2010 Lexus RX450h

Don Sherman
Bryan Christie

Despite the increased fuel economy, the RX pecking order has been preserved, with the hybrid again outmuscling the standard RX350. The hybrid's total power output is up by 27 hp, to 295 hp, and both the gasoline engine and the electric motors make more torque. Against that, however, is the car's weight gain of more than 400 pounds. Still, the RX hybrid accelerates quickly and smoothly. Once again, the all-wheel-drive model adds a third motor/generator, which is the sole source of propulsion for the rear wheels. In either version, the start-up and shutdown of the gasoline V-6 is seamless, but in steady-state cruising on level ground, there is the faintest surging as the batteries switch between charging and assisting. In the chassis department, the new RX is treated to a wider track and a new rear suspension - control arms replace struts and intrude less into the cargo hold. There's also an optional sport suspension, but it's not likely to keep BMW X5 engineers up nights. The electric power steering, now on both RX models, is better than most, linear and not overboosted.

2010 Lexus RX450h

Base Price: $45,000 (est.)

ENGINE: DOHC 24-valve V-6
DISPLACEMENT: 3.5 liters (211 cu in)
HORSEPOWER: 245 hp @ 6000 rpm
TORQUE: 234 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
Batteries: Nickel-metal-hydride, 288v
Motor/generators: Two permanent magnet AC, 165 hp (fwd); three permanent magnet AC, 232 hp (awd)
total horsePower: 295 hp
total Torque: 257 lb-ft
Continuously variable automatic

STEERING: Power-assisted rack-and-pinion
SUSPENSION, FRONT: Strut-type, coil springs
SUSPENSION, REAR: Control arms, coil springs
BRAKES F/R: Vented discs/discs, ABS
TIRE SIZE: 235/60SR-18

L x W x H: 187.8 x 74.2 x 66.3 in
WHEELBASE: 107.9 in
TRACK F/R: 64.2/63.8 in
WEIGHT: 4650 lb (fwd), 4810 lb (awd)
EPA FUEL MILEAGE: 28/27 mpg (fwd), 28/26 mpg (awd)

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