2018 Lexus RX 450h

2018 Lexus RX 450h
Save up to $4,720
2018 Lexus RX 450h
Save up to $4,720

Pros

  • Impeccably crafted and attractively designed cabin
  • Excellent fuel economy for a luxury crossover
  • Supremely quiet
  • Appealing ride and handling balance with F Sport package

Cons

  • Optional tech interface is distracting to use
  • Below-average cargo capacity
  • Relatively slow acceleration


Which RX 450h does Edmunds recommend?

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h comes in a single, well-equipped trim level, with adaptive cruise control, LED exterior lighting and a 12-speaker audio system all standard. We think the F Sport package is a must-have because it fundamentally changes the way the car handles and rides for the better. The Premium package is also desirable since it adds real leather upholstery and a few other goodies. Be forewarned: It's not as affordable as the list price suggests; the optional sunroof is a separate but required add-on.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

A strong road presence, unparalleled passenger comfort and a practical amount of storage space are absolute requirements for any luxury SUV maker. Environmental friendliness is often an afterthought, or at least not a priority. This isn't the case with the 2018 Lexus RX 450h, the hybrid variant of the massively successful RX 350 crossover. Not only is the 450h quicker and more efficient than its gas-only sibling, its price point is lower than it has been in years.

One of our primary complaints against the RX 450h in the past was its high price tag relative to the standard RX 350. Part of that was due to the 450h's substantial list of standard features, which was far more robust than the base 350's equipment roster. That changes for 2018; the 450h loses some luxuries in exchange for a lower base price, so it doesn't cost a fortune if you just want the hybrid powertrain. You can always put these features back in through a combination of packages and stand-alone options.

Like other Lexus vehicles, the RX 450h boasts high-quality interior appointments, a quiet ride and exceptional everyday livability. Also like other Lexus models, the mouselike controller for the infotainment interface is exceptionally difficult to use — take it for an extensive test run before you commit to buying the car. Other than that, the 2018 Lexus RX 450h is as solid as they come, and should be a top choice for luxury SUV buyers in the market for a fuel-efficient people mover.

Notably, we picked the 2018 Lexus RX 450h as one of Edmunds' Best Hybrid Cars and Best Hybrid SUVs with 3rd Rows for this year.

2018 Lexus RX 450h configurations

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h is a five-passenger midsize luxury SUV. Although there is officially only one base trim level, the F Sport package deserves a special mention, as it drastically changes the character of the SUV. It features different styling, an upgraded suspension and a lower ride height. Otherwise, both the regular and F Sport versions of the RX 450h come well equipped and are available with the same option packages. Just keep in mind that the availability of those options can vary based on the region of the country you live in.

Every RX 450h is all-wheel drive, powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine and three electric motor-generators (one on each front wheel and one controlling the rears). The power unit's combined 308 horsepower is routed through a continuously variable automatic transmission.

Standard equipment highlights for the base RX 450h include 18-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting (headlights, foglights, taillights and running lights), automatic high beams, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, a power liftgate, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic braking, lane departure warning and intervention, and keyless ignition and entry.

Inside, the RX includes an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, 10-way power front seats, a power-adjustable tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 40/20/40-split rear seat (reclines, slides and folds) and a cargo cover. Tech features include the Remote Touch interface, an 8-inch color display, Safety Connect emergency communications, voice controls, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 12-speaker sound system with HD and satellite radio and two USB ports.

The F Sport package adds sportier exterior styling, 20-inch wheels, adaptive suspension dampers, a lower ride height, an engine noise enhancer, special gauges, heated and ventilated sport seats, a heated sport steering wheel and special interior trim.

There are a number of notable packages available for the RX 450h, whether you stick with the base model or check the box for the F Sport. These include the Cold Area (a windshield wiper de-icer, auto-leveling headlights, headlight washers and a heavy-duty heater), Premium (auto-dimming and power-folding mirrors, driver-seat memory settings and leather upholstery) and Luxury (20-inch wheels, a wood-and-leather-wrapped steering wheel, ambient lighting, rear sunshades and upgraded leather upholstery) packages. A Towing package is also available, adding a heavy-duty alternator, radiator and transmission oil cooler.

