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2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Review

The 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid earns a top-third spot in the highly competitive luxury midsize SUV class. It has ample passenger space, an above-average predicted reliability rating, and solid acceleration.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy, comfortable seats
  • Upscale cabin
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Strong hybrid powertrain
  • Distracting infotainment system
  • Subpar cargo capacity

Rankings & Awards

The 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid's #2 ranking is based on its score within the 2018 Luxury Midsize SUVs category. It was a finalist for our 2018 Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for the Money award and a finalist for our 2018 Best Luxury 2-Row SUV for Families award. Currently the Lexus RX Hybrid has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 27 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.4
Safety: 9.3
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Overview

Is the 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the two-row RX Hybrid is a great used SUV. The RX is one of the best-selling luxury vehicles in America. The hybrid version of this popular SUV manages to offer the rare combination of good engine power, outstanding fuel economy, and standard all-wheel drive, which few hybrid and nonhybrid rivals achieve.

The 2018 RX Hybrid has a number of strengths:

  • Excellent gas mileage, even for a hybrid
  • Quick acceleration
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Third-row configuration in long-wheelbase model
  • Adult-friendly second row with reclining seats
  • Lengthy list of standard driver assistance features, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking
  • High-end cabin materials

Still, it disappoints in a few ways:

  • Small cargo space for the class
  • Available infotainment system is distracting to use while driving
Why You Can Trust Us

Our Lexus RX Hybrid review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 31 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid?

Based on listings for the 2018 Lexus RX and RX Hybrid on our site, the average price is $46,300. Prices range from $41,900 to $52,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location. Prices for hybrid models are on the higher end of that spectrum, since they tend to be more expensive than their nonhybrid counterparts.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Cost to Own?

We do not have projected five-year cost information for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance for the 2018 RX Hybrid at the time of writing.

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

The starting price for a 2019 Lexus RX Hybrid is nearly $46,100. There were no changes for the 2019 model year, so you may want to stick with the 2018 model. You’ll get the same basic SUV as the new model but probably at a lower cost.

Read about the new Lexus RX Hybrid »

The 2018 Lexus 450h is part of a generation that began with the 2016 model year. Although there were only a few changes for 2017 and 2018, they are important. The 2017 RX Hybrid was the first to offer all-wheel drive, and the 2018 model was the first RX Hybrid with an extended-wheelbase model with an available third row. Choosing one of these used models will probably save you some money.

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 RX Hybrid »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid?

The 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about RX Hybrid reliability »

2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Recalls

At the time of writing, there are no recalls for the 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid.

See more information on Lexus RX Hybrid safety recalls »

Which Used Lexus RX Hybrid Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid comes in three trims: 450h, 450h F Sport, and 450h L. The base RX Hybrid 450h comes with a good number of technology features. If you want livelier ride, go with the RX Hybrid F Sport, which adds some performance enhancements and a few extra seating features. Need more than two rows of seats? The RX Hybrid RX L is an extended-wheelbase model that has a third row.

  • Lexus RX Hybrid 450h: The base RX Hybrid 450h comes standard with synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch display, Bluetooth, a 12-speaker sound system, and satellite radio. The Lexus Safety System+ is also standard, which includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.
  • Lexus RX Hybrid 450h F Sport: The Lexus RX Hybrid F Sport kicks up the SUV’s performance, adding a sport-tuned adaptive variable suspension. In addition to all of the base trim’s features, the F Sport has bolstered, heated, and ventilated front seats.
  • Lexus RX Hybrid 450h L: The RX 450h L trim was introduced for the 2018 model year. It has a longer body and three rows of seating for up to seven people. It has the same standard features as the base model.

See 2018 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.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the RX Hybrid?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety did not test the 2018 RX Hybrid. However, the nonhybrid 2018 RX was named a Top Safety Pick and earned the highest rating of Good in five out of six crash tests. The IIHS gave the RX Hybrid ratings ranging from Acceptable to Marginal for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead. The 2018 RX Hybrid also earned the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 RX 450h an overall rating of five out of five stars. It received five stars in the side crash test and four stars in frontal crash and rollover tests.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera 
  • forward collision warning
  • automatic emergency braking
  • pedestrian detection
  • adaptive cruise control
  • lane keep assist
  • lane departure warning

Available advanced safety features:

  • 360-degree parking camera
  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert

See RX Hybrid safety scores »

2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid or 2018 Acura MDX Hybrid?

