For luxury SUVs, one of the top brands for the past few years has been Lexus, especially with its RX model.

I tested the 2020 Lexus RX 450h for a week and it was a good vehicle with a few downsides.

Design

The overall design of the Lexus RX hasn’t changed that much, the 2020 RX 450h has smooth, rounded curves that make it feel a bit more sporty.

The inside of the vehicle is made from premium materials with leather accents and more. The front and rear seats of the vehicle are comfortable with plenty of head and legroom.

Charging shouldn’t be an issue as there are four USB ports in the front and two in the back. The RX 450h uses a 3.5L Lexus Hybrid Drive engine. The drive is somewhat smooth but since the RX I tested is the hybrid version, the vehicle has auto start/stop which can get annoying since you can’t disable it.

The vehicle has different drive modes to choose from Sport, Eco and Normal but the auto start/stop affects all the modes.

In front of the driver is the 4.2-inch multi-information display and the centre console features the 12.3-inch touch display (that comes with the Luxury package) for Lexus Enform. The standard RX 450h comes with an 8-inch screen.

While other SUVs such as Kia Telluride or BMW X5 come with a 360-camera that helps especially since those vehicles are large in size.

The RX 450h’s backup camera is very small that doesn’t even take up the whole screen. A 360 camera called the Panoramic View Monitor can be optioned in the RX 450h in the Executive Package.

This shouldn’t be acceptable for a $70K vehicle in 2020.

In terms of driver assistance technology, the RX 450h came with the following:

  • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
  • Backup Camera with Back Guide Monitor
  • LSS+ 2.0: Pre-Collision System with Bicycle and Pedestrian Detection (low light), Automatic High Beam, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (Full-Speed), Lane Tracing Assist

If you opt for the Luxury Package for $7,900 CAD, that includes:

  • 12.3-inch Touch Display
  • Leather Wrapped Shift Knob
  • Premium Triple-Beam LED Headlamps
  • Premium LED Rear Combination Lamps
  • Front LED Illuminated Scuff Plates
  • Dual-Zone Automatic Climate Control
  • Automatic Air Recirculation Control System
  • Premium Leather Seats
  • Siris XM Radio
  • Embedded Navigation
  • Intelligent Clearance Sonar with Rear Cross-Traffic Brake
  • Enform Safety Connect
  • Enform Destination Assist Connect
  • Heated Steering Wheel
  • Paddle Shifters
  • Power Tilt & Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • Woodgrain & Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel

The 2020 Lexus RX 450h starts at $58,800 CAD but the model I tested was $68,906.41 CAD after taxes and fees.

There’s also an F Sport Series 2 package for $9,000 CAD, Executive Package for $13,800 CAD, and an F Sport Series 3 package for $13,800 CAD.

Software

The RX 450h uses Lexus’ Enform infotainment system and overall the UI seems a bit straightforward. You can control the system using the touchscreen or with the touchpad.

The main Enform screen by default will show you the map on 60% of the screen and another menu on the other half to show you things like media controls, AC, eco stats and more.

The touchpad works like one on a laptop where you can click it in to select something on the screen and will vibrate to make it easier when driving. Just above the touchpad are three buttons, Map, Menu and back.

The Map button brings up the map on the screen and the back button lets you go back. The Menu button brings up a navigation bar on the bottom to go to different aspects of Enform like maps, media etc.

Using the trackpad didn’t seem that intuitive, especially when you move around and you’ll just narrowly miss the on-screen menu you’re looking for.

Beyond the infotainment screen, with the Lexus app on Android or iOS, you can control different functions of the vehicle such as engine start/stop, door unlock/lock, last parked location and Amazon Alexa support, so you can control your RX with your voice.

The 2020 RX is the first Lexus vehicle that comes with support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Just plug in your device and it should instantly pop-up.

New Android Auto

Android Auto gives you access to Google Maps, make phone calls, a whole host of media apps like Spotify, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music and more.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the RX 450h is a nice SUV that has a somewhat smooth ride and a good amount of technology inside including Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Pros

  • Comes with both Android Auto & Apple CarPlay
  • Infotainment screen looks good
  • Great interior

Cons

  • Touchpad interface could use some work
  • The infotainment screen is a touchscreen but too far away for within reach
  • The backup camera isn’t high-res compared to other similar vehicles

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