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2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Review

With its posh and spacious cabin, supple ride quality, refined powertrain, and great safety and reliability ratings, the 2016 Lexus RX 450h ranks near the top of the luxury midsize SUV class.

Pros & Cons

  • Handsome cabin
  • Roomy seating space
  • Smooth ride
  • Superb fuel economy
  • Distracting infotainment controls

Rankings & Awards

The 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid's #1 ranking is based on its score within the 2016 Luxury Midsize SUVs category. It was a finalist for our 2016 Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for Families award and a finalist for our 2016 Best Hybrid SUV for Families award. Currently the Lexus RX Hybrid has a score of 8.9 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 19 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.9
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Overview

Is the 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid a Good Used SUV?

The 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid is a great option if you’re shopping for a used luxury midsize SUV. The RX Hybrid – also known as the RX 450h – provides generous interior space, a smooth and comfortable ride, and superb fuel economy of up to 31 mpg in the city. It also rates highly for reliability and crash safety, and it offers many advanced safety features. That said, the RX Hybrid only seats five. Consider the 2016 Volvo XC90 hybrid if you need a luxury hybrid SUV with seven seats.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 19 Lexus RX Hybrid reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid?

You can expect to pay between $36,000 and $48,000 for a used 2016 RX. Hybrid models will be on the higher end of that range. These figures are based on 500 listings for the 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid on our site. The average list price is $41,700. Prices vary depending on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Cost to Own?

The 2016 RX 450h’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $23,700 – or about $4,750 per year. That’s much lower than average for the luxury midsize SUV class, though it’s only $120 less each year than you'd spend on the nonhybrid 2016 Lexus RX 350.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New RX Hybrid?

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h starts at $45,695 and can top $54,000 in some trim levels. You can save thousands of dollars by shopping for a used RX Hybrid, especially if you want a base model with few options. However, there is one big benefit to buying new. The 2018 model is available in a 3-row RX 450hL variant with seating for up to seven. This addresses a longstanding complaint about the Lexus RX and makes the SUV much more family-friendly. If you can afford it, the 2018 model is the better way to go.

Read about the new Lexus RX Hybrid »

If the 2018 RX 350 Hybrid won’t fit in your budget, you can still save money while buying new. The 2018 Toyota Highlander Hybrid starts at just $36,670. While it doesn’t offer the same material quality as its Lexus twin, the Highlander does pack the exact same hybrid system along with seating for up to eight, more standard safety features, a simpler infotainment system, and a larger cargo area.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid?

The 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid has an excellent reliability rating of five out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about RX Hybrid reliability »

2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Recalls

At the time of this writing, there are two safety recalls for the 2016 RX 450h. Lexus identified an issue with the driver’s knee air bag, which may not properly inflate in the event of a crash. A separate issue affects the proper inflating of front and side curtain air bags. Before buying a used RX 450h, make sure these recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Lexus RX Hybrid safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Lexus RX Hybrid Is Best?

The 2016 RX Hybrid was the first model year of a new generation. The 2017 model is equipped with the Safety System+ package, so it comes standard with adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. If these are must-have items, you may find that it’s cheaper to buy a 2017 model than to find a 2016 model with these features.

You can also save a lot of money by shopping for the previous generation RX Hybrid (2010 to 2015). Like newer models, these RX Hybrids have outstanding reliability ratings, great safety scores, and a comfy ride. However, they lack the newer RX Hybrid's edgy styling and higher-quality cabin materials.

Compare the 2016, 2017, and 2018 RX Hybrid »

Which Used Lexus RX Hybrid Model Is Right for Me?

Lexus offers the 2016 RX Hybrid in two trim levels: RX 450h and F Sport. The base model RX 450h comes standard with an 8-inch infotainment screen, navigation, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, satellite radio, a CD player, a USB port, keyless entry, a power tailgate, leather seats, heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control, blind spot monitoring, parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, a moonroof, and alloy wheels.

The RX 450h F Sport adds an adaptive suspension, shift paddles, larger wheels, sportier exterior styling, and seats with larger side bolsters. Available features include rear-seat DVD players, a head-up display, a larger infotainment screen, a Mark Levinson stereo, and a suite of active safety features.

See 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid trims and specs »

What Does Lexus' Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Lexus offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles five years old or less and with fewer than 70,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Lexus extends its original new-car warranty to six years or unlimited mileage. From the day you purchase or lease your Lexus CPO vehicle, you receive complimentary maintenance covering the next four factory-recommended services for two years or 20,000 miles. Every CPO Lexus must pass a 161-point inspection. Additional benefits like loaner cars, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lexus warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Lexus has the best CPO program in the industry.

