After more than two decades of dominance in the midsize luxury SUV segment, the Lexus RX still hits the sweet spot for its mix of elegance and style, and the RX 450h hybrid sweetens the deal with superb fuel economy. The Lexus RX not only helped usher in the red-hot luxury SUV category but has consistently led the segment in sales since its debut more than two decades ago.

RX 450 2021 receives several significant updates, the front fascia gets a new bumper and headlights, and the body and suspension are tweaked for improved handling and ride comfort. Tech-wise, the RX finally gets Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a touch screen, and over-the-air software update capability. Compared with some of its European competitors, the RX’s acceleration is impressive and its cargo space is good too. The best available option in the segment when you are looking for high fuel economy from a midsize luxury vehicle.

The hybrid version of the Lexus RX comes in three trim levels: the base RXh, the sporty RXh F Sport, and the three-row RXh L. All come with a 3.5-liter V6 gasoline engine with three electric motor-generators with regenerative braking (one for each front wheel and one to drive the rear wheels when extra traction is needed) for 308 combined horsepower, governed by an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission.

Standard tech amenities include an 8-inch touch screen and Remote Touch trackpad, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Lexus Enform connectivity, Bluetooth for hands-free phone and wireless music streaming, a CD player, AM/FM HD radio, SiruisXM satellite radio, six USB ports, and a nine-speaker audio system.

The 2021 RX comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.0 that includes front collision warning with automatic emergency braking, daytime bicyclist detection and low-light pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control with lane centering, road sign recognition, and auto high beams.

Verdict:

The best available option in the segment which has ruled the midsize SUV roost for more than 20 years because it hits the sweet spot for most people looking for a mix of luxury, style, and performance.  The 2021 Lexus RX 450h adds great fuel economy, better tech, and an improved ride.