It was the Lexus RX that kicked off the SUV range of models back in 1999. Now in its 5th generation of cars, the 450h+ Takumi has taken the luxury SUV concept and literally expanded it in more ways than one. Sabi Phagura grabbed the chance to get behind the wheel of one of Lexus’ flagship vehicles to see how it performs on the open road.
Lexus’ RX 450h+ Takumi is a huge car in every sense of the word – the large grills, the 21-inch wheels, and the vast space inside the vehicle are somewhat of a giveaway. That’s not surprising, though, because almost every manufacturer has a large premium SUV in its fleet.
Being a flagship vehicle means the RX will face more competition than ever from its rivals, so it must stand out, and it does. But does taller and bigger always mean better? Let’s take a closer look.
At a glance
- Engine: 2.5-litre petrol, 18.1kWh battery, two electric motors, four-wheel drive
- Transmission: e-CVT with six simulated ratios
- Performance: 304bhp, 6.5sec 0–62mph, 124mph, 235.4–256.8mpg (WLTP)
- Weight: 2240kg
- Dimensions (length/width/height in mm): 4890/1920/1695
- Price: £79,450
The first thing to note about the RX 450h+ Takumi is how exceptionally quiet it is, something that made my testing very pleasurable and, dare I say it, somewhat regal.
The car is a Plug-in Hybrid, putting out low overall CO2 emissions, and its performance is more than adequate thanks to its 309 DIN hp of power, allowing it to reach 0-62 mph (0 – 100 km/h) in 6.5 seconds. This is thanks to a large capacity plug-in hybrid system that combines a 2.5-litre petrol engine with a motor/generator and 18.1 kWh lithium-ion battery.
However, it’s not able to top every chart as it’s a tad slower to reach 62mph when compared to a couple of its rivals. It’s 0.4 seconds behind the Mercedes GLE 400 e and 1.7 seconds slower than the BMW X5 xDrive50e. But, as any sensible mind will tell you, speed isn’t everything.
An electric range of above 40 miles is complemented by speeds reaching an impressive 83 mph (135 km/h) in EV mode. Indicative WLTP Fuel economy is 235 mpg (1.2l per 100 km). Is it efficient? Well, the RX can deliver efficiency when asked.
For example, once the battery is drained, it runs like a hybrid and claws back power where it can, such as through regenerative braking and redeploying to increase the petrol engine’s output.
Road testing the range-topping Takumi specification X 450h+, it felt extra special getting inside. I’m a tall girl at 5 foot 8 inches, and it’s a tall car, so sliding into the cabin was super easy and a lovely place to be.
The vehicle’s cream leather upholstery and enormous panoramic sunroof make the interior feel light and airy – and there are loads of technology to keep me comfortable and entertained.
The first thing that will grab your attention like it did mine is the infotainment system. Every version of the car comes with a 14-inch screen, which is crisp and responsive. Not all controls are on the screen, which I prefer.
I am one of those people who enjoys the interaction with physical dials, such as the heater controls, pressing buttons and turning up the volume with a knob. Another thing I liked a lot was the paddles on the steering wheel, which allowed me to shift through the gears manually.
I tried sitting in all the car seats, and I can confirm they are all super comfy. There’s ample leg room at the back even when the front seats have been pushed back, and there are separate USB charge points (six in total throughout) alongside space to hold cups to ensure comfort for the back passengers. It’s also remarkably luxurious in the back, akin to a business-class flight.
But the main action is at the front, with the driver and passenger seats having incredibly accommodating electrically adjustable chairs. Lexus loves over-engineering everything, which I so like. The armrest can be opened two-fold – towards you and away from you. There’s also a very-cool heads-up display, making it easy to monitor the speed.
The Takumi model also had heated, cooled and electrically adjustable rear seats, along with a 21-speaker Mark Levinson stereo. The speakers sound great, too, unless you’re a fan of a little more bass. Everything feels good to the touch, and you’re instantly aware you’re sitting in a really premium car.
But all of this luxury does come with a price. As tested, the RX Takumi test car cost £79,450. If budget is an issue, you can move down the RX pecking order and opt for a lesser trim level. The most basic 450h+ Premium Pack version starts from £64,950. You’ll still get plenty with this, including three-zone climate control, a wireless smartphone charger, heated seats and a heated steering wheel.
What’s it like to drive?
The RX 450h+ Takumi weighs more than 2.2 tonnes, so it’s a heavy car. Having said that, at no point are you reminded of its heftiness when you’re behind the wheel, and there’s actually an awful lot of grip available.
As the battery pack for the car’s PHEV system is mounted under the cabin, the RX has a very low centre of gravity. The four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering systems enable you to take corners quicker.
With speed humps being almost everywhere nowadays, it wasn’t so much of a pain going over them in the RX, which I found to be more than adequate at filtering out sharp bumps. It practically swallows up the dips and bumps elegantly. And while doing so, the vehicle is quiet thanks to lots of insulation within the car.
The wheels glided over the arch without passing the shock throughout the vehicle. And the whole process felt silent. As the Takumi test car also came with adaptive dampers, switching them to Sport mode on the motorway allowed for a noticeably smoother ride.
The trail mode automatically brakes and assists you on slippery surfaces and also at roundabouts. You feel like you’re always connected to the road.
Other safety aids include anti-collision avoidance and blind spot features. The camera is excellent, especially in the 360-degree mode, which has a stencil of the car so you can see what you’re driving over, which is useful when parking or manoeuvring tricky corners.
There’s no doubt the Lexus RX 450h+ Takumi is a premium, eye-catching luxury SUV. It’s comfortable, efficient and feels fittingly expensive for what it has and can do. Sure, there are better-handling SUVs out there, but this vehicle is all about luxury combined with comfort. It’s a car that you’ll want to sail around in.
For more information on the RX 450h+ Takumi and other Lexus vehicles, please visit https://www.lexus.co.uk/.
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