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By Lexus Owners Club
Introduction & Styling
You may be thinking that the Lexus RC has been around for a little while already now, and you wouldn’t be wrong. However, up until just recently the only model available was the 5.0 litre V8 powered RC F which is likely to remain the enthusiast’s choice thanks to its high CO2 emissions and thirst for super unleaded. With that in mind, Lexus has recently made available “normal” versions of the RC coupe – the RC 300h and RC 200t for Lexus fans looking for a taste of the RC’s looks without the high running costs.
The model I’m testing is the RC 300h F Sport which I think looks fantastic in “F Sport white” with contrasting “Dark Rose” leather seats – a lovely colour combination. Incidentally the new “Sonic Red” is also a lovely colour – Lexus Hedge End had one in their showroom if you wanted to check it out. The car hasn’t lost any of the wow factor you get with its RC F big brother – the main notable omissions being the bonnet scoop and unique stacked exhausts. Yes, it doesn’t look quite as muscular as its V8 powered sibling, but if you like the look of the RC F then you’re still going to like the look of this. Only enthusiasts will likely spot the difference at a glance – aside from replacing the V8 burble with hybrid silence that is. Speaking of the exhaust, if I’m not mistaken this is the first Lexus hybrid I’ve seen that actually features visible exhaust tips and it looks all the better for it in my opinion, particularly when the RC is much more of a sports car/GT than other models in the range. Lexus previously had a habit of hiding exhaust tips on hybrid models to show off their green credentials, but I’m guessing customer feedback could be responsible for the change.
Let’s get one thing straight though – this car turns heads. While its styling and large grill may not be to everyone’s tastes (I’m a big fan by the way), it certainly draws looks pretty much all the time. Everywhere I went in the car people would stop and stare or ask me questions about the car, with one pedestrian even going so far as to stop in the road and nearly get run over whilst trying to get a look at the RC. The detailing on this car is exceptional with the LED lights really looking the part and RC 300h even has unique looking fins either side of the rear bumper that remind me of 90’s era Ferraris. Pretty cool stuff then.
The interior of the Lexus RC 300h is a familiar affair if you’ve ever been in a 3rd generation IS300h, or indeed an RC F. The dash and general layout is pretty much lifted straight out of the IS which is no bad thing. The RC is essentially an IS coupe after all – think what the BMW 4 series is to the 3 series.
With that in mind, you get the usual touch sensitive climate controls as found in the IS, and our F Sport model features the wonderful LFA inspired instrument cluster à la IS F Sport (shown above). The interior generally feels great with high quality materials featured everywhere except in the usual lower down parts of the cabin. If I were nitpicking a little the buttons below the CD slot on the stereo seem like a bit of a cheap afterthought, but it’s easily forgiven as you end up using the steering wheel controls most of the time anyway. There’s also a really classy frameless auto dimming rear view mirror which looks great.
One thing definitely worth mentioning in this car is the seats – they’re absolutely fantastic. Lexus seems to have managed the impossible and struck the perfect balance between comfort support – something many manufacturers still seem to struggle with. All too often you get into a sports car or even a hot hatch that has great looking seats offering plenty of lateral support only to find the seats rock hard or uncomfortable on a long journey. I would go as far as to saying these are some of the best all round seats I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in from any vehicle, period. That’s a bold claim, yes, but I urge you to try them for yourselves and I’m sure you’d agree.
The only other obvious changes from the IS are the larger and redesigned door cards which I think feel of higher quality than the IS thanks to their sculpted design and use of aluminium. The rear is of course a little different due to the car’s coupe form also. It’s worth noting that although the car does have four proper seats, space in the back is fairly tight. You can definitely get adults in the back but 6 foot does seem to be pretty much the limit both for rear passenger and driver. I’m 6 foot and my head was just about touching the roof lining in the back of the RC, and with the driving position set for a 6 foot driver I could (just about) get my legs in – any further back and my legs would have been crushed. A shorter driver would obviously generate a moderate amount of rear legroom though and all being said I’d probably find a short journey perfectly acceptable in the back of the RC, but wouldn’t fancy a long run in the back. The electric seat mechanism was also quite nice in the way that it allowed rear passengers to get in and out, although of course this could seem quite slow in the rain!