The base 2018 Acura MDX Hybrid bests the base RX Hybrid in a few areas. The Acura has a stronger powertrain, nimbler handling, and standard seating for seven. However, the Lexus is the better SUV. It boasts a nicer cabin, more standard safety features, superior fuel economy, and a higher predicted reliability rating.

Which Is Better: 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid or 2018 BMW X5?

The 2018 BMW X5 is a close competitor to the RX Hybrid, but each SUV caters to a different kind of driver. The X5 focuses on performance, with its range of powerful engines and firmer ride than the RX 450h’s. The RX Hybrid is more comfort oriented, and it gets better gas mileage. Both are excellent choices, so pick the SUV that best matches your preferences.

Compare the RX Hybrid, MDX Hybrid, and X5 »

2018 RX Hybrid Performance

How Does the 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Drive?

The Lexus RX 450h’s hybrid powertrain has more than enough oomph and quick acceleration in both city and highway driving. Transitions between gas and electric power are smooth. The RX Hybrid is one of the few SUVs in this class to come standard with all-wheel drive. While the base model is tuned for comfort, the F Sport model improves driving dynamics with its sport-tuned adjustable suspension.

  • Base engine: 308-horsepower 3.5-liter V6
  • Drivetrain: all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: continuously variable automatic (CVT)
Does the 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2018 Lexus RX 450h gets some of the best fuel economy estimates in the class, even compared to rival hybrids.

  • 31/28 mpg city/highway

Read more about RX Hybrid performance »

2018 RX Hybrid Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 RX Hybrid Seat?

In its standard configuration, the 2018 RX Hybrid seats five people in two rows. A three-row long-wheelbase model seats seven. The front seats are comfortable, but the driver has limited rearward visibility due to the SUV’s sloped roofline. The reclining rear seats provide exceptional headroom and legroom, even for adults. The cabin is quiet, handsome, and built with first-rate materials.  

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • reclining rear seats

Available seating features:

  • power-folding heated rear seats
  • heated steering wheel
  • heated and ventilated front sport seats with added side bolstering
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid?

The 2018 RX Hybrid has two complete sets of LATCH child car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats. The middle seat has an upper tether anchor and the ability to borrow lower anchors from the outboard seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the highest rating of Good+ for ease of use.

2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Features

The standard infotainment system has a large screen with user-friendly menus. The available infotainment system has a 12.3-inch display and the mouselike Remote Touch controller, which makes it difficult to make selections while driving.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch display, HD Radio, two USB ports, Siri Eyes Free, smartphone integration, satellite radio, voice recognition, Bluetooth, and a 12-speaker sound system
  • Available infotainment features: a 15-speaker sound system and a 12.3-inch display with navigation
  • Other available features: a panoramic moonroof

See 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid specs »

Read more about RX Hybrid interior »

2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Dimensions

Lexus RX Hybrid Cargo Space

The RX Hybrid has less cargo space than most rivals: 18 cubic feet of space with the rear seats upright and 55.9 cubic feet with them folded. The SUV’s sloping roofline further limits the cargo bay’s usability, and its rear seats don’t fold flat. The long-wheelbase model has 23 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats and 58.5 cubic feet of cargo space with them upright. A hands-free power liftgate is available.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet to 16 feet, 4 inches
  • Curb weight: 4,740 to 4,905 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 5,997 to 6,261 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Lexus RX Hybrid Built?

Lexus built the RX Hybrid in Canada.

Best 2018 Luxury Midsize SUVs

  • #1

    2018 BMW X5

    $42,394 - $72,346 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2018 Lexus RX Hybrid

    $44,761 - $49,998 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
  • #2

    2018 Audi Q7

    $39,591 - $49,504 AVG. PAID

    You can only compare 3 cars at a time.
See the full 2018 Luxury Midsize SUVs rankings »

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