With the new Lexus RX 350 now available in North American dealerships, the auto reviewers have been turning their sights on the upcoming RX 450h. Edmunds, who had plenty of good things to say about the non-hybrid version, didn’t end up all that impressed with the hybrid:
The 2010 Lexus RX 450h hits 60 mph from a standstill in 7.6 seconds (7.2 seconds with 1 foot of rollout like on a drag strip) and completes the quarter-mile in 15.6 seconds at 91.8 mph, trailing the [outgoing] RX 400h by nearly a half-second in each category. Though certainly not slow, these results don’t reflect that in routine driving the RX 450h isn’t particularly eager to leap off the line unless you really give it the spurs. This lackadaisical response might be a trade-off for the RX 450h’s more fuel-friendly ways.
If you’re the kind of buyer who previously gravitated to the RX 400h, this drop in speed by the RX 450h will be of little concern. Same with the RX 450h’s meek personality. Just as its predecessor never quickened a pulse, so, too, doctors could prescribe the RX 450h to patients as a sedative.
A good note in the review — Edmunds didn’t complain at all about electric-to-gas lag mentioned in a recent Detroit News review:
There’s also less of a jolt in the powertrain when the V6 finally fires up to help the electric motors propel the RX 450h, too. We won’t go so far as to say Lexus has exorcised all the hybrid telltales in the RX 450h, but it’s made noticeable progress.