5 min read
09 Nov

The popular Lexus RX is one of America's favorite luxury SUVs, celebrated for its opulent interior, smooth rides, and cost-effective ownership. Besides leading the luxury hybrid class, the 2024 RX secured second spot on KBB’s list of Best Luxury Midsize SUVs. The plush interior and serene driving experience make the Lexus RX a delightful choice for travel, and its affordability is underscored by the KBB’s Lowest 5-Year Cost to Own Award in its class. 

The 2024 Lexus RX strikes a perfect balance in a hotly competed midsize luxury SUV market dominated by the likes of Genesis GV80, Cadillac XT5, and Lincoln Nautilus. Redesigned just last year to enhance its driving dynamics, it also bids farewell to the much-criticized infotainment system, replacing it with a user-friendly touchscreen that rivals its closest competitors. The interior design continues to exude the high-quality aesthetics associated with the Lexus brand

The big news for 2024 is the arrival of the new RX 450h+, a plug-in hybrid version with a large battery pack that can be charged in as little as 2.5 hours. The RX 450h+ offers an estimated 37 miles of electric-only driving before seamlessly transitioning to hybrid mode. While it comes at a higher price point than the standard RX 350h, the benefits are evident. Below are the six exceptional features that make the 2024 Lexus RX the standout choice and KBB's Best Luxury Hybrid SUV for 2023/2024. 

Related Reading: The Top 5 Cheapest Full-Size SUVs New On The Market 

1. The Ride Quality

2024 Lexus RX ride quality.

Lexus proudly declares that the RX 450h+’s hybrid system “provides luxury performance and consistent acceleration off the line with an estimated 6.5 second 0-60 mph time.” 

The Lexus RX 350 is propelled by a robust 275-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder engine paired with an efficient 8-speed automatic transmission, available in both front- and all-wheel drive configurations. 

This turbocharged engine not only accelerates more swiftly but also offers improved fuel efficiency, making the RX feel more agile thanks to its reduced weight compared to earlier V6-powered RX models. 

KBB’s test drivers took the SUV around Santa Barbara, California. Based on this experience, what stood out throughout the journey was the RX's remarkable reputation for being one of the quietest and most comfortable SUVs within its price range. 

Shifting gears to the 246-hp hybrid RX 350h, it's important to note that its acceleration lags behind the non-hybrid variant. However, this compromise pays off in the form of superior fuel efficiency. On the other hand, the sporty RX 500h tells a different story. 

Equipped with a potent 366-horsepower hybrid powertrain, it delivers swift acceleration, with Lexus estimating a 0-60 mph time of just 5.9 seconds. To further elevate the driving experience, enhancements have been made to the suspension, steering, and all-wheel-drive (AWD) system. 

2. The Powertrain

 Lexus RX450h+

The new RX 450h+ introduces a plug-in hybrid powertrain into the mix, offering a robust 304 horsepower and an impressive 35-mile all-electric range. Lexus estimates a 0-60 mph time of 6.2 seconds, making it a quick performer, although it doesn't quite surpass the sheer performance of the RX 500h. 

Notably, the Lexus RX range offers a variety of impressive powertrains to cater to different driving preferences. At the forefront, the most favored engine is the turbocharged 4-cylinder, churning out a decent 275 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque. 

This powerhouse is seamlessly mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission, providing the choice of front- or all-wheel drive configurations. 

For those who prioritize efficiency, the 350h hybrid models are the top recommendation. Featuring a hybrid 4-cylinder engine that produces 246 horsepower and 233 lb-ft of torque, it offers an excellent blend of performance and fuel economy, albeit slightly less power compared to the gas RX 350. 

Now, if sporty driving is your preference, the RX 500h is the star of the show. It boasts a turbocharged 4-cylinder hybrid powertrain, delivering a robust 366 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. This setup is complemented by a 6-speed automatic transmission and Lexus’ sophisticated DIRECT4 AWD system, with additional enhancements such as an adaptive variable suspension system and 4-wheel steering to elevate the driving experience. 

