What is it?
The second incarnation of Lexus’s SUV, only this time it’s hybrid only – at least in the UK (some European markets and the US get the V6 petrol model, too.) The body’s all new but underneath is a platform shared with the US-market Toyota Highlander and the drivetrain is an evolution of the RX400h’s.
So that means the same set-up, with the same CVT gearbox containing a motor and a second motor in the back axle. The clever bit, the power management unit, is new – it's smaller, lighter and more efficient – and the engine, still a V6, now runs on the Atkinson cycle, which does a better job of turning petrol into energy. It’s heavy though –over two tonnes and 70kg more than the 400h.
Lexus claims an admirable 148g/km of CO2, which makes it the least likely SUV to contribute to global meltdown, and 44.8mpg – impressive figures for a car in this class.
And because this is the Euro-spec RX, it gets retuned suspension and a retuned power management unit that will provide better off the line acceleration but still (Lexus claims) return comparable fuel consumption.