Living Along The Thames Magazine was fortunate to drive the all new Lexus RX 450h Premier, the top of the range car in the new RX 450h range.

The new Lexus RX is the fourth generation of the model that originated the concept of the luxury Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV). Launched late last year the all new Lexus RX is complete with some stunning styling, an upgraded interior and more efficient engines over the previous models.

Inside the RX it is beautifully finished with high-quality leather everywhere, including the heated steering wheel which is complete with buttons controlling many of the high specification functions available on the RX. The seats are incredibly comfortable, giving lots of support and can be adjusted in many different directions offering lots of legroom both for the front and rear seat passengers.

We loved the 12.3-inch high-resolution split-screen multimedia display which provides access to audio or climate controls and various systems including Navigation, the new display offers a full-screen map for added convenience. The voice-activated Navigation System can map millions of points of interest across the country and, in addition offers up-to-date traffic and weather information, 3-D city views, and simulated views of approaching highway junctions, it displays the current speed limit and can automatically identify nearby petrol stations if you begin to run low on fuel.

In addition to the large multimedia display on the dash board there is also a full colour Heads-Up Display that projects key information about your audio, speed, current gear and RPM onto the windshield. It can also project an ECO indicator to help you drive in the most fuel-efficient way possible.  The display can also be configured to show you the road ahead and monitor if you move to the centre of the carriageway.  If this were to happen the car then issues the driver a warning through a slight vibration in the steering wheel.

The RX also features a 17-speaker, 835-watt Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System with GreenEdge™ speaker technology that allows twice the output of conventional speakers. By significantly widening the dispersion of sound, a larger “sweet spot” is created, enveloping every passenger in three-dimensional sound that rivals the finest home-audio systems.

Lexus was the first to introduce hybrid power to the premium car market and with more than a decade’s experience with this technology Lexus continue to deliver an unprecedented combination of strong performance, fuel efficiency and low emissions.  The low C02 emissions are also great news for company car drivers ensuring the RX stays in the low tax bracket.  The RX can also be driven in EV (Electric Vehicle) mode where it drives in near silence, using no petrol at all and emitting zero CO2 emissions.

Overall this is a beautifully finished vehicle with a very high specification with the look of a premium car both inside and out. We would like to thanks Martyn Halstead of Lexus Reading for providing us with the RX 450h, it was a great experience and wonderful to drive a modern premium SUV.

Facts at a glance

Priced from £57,995 for the RX 450h Premier

Engine – 3.45 hybrid engine

Performance – Maximum speed 124mph, 0-62mph in 7.7 seconds

Fuel Economy – combined 51.4mpg