2013 Lexus RX Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Lexus RX Hybrid was new.


Performance: 7.9

Reviewers say that the 2013 Lexus RX Hybrid isn't a sporty SUV, but it offers serene performance and excellent fuel economy.

  • "The 2013 Lexus RX 450h doesn't disappoint when it comes to a smooth ride. The compliant suspension and plentiful sound insulation ably isolate passengers from the outside world." -- Edmunds

Acceleration and Power

The 2013 Lexus RX Hybrid is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine and an electric motor that make 295 horsepower combined. An electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. The RX Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 32/28 city/highway with two-wheel drive. When you add all-wheel drive, the RX Hybrid's city fuel economy drops to 30 mpg, while the highway fuel economy stays the same.

Reviewers like how seamlessly the RX hybrid transitions between its gas and electric motors. While its fuel economy isn't great for a smaller, less-expensive hybrid, it's very good for a mid-size luxury SUV. Reviewers say that although the RX doesn't have pin-you-to-the-seat acceleration, it has enough power for getting around town and merging on highways.

  • "RX450h also has impressive thrust and outstanding passing punch. Its CVT transmission is responsive. The well-integrated hybrid/electric powertrain exhibits very little of the surging and bogging typical of hybrid vehicles." -- Consumer Guide
  • "In Edmunds testing, the 450h went from zero to 60 mph in 7.5 seconds, which is on par with the conventionally powered RX 350 and other midsize crossovers." -- Edmunds

Handling and Braking

Most reviewers agree that no one will mistake the 2013 Lexus RX Hybrid for a sports car. Its performance is focused on being smooth, controlled and comfortable. On those fronts, reviewers say the RX Hybrid delivers, with an airy ride and competent steering. That said, some reviewers point out that if you push the RX Hybrid on twisty roads, its performance starts to fall apart. A few reviewers quibbled with the brakes, which they said didn't stop the RX Hybrid as quickly as they would have liked, but others didn't mention any problems.

  • "The suspension is softly sprung, but this RX feels more solid and buttoned-down than past models. The steering also provides more weighting and response than expected. Activating the new-for-2013 Sport mode should at least make the RX feel livelier." -- Edmunds
  • "Agile handling is not the RX's forte, but both RX 350 and 450h are competent enough on twisty roads. They exhibit moderate cornering lean but secure grip. The Sports Package provides slightly sharper moves. Brakes are strong, with a smooth, progressive pedal feel." -- Consumer Guide
  • "As for handling, even with the Sport suspension package, the RX450h rolls like a tugboat off Cape Hatteras. This is a tall, heavy vehicle, with the suspension dial set on ‘Xanax.' No corner carving here." -- Los Angeles Times

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