Featuring the new bolder, signature Lexus spindle grille and upgraded interior, the 2013 RX 450h rolled into our driveway last week. A trendy choice for consumers wanting a luxury crossover that will spoil them as well as be conscientious when it comes to fuel economy, the 2013 RX hybrid is designed to impress.
The 2013 RX hybrid is a looker. Its sleek profile is accentuated by broad “shoulders” for an athletic yet elegant presence.
Walk around to the front and you’ll notice the new distinctive and contemporary grille, in addition to the LED daytime running lights and fog lamps, which are integrated into the sculpted lower front bumper fascia.
From the side, pronounced front fenders flow into the doors, and integrated rear fender flares neatly sweep around to pull together the taut rear corners of the vehicle. The lower body emphasizes the standard 18-inch wheels.
Time to step inside.
Lexus luxury begins with how the customer first interacts with his or her vehicle. All RX models are equipped with the SmartAccess keyless entry with push-button start. As the driver approaches the vehicle, interior and exterior courtesy lamps illuminate. Opening the door, the instrument panel lighting gradually fades in. When the engine is started, the instrument gauge needles and markings illuminate, followed by the multi-information display. After the driver exits the vehicle, the lights fade out at different intervals.
Other amenities inside the RX hybrid include three available seat materials: standard fabric, optional leather-trim or even softer semi-aniline leather. In addition to Light Gray, Black and Saddle Tan, Parchment is available as an interior color for vehicles equipped with optional leather trim. Standard wood trim choices include Ebony Bird’s Eye Maple or Espresso Bird’s-eye Maple.
The quiet climate-control system offers quick cooling and warming. And the RX can accommodate a variety of music sources, providing auxiliary and USB inputs and a standard integrated SiriusXM Satellite Radio receiver (complimentary 90-day trial subscription included).
The RX continues the tradition of offering the Lexus Premium Audio system as standard equipment, in this case a powerful nine-speaker system with a six-disc changer. Creative placement and angling of the speakers’ cross-channel sound to the occupant on the opposite side of the vehicle to transform the cabin into a clear, crisp acoustic environment.
The RX offers several additional luxurious amenities — especially when it comes to listening to your favorite songs.
For the crème de le crème in audio, there’s the optional 15-speaker Mark Levinson Surround Sound system that allows listeners to enjoy 330 watts at 0.1 percent THD through 7.1-channel surround sound. The Mark Levinson system, a Lexus exclusive, features a center channel coaxial speaker, metal-cone midrange speakers, tweeters and a 100-watt amplified subwoofer. A 2.5-inch speaker built into each D-pillar provides the right and left surround-sound channels. The diffusion of sound provides each occupant the same level of audio quality.
There is also an optional rear-seat entertainment system that includes two high-resolution 7-inch screens, one in each of the front seatbacks. Each screen can display video from separate sources. A remote control allows independent control of each screen. Additionally, rear-seat occupants can choose to listen to audio through the wireless headphones instead of the vehicle speakers.
The RX 450h’s Lexus Hybrid Drive features a 3.5-liter V6 Atkinson-cycle engine, 295 total system horsepower and combined fuel economy similar to an average four-cylinder mid-size sedan. The front wheel drive (FWD) model delivers EPA-estimated 32 mpg city and 28 mpg highway (30 mpg combined) fuel economy ratings, while the All-Wheel Drive (AWD) model earned EPA ratings of 30 mpg city, 28 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined.
The RX 450h is built at the Kyushu plant in Japan. To learn more about this luxury hybrid, visit www.lexus.com .