Boot space is fairly decent for a coupe and gives plenty of room for your weekly shop or everything you’d need for a weekend away. The rear seats also fold just like the 3rd generation IS giving a nice bit of extra flexibility too. I’m led to believe the RC2 00t gives a little more boot space thanks to its lack of battery pack also.
The RC 300h starts at £34,995 in luxury trim, with F Sport and Premier versions also available. All versions are well equipped in general – sat nav is only standard on the premier version but is available as an option on all grades.
Our F Sport test model came in at £40,565 as tested with the £1,995 premium navigation option and £450 protection pack – still pretty good value in my opinion for what you get. The premium navigation option is (although expensive) definitely an option box you should tick. As well as making the car easier to move on come resale time, it adds the better of the two navigation systems, an upgraded 10 speaker audio system, reverse camera with guidelines and DAB/DVD playback. The 10 speaker audio system sounds great and is a worthy upgrade from standard, if not quite as good as the optional 17 speaker Mark Levinson system. You’d have to listen to them to determine if it’s worth you spending out the extra £1000 for the Mark Levinson system, or failing that just go for the Premier version which includes it as standard anyway.
That being said, I still think the F Sport is the pick of the range when it comes to the RC 300h, as the extra sporty touches really suit the car’s looks. If it were my money I’d definitely go for an F Sport with the option boxes ticked which is unusual as if you asked me about any other model in the Lexus range I’d usually go premier every time.
Premier and F Sport models both feature electric heated and ventilated leather seats with drivers side memory as standard, while the Luxury model makes do with only heated seats and no memory. The memory function also covers the electrically adjustable steering wheel and outside mirrors too which is really nice, particularly if your partner also drives the car regularly.
Dual zone climate control, keyless entry and start, LED headlights and cruise control all feature as standard across the range, with even the entry Luxury model being reasonably well appointed as tends to be the Lexus way. I’d still recommend going for the F Sport model over the luxury all day long though, and the £2,500 difference seems well worth it for the extra kit and enhanced looks that come with the F Sport styling package.
Ride and Handling
The RC 300h is a very refined car to drive, thanks in part to its hybrid power train. If you’ve driven other Lexus hybrids, the system will be vary familiar – allowing you to propel the car up to around 30mph in electric only mode, albeit if you don’t require even moderately fast acceleration. The system will also allow you to cruise steadily at higher speeds using electric only mode if you’re gentle with the throttle. Thanks to the hybrid system, cruising around town is often beautifully quiet, and even when the 2.5 litre petrol motor cuts in, it’s a seamless transition.
Personally, I felt the car’s ride was a little more comfortable than the equivalent IS. The platform for the car is actually a bit of a “Frankenstein” of other Lexus models, with the front end from the current generation GS, the mid section from the 2nd gen IS convertible and rear section from the current gen IS. It sounds strange but it works well with the GS derived front end soaking up imperfections in the road nicely – especially when you consider this is the F Sport model on 19 inch wheels. I never once felt that the car was crashing over bumps or potholes and the car’s ride together with the ever so comfy seats I mentioned earlier make for a great long distance companion.
In terms of handling, I’d start by saying that you should think of this car more as a comfy GT cruiser rather than an out and out sports car and then you’d be thinking along the right lines, especially in hybrid guise. The car does handle well – the electrically assisted power steering has a nice weight to it, although it is lacking a little in feedback. There’s little body roll which is impressive because the RC is quite a heavy lump and the traction/stability control does a good job of keeping everything in check. The Sport + mode on the F sport model does rein in the traction control a little as well as sharpening up throttle response and tweaking the adaptive variable dampers too, which definitely allows for a little more fun.
Ultimately it’s not a car that feels as if you need to push it hard to get the most out of it. It feels like it’s at its best cruising along at a relaxed pace, whilst still giving you the confidence to have a little fun with it on the occasion that you feel like popping it into sport + mode.
The hybrid set-up in the RC 300h is the same as the one in the IS 300h so if you’ve ever driven one of those you should pretty much know what to expect. Just like its IS counterpart the RC 300h produces 220 hp from a combination of the 2.5 litre 4 cylinder petrol engine and its electric motor.
