One of the first luxury crossover SUVs on the market when it was introduced roughly 25 years ago, the Lexus RX has long been the best-selling model in the luxury brand’s lineup. Last year, Lexus came to market with the all-new fifth-generation RX that featured fresh styling and a wide range of new features. Now, Lexus is adding the plug-in hybrid (PHEV) RX 450h+ to the RX lineup.
Unlike a traditional hybrid, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle can charge from an external charging source and can travel a significant distance on electricity alone.
Lexus already offers the RX with two different hybrid powertrains, including the potent 366-horsepower setup that motivates the high-performance RX 500h F Sport, but the RX 450h+ is the first plug-in hybrid RX. Though it has less horsepower than the RX 500h F Sport, this newest entry costs more and is the most expensive model in the RX range. In some states, the price difference may be partially offset by the availability of tax credits or other plug-in vehicle purchase incentives.
Powering the new RX 450h+ is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine teamed with two electric motors for a total output of 304 horsepower. Power is directed to the road via an electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system designed to optimize torque balance from front to back, depending on the driving conditions. Lexus says the RX PHEV will reach 60 mph in 6.2 seconds. That’s a respectable figure; still, for many buyers, this SUV’s main draw will likely be its fuel efficiency.
The EPA hasn’t released figures yet for the 2024 RX 450h+, but Lexus estimates that the plug-in hybrid can travel up to 37 miles on electric power alone with a fully charged battery. Lexus claims this SUV returns 83 MPGe in combined driving using just electric power. The mileage estimates are 33 mpg on the highway, 36 mpg in city driving and 35 mpg combined when operating with the gasoline engine in use.
The RX features a J1772-type charge port, allowing it to be charged from a household 120-volt outlet or a 240-volt Level 2 charging station. Using the latter, the RX 450h+ can achieve a full charge from empty in about two and a half hours with the 6.6-kW onboard charger.
Like the rest of the RX lineup, the new 450h+ plug-in hybrid features the familiar spindle grille nicely integrated into the bodywork with a more vertical presence than the previous generation RX. This fresh design provides better airflow to the engine and gives the RX a modern look. This is further enhanced by the slim LED headlights with stylish daytime running lights. LED taillights wrap around the corners with a prominent LED light bar that spans the rear hatch, giving the RX the appearance of a wide stance. Standard 21-inch 20-spoke alloy wheels with a dark metallic finish keep this Lexus connected to the road.
2024 Lexus RX PHEV Gallery
The RX 450h+ has just a couple of styling features that set it apart from the rest of the RX lineup. In addition to the 450h+ label on the back of the plug-in hybrid, there’s a charge port on the right rear fender.
Lexus offers the RX with grades ranging from Premium to Luxury, with the new RX 450h+ coming standard with the Luxury grade of equipment. This includes a cabin trimmed in semi-aniline leather, heated and ventilated seats in front and back, a heated steering wheel trimmed in leather and wood, a panoramic glass sunroof and ambient lighting.
The RX also gets a standard 14-inch high-definition touch-screen display with the latest version of the Lexus infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connect wirelessly, and the cabin has multiple USB ports. Lexus also offers an available 21-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound system.
Like the rest of the RX lineup, the 450h+ comes standard with Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which equips the plug-in hybrid with the latest advanced driver-assistance technology. Features include automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist.
The 2024 Lexus RX 450h+ is available now with a base price starting at $68,730.