There are numerous stand-alone options, some of which require adding one or a few of the aforementioned packages. Options include a color head-up display, a panoramic sunroof, power-folding and heated rear seats, a hands-free liftgate, upgraded LED headlights, a 12.3-inch central display (bundled with a navigation system) and a 15-speaker Mark Levinson sound system.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Lexus RX 450h F Sport (3.5L V6 hybrid | CVT automatic | AWD).

NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current RX 450h has received some revisions, including new safety equipment added in 2017 and the deletion of some standard features in 2018. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's RX 450h.

Driving

Considering what you get in fuel economy — the presumptive reason you buy the RX 450h instead of an RX 350 — performance is admirable. It moves with seamless authority; the steering, handling and braking are much the same as in the regular RX except for a little extra weight.

Acceleration

The hybrid powertrain includes a stout 3.5-liter V6 engine, and the system delivers seamless acceleration in all conditions. Its 0-60 mph acceleration time of 7.2 seconds is a bit slow for the segment but actually a couple tenths quicker than the RX 350.

Braking

The brakes feel consistent and reassuring in routine use, but they can feel grabby if you have to tap them quickly (say, when you're cut off). In our 60-0 mph panic-stop tests, the RX 450h posted distances ranging from 121 to 130 feet. Those are merely acceptable distances.

Steering

Response is smooth, and steering effort is just about right. (It can also be altered by switching between driving modes in the F Sport.) Isolation from road vibrations is excellent, but it almost feels as if it's too good because it's sometimes hard to judge just how much to turn the wheel.

Handling

It feels coordinated and secure in most situations at civilian speeds, with moderate body roll. But the extra hybrid system weight is apparent if you hustle it on winding roads. The F Sport suspension has a selectable Sport mode.

Drivability

The strong V6 engine rarely has to rev high enough to make the electronically controlled continuously variable automatic transmission obvious — annoying droning is rare. The brakes avoid the typical hybrid weirdness, as does the rest of the RX 450h in general.

Off-road

The rear-drive portion of the AWD system is just an electric motor that engages for a number of seconds when slip is detected, such as during ice and snow launches. It's just a traction aid, not a true AWD system that can deliver sustained propulsion. The RX 450h has decent ground clearance.

Comfort

Like the RX 350, the 2018 RX 450h is a comfortable place to spend time — even more so with the F Sport. The seats are handsome and comfortable, and the ride is smooth and composed without being overly buoyant. The hybrid drivetrain makes a few extra noises, but they're sufficiently muted.

Seat comfort

We like the thoroughly comfortable front seats, and the F Sport's more supportive seats are still sufficiently wide set that they do their job without being confining. The heating and cooling feature for the front seats works great, too.

Ride comfort

Contrary to expectations, the F Sport suspension feels less busy and soaks up bumps better than the regular RX suspension. It's neither too stiff nor too soft, which is to say the 450h is smooth-riding but with enough control to prevent it from being floaty.

Noise & vibration

There is very little wind or road noise, and the hybrid powertrain is often quite silent. Other times the hybrid CVT automatic holds engine revs higher, but the sound is muted. The regenerative braking system tends to emit a muted whine.

Interior

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h's cabin is great to look at and beautifully made. It's a real standout in the segment. However, some controls are difficult to use and the back seat isn't as generous as those of some rivals.

Ease of use

The cabin controls are logically laid out, and there's a good mix of knobs and buttons. But we're unconvinced by the joysticklike Remote Touch system needed to control many vehicle functions. It can be distracting to use.

Getting in/getting out

The RX 450h is easy to get into because the doorsills are narrow and the seat height is about perfect. The doors open wide, too, with nicely squared-off upper openings, even in back.

Driving position

The current RX features a lower, more carlike driving position than some SUV rivals. We like this because it makes you feel more in control yet still provides a sufficiently commanding view out.

Roominess

There's more than enough head- and legroom up front, and there's a good amount of elbow room. Lots of rear headroom and elbow room, too, but knee clearance and toe space can be tight if the backseat passenger and the driver are both taller than 6 feet. Some rivals also offer three rows.

Visibility

There's a sweeping view to the front and sides, with slender pillars and peekaboo windows ahead of the nice-size mirrors. The rear three-quarter blind spot is not terribly large. The decent direct rearward view is enhanced by the standard backup camera.

Quality

The RX 450h boasts tremendous build quality. The materials look and feel rich, and they've been put together meticulously. Lexus really knows what it's doing. The quality is one of the key reasons to consider the RX.

