What is it?
Sporty 4x4s may be something of a contradiction, but that hasn’t stopped them selling in increasingly large numbers, to an increasingly image conscious customer base. Which is why Lexus has introduced the F Sport grade on its BMW X5-rivalling RX 450h, with the promise of sharper dynamic performance and sportier styling.
What's it like?
It is a success in part. Of most interest to enthusiast buyers will be the new lateral damper system. A single damper replaces the usual fixed bracing between the left and right suspension towers at the front, while another connects each side of the lower back panel at the rear. The net result is a system that should increase stability and better absorb small vibrations.
It works, to an extent. While the RX continues to show surprising, if not X5-challenging, composure down a country road, its ride remains on the firm side. This is particularly true at low speeds, with ruts and ridges making themselves more apparent than you’d expect.
It’s also a shame because low-speed ride should be a given on this type of car, which for all the sporty posturing will rarely be pushed hard. Success on this score would combine with the comfortable and reasonably spacious cabin ambience and mightily impressive refinement of the petrol engine and hybrid system to give comfort-orientated buyers a sound reason for choosing this vehicle.