May
06
2021 Lexus RX 450h

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport in Celestial Blue

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport

Class: Premium Midsize Crossover SUV

Miles driven: 406

Fuel used: 14.5 gallons

Real-world fuel economy: 28.0 mpg

Driving mix: 55% city, 45% highway

EPA-estimated fuel economy: 31/28/30 (mpg city, highway, combined)

CG Report Card
Room and ComfortB+
Power and PerformanceB-
Fit and FinishA
Fuel EconomyB+
ValueB-
Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.
Big & Tall Comfort
Big GuyB
Tall GuyB
Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.
Drivetrain
Engine Specs308-hp 3.5-liter
Engine TypeV6 hybrid
Transmission CVT automatic
Drive WheelsAWD

Fuel type: Premium gas recommended

Base price: $51,200 (not including $1025 destination charge)

Options on test vehicle: wireless charger ($200); color head-up display ($600); heated and ventilated front seats ($640); 12.3″ navigation system w/ Mark Levinson 15-speaker premium audio system ($3365); touch-free power rear door with kick sensor ($150); Intuitive Parking Assist with panoramic-view monitor ($1365); Black Line Special Edition Package ($685); heated F Sport steering wheel ($150)

Price as tested: $59,380

 

Quick Hits

The great: Cabin trimmings, all-around refinement and ride quality

The good: Smooth hybrid powertrain; F Sport Performance models’ sporty tuning and add-ons provide a more-engaging driving character

The not so good: Sloped rear roofline slightly compromises cargo capacity and visibility to the rear corners

More RX price and availability information

 

CG Says:

Lexus’s popular midsize crossover cruises into the 2021 model year with no major changes after its thorough freshening for 2020. The ’21 RX’s standard-equipment list is fortified via the addition of blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and power-folding auto-dim mirrors, and a wireless charger joins the options list.

The RX has always been more about coddling its passengers with a comfortable, serene ride than delivering an athletic, corner-carving driving feel, but choosing an F Sport model ups the sportiness factor in terms of both styling and handling/ride quality. Twenty-inch wheels and front/rear performance dampers are standard on F Sports, as well as several exterior and interior trim touches, including the front/rear bumpers, grille insert, steering wheel, shift knob, and seats. The Black Line Special Edition package amps up the attitude a bit more, adding attractive white accents and blue stitching to the black NuLuxe leatherette seat upholstery. The $685 option group also includes black-finish wheels and exterior highlights (including a subtle black graphic on the lower half of the doors), and even a 2-piece set of Zero Halliburton Edge luggage.

We’re happy that Lexus sees fit to offer the F Sport kit on the RX 450h hybrid as well as the traditional gas-engine RX 350. In fact, the hybrid 3.5-liter V6 engine is the most powerful RX powerplant at 308 horsepower, and its performance is lively if not quite racy. Hybrid-system transitions are pleasantly subtle. And even with those 20-inch wheels and performance dampers, ride and handling characteristics are nicely balanced.

The inherent pleasantness of the basic RX platform carries over intact too. Room for passengers’ heads and legs is generous, and 3-across seating in the second row is not out of the question. The rear seat backs recline for added passenger comfort. Cabin storage spaces for incidentals are abundant and handy, and six USB ports are included. There’s a central control pad for the infotainment system if you go for that kind of thing, but you don’t have to use it. The display is on a touchscreen that gives users the ability to tap in their choices. With navigation, the screen is a big 12.3 inches.

The current-generation RX’s design debuted for the 2016 model year, but has received steady updates since (including the addition of an extended-length L version for 2018). A full RX redesign is likely in the cards in the near future–perhaps for the 2023 model year–but the current-gen model remains one of the most polished, comfortable, relatively affordable vehicles in its class.

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Check out the Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport Gallery

(Click below for enlarged images)

Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast, Episode 57; 2021 Consumer Guide Best Buys