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To help members understand the latest automotive technology so they can purchase vehicles that best suit their needs, the Automobile Club of Southern California's Automotive Research Center (ARC) began testing and reviewing vehicles over a decade ago

For the 2022 edition, we include testing and ranking cars and light trucks with the latest technology, including having at least one advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) feature. In addition to vehicle evaluation, the guide covers a number of pertinent automotive topics in detail—for example, the latest advanced safety features, how to properly maintain your vehicle, and new vehicles coming to market in the next few years.

2021 Lexus RX 450h F Sport

Vehicle Type: SUV/Minivan Hybrid
 overall score
Category Ranking: 25

Vehicle Price

Base Price: $51,200
Price as Tested: $61,455

Fuel Information

Fuel Type: Premium
Fuel Capacity (gal): 17.2
EPA City mpg31
EPA Highway mpg28
EPA Combined mpg30
with specific headlights

Advanced Safety Features

  • Adaptive Cruise Control [S]
  • Advanced Headlights [S]
  • Automatic Emergency Braking [S]
  • Blind-Spot Warning [S]
  • Forward-Collision Warning [S]
  • Lane-Departure Warning [S]
  • Lane-Keeping Assistance [S]
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Warning [S]
  • Reverse Automatic Emergency Braking [O]
  • [S] Standard, [O] Optional
NHTSA Rating:

Overall Observations

If you had a Venn diagram with 2 intersecting circles, one representing environmentally friendly vehicles and the other depicting luxury models, the Lexus RX 450h would land squarely in the middle of their overlap. The RX 450h midsize hybrid crossover gets its green credentials from a 3.5-liter V6 engine mated to 2 electric motors (308 hp total); all-wheel drive is standard. The 450h’s performance is a bit anemic, with a noisy and underpowered engine, but EPA fuel-economy ratings are decent (30 mpg combined). Ride quality is excellent, but handling is uninspired, with numb steering. The Lexus RX 450h has the luxury bases covered, with a posh, roomy 5-seat passenger cabin. High points include a strong suite of standard advanced safety features; a 12-inch touch-screen infotainment display; triple-beam LED headlights, cornering lights, and turn signals; and an excellent optional 15-speaker Mark Levinson audio system. One annoying feature is the fake engine sounds pumped into the cabin in some driving modes. Downsides include the hard-to-use center-console touch pad. In addition, visibility out the back window is limited, and the rearview camera projects a poor-quality image.
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Strengths and Weaknesses

Strong Points

  • Smooth ride
  • Plenty of interior room forall passengers and cargo
  • Luxurious interior fit andfinish
  • Triple-beam LEDheadlamps, with corneringlights

Weak Points

  • Difficult-to-use touch-padinfotainment system
  • Noisy, underpowereddrivetrain
  • Poor rear visibility andrear-camera displayquality

Vehicle Specifications

Model year tested: 2021
Number of passengers (F/R): 2/3
Curb weight (lbs): 4840.0
Exterior L / W / H (in): 192.5 / 74.6 / 67.7
Wheelbase (in): 109.8
Number of air bags: 10
Warranty (months/miles): 48/50,000
Tire manufacturer and model: Michelin Premier LTX
Front and rear tire size: 235/55 R20
Max towing capacity (lbs): 3500
Headlight type: LED
Transmission type: Hybrid drive
Drivetrain type: All wheel
Engine/motor: 3.5L V6 DOHC VVT-i
Engine horsepower @ RPM: 308 @ 6000

Test Data

Test Vehicle Scores

Advanced Safety Features:


Fuel Efficiency:


EPA Emissions Score:








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