Related Reading: 2023 Lexus GX: Review, Price, Photos, And Video 

3. The Efficiency

2024 Lexus RX 450h+ Luxury fuel economy.

In a world increasingly focused on sustainability, the plug-in hybrid RX 450h+ takes the lead with a remarkable 35-mile all-electric range and a combined fuel economy rating of 83 MPGe when the battery is charged. 

The gas-powered Lexus RX 350 already impresses with commendable fuel efficiency, boasting a combined fuel economy rating of 25 mpg when equipped with FWD and 24 mpg with AWD. However, the RX 350h hybrid shines brighter in the fuel-saving department thanks to its impressive 36 combined mpg. 

The high-performance RX 500h hybrid also offers a respectable 27 mpg, and both hybrid options include standard AWD. It's worth noting that the midsize luxury SUV segment currently lacks hybrids, effectively standing out the hybrid RX as a class-leading hybrid SUV among its closest competitors. 

To put these fuel savings into perspective, the EPA estimates that the RX 350h consumes 17.5 fewer gallons of fuel per month compared to the non-hybrid RX 350 with AWD. Assuming a fuel cost of $4 per gallon (premium fuel is required for the non-hybrid and recommended for the hybrid), this translates to a monthly fuel cost savings of approximately $70. 

4. The Tech

2024 Lexus RX infotainment and technology.

The following are the KBB’s favorite tech features in the Lexus RX 

  • Traffic Jam Assist

In the right conditions, the Lexus RX takes the wheel, handling steering, acceleration, and braking during stop-and-go traffic, like your personal chauffeur or co-pilot. 

  • Automated Parallel Parking

Tight parking spots are no challenge for the Lexus RX, thanks to its advanced APP technology. With the assistance of four cameras and 12 sensors, the RX effortlessly navigates parallel parking by taking control of steering, braking, and shifting. 

  • Immersive 21-Speaker Surround Sound

The audio experience in the Lexus RX reaches new heights with the Mark Levinson audio systems, consistently ranking among the KBB’s favorites for their exceptional sound quality. 

  • Phone as Key

Forgot your keys at home – you can lock, unlock, and start the Lexus RX using your smartphone. The car senses your phone just like a traditional key, allowing you to keep it in your pocket. You can even share a virtual key with a friend. 

  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Seamless smartphone integration has never been easier with the Lexus RX. Enjoy wireless connectivity with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, enhancing your driving experience with hands-free convenience. 

5. The Interior

2024 Lexus RX interior.

Stepping inside the Lexus RX reveals a world of opulent materials that, while maintaining a sense of restraint in design, showcases a distinct sense of luxury compared to its more ornate European counterparts. 

The 5-passenger interior seamlessly blends comfort, functionality, and aesthetics. It's a space where you'd gladly relax on long journeys. The thoughtful placement and design of cupholders and a convenient phone cubby up front enhance the user experience. 

2024 Lexus RX cup holders.

The centerpiece of this inviting cabin is the impressive 14-inch high-definition touchscreen, although even the standard 9.8-inch unit is a noteworthy addition. The newly introduced steering wheel controls are innovative and functional, though they may require time to master. 

6. The Pricing

2024 Lexus RX450h+ Luxury pricing.

The Lexus RX is proudly one of the more budget-friendly options in the midsize luxury SUV market. Among 2-row premium SUVs, the RX's pricing closely aligns with competitors like the Lincoln Nautilus and Cadillac XT5, which translates to a cost advantage compared to the Genesis GV80. 

The 2024 Lexus RX’s pricing structure is as follows: 

  • The base model, RX 350, starts at a competitive $48,600.
  • Opting for the hybrid variant, the RX 350h, is an economical choice with a starting price of $50,450.
  • If you're seeking a sportier driving experience, the RX 500h begins at $62,450.
  • For those intrigued by the advanced plug-in hybrid technology, the RX 450h+ offers a starting price of $68,730.

Bonus Points: Class-Leading Safety

2024 Lexus RX450h+ best features.

Earning the coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award, the Lexus RX is a poster child of safety in the luxury SUV segment. This recognition is thanks to its exceptional crash-test performance and the comprehensive Lexus Safety System+ 3.0. 

At the heart of this safety system lies a suite of features that ensure passengers’ well-being on the road. These include automatic emergency braking, lane tracing assist, road sign assist, all-speed adaptive cruise control, and more.

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