2010 Lexus RX 450h SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2010 Lexus RX 450h SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Lexus RX 450h Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.5 L V 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 295 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 32/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 Lexus RX 450h

  • Though expensive, the 2010 Lexus RX 450h delivers impressive fuel economy and utility plus all the power, amenities and flawless build quality consumers have come to expect from Lexus.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain, smooth ride, luxurious and comfortable interior, smart electronics interface.

  • Cons

    No third-row seat, expensive option packages, questionable economic and environmental benefit.

  • What's New for 2010

    For 2010, Lexus has redesigned the hybrid version of its popular RX luxury crossover SUV. The name change from last year's RX 400h to this year's RX 450h signifies evolutionary style changes along with some significant under-the-skin improvements.

Gas Mileage


  • 32
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2010 rx 450h hybrid

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Vehicle: 2010 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I bought this car after careful review from all the usual sources. I am very pleased with my new red car. Comfort package and all the bells and whistles. I studied the reviews and surmised that the way you drive the car dictates the mileage you will get. So no quick starts and using the cruise control when ever possible and averaging 28 mpgs! I live 6 miles from work and drive to mountain bike on the weekends and am getting over 400 miles per tank. You really have to take it easy and enjoy the car to get this but it is achievable .Love the complete voice activation for everything. Just read the manual and you are on your way. Very comfortable and a joy to drive.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Poor fuel economy

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Vehicle: 2010 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I have had this 2010 Lexus RX450H for about 3 months. One thing disappointments me is the actual mileage I am getting. I use it for commute from home to work in San Francisco. So far the total mileage is 880. I have been getting 21 MPG in city and 23 MPG in the city. My combined average MPG is 21.9 MPG. The advertised fuel efficiency is 28 MPG on highway and 32 MPG in the city. Not sure it is just my car or it is the city that has lots of hill and traffic signal. My round trip from home to work is 12 miles. One reason we want to switch from our 2001 BMW330CI (which runs 14 MPG) to this car is hoping to save gas. I have not bring this car to long trip yet, will test that out later.

Very comfortable and economical

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Vehicle: 2010 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Had the car for 6 months and driven it on two long journeys over 1000 miles each way, as well as commuting to work. Journeys averaged 25 mpg, commute in traffic usually get 29 or 30 mpg which is sensational for a vehicle this size. It's only let down by the plastic finish on some of the interior fittings. It's very strange as some features are wonderful like the soft leather seats and the soft interior roof lining. Contrast this with the plastic finish of the grab handles that rattle annoyingly. I'm sure Lexus will fix this on future versions. Overall though a great vehicle with good economy and pretty good performance overall.

Good performance

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Vehicle: 2010 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

I am leasing the RX450h for almost a year now. so far, I like it, but it would be good if Lexus have the service for unlock the door for you if you are the owner and you lock out. I went shopping once at 40 miles from my home, and my key dropped on the seat quietly. I called the dealer, and they told me the only thing they could offer is to come pick me up to get my spare key at home. (but I know even have my home key.) The media USB ports are not convenient to reach. Since the dealer is 38 miles away from my house, I am not sure if a local oil change service could do the oil change for me.

Initial impression

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Vehicle: 2010 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

Very impressed with the RX450h. Excellent comfort and fun to drive. Takes a while to get familiar with all the capability but basic operation is easy and intuitive. Very good dealer service.

Great car but performance lacking

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Vehicle: 2010 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

When I decided to buy an SUV, I knew it would be Lexus (quality), and I so badly wanted a hybrid to future proof against rising gas prices. I created spreadsheet showing the RX450h vs. RX350 could pay for itself in 3.6yrs. Intellectually I had justified the cost. However, when I drove both cars (450h first, then 350), I was shocked by the sluggish performance of the 450h relative to the peppy 350. The gas pedal felt squishy, sluggishly responsive, getting up to highway speed felt tenuous. Major disappointment!


Full 2010 Lexus RX 450h Review

What's New for 2010

For 2010, Lexus has redesigned the hybrid version of its popular RX luxury crossover SUV. The name change from last year's RX 400h to this year's RX 450h signifies evolutionary style changes along with some significant under-the-skin improvements.


When it debuted four years ago, the Lexus RX 400h answered what many thought was an obvious question: Why doesn't someone make a midsize hybrid SUV? Better yet, how about a luxury-branded midsize hybrid SUV? That first RX hybrid offered the typical Lexus attributes of luxury, a smooth and quiet ride and top-notch build quality. It also provided strong performance along with fuel mileage ratings in the mid-20s. The 2010 Lexus RX 450h represents the next generation of this successful offering.

Among the changes made for 2010 are more power along with slightly better fuel efficiency. The RX 450h produces a maximum output of 295 horsepower, 27 more ponies than before, while the fuel numbers go up a couple of mpg. The hybrid version also shares the same changes made to all 2010 RX models, including an increase in width (though other dimensions remain essentially unchanged), a beefier structure to promote greater crashworthiness, bigger wheels and brakes, more airbags (now at 10 total), a keyless ignition system and a new computer mouselike multifunction controller for the optional navigation system.

