2016 Lexus RX 450h Regional Preview

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by xcel, Oct 31, 2015.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    [​IMG] The new RX 450h receives the new Lexus face, new interior, new safety and an F-Sport Hybrid variant.

    [​IMG]Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – Oct. 31, 2015

    All-new 4th gen 2016 Lexus RX 450h hybrid FWD - $52,235 to start (AWD at $53,635 and F-Sport AWD at $57,045) with EPA ratings of 31/30/30 and 30/28/29 mpgUS city/highway/combined respectively.

    In 1998, Lexus created a segment that to this day has been copied but never really matched. That being the Luxury Crossover. Since that time, numerous OEMs have entered the fray and all fall a wee bit short of what the RX has always offered. That being sleek style, Lexus’ bulletproof reliability, a superior dealership experience and with the advent of the hybrid for the 2006 model year, an efficient larger automobile to move you and your family from point A to point B without being angered at the pump quite nearly as often...

    In case some may speculate that the new Lexus Spindle Grille has, is or will harm sales, consider the U.S. Premium Segments last 3 years of results. The Lexus moniker is doing just as well or better than its European, Domestics and Asian counterparts.

    [​IMG]

    2016 RX’s Exterior Design

    The new RX hood has center creases within a sunken dome while sharper raised feature lines along the edge run front the outside A-pillars to the top of the new grille. A complex set of raised curves begins at the top of the front lens working its way into a minor top profile character line. The grille is Lexus’ latest iteration of the large black widow spindle grille surrounded by a thin chrome trim and triple L-shape-LED headlamps. A Nike swoop shaped LED DRL with 18 individual LEDs act as turn signal indicators. Fog lamps are set in triangular cutouts. A compact Bi-LED headlight is standard. Also, Intelligent High