Straight line performance can be a little deceptive as the official figures quote a 0-62mph time of 8.6 seconds, 3 tenths down on the IS300h (presumably due to the RC 300h weighing almost 1800kg) but Lexus are well known underestimate performance figures. Indeed, the RC 300h feels quicker than the figures would suggest, with the surge of initial acceleration feeling quite strong thanks to the extra torque from the electric motor.
At higher speeds, you may notice that the motor has to be worked quite hard to make swift progress, and the CVT gearbox that is featured across the Lexus hybrid range doesn’t necessarily lend itself to performance driving. You do of course have the option of using the steering wheel mounted paddles but these only create artificial gear changes by restricting the revs due to the fact it is a CVT gear box. Still, for an occasional bit of driving fun they do the job and when combined with the ASC (active sound control) and the LFA inspired instrument panel, the car can make you feel as if you are driving in a video game – in a good way.
The active sound control is worth mentioning and also features on the IS 300h range. This time it’s only on the F Sport RC 300h I believe. Basically, it generates artificial sound and plays it through the speakers to make the car sound more muscular. It sound a little cheesy yes, but many manufacturers are doing the same these days due to downsizing engines for emissions reasons, and in this case it works quite well. The sound the car makes in sport/sport + mode is fantastic and really gives the impressions that you’ve got something potent under the bonnet. It even occasionally seems to “pop” on lift off and manual gear changes which is cool. Sure, you know deep down it isn’t real (there is a switch to turn it off if it really offends you) and the sound outside the car is completely different, but if you pick up an unsuspecting passenger, there’s no denying it at least sounds impressive and they’d probably never know!
Overall, I’d say the performance of this car is good, given the hybrid system and economy that you’re likely to be able to achieve with it. For the type of car that the RC is, it does feel like it could do with a little more power in certain higher speed situations, so it would be interesting to try the slightly quicker RC 200t back to back with it to find out if the extra performance is worth sacrificing a little of the hybrid’s refinement and running costs for. That’s ultimately the choice you’ll have to make if you buy one and it’s really going to be down to personal preference. I don’t think you’d be disappointed with the performance of the RC 300h, as you’re buying into the hybrid system too and the benefits that brings. It would definitely be interesting if Lexus decided to make an RC 450h with the larger petrol engine, but I sense that’s unlikely to happen. Incidentally Lexus do offer an RC 350 for the US and certain other markets which is still a quick car in its own right and could be a genuine “sensible” alternative to the RC F – if only Lexus would bring it to the UK.
Being a hybrid you should expect running costs to be pretty reasonable and the RC 300h delivers on this. CO2 emissions of 116 g/km mean VED of just £20 per year in the current system, though it’s worth bearing in mind that when the new tax system comes into play in April 2017, this will not be the case.
Lexus also quotes a combined MPG of of 56.5 for the RC 300h F Sport. In my hands I found this to be a little way off as is usually the case. My test route consisted of some motorway, some town and some spirited driving and I saw the Average MPG vary from high 30’s to low 40’s. From past experience with Lexus hybrids and with a bit more effort put into maintaining electric mode for the most time possible (and a few more miles on the engine), I have no doubt that at least high 40’s would be possible. From my point of view I find the fuel consumption is very reasonable considering the nice balance of performance and running costs on offer from this car. Yes, there are some equivalent diesels out there will deliver slightly better MPG, but I’m not generally a diesel fan anyway and would take a hybrid over a diesel any day for the increased refinement and lack of potential DPF problems, but ultimately that’s a choice buyers have to make. As is obvious from the recent VW emissions scandal and episodes of bad smog in cities like Paris, it appears public opinion could slowly be turning against diesels anyway, and hybrids like this provide a real credible alternative.
The RC 300h is likely to be the biggest seller in Lexus RC range, and with good reason – it probably makes the most overall sense for most buyers. The car’s hybrid drivetrain provides an excellent all round balance of performance, refinement and running costs, and the build quality and interior are excellent. Combine that with the Lexus reputation for reliability and customer service and you’ve got a pretty compelling package, especially if you’re looking for a well equipped luxury coupe that’s a real head turner.
A special thanks to the lovely people at Snows Lexus Hedge End for the loan of our RC 300h F Sport featured in this review.
The LC500 is available as a 5.0 litre V8 which is bred from the race-track or if you are after something a little less aggressive and eco-friendly then look no further than the LC500h which is powered by a 3.5 litre V6 and hybrid motors.
