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2010 Lexus RX 450h Long Term Review: Week 8

2010 Lexus RX450h at Night

Even with the winter weather, one of the real pleasures during my time with the 2010 Lexus RX 450h has been driving at night. It all starts with the on-demand all-wheel drive system—there hasn’t been a single slip, really nothing more than a flash of the yellow traction light, and that brings a lot of confidence no matter the road conditions.

But more than that, it’s also when the RX 450h’s real luxury shines through, as much of the vehicle’s best technology takes a starring role once the sun goes down.

The LED headlights have proven to be exceptional in every way, and are my favorite part of the exterior design:

2010 Lexus RX 450h Front LED lights

My best attempt with the lights on:

2010 Lexus RX 450h Night Light

Great light coverage with the LEDs, especially in combination with the fog lights. but the best part are the automatic high-beams, a standard feature on all new 3RXs in Canada (but not in the USA). This system uses a in-car sensor that reads ambient light and the headlights of oncoming traffic to control the high-beams—meaning no more pushing and pulling on the light stalk:

Lexus RX 450h Auto High Beams

It’s a feature that has me shaking my head at the simplicity & easy convenience—and with rural roads making up much of my daily driving, it’s a solution to a frequent annoyance. It should be said that snow has a tendency to confuse the sensor, but then high-beams and falling snow don’t really mix well anyway.

The other great night-time feature is the the Heads Up Display. I found it to be a minor distraction at first, but after some fiddling with the brightness and positioning, I eventually found my personal sweet spot. From that point on, the HUD has all but replaced the dial speedometer—it’s also of considerable usefulness when using the navigation:

Lexus RX450h Heads Up Display

At this point, I’m absolutely sold on the HUD—it feels very much like the future of driving and I can’t wait to see how this technology progresses. It should really be an option throughout the Lexus lineup.

There is a minor cost to all this technology—there are times when the instrument panel resembles an airplane cockpit. This seems like a small price to pay for the featureset, but I would like to see an IP like the new LS 600hL make its way into the RXh.

To close it out for now, here’s some interior night shots as requested:

Special thanks to Lexus Canada for providing me with this vehicle for the purpose of review. The RX 450h with the Ultra Luxury Package retails for $71,400CAD ($67,150USD).

  • W
  • May 14, 2010
Krew: Your nighttime interior shots aren't visible anymore. Anyways, I love the RXh's new multi-function OLED display in the gauge cluster. It's virtually white on black - no hazing backlight; unfortunately, today's OLEDs are known to have a limited lifespan.
  • S
  • January 18, 2011
Nice to see the cheap digital clock is still there!!! I do wish they would bring everything up to standard!
  • J
  • January 25, 2011
Hi, Would you share some comments on the CVT and torque? I heard lots of comments regarding the lack of power due to its weight and "numb" feel of CVT. I currently drive a IS250 and want to upgrade to the RX450h. Thanks J