In-depth reviews

Lexus RX (2003-2009) review

The RX is a huge worldwide sales hit for Lexus.

Lexus RX
Overall Auto Express Rating

1.0 out of 5

Price
£52,199 to £62,849

One of the first luxury 'SUVs', with styling dictated more by fashion that any pretensions to off-road ability, the RX is a huge worldwide sales hit for Lexus. The edgy and distinctive look of this second-generation RX model give it head-turning appeal to better the BMW X5 class leader, while inside it's nicely detailed and extremely well-built. All materials have a soft, quality feel, and there are few rivals that can beat it for luxury. Like many modern 4x4s, it lacks the grab handles and transfer levers you'll find in proper off-roaders. There's loads of space, clever cubbies and luggage separators in the boot making the RX a practical vehicle - but where it really excels is refinement. There's virtually no road or wind noise, the engine only announcing its presence with a muted roar when you ask it to deliver all its power.

The entry-level petrol engine is now a 272bhp 3.5-litre V6. This is an excellent engine that's very powerful, refined and mated to a responsive, smooth automatic gearbox as standard. And while Lexus may not have a diesel alternative, it does instead offer an innovative hybrid version that combines electric power with a conventional engine. Capable of impressive economy figures, it's also an excellent performer, with levels of acceleration that defy it's 'world saving' tag. But generally, with both models there's plenty to keep you comfortable and entertained. All come with multi-zone air conditioning and excellent CD audio systems, while the range-topping SE-L adds a reversing camera and powered tailgate to impress on the school run. You're not short of equipment on the lesser models either, all coming comprehensively specified. Safety equipment is a particular priority - there's even an airbag for the driver's knees. A desirable alternative to the competition, particularly if you want the novelty of driving one of the world's first hybrid power SUVs. And don't forget, the RX400h is exempt from the London Congestion Charge!

Engines, performance and drive

0

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs

0

Interior, design and technology

0

Practicality, comfort and boot space

0

Reliability and Safety

0
Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    450h 3.5 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £52,199

Most Economical

  • Name
    450h 3.5 5dr CVT [Panroof]
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £53,649

Fastest

  • Name
    450h 3.5 5dr CVT
  • Gearbox type
    Auto
  • Price
    £52,199

Most Popular

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022
Best hybrid cars - header image
Hybrid cars

Top 10 best hybrid cars to buy 2022

Hybrid power is the way forward if the car industry is to be believed so we've found the top 10 best hybrid cars to buy now...
2 Jan 2022
2022 Porsche Taycan gets Sport Turismo estate option
Porsche Taycan Sport Turismo estate
News

2022 Porsche Taycan gets Sport Turismo estate option

Porsche now offers the practical Sport Turismo body style for all Taycan models, with extra headroom and luggage space
19 Jan 2022
New 2022 Citroen C5 X: UK prices and specs revealed
Citroen C5 X - front
Citroen C5

New 2022 Citroen C5 X: UK prices and specs revealed

Petrol and plug-in hybrid power offered with new Citroen C5 X, and a premium-brand-beating price
17 Jan 2022