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2010 Lexus RX 450h Long Term Review: Week 8

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).

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  • 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