2011 Lexus RX450h

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2011 Lexus RX450h Review

This is an excellent vehicle for families that spend a lot of time on the road and need plenty of cargo space. Since it is a hybrid, it can also help families save some money over the vehicle's lifetime.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

Many critics praise the 2011 Lexus RX450h for its quiet, comfortable ride. It has a powertrain that has been described as ""enthusiastic."" Despite this, it gets complaints as an uninspiring drive that can leave demanding drivers in need of something more. Considering that the 2011 RX450h costs over $45,000, perhaps this is a justifiable complaint. Even consumers in the market for something as mild-mannered as a hybrid SUV will expect a little something extra at that price.

Buyers with practicality, luxury, and the environment in mind might find the 2011 RX450h quite appealing. The vehicle uses regenerative braking to generate power that recharges the battery. Instead of letting that friction go to waste, you actually get to power your vehicle with it. The SUV conserves power with a part-time all-wheel drive system. This allows the vehicle to use front-wheel drive whenever possible. It only turns on all-wheel drive when necessary. It also has an EVO mode that monitors the vehicle to save energy whenever possible. That's a real benefit for drivers that spend a lot of time in the city since the RX450h runs solely off battery power when traveling under 20 mph.

The Range

Body Styles: midsize luxury crossover SUV
Engines: 3.5-liter gasoline V-6 engine and electric motors
Transmissions: continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Models: 2011 Lexus RX450h Base

What's New

The Sports package has been discontinued for the 2011 model year. Other than this minor alteration in the lineup, the Lexus RX450 is unchanged for the 2011 year.

Exterior

The exterior of the 2011 Lexus RX450h offers plenty of features that will appeal to even the most demanding drivers. SmartAccess allows drivers to open doors and start the engine simply by touching a button. A backup camera makes it easy to avoid obstacles, people, pets, and hazards when moving in reverse. Intuitive Parking Assist alerts you of any objects when backing into a parking spot or parallel parking. It's just what drivers need to keep themselves and others safe.

Interior

Of course, comfort always comes standard with Lexus. The RX450h has front seats that are both heated and vented. That means they can keep you warm in the winter and cool during summer. Even passengers get extra comfort courtesy of multi-adjustable rear seats.

The 2011 Lexus RX450h comes in one trim level, but there are packages that buyers can add to customize their vehicles. Some popular options include the Premium Package, which offers leather-trimmed interior, power rear door, power tilt-and-slide moon roof, and the Lexus Memory System that remembers each driver's preferences; the Comfort Package with heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a 12-speaker sound system; and the Luxury Package with leather and wood accents, headlamp washers, and power-folding, auto-dimming outside mirrors.

Bluetooth technology comes standard with the 2011 Lexus RX450h, so drivers can talk on the phone or play music stored on compatible devices without using their hands. Considering that the SUV comes with a Mark Levinson surround sound audio system, drivers will certainly want to take advantage of the Bluetooth technology's ability to play music from a variety of devices.

Performance & Handling

Like many hybrids (and crossover SUVs), the 2011 Lexus RX450h is a heavy vehicle. Despite its weight, though, it has plenty of power. Its 3.5-liter gas V-6 engine works in combination with an electric motor that runs off a battery to generate 295 hp. That might not sound like an impressive amount of power until you recognize that the RX450h manages to go from zero to 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds. That's pretty good for a vehicle of this type. Plus, the 2011 Lexus RX450h gets 28 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. That's better than most standard crossover SUVs with gas engines. It even competes well with other hybrid vehicles of its type.

Safety

As with most Lexus vehicles, the RX450h has a roomy interior that offers plenty of comfort and safety features. The multi-information display allows the driver to switch from feature to feature without ever letting go of the steering wheel. Voice-recognition technology also allows drivers to access some of the most commonly used features without looking away from the road for even a moment. Those who choose the all-wheel drive RX450h can also get a heads-up display that projects the vehicle speed, audio info, and even navigation directions onto the windshield.

The 2011 RX450h uses an Adaptive Front Lighting System that pivots headlamps when driving around curves. This illuminates the road ahead instead of letting the light shine off into the distance. For further safety, Lexus has included a dynamic radar cruise control system that will not let the SUV get too close to other vehicles on the road. This helps avoid accidents that can happen when drivers let their guard down while enjoying cruise control.

EPA Fuel Economy

2011 Lexus RX450h: 30/28 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Fuel economy
  • Smooth ride
  • Comfortable interior
  • Great safety features

You Won't Like

  • No seating in third row
  • Optional add-ons are pricey

Sum Up

This is an excellent vehicle for families that spend a lot of time on the road and need plenty of cargo space. Since it is a hybrid, it can also help families save some money over the vehicle's lifetime.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • 2011 BMW X6
  • 2011 Volvo XC60
  • 2011 Infiniti EX
  • 2011 Buick Enclave

See the New 2015 RX450h.

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