Available in standard trim, Sport or Sport+ versions are offered with very little difference in price between them.
The LC500 that we road tested was the 5.0 litre V8 with Sport+ Pack.
ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN
The 5.0-litre V8 engine that Lexus has chosen to power the LC500 is a great choice to provide the flexibility for a smooth GT cruiser and also to propel the car to immense speeds in very little time.
Combined with an excellent transmission, there is very little to complain about on the performance front.
Utilising a 10-speed transmission which is controlled by Magnesium Paddle Shift and incorporates a manual ‘M’ mode for driver control and selection of the gears. Additionally, there is also the Drive Mode Select function which switches between Eco, Comfort, Normal, Custom, Sports S and Sports S+ modes to further enhance the drivers’ experience.
Moving onto the chassis, an adaptive variable suspension featuring multi-link design engineered from scratch to provide excellent vehicle response and super-sharp handling but maintaining a superior ride comfort and stability.
Adaptive Variable Suspension is used to control the damping forces on all shock-absorbers with the ability to manage 650 different variations of suspension settings.
The most definitive aspect of the LC500 has to be the exterior styling with its distinctive coupe body and futuristic lighting. Combine this with the fact that the body is not just stylish but also lightweight and extremely strong. Ultra-high tensile strength steel, lightweight aluminium and Carbon-Fibre Reinforced Plastic are used throughout the car ensuring high-rigidity throughout.
The roof is available as either a glass panoramic or Carbon-Fibre infill (depending on model specification). Both roof panels are made to complement the styling of the LC500 and even incorporate the lines of a traditional Japanese sword on the rear edges of the chrome plating.
There is a retractable rear spoiler and this extends automatically at speeds above 50 mph to provide extra downforce and stability at high-speed.
The Sport+ Pack version has side aero intakes to reduce turbulence around the rear wheels to further improve handling.
LED Headlights are an ultra-compact style fitted with triple-projector LED units which allow for a short front overhang which is crucial for high-speed handling.
The rear lamps are also LED which are inspired by the afterburners of a Jet Fighter aircraft and have a holographic effect which also incorporates a sculptured metal frame that follows the Lexus ‘L’ motif throughout.
The Lexus LC500 is designed with high-speed performance in mind, but safety features, both passive and active, are also a major design element of the car.
A pop-up bonnet, activated by sensors mounted in the front bumper ensure that in the event of a collision with a pedestrian, the impact raises the bonnet and by allowing more space between the hard components of the engine compartment and the pedestrian, the level of injury is reduced.
To protect the vehicle occupants, eight airbags are fitted, driver, passenger, head, knee and curtain shields running the full length of both cabin sides.
The interior of the LC500 is no less spectacular than the exterior styling. Lexus has directed their design on an interior specifically focused on the driver.
The steering wheel is crafted by a Takumi master and when grasped seems to instantly instil a feeling of confidence within the driver. Already, the overall feeling of the cars’ demeanour is coming through when seated in the comfortable and supportive sports seats, and this is even when it is parked with the engine off.
All of the controls and driver interfaces are positioned to hand and are designed to be easy to operate when driving. The instruments are positioned to allow the driver to view them at all times and are in line with the natural view of the road ahead with very little distraction.
The interior temperature is carefully monitored and adjusted to provide the occupants with the optimum environment for comfort and wellbeing. The Climate Concierge system features pioneering Nanoe® technology to release negatively charged particles into the cabin area to purify the air and deodorise the seats. The overall effect is to moisturise the skin and hair whilst leaving the occupants relaxed and fresh throughout the journey.
Entertainment is provided by the usually high standards from Mark Levinson® Premium Surround system with GreenEdge™ technology and incorporates 13 speakers throughout the car. Designed specifically for the LC range, the system delivers a digital home-theatre experience and is further enhanced as an optional extra by Clari-Fi™ which rebuilds sound lost in MP3 digital compression.
Boot space is sufficient for two weekend bags and other small items but you would be restricted to carrying a great deal more. The vehicle Battery is beneath the cover within the boot floor.
A Lexus wouldn’t be a Lexus if it wasn’t for the quality of build and the technology that is utilised to enhance the driving experience. The LC500 is no exception and the list of standard equipment is quite extensive.