Utility

The Lexus RX 450h is far from what we'd consider utilitarian. Its cargo area's versatility is limited by its slanted roofline, and the center console lacks storage.

Small-item storage

The center console is really big, but most of it is taken up with the shifter, Remote Touch and drive settings controllers, and admittedly pretty wood trim. The cupholders are of an OK size, but there aren't many places to store odds and ends.

Cargo space

The slanted roofline reduces cargo space for bulky items. It's really just a big trunk with an easy access height. Most similarly priced rivals are better. The 40/20/40-split backrest can be folded for long items while keeping two seats in place.

Towing

Towing isn't the RX's primary mission, but it can pull a decent 3,500 pounds if equipped with the towing prep package (which also upgrades the cooling system). A hitch is not included, but one can be added as a dealer-installed accessory if needed.

Technology

The RX 450h comes standard with driving aids that are optional on its rivals and that can give you added peace of mind. We also like its enormous optional display screen. But the Remote Touch interface that controls it is a constant distraction and potential deal-breaker.

Audio & navigation

The Remote Touch interface (a joystick used to highlight icons on the 8- or 12.3-inch dashtop display) requires too much dexterity and concentration while driving. It's a distraction. We'd prefer almost any other tech interface.

Smartphone integration

Bluetooth and two USB ports are standard, as are the Lexus Enform and Enform Destinations trip planning and live assistance apps. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available.

Driver aids

The RX 450h comes standard with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic braking (it can detect other cars and pedestrians), and lane keeping assist. These are optional on all rivals. Blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are optional.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2018 Lexus RX 450h.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

Best Family SUV for the Money
Emre Afsar,08/09/2018
I am an enthusiast and shopped for months for a larger family SUV. In terms of comfort, space, and fuel economy there is nothing in the market that comes close to the RX 450h. It feels solid and substantial behind the wheel. Effortless steering and acceleration, great visibility thanks to the A pillar and side mirror design. Whisper quiet at any speed and the hybrid powertrain works seamlessly. Definitely go with the upgraded 12.3 inch infotainment system as it has better input method with the joystick (as oppose to the wheel controller on the base system) and the definition of the screen is very high. Averaging 32 MPG on our first tank so far with the AC on all the time. Speaking of which it is the best AC system I have experienced in any car. Works in conjunction with the heated/ventilated seats and cools the cabin incredibly fast and works super quiet. No negatives or complaints so far, an excellent luxury mid-size SUV. Highly recommended!
You won’t regret of getting it
Eric,07/06/2018
Smooth and quiet even when you accelerate! Transition is great and great fuel saving! Have been considering GLC or GLE and was hoping for better handling at corner but I gave up in the end. Comfort for passengers (front and rear) was one of my very decisive metrics to go for RX 450h. I upgraded it to premium, with better interior, audio and larger wheel. It is worth it even I pay more than my original budget. I can’t say about reliability as I only own it for 4 months.
smart cruise breaking
Sang,09/25/2018
I had owned this vesicle during a couple of months. Two weeks ago I totaled it by accident. I was using smart cruise to the home at freeway. A car suddenly changed the lane to my lane, therefore my front car could't stop and hit the car. I expected full stop of my lexus but failed to make stop before crush. I was really surprised because the smart cruise maintained enough distance from the front car according to my driving experience with honda pilot (which is bigger non-luxury SUV). After accident (I regret this!!!), I researched that even Lexus RX 350 have bad stopping distance than other luxury cars. Now I know that Lexus RX 450h is much heavier (300-500 pounds) than RX 350. I am suspicious that RX 450h /RX 350 may have different break systems. Good luck with the owners of Lexus RX 450h.
Great efficient ride
paul,07/30/2018
comfortable, quiet ride - luxurious. Controls are annoying - mouse. Voice activation a big help.
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2018 Lexus RX 450h videos

Features & Specs

MSRP
$45,895
MPG
31 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
308 hp @ 6000 rpm
MSRP
$51,255
MPG
31 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
308 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all 2018 Lexus RX 450h features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite RX 450h safety features:

Lexus Safety System+
Includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation and automatic braking, and lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
Lexus Enform Safety Connect
Alerts emergency services automatically in the event of a crash or distress. Also includes a stolen-vehicle locator.
Panoramic-View Monitor
Provides a 360-degree view of the area around the RX 450h to aid in parking situations.

