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Lexus RX (2009-2015) Buying Guide

Lexus RX (2009-2015)
Lexus RX (2009-2015)Lexus RX (2009-2015)Lexus RX (2009-2015)Lexus RX (2009-2015)Lexus RX (2009-2015)Lexus RX (2009-2015)Lexus RX (2009-2015)Lexus RX (2009-2015)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

Toyota sub-brand Lexus is a hybrid tech champion, so when the third-generation RX SUV was launched it was no surprise that it came only with a petrol/electric powertrain, in RX450h form. Anybody wanting a diesel had to look elsewhere, but while the limited model range put off some buyers, those who were more switched on realised they were getting the best of all worlds. Fast, clean and potentially very frugal, all versions of the RX also came with plenty of standard equipment and ample room for the whole family. High purchase costs limited sale to a point, but hefty depreciation means the RX450h makes a great used buy from a value point of view, plus it's an incredibly easy car to own thanks to peerless reliability.

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We LikeWe Don't Like
Well equipped
Very reliable
Great value
Excellent build quality
Spacious cabin
Limited model range
Overstyled interior
Inert steering
Firm ride
Key Dates 
7/09The RX450h supersedes the RX400h, powered by a 3.5-litre V6 petrol engine backed up with hybrid tech.
1/11An SE-I Lifestyle trim is added to the range, aimed at those into winter sports.
10/11An Advance trim grade joins the range.
5/12A facelifted RX brings a more dramatic nose design, extra equipment and an F Sport trim level with sportier suspension settings.
11/13The Advance gets an overhaul with a sportier exterior design, 19-inch wheels and a panoramic roof or sunroof.
8/14The Advance gets a high-spec sound system with rear-view camera and DVD player.
  • How you drive your RX makes a massive difference to fuel consumption. High-speed motorway driving will kill the fuel economy; many owners struggle to get over 30mpg in real-world driving.
  • All RX450hs come with a CVT (continuously variable transmission). It works fine but it's something you have to get used to; some owners tolerate it rather than enjoy using it.
  • The Mark Levinson premium hi-fi is highly rated by owners thanks to the superb sound, but the DAB radio doesn't always work very well.
  • Predictably, the RX isn't very good in an off-road environment - just like most other full-size SUVs.
  • The RX's ride is firm at the best of times, but buy one on 19-inch wheels and you'll probably find it uncomfortable.

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