The driving data is very clearly displayed through a multi-function display panel and also through an optional, extra-wide (174mm x 48mm) ‘Head-Up Display’ on the windscreen. Information such as safety warnings, navigational guidance and engine readings are clearly displayed for the driver to review without compromising the view of the road ahead.
The Premium Navigation system is built-in to the dashboard and features a split-screen 10.3” display with the input being made through either voice command or through a TouchPad with Remote Touch Interface.
Driver warning systems such as tyre pressures monitoring, parking proximity and traffic sign recognition are clearly displayed within the vehicle using visual and audio to highlight the alert.
Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert feature within the LC500. Radar devices mounted in the rear bumper detect vehicles in adjacent lanes that are not visible in the door mirrors.
If the driver is indicating to change lanes and should another vehicle enter into the blind spot, a warning signal appears in the mirror along with a buzzer to warn the driver. The Rear Cross Traffic Alert functions by alerting the driver to another vehicle manoeuvring behind.
ROAD TEST SUMMARY
The Lexus Owners Club have been very fortunate to be offered the opportunity to road test the LC500 and this is our unbiased opinion of what we consider to be one of the best performance cars to roll off the Lexus production line. The version used for road test was the Sport+ Pack with the V8 engine.
First thoughts when entering the car is that it is an easy to get in and out of which sometimes is not the case with other GT coupes. Once settled in the comfortable and supportive sports seat, the engine is started via push start button and foot applied to the brake pedal. Engage ‘D - Drive’ or ‘M - Manual’ through the selector and whichever mode suits your style of driving. The default mode is ‘Comfort’ with Eco, Sport and Sport+ on offer in the model we had.
Pulling away and driving in built-up traffic conditions presented no issues to the car which drove sedately as any other Lexus, but when approaching a Motorway and entering the slip-road, well that’s a completely different kettle of fish. The engine and transmission are swift to deliver the power with absolutely no delay encountered. However, in Sport or Sport+ mode, the response time is even less. Power delivery is incredibly smooth and with gear changes made automatically or through the paddles, there was no bucking experienced as is the case with some other performance cars.
As the soundtrack from the LC500 V8 engine via the tuned exhausts, well there is not much that can overshadow it. Something that was noticeable during the drive was that the cabin was incredibly quiet, even with the windows down, there was not any noticeable wind noise or draught, apart from the noise of the V8 when unleashed.
The economy is not one of the main reasons for the decision to buy the V8 LC500, but on road test with varying styles of driving and traffic conditions, the LC delivered between 21.6 and 27.6 mpg. Carefully driven with very little traffic to hinder your journey you could probably achieve around 24.6 on average.
Handling comparisons have been made with a Porsche 911 and the LC500 was deemed to be ‘not as responsive’. This is probably the case but the wheel certainly felt positive and grounded during application into bends.
The suspension delivered a very smooth ride over a variety of road conditions and never faltered with delivery into corners. The transition between driving modes was noticeable with the dampers tightening considerably more so when placed in Sport or Sport+.
Interior space is designed as a 2+2 seater but as is the same with all performance GT Coupe’s the rear seating, although adequate for younger children would be less suited to adults unless the seats were positioned further forwards.
Driver controls are perfectly positioned for operation in normal driving circumstances. The Lexus touch panel is conveniently placed to control various functions is intuitive and easy to use, and the car also features a voice control to facilitate the operation of some features.
The steering wheel also housed quite a few function buttons for Cruise Control, Audio, Lane Control, Telephone and Voice Control as is standard layout on many Lexus models.
Above the instrument panel and housed in the binnacle are two rotary controls which operate the Driving Modes on the left-hand side (Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport+) and on the right-hand side, there is Traction Control which has the option of ‘Off’ or ‘Snow’.
But one of the best features available to the driver is the colour Head-Up Display displayed on the lower part of the windscreen. Providing useful information about speed and navigation along with other selectable data to the driver, this is definitely a very useful feature.
Would we buy one? Most definitely, yes! However, which version would we choose? For the number of extras that you can acquire that would seriously enhance the drive and also the resale, the Sport+ Pack is the way forward. Considering the marginal cost between the options, the Sport+ pack is not much further to stretch and in our opinion would give so much more back in return.
