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2024 Lexus RX 450h+: versatile, luxurious SUV debuts in stellar lineup

James Raia

The Lexus RX, the first and enduring luxury sport utility vehicle, has reached its mid-20s. It debuted as a compact crossover but is now considered midsized. It’s as versatile as any vehicle in the carmaker’s expanding SUV lineup.

Lexus has three distinct SUVs, with the RX flanked by the smaller NX and the larger three-row LX and new TX models. The RX series has several options, including gasoline and hybrid systems.

The 2024 Lexus RX 450h+, a plug-in hybrid, is new this year. It’s the upgraded version of the 350h and has 304 horsepower and a larger battery. Lexus estimates the 450h+ has a 37-mile electric-only range that can be recharged in 2 1/2 hours at 240 volts with the standard 6.6-kilowatt onboard charger.

2024 Lexus RX 450h+: versatile, luxurious SUV debuts in stellar lineup 1
The 2024 Lexus RX450h+ is arguably the best vehicle is the luxury SUV’s lineup. All images © James Raia/2024.

While advancing with its four-cylinder, gas-powered persona, the RX 450h+ is equipped with the same engine as the carmaker’s NX compact SUV. It’s rated with an 83 mpg equivalent combined.

Storage is one of the primary reasons SUVs have dominated sales for many years. The new Lexus plug-in hybrid has few downsides, but its interior is smaller than top rivals. The Acura MDX has 39.1 cubic feet available behind the second round of seats and the Mercedes-Benz GLE has 33.3 cubic feet of storage in the same area. The Lexus storage cavity is efficiently designed without odd, unusable areas. But it’s also only 29.6 cubic feet.

The front bucket seats are well-constructed with easy entrance and exit. The rear seat has a 40/20/40 power-operated split. Besides power-folding capabilities, the rear bench also offers optional heating and ventilation.

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With several option packages, the 2024 Lexus RX450h+ exceeds $75,000.

Sometimes, fewer choices are better. It’s the case with the RX450h. What trim is best is a moot point since it’s only available in what Lexus calls its Luxury trim. It’s not a mistake. Simple luxury applies, with the SUV’s interior dominated by semi-aniline leather and microsuede. The materials are used handsomely together. The microsuede is on the dash, door panels, headliner and seats.

Bamboo or open-pore wood trim is offered and complements the well-placed materials. Six interior color schemes and four trim styles are offered including black, ash bamboo, black open-pore wood and dark-finished aluminum. Seat and trim colors include medium brown, black, off-white, light brown, maroon and red.

The combinations provide a signature Lexus trait. Its vehicles are good-looking, inside and outside. The exception throughout the Lexus lineup is the always overt spindle grille.

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The 2024 Lexus RX450h+ has few weaknesses and is top-ranked in its segment.

Still, the luxury-only theme extends to the car’s technology. The RX450h is equipped standard with a 14-inch infotainment system. Base models have 9.8-inch units. Lexus has utilized a remote touchscreen interface for years, but it’s increasingly unpopular. The new Lexus relies primarily on screen-located functions.

Ambient lighting, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a head-up display, heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel and a panoramic moonroof are optional.

Smooth, confident driving is another Lexus trait, with the RX 450h+ compliant. It has 21-inch wheels and advances smartly, turns with precision and maintains a quiet, confident persona in city and highway driving. The SUV’s 0-to-60 miles per hour acceleration is 5.8 seconds.

The Lexus Safety System+ 3.0 also is standard. The bundle includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, and lane departure steering assist.

Lexus debuted as the luxury segment of Toyota in 1989 and retains its status. It once had few competitors in its SUV lineup but competition is now brisk.

With its various options and taxes, the 2024 Lexus 450h+ crosses the $75,000 barrier. The tally is likely fine for brand loyalists who know Lexus and its pedigree. It’s likely too much for a new buyer in the plug-in hybrid market.

Article Last Updated: June 3, 2024.

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