2010 Lexus RX 450h Long Term Report: Weeks 2 & 3

2010 Lexus RX450h in Winter

Travelled: 1077km (669 miles)
Gas Mileage: 8.8l/100kms (26.7 mpg)

The second and third week of my 2010 Lexus RX 450h road test blended in together as I powered through day after day of holiday visiting, a pile of snow and ice, and a lengthy head cold. It was in this blur of activity that I started to get a real feel for the crossover.

I took the opportunity to drive friends and family around as much as possible, and the RXh was optimal in every regard—the interior is spacious & inviting, but without the drawback of a vehicle that’s hard to manoeuvre or park. Driving is a brisk, pleasant experience; the RXh performs exceptionally well as a barrier from the elements.

Lexus RX 450h in Salt

The biggest change over the last couple weeks wasn’t with the RXh at all, it was the weather. There’s plenty of snow now, and this is where the crossover’s impressing me the most. The AWD drive system locks the RXh down in extremely slippery conditions—I’ve yet to feel even a slight wobble while driving, and the braking is straight as an arrow. Add the LED headlamp brightness and it’s safe to say there’s been absolutely no drama in winter driving.

Some other random points:

2010 Lexus RX 450h in Winter Badge

  • The RXh has an ECO mode that adjusts various vehicle settings in order to improve fuel economy, and one of changes is a controlled throttle response. This ECO mode makes acceleration a clumsy affair at the best of times, but combination of the cold weather & the continually variable transmission (CVT) destroys almost all driving enjoyment with no visible improvement in gas mileage.
  • The driver has access to three cup-holders but no change container—that’s starting to bug me.
  • I don’t know why, but I can’t get the gas mileage away from 8.8l/100km, even after trying my best to mimic a stereotypical eco-hippie driver. My absolutely best result, halfway through a tank, was 7.6l/100km, and that didn’t last long. I’m blaming the cold weather and the holiday’s numerous short trips and extended stops.
  • The passenger-side camera is perfect, providing just the right angle for curbside parking. I’m using it all the time, especially given the button’s convenient spot on the steering wheel.
  • My wife loves the RXh tech—at a Christmas dinner, I overheard her talking up the power liftgate and heated side mirrors.

I’ll get an idea of the interior storage capacity this week when I pick up the inlaws’ new LCD TV—and then next week, I’ll be taking a road trip to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit to see the LFA for the first time (more on that later).

Lexus RX450h Rear



  1. Thanks for the update!  I’m glad to hear that it can handle the snow quite well as this was one reason I’m considering upgrading. 
    These heated side mirrors, are they a canadian thing and not available to the States like the heated wipers? More and more I’m wanting to buy a canadian version….

  2. You’ve made great points. For me, the lack of a coin holder is a reminder that Lexus sometimes forgets fundamentals when in comes to functionality, practicality, and intuitiveness… and all that. For me, not having a coin holder is as annoying as not having a place for my cellphone and not having a usable cupholder or “bottle holder” that doesn’t get in the way of your arms, elbows, and controls on the dash.

    Thanks for pointing out the hopelessness of ECO mode in your snowy conditions, and also thanks for pointing out something that the ladies would compliment - definitely a plus for the RX.

    I’m liking those headlights. I finally saw an RXh with LED headlights yesterday, and the look alright. As a note, the blue tinting is awfully strong in the face of the sun. Sigh… you lucky journalist. How many people did you show the LX to? Your former colleagues? Your middle school rival? And answer this smile : how do you think the launch of The Passionate Pursuit changed you and your life? Did you ever expect to come this far? And I apologize if you had already answered this: Is there anything interesting that Lexus/Toyota has said to you? about us?

  3. In the last couple of RX arrivals at our dealership, we have noticed they are now placing a coin tray in the center console…much like a roll of quarters.  So they do listen.

  4. First, it was your set of pictures. AutoBlog also just released a set of RXh pictures (also with LEDs), and boy does the car look beautiful - fits perfectly in Lexus’ lineup. I noticed that the RXh’s complicated headlights with the dark underbody makes the dark exterior colors the most ideal choices.

    And I really hate the existence of dormant buttons - really “in your face,” aren’t it? Other than that, the RXh does have some nice features. The lack of a coinholder is really unfortunate, and like I said, it’s better than those stupid cupholders that the Germans offer (the ones that block the buttons on the dash). The Germans don’t have those awesome water bottle holders, and their cupholders sometimes even make grabbing coffee cups a bit troublesome.

  5. I thought about buying the 450h, because I have been so happy with my 2006 400h. Its the most fantastic auto I have owned. There are some features I like about the 2010, but not enough for me to change. There are too many options!  Remember: There was only (1)option on the RX400h,The Mark Levinson sound system with the GPS,the Rear Roof Mounted DVD-CD screen with Remote Control,Two Headsets and the Backup Camera. Everything else was STANDARD,including AWD and cornering lights! For once, I think the first edition is still the BEST.
    PS: Plenty of power and uses Regular Gasoline, and was PRICED RIGHT!

  6. Krew: a lot of your RXh articles, particularly your reviews, aren’t tagged under the RXh.