In comparison with its rivals, the Lexus RX450h offers impressive economy and emissions that promise to save money on fuel and tax. No one can dispute the financial benefits of the low CO2 rating; the RX will save a higher-rate taxpayer around £4000 per year compared with a diesel Discovery, while your company will also benefit from a handy write-down allowance against tax.
The reality of the fuel savings, however, will depend very much on how you drive. In our experience an average of 29.1mpg is realistic – still better than most diesel-powered rival SUVs, but not by the margin suggested by the official figures.
The Lexus is also not cheap to buy; in popular near-range-topping SE-L trim it costs noticeably more than the equally well equipped Discovery TDV6 HSE and ML350 CDI Sport. Resale values tend to be a shade lower than rivals, too.
Even so, Lexus’s reputation for reliability and excellent customer service (they’ve made number one in the JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey on numerous occasions), plus a comfortable and gadget-packed cabin, are sure to guarantee an ownership experience as hassle-free as any rival.
Every model bar the base model gets a decent sat-nav system (even if it is operated through the infuriating Remote Touch system), while top-spec cars get a stupendous Mark Levinson audio system (mind you, the audio in the other cars is pretty good, too) and LED headlights. There’s even a head-up display on range topping SE-L Premier models. In a break from the norm, Lexus doesn’t offer you a huge range of options for your car, preferring you to step up to the next grade and paying a fair few thousand for the privilege.