Unfortunately, another change for the 450h is a weight gain of more than 400 pounds. However, it seems to have little effect on the RX 450h's dynamics, as performance is still strong and handling feels sharper than before, thanks to revised steering and suspension systems. As before, the hybrid can function in gas-engine-only, electric-only or combination modes depending on conditions. During light acceleration or when coasting, the 450h saves fuel by running solely on battery power. When full power is called for, the 450h offers acceleration similar to that of some V8-powered rivals while achieving the best fuel economy in the midsize luxury SUV class.

Of course, none of this comes cheap. A typically equipped 2010 Lexus RX 450h will cost about $4,000 more than a similar RX 350. Given that, it would take many miles and years of driving to recoup the hybrid's additional cost via reduced fuel consumption. And from a pure "save the planet" standpoint, buying a 50-mpg Prius makes much more sense than buying a 28-mpg crossover. But it's hard not to like the RX 450h -- quick, luxurious and relatively fuel-efficient, it seemingly offers the best of all worlds, virtually guaranteeing its appeal to the luxury SUV buyer.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Lexus RX 450h is a midsize luxury SUV available in front- or all-wheel-drive versions. It comes in one trim level, with standard and optional equipment levels similar to those of the RX 350. Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, 10-way power front seats, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, wood interior trim, sliding and reclining second-row seats and a nine-speaker audio system with a six-CD changer and an auxiliary audio jack.

Options are bundled in a number of packages. The Sport package adds 19-inch wheels and a sport-tuned suspension. The Premium package adds leather seating, a sunroof, a power tailgate, driver seat memory and an iPod interface. Selecting this package allows further upgrades via the Comfort package (adaptive xenon headlights and heated/cooled front seats) and the Luxury package (19-inch wheels, upgraded leather seating, side-monitoring system, wood/leather steering wheel and extendable front seat cushions). The Navigation package (also requires the Premium package) includes a hard-drive-based navigation system, real-time traffic updates, a back-up camera, Bluetooth and upgraded speakers.

Individual options include LED headlights, park assist, a Mark Levinson premium stereo system, a dual rear-screen entertainment system, a head-up display, and the Pre-Collision system (which primes the brakes and tightens the seatbelts if a collision is deemed imminent). Many of the various package features are also available as stand-alone options.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2010 Lexus RX 450h hybrid combines a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 engine with electric motor-generators to power vehicle systems and the driving wheels. Front-wheel-drive models use two motor-generators -- one acting as a starter/generator and the other providing motive force -- while the all-wheel-drive version adds a third electric motor to drive the rear wheels. Producing up to 295 hp and working through a specialized continuously variable transmission (CVT), the RX 450h provides smooth, strong performance. We've timed the 450h from zero to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds, a time that's about the same as the regular RX 350's. Fuel economy estimates stand at 28 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined for the FWD model, with the AWD version rating 1 mpg less. Properly equipped, the RX 450h can tow up to 3,500 pounds.


The RX 350 comes standard with front- and rear-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and dual front knee bags. Standard stability- and traction-control systems as well as antilock brakes with brake assist are on hand to help you avoid an accident in the first place.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although the RX 450h is part of Lexus' entry-level SUV lineup, the 450h's cabin gives the impression that this could be the company's flagship. Real wood and leather trim make for a rich ambience. The optional Mark Levinson sound system rivals the best systems available from any manufacturer, and the optional navigation system boasts one of the most user-friendly interfaces around. In addition to voice command capability, the latter employs a new "Remote Touch" interface that replaces the former touchscreen setup with a mouselike controller located on the center console. Remote Touch is immediately intuitive and generally easier to use than interfaces offered by the RX's competitors.

Rear passengers can get comfortable thanks to the seat's reclining and sliding adjustments. That seat is split 40/20/40 to optimize both passenger comfort and cargo-carrying flexibility. When it's time to turn this luxury cruiser into a beast of burden, the RX 450h is ready with 40 cubic feet of cargo capacity with the rear seats up and 80 cubes with those seats down.

Driving Impressions

The 2010 Lexus RX 450h drives a lot like its gas-powered RX 350 sibling, delivering both a smooth ride and reasonably tight handling despite its extra weight (which is only noticeable when changing direction at higher speeds). That smooth ride comes thanks to soft suspension tuning, which makes the RX feel a little too spongy for those who appreciate a more spirited driving experience. However, the Sport package does firm things up a bit.

The RX 450h is capable of approaching 30 mph in electric mode alone, which is of great fuel-saving benefit in stop-and-go traffic. This year brings a new "EV" mode that allows solely electric propulsion for lower speeds over short distances. Under maximum acceleration, though, an un-Lexus-like amount of engine noise is generated as the gas engine revs all the way up to redline.


Talk About The 2010 RX 450h

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In the market for a RX 450h 2010 lease - 36 months....

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