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Text and photos by Cor Steenstra
The refreshed Lexus RX450h introduces the new Lexus corporate front fascia to the SUV category of Lexus. It does present a very recognizable DRG in the rear view mirror, which is something Lexus has been lacking since its early beginnings. With clear reference to Japanese architecture and texts, it is proudly adorning the fronts of this and all future Lexus vehicles, similar to the BMW kidneys.The quality inside and out of this RX is again up at Lexus very high standards. The attention to detail in how things operate, how things open, the quiet and confident sounds associated with them, the perceived quality oozing from every detail, is pure pleasure to experience. “Yes, it can be done.., look at how Lexus do it” will be a very common phrase uttered by designers to the engineers and bean counters.
In its Hybrid version, this RX, despite appearing to be very solidly built, sturdy and weighty, still brings in quite competitive mileage. With an average during our drives of 26 mpg it certainly performed better than some of its domestic competitors.
As far as design is concerned, now that Lexus finally seems to have come to grips with the fact that it needs a unique front image for its brands, one that is recognizable over a variety of vehicles, without selling the more expensive vehicles short, it is time for Lexus to find a harmonious design language for the rest of the body. This RX is actually one of the few that seems to have been done by 1 team, with 1 common theme. Too often other Lexusses seem to have combined several design ideas into one body, without necessarily being harmonious or well balanced.
If the RX45h is anything to go by, they are on the right path.