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2015 Lexus RX 450h Preview

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Pros: The venerable Lexus RX, the brand's top seller, proves solidly built, smooth, comfortable, and very reliable. Cargo capacity is right at the top of the compact luxury CUV segment, and in RX 450h trim, fuel efficiency is remarkable. What's more, customer service at Lexus dealerships usually eclipses the one you're going to get with German makes.

Cons: The battery pack is an older-design, nickel-metal-hydride unit. While plush, the seats lack side support.

Lexus RX 450h
Photo: Lexus

2015 Lexus RX 450h Price: Making things simple for buyers, Lexus offers a single trim level, and it starts at $62,650.

2015 Lexus RX 450h Fuel Economy: Based on Natural Resources Canada's new 5-cycle testing procedure to determine fuel consumption ratings, expect to burn 8.0L/100km in the city and 8.5L/100km on the highway with your 2015 RX 450h.

Improvements and Changes:
Now officially called “RX 450h SPORTDESIGN,” this luxury crossover's powerful presence is made stronger and more aerodynamic by a newly sharpened front bumper, more angular headlights, an even bolder interpretation of the Lexus Spindle grille design, and standard 19” alloy wheels.

Also new for 2015 is a “One Push” confirmation that makes the Lexus Remote Touch controller easier and more intuitive to operate.

2015 Lexus RX 450h Powertrain: A smooth 3.5L V6 teams up with a pair of electric motors as part of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system. Together, they put out 295 net horsepower and a massive amount of torque. A specifically calibrated CVT handles power delivery to all four wheels. Choose Normal, ECO, EV, or Sport drive mode to optimize efficiency or performance to suit your mood and driving conditions.

Cargo Capacity: You can expand the cargo area from 1,133 to 2,274 litres by folding the rear seats in the 2015 Lexus RX 450h. By the way, these numbers are equal to the gas-powered RX, so the battery makes no difference here.

Safety: Standard features include stability and traction control, disc brakes with ABS, brake assist and electronic brake force distribution, as well as smart stop technology, which automatically cuts engine power and allows the brakes to take precedence over the accelerator when both pedals are pressed at the same time. Let's not forget the 10 airbags and available technologies like adaptive cruise control, a blind spot monitor, intuitive parking assist, and head-up display.

Comparing the 2015 Lexus RX 450h: Direct competitors are limited to the Audi Q5 Hybrid and Infiniti QX60 Hybrid. Don't sleep on the diesel-powered Mercedes-Benz GLK 250 BlueTEC, though.