Stick Shift: 2020 Lexus RX 450 Hybrid F Sport

The Lexus RX line-up of SUV’s have been top sellers for decades now. There’s a good reason for this. It’s the right size, it’s dressed to impress, boasts a beautifully crafted interior with plenty of luxury and lots of that famous Toyota dependability. Even with the SUV and Crossover market swelling more and more each year, the RX remains a top contender. We don’t even need to look past Lexus to see it. If you find the NX to be a little too small, and the GX and LX too big, too pricey and taking themselves too seriously with all that off-road gear, than the RX will check so many boxes for you and the modern family in search of the perfect mix of space, utility and luxury.

While the RX has evolved over the years, the newer models, with Hybrid Drive, deliver a great mix of power and practicality at the pump. A combined mpg of 30 isn’t bad when you consider the weight and 308 hp produced by the smooth 3.5L V6. Smoothing things out further is an electronically controlled CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission.) Acceleration is brisk enough for most, matching in performance the sporty theme permeating from the outside in. Much of the extra visual flair can be attributed to the F-Sport package.

In this trim, beautifully styled 20” alloy wheels are equipped. A custom F Sport steering wheel and shift knob as well. Along with F Sport badges, bumpers, special seats, an extra aggressive front grille and stainless steel rear door garnishes. LED ambient lighting and aluminum trim can be found in the cabin. The F Sport package isn’t all visual though. There’s Performance dampers to tighten up the ride and a variety of driving modes, Sport included, that alter the mannerisms and mode of the Lexus RX. 

Photo via: Lexus

2020 brings us several upgrades to further increase the curb appeal. Up front, the RX gets updated headlights and bumper to keep things fresh and current. The touchscreen interface has been updated as well to improve functionality. Though better, the trackpad is still a little cumbersome to use. Proving to be more of a distraction while driving than it should be at this point. At least there’s full smartphone integration now with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay on board. 

Though not perfect, the RX 450h F Sport delivers across an undeniably wide spread of areas. It’s safe, smart, sensible and stylish. Cargo space is limited compared to the competition, and seating for 5 may not be adequate for the whole family. Though the RX L remedies this with a third row. Short of this though, their aren’t many areas where the already popular RX is falling short.

Price as tested: $59,545.00

By: Brandon Randall

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