Blog “SUV Review: 2022 Lexus RX 450h F Sport Series 3”

Whither the self-charging crossover in this time of the Great Upheaval? Self-charging crossover in this case being the highly regarded Lexus RX 450h. Great Upheaval being the automotive industry’s unchecked rush to electric vehicles. Throw in news-making headlines — other than the pandemic — such as global warming, increasing fuel prices, microchip shortages, rebates for U.S.-built EVs, et cetera, et cetera, and you have the ancient curse, “May you live in interesting times,” amped up to 11.

The fourth-generation, Ontario-built RX, in either gas-only 350 form or the gasoline-electric 450h, has been around since the 2016 model year, making it a “mature” product, albeit one that remains the best-selling mid-size luxury crossover in Canada. That said, the Lexus Hybrid Drive, which, in the RX 450h, consists of an Atkinson-cycle 3.5L V6, electric motors, and a continuously variable transmission, is no longer leading-edge technology. It’s a dollars-to-donuts bet that the next-gen RX, likely a 2023 model, will have a plug-in hybrid version.

Until that happens, however, the current RX 450h rolls on in both five-seat and, as the 450h L, seven-seat form, the Hybrid Drive setup doing what it does best, delivering smooth, reliable, stress-free (as in no range anxiety) power. Oh, and compact crossover-like fuel economy from what is a 2,150-kilogram, mid-sized, upscale SUV — 7.9 L/100 km city/highway combined, according to NRCan. (Personally, I averaged 9.5 L/100 km with the F Sport Series 3 tester, in a fairly even mix of highway and in-town driving, with the downside that the Lexus takes premium unleaded.)