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How Safe Is the RX Hybrid?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the Lexus RX Hybrid a 2016 Top Safety Pick+ and gave it the highest rating of Good in all five test categories. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the RX 450h a perfect five-star rating in side impact safety, as well as four stars in rollover crash testing.

All 2016 RX 450h models come standard with a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and Intuitive Park Assist (front and rear parking sensors). Available safety features include a 360-degree-view camera and the Lexus Safety System+ package, which adds lane departure warning, lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and the Pre-Collision System (forward collision warning with brake assist).

See RX Hybrid safety scores »

2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Lexus RX 450h or 2016 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid?

The 2016 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid has seven seats and a more user-friendly infotainment system than the Lexus. Both SUVs have a similar array of active safety features, but the QX60 is tough to recommend because of its low reliability rating, higher ownership costs, and underpowered engine performance. Additionally, it gets 26/28 mpg city/highway, which isn’t as fuel-efficient as the RX 450h. Stick with the Lexus.

Which Is Better: 2016 Lexus RX 450h or 2016 Audi Q5 Hybrid?

It’s a similar story with the 2016 Audi Q5 Hybrid. Though the Q5 has sportier driving dynamics than the Lexus, it has poor reliability, higher ownership costs, lower fuel economy ratings (just 24/30 mpg), and fewer safety features than the RX 450h. Also, its ride quality is rather firm on rough pavement. Again, stick with the Lexus.

Compare the RX 450h, QX60 Hybrid, and Q5 Hybrid »

2016 RX Hybrid Performance

How Does the 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Drive?

The Lexus RX 450h has a V6 engine and two electric motors that produce a combined 308 horsepower. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and front-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive is available. The electric motors give the RX confident off-the-line acceleration, and the gas engine kicks in seamlessly to assist. Zero to 60 mph takes just under eight seconds – not fast, but still brisk. The CVT offers good throttle response and it changes gears promptly, helping to deliver plenty of muscle for passing cars and climbing hills.

The RX Hybrid impresses most, however, with its smooth and comfortable ride. Its suspension soaks up road bumps and dips nicely, while still keeping the hefty SUV stable around turns. Its steering is fairly responsive as well. The RX Hybrid's previous F Sport models have been more show than go, but this model changes that dynamic. Its steering feels sharper, and its adaptive suspension keeps the SUV even more controlled through turns. That said, the brake pedal feels rather vague in both models. This is a common criticism of regenerative braking systems, which use braking force to recharge the vehicle’s battery pack.

Does the 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2016 RX 450h gets 31 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway, which is excellent for a luxury midsize SUV. All-wheel drive lowers this rating slightly to 30/28 mpg city/highway.

2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Towing Capacity

The Lexus RX 450h can tow up to 3,500 pounds when properly equipped (all-wheel drive only).

Read more about RX Hybrid performance »

2016 RX Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 RX Hybrid Seat?

The Lexus RX 450h is a 2-row SUV with five seats. The front seats are comfortable and provide ample head- and legroom. The driving position is nice as well and offers great forward visibility. The rear seats are similarly cozy, and they can recline and slide to better accommodate tall passengers. Leather seats are standard, as are heated and ventilated front seats. As you'd expect with a Lexus, the RX Hybrid's cabin is trimmed with top-notch materials. There’s an abundance of rich upholstery, crisp metal accents, and soft-touch plastics.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid?

The Lexus RX Hybrid has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the SUV’s LATCH system a Good+ rating (the highest possible) for ease of use.

2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Features

The 2016 RX 450h comes standard with an 8-inch navigation screen, a rearview camera, a USB port, Bluetooth, a CD player, satellite radio, and Siri Eyes Free connectivity. Available features include a larger 12.3-inch screen, a head-up display, rear-seat DVD players, and an excellent Mark Levinson stereo. Simple audio and climate control buttons complement the elegantly designed dashboard. However, Lexus’ infotainment system isn’t so user-friendly, regardless of screen size. The Remote Touch system is operated using an overly sensitive mouselike controller, which can be distracting to use when driving.

See 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid specs »

Read more about RX Hybrid interior »

2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Dimensions

Lexus RX Hybrid Cargo Space

The Lexus RX 450h has 18 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats and 55.9 cubic feet with its rear seats folded. That is a bit small for the luxury midsize SUV class.

2016 RX Hybrid Length and Weight

The RX 450h is 16 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 4,608 to 4,740 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Lexus RX Hybrid Built?

The 2016 RX 450h was built in Canada, along with the 2016 RX 350.


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RX Hybrid Shoppers Should Also Consider...

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