By James Bergeron
2010 Lexus RX450h
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Fall is here and that means the sports cars go away, the leaves need to be raked and of course do not forget to put that hose away … that reminds me. This also typically means I will be driving around in mid-sized sedans, small and mid-sized SUVs and perhaps even a truck or two over the next few months. For someone that loves performance cars it could be downright depressing, but when you get into a mid-sized SUV for the week you realize that being coddled ain’t half bad!
And for a guy like me being coddled while also getting to play with the new gizmos and gadgets in a tester, well it makes my thoughts of racing and fast cars disappear along with the warm weather… well, almost. This week’s tester, The Lexus RX 450h, tries to do it all; it’s a hybrid, a mid-sized luxury SUV and it has quite a few gizmos to keep you – and the kids – entertained.
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The “base” model RX 450h starts at $58,900 a hefty sum, but to some not so much considering the amount of technology you get along with the prestigious Lexus badge. Of course at that price you still get most of the bells and whistles you would expect in a luxury SUV such as a 3.5-litre V6 engine that is assisted by electric motors driving both the front and rear wheels of the AWD drive system. Also standard are all the safety devices you would expect in a Lexus: stability control, ABS, hill start assist, traction control, electronic brake force distribution and enough air-bags to cushion you in almost any accident (side, front, knee, curtain).
Then the list of standard luxury features begins: dual-zone climate control, power tilt and telescoping steering wheel, 9-speaker audio system, power heated leather seating, backup camera, 18″ aluminium wheels, rain sensing wipers, bi-xenon headlamps with adaptive front lighting system – the list seems to never end. That was just the standard model, the RX 450h is available in two additional trim options. For $3,400 more you can add the touring package which adds a 12-speaker audio system, voice activated navigation, 19″ wheels and wood trim steering wheel.
But it doesn’t end there. My tester is equipped with the ultra premium package which comes in at a whopping ultra premium price of $12,500. It adds a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo (incase 12-speakers are not enough for you), everything in the touring package of course, dual rear screens so your rear seat passengers can keep entertained, heads up display, premium leather, LED headlamps, radar cruise control, and a side camera package.
So there you have it — this week I’m immersed in gadgets — unfortunately it doesn’t seem as though this Lexus can park itself, but I can probably manage just fine.
2010 Lexus RX 450h
MSRP as tested (excluding destination): $71,469
For more information on Lexus and the RX 450h visit Lexus Canada