2018 Lexus RX 450hL Review
Edmunds expert review
The Lexus RX has long been known for its excellent build quality, easy handling, quiet interior and reliability. What it hasn't been known for, though, is being able to seat more than five people. But that changes with the new 2018 Lexus RX 450hL. Like its similarly new sibling, the RX 350L, the RX 450hL has a longer body and an extra row of seats.
Those extra seats aren't very roomy, though. Even with the second-row seats slid all the way forward, there's barely enough room for an average-size adult. Also, while you get more cargo space in this L version compared to the regular RX, it's not dramatically more. Then again, Lexus doesn't intend the 450hL to be a massive family taxi. It's more for people who want a vehicle that can provide occasional seating for a couple extra kids without costing a whole lot or being a lumbering beast to drive.
On that front, the 2018 Lexus RX 450hL succeeds. It drives much like the regular RX, too, providing quiet and care-free motoring. Being the hybrid version of the RX family, it's also impressively fuel-efficient. It gets 29 mpg combined, which is just 1 mpg less than the regular 450h.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Lexus RX 450hL is a six- or seven-passenger midsize hybrid SUV that comes with three rows of seating and all-wheel drive. It uses a 3.5-liter V6 engine that works with a pair of front-mounted electric motor/generators through a continuously variable automatic transmission to drive the front wheels, while a third electric motor powers the rear wheels. Total system output is 308 horsepower.
Standard equipment highlights for the base RX 450hL include 18-inch wheels, LED exterior lighting (headlights, foglights, taillights and running lights), automatic high beams, automatic wipers, a power liftgate, a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and automatic braking, lane departure warning and intervention, a sunroof, and keyless ignition and entry. Inside, the RX comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and a power-folding 50/50-split third-row seat.
Standard tech features include the Remote Touch interface, a 8-inch display, Safety Connect emergency communications, Bluetooth and a 10-speaker sound system.
The RX 450hL's Luxury trim level (which can also be considered a package) adds 20-inch wheels, rear side sunshades, LED ambient lighting, illuminated doorsills, auto-dimming and power-folding side mirrors, a heated wood steering wheel, perforated-leather seating surfaces, and front-seat power lumbar and thigh-extension adjustments.
A Premium package adds wood interior trim, driver-seat memory settings, auto-dimming and folding side mirrors, and a storage compartment in the rear armrest.
Like other RX models, a package bundling navigation with a Mark Levinson premium audio system is available. It includes a 15-speaker surround-sound system plus a 12.3-inch display, Enform smartphone connectivity, and a climate-control smog sensor.
An optional Cold Weather package includes a windshield wiper de-icer, an upgraded interior heater with quicker warm-up time, auto-leveling headlamps and headlamp washers, and automatic wipers.
Stand-alone options include a color head-up display, a hands-free liftgate, upgraded LED headlights, a surround-view camera system, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert (includes automatic braking), front and rear parking sensors, 60/40-split folding second-row seats, and heated and ventilated front seats.
Noise & vibration
Ease of use
Getting in/getting out
Audio & navigation
Edmunds expert 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.