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover16.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Good
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

2018 Lexus RX 450h for Sale

Lexus RX 450h 2018 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
New 2018
Lexus RX 450h
Base
MSRP$56,033
Est.Loan: $962/mo
View Details
Lexus RX 450h 2018 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
New 2018
Lexus RX 450h
Base
MSRP$51,999
Est.Loan: $895/mo
View Details
Lexus RX 450h 2018 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)
New 2018
Lexus RX 450h
Base
MSRP$52,228
Est.Loan: $897/mo
View Details

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More about the 2018 Lexus RX 450h

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h manages to combine luxury and efficiency in an eminently practical SUV, creating a true luxury crossover hybrid. Being a Lexus, the midsize RX 450h has plenty of luxurious trappings. Materials quality and workmanship are as top-notch as you'd expect from Lexus. There's also plenty of safety technology, such as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, auto high beams and adaptive cruise control.

Then there's the additional utility you expect with a crossover. The RX 450h does lack the option of third-row seats (you'll have to upgrade to the RX 450hL for that), and the sloping rear roofline can limit its ability to carry especially large or bulky objects. Still, with the rear seats up, it offers more capacity than any large sedan on the market. And lowering the rear seats allows for up to 55 cubic feet of cargo.

Finally, there's the hybrid powertrain. The 308-horsepower combination of a 3.5-liter gasoline V6 with two electric motors up front provides adequate performance and admirable fuel economy. (A third motor in the rear is included with all-wheel-drive models.) The EPA rates the RX 450h at 30 mpg combined (31 city/28 highway) with all-wheel drive. To put those numbers in perspective, the nonhybrid RX 350 all-wheel-drive model comes in at 22 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway).

As to which RX 450h to pick, this midsize crossover is essentially offered in a single model, though the available F Sport option package brings enough extras to qualify as its own distinct version. As a matter of fact, we think the F Sport's adaptive suspension and lowered ride height that contribute to sharper handling and an improved ride quality, as well as its racier good looks and distinctive trim, make it the way to go.

Both versions of the 2018 Lexus RX 450h come well equipped and can be upgraded with assorted option packages, though not all of them are offered in every part of the country. Extras such as a color head-up display, 12.3-inch Remote Touch infotainment display, and a 15-speaker premium sound system will appeal to buyers looking for more tech. Power-folding rear seats are available to make accessing that extra cargo capacity an easier job.

If the RX 450h has its flaws, they're largely limited to the details. The joystick-style Remote Touch system used to access choices on the menu-based central display takes some getting used to. And most people won't lack for room, but a 6-foot passenger will feel the pinch if seated behind an equally tall driver. All that said, the RX 450h manages to excel at being both a practical luxury crossover and a respectable fuel-sipping hybrid. If that sounds like the vehicle you're looking for, Edmunds can help you decide what options you want and find the best deal in your area.

2018 Lexus RX 450h Overview

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h is offered in the following submodels: RX 450h SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

What do people think of the 2018 Lexus RX 450h?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 Lexus RX 450h and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 RX 450h 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 RX 450h.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 Lexus RX 450h and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 RX 450h featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2018 Lexus RX 450h?
2018 Lexus RX 450h F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $61,845. The average price paid for a new 2018 Lexus RX 450h F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is trending $4,646 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,646 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$57,199.

The average savings for the 2018 Lexus RX 450h F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is7.5% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 1 2018 Lexus RX 450h F SPORT 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

2018 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT)

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $51,670. The average price paid for a new 2018 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is trending $4,720 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $4,720 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is$46,950.

The average savings for the 2018 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) is9.1% below the MSRP.

Available Inventory:

We are showing 36 2018 Lexus RX 450h 4dr SUV AWD (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburnarea.

Which 2018 Lexus RX 450hs are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2018 Lexus RX 450h for sale near. There are currently 43 new 2018 RX 450hs listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $51,999 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2018 Lexus RX 450h. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $9,595 on a used or CPO 2018 RX 450h available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2018 Lexus RX 450hs you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Lexus RX 450h for sale - 9 great deals out of 10 listings starting at $18,793.

Find a new Lexus for sale - 2 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $14,505.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2018 Lexus RX 450h?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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