, revised taillights, and much more pronounced fog lights and bezels.
Inside the cabin, Lexus added in a more comfortable steering wheel, metallic accents to the glove box, and a revised center console for easier use. The aesthetic revisions essentially eliminate the soft look that the 2012 RX 450h had, and replaced it with a more athletic and non-hybrid look and feel. A final addition to the 2013 RX 450h is a “Sport” mode, which increases the performance and handling of this hybrid SUV. In its base format, the RX 450h gets 32 mpg city and 28 mpg highway, and in it all-wheel-drive setup, it gets 30 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.
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While hybrid luxury SUVs are not necessarily abundant, there is some competition out there. First up is the 2013 Audi Q5 2.0T Prestige Quattro Hybrid, which comes in a $50,900 and boasts a 30 mpg highway rating, five-person leather seating, 245-horsepower, 6.8-second sprint to 60 mph and a 4,400-pound towing capacity. Next up is the 2013 Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid, which comes in at $62,055, boasts leather seating for five, a 380-horsepower hybrid-drive system, a 24 mpg highway rating and a 7,700-pound towing capacity. The next competitor is the 2013 Toyota Highlander Limited Hybrid, which carries a $46,170 price tag, seven-person premium leather seating, a 280-horsepower, V-6 hybrid driveline, a 3,500-pound towing capacity and a 28 mpg highway rating.
Since the competition is so scarce, the range of luxury hybrid SUVs range greatly in size and engine power. Despite their obvious differences, they all remain in fierce competition for the interest of eco-friendly SUV buyers.
The Lexus RX 450h comes in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. It comes equipped with a 3.5-liter V-6 engine with an Atkinson –cycle hybrid setup that nets it 295 horsepower and a 3,500-pound towing capacity when fitted with all-wheel drive and the optional towing package. On the outside of the RX 450h, it features: traction control, Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management, four-wheel disc brakes with power regeneration, LED daytime running lights, LED taillights, intermittent wipers, power mirrors with turn signals and 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with 235/60VR18 all-season tires. On the inside, it includes: dual-zone climate control, power windows and door locks, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, HomeLink, interior accents in ebony or espresso, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 10-way power front seats, nine-speaker sound system with six-CD changer, USB port, iPod integration and Bluetooth connectivity, LCD multi-information display, OLED instrument panel, and outside temperature gauge.
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|Build & Price|
Standard leather, plenty of seating, quick to 60 mph and a stout tower, but falls very short in city mpg.
Huge power and towing capacity, but comes up extremely short in both city and highway mpg.
Light price tag and premium leather interior, but not quite as luxurious as the Lexus.
Eight-person seating, plenty of horsepower, great towing capacity, but huge deficiency in fuel economy.