There is, however, a tough decision that has to be made and that is do you go for the V8 or the Hybrid? That would have to be a personal choice but with only 0.3 seconds on the 0-60 mph time between them, it’s definitely going to be a tough choice.
Engine 5.0 litre V8 petrol
Transmission 10-speed Automatic (Rear Wheel Drive)
Engine Power (bhp / kW) @rpm 477 / 351 @7100
Mpg (Combined) 24.6
0-62 Mph (secs) 4.4
CO2 Combined (g/km) 263
Above information based on LC500 with 21” wheels
COST (effective as of September 2017)
LC500h – from £76,595
LC500h Sport Pack – from £80,595
LC500h Sport+ Pack – from £85,895
Special thanks to Snows Lexus, Hedge End for the loan of the Lexus LC500 used for road test
For more information about the LC500 visit: http://www.snowsgroup.co.uk/lexus/
By Lexus Owners Club
LEXUS LATEST OFFERING IN THE 2.0 LITRE SUV MARKET
The fourth generation model equipped with 2.0 litre petrol engine offering flexibility and agile handling while delivering luxury comfort levels. Being offered with either a two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive option, and for those who want more of an exhilarating drive, then there is also an F Sport version.
The RX 200t is powered by a brand new 2.0-litre petrol engine (developing 238 hp) offering turbocharged performance while delivering improved fuel economy and lower emissions by using advanced D-4ST valve technology and Atkinson Cycle capability.
Drivetrain options are available as either all-wheel drive or two-wheel drive, and a ‘paddle shift’ option to provide smooth control of the 6-speed automatic transmission. The all-wheel drive system delivers drive from full front-wheel drive to 50/50 front to rear split, depending on driving and road conditions.
All models are equipped with Drive Mode Select with options of Eco, Normal or Sport, allowing you to select the mode to best suit your driving style. F Sport and Premier models have the option of Sport S+ which adapts the vehicles’ suspension settings to provide an enhanced cornering experience to match the drivetrain performance.
The latest generation RX exterior enhancements include a larger Lexus signature spindle grille with ‘L-mesh’ inserts, brake cooling ducts and aerodynamic fins for increased downforce.
TRIPLE LED HEADLIGHTS
Futuristic ‘L’-shaped headlights use the same LED light source for both high and low beam. For a unique style, they are complemented by Daytime Running Lights with integrated sequential indicators.
LED REAR LIGHTS
Stylish ‘L’-shaped LEDs create linear illumination from the rear corners of the RX to the centre of the tailgate. The extra-wide rear lights offer sharp visibility and have eye-catching sequential LED indicators.
Available with 18” or 20” alloy wheels, with the option to provide an individual touch to the Premier grade 20” wheels by customising with coloured inserts, depending on the paintwork you choose.
The large optional factory-fitted panoramic roof provides extra headroom and allows natural light to enter the RX interior. It is also fitted with a movable glass section at the front to heighten the sense of open-air feeling, and an electrically adjustable sliding blind should the sun become too intense.
Once seated inside the RX 200t, it is instantly apparent that the overall quality is carried over from the exterior to the interior. An example of this is the leather seats which are hand-stitched by a team of seventeen Lexus ‘Takumi’ craftsmen to provide a truly bespoke interior. The drivers’ seat has multiple adjustable for height, angle and lumbar support and is equipped with a memory function. The passenger seat is also electrically adjustable with the front seats having both heating and cooling for occupant comfort and convenience.
The centre console is laser etched by Yamaha Piano division, creating an intriguing lined pattern, before being hand polished to create a beautiful sheen and set in a comfortable, accessible format with all controls within easy reach of the driver.
A large Multimedia display panel provides all of the required functions to entertain, communicate, set comfort levels and provide vehicle data for the driver and passengers. Controlled by either a mouse within the centre console, through the steering wheel or by voice command, the various functions can be selected whilst minimising driver distraction.
Wireless mobile phone charging is conveniently provided via a built-in charging plate located towards the front part of the console.
The model used for this review is equipped with a 3-spoke leather steering wheel, featuring finger rests and a broad padded rim optimised for comfort. Integrated switches control audio, telephone, multi-information display, Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist. Equipped with electrically adjustable tilt and telescopic wheel function in addition to the drivers’ seat being moved back to aid ease of access when entering and exiting the vehicle.
The load area is extremely spacious and is easily accessed via powered tailgate opening from the key fob.
The rear seats fold in a 40:20:40 split to allow even more space for transporting larger items, while the centre section opens to allow for longer items.
All new Lexus RX models are now equipped with the Lexus Safety System + as standard equipment. This includes a Pre-Crash System with pedestrian detection, Lane Keeping Assist to help you stay on course, Automatic High Beam for enhanced vision at night, and Adaptive Cruise Control, which regulates your speed to that of the vehicle in front.
ROAD TEST SUMMARY
Overall, the RX 200t performed well in all situations such as urban and motorway driving, on-road and off-road terrain and varying weather conditions. The turbocharged engine performance is sufficient to propel the RX to the desired speed with little effort and is matched perfectly with the efficient six-speed automatic transmission. The Mode selection switch was used frequently and performed well with noticeable differences in the vehicle dynamic when the varying modes were changed. The default setting is quite sensibly switched to Eco but soon changes once the drive becomes a little more enthusiastic.
The ride height and general visibility from the drivers’ seat further enhance your sense of security in the knowledge that you are in quite a substantial vehicle with numerous safety features, including ten Airbags and active front seat headrests. Driving safety and convenience features within the RX were used throughout the road test such as the Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control with Radar and traffic sign recognition.
The large, central mounted multimedia display provides plenty of options for the driver and passengers with good visibility and minimal glare in all lighting conditions. The Navigation system proved to be reliable, with up to date traffic information now being essential in any cross-town commute.
Overall quality and comfort of the RX becomes apparent over longer driving distances and with passenger convenience features such as the air-cooled front seats alleviating the usual discomfort levels in warm weather conditions. The climate control is extremely effective, keeping the interior temperature levels constant and comfortable. Minimal external noise was encountered, even with the sunroof or drivers’ window open, resulting in a quiet interior, until the audio system is powered up. Although not equipped with the Mark Levinson Premium Surround system option, the audio output was still of very high quality with clear, definitive sound. Several sources of audio were selectable, such as DAB and Bluetooth connection to phone or tablet.
So how does it compare to other SUV’s? There is a vast range to choose from in the current market but because it is a Lexus and has the brand reputation and support network, it has to be somewhere near the top of the list. Being equipped with a high level of comfort and equipment, and at a reasonable price, it certainly has to be one to seriously consider.
ENGINE: 2.0 PETROL TURBO
TRANSMISSION: 6 SPEED AUTOMATIC
POWER HP: (KW) 238/175
TORQUE (NM): 350
CO2 EMISSIONS(G/KM): 181 COMBINED
MPG(EXTRA URBAN): 40.4
MAX SPEED (MPH): 124
0-62 MPH (SECS): 9.2
COSTS & SPECIFICATIONS (effective from September 2016)
RX 200T S
Lexus Safety System Plus (ACC/PCS, LDA, LKA, TSR)Heated fabric seats: 8 way driver & 8 way passenger adjustable inc lumbar support, 8″ Multi-information display in centre instrument panel, 9 Speaker/1CD, Lexus Media Display , DAB, Rotary, Remote Touch Controller, 18″ alloy wheels 5-spoke: tyre size 235/60 R18 103V, L-shaped LED headlights with AHB FROM £39,995.00
RX 200T LUXURY
Leather heated and ventilated seats (front)Front and rear armrest with 2 cup holders and storage, 12.3″ Multi-information display in centre instrument panel, Wireless smartphone charger, 20″ alloy wheels, L-shaped LED headlights with AHB, LED front & rear sequential turn lamps/indicators & DRL, Side mirrors; electrically adjustable, heated, auto folding, electro chromatic (auto-dimming) with memory, Roof Rail FROM £45,995.00
RX 200T F SPORT
AVS (Adaptive Variable Suspension)Rear door sun shades, F SPORT interior styling (unique front seats, black headlining), LED Low Speed, Front Cornering Lights, F SPORT exterior styling (unique front bumper & black mirror covers) FROM £48,995.00
All prices are based on Dealer ‘On the Road’ price, including 20% VAT
A special thanks to Snows Lexus Hedge End for the loan of our RX 200t featured in this review
For more information about the Lexus RX 200t, click the following link: http://www.hedgeend.lexus.co.uk/mirror/model/rx/?h=offers