2012 Lexus RX450h

  • 2012 Lexus RX450h Base Sport Utility

    Base Sport Utility

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      3.5L V6
    • MSRP
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2012 Lexus RX450h Review

Comfortable and reliable, but kind of bland

Reviewed by Automotive on

The RX was Lexus' first entry into the luxury crossover category, and was originally known as the RX 300. Since then, the market for these vehicles has become much more crowded, and as the competition has heated up, Lexus has continued to refine and improve its RX models.

The last major revision to the RX came in 2010. Little has changed since then, and the RX 450h, a hybrid with 3.5-liter V-6 plus two electric motors, makes 295 horsepower. The hybrid's dimensions are the same as the RX 350, and it is available in front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

There are no significant changes for 2012, but the latest-generation RX has many technology features, including Lexus' new voice-activated Enform infotainment system. The RX comes with 10 airbags standard and offers five-passengers a quiet, luxurious cabin.

The Range

Body style: SUV
Engine: 3.5-liter hybrid V-6
Transmissions: Six-speed automatic, continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Model: RX 450h

What's New

The RX 450h is a carryover for 2012. Lexus reduced the cost of ownership by dropping the RX's fuel requirements to 87-octane. Lastly, Nebula Gray Pearl replaces Smoky Granite Mica.


The current-generation RX is a conservative-looking, pod-shaped crossover. It has a short nose and hood, flared fender arches for 18-inch alloy wheels, and a sharply raked back. Select bulges and chrome accents add brawn to the chic flair.


Driver and front passenger get 10-way power adjustable and heated and ventilated seats. The interior comes standard with real wood trim and leather accents. Nine-speaker audio and Bluetooth are standard, and a Mark Levinson audio system and voice-activated infotainment display are optional.

Performance & Handling

The RX 450h is a smooth and competent vehicle, but hardly engaging to drive. The steering is somewhat numb and despite the power, the RX feels heavy. Braking performance is not great, but all models offer better than 8-second times to 60 mph.


The RX comes with driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, front and rear seat-mounted side airbags, front and rear side-curtain airbags, brake assist, stability control, and traction control.

EPA Fuel Economy

RX 450h front-wheel drive: 32 mpg city/28 mpg highway
RX 450h all-wheel drive: 30 mpg city/28 mpg highway

You'll Like

  • Attractive interior
  • Great hybrid fuel economy

You Won't Like

  • Numb steering
  • Expensive hybrid

Sum Up

Comfortable and reliable, but kind of bland

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Acura MDX
  • Audi Q5
  • BMW X5
  • Lincoln MKX

See the New 2016 RX450h.

Front & Driver Side View

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