Outside of its powertrain, the redesigned RX400h, like the RX350, is treated to several bits of new technology. The optional rear-view camera (now available with or without purchasing the navigation system) can be supplemented with a curb-view camera, which is mounted in the right-side mirror, to help with parallel parking. The navigation system boasts new features, like XM NavTraffic and weather, and is controlled by a new mouse-type controller. It looks like an iDrive-style device but works like a joystick, with several surrounding buttons with dedicated functions. There's also an available heads-up display, automatic high beams, and remote start.
As before, the RX400h interior is plush and comfortable. The exterior is a refinement of the shape introduced with the previous generation. What will the new model cost? Lexus won't release pricing until closer to the car's on-sale date this spring, a couple of months after the new RX350 arrives in February. The current model is about $5000 more than a corresponding RX350, a relationship that's unlikely to change significantly for the 2010 version. So even with the new car's higher fuel economy, buying the hybrid is a decision made more for love (of efficiency and the environment) than money (saved at the gas pump).
2010 Lexus RX450h
Base Price: $45,000 (estimated)
Fuel Economy: 28/27 mpg (city/highway), front-wheel drive; 28/26 mpg (city/highway), all-wheel drive
Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V-6
Batteries: Nickel metal hydride, 288v
Motor-generators: two, total 123 kW (fwd); three, total 173 kW (awd)
Power: 295 hp (system total)
Torque: 257 lb-ft
Transmission: continuously variable automatic
Weight: 4650 lbs (fwd), 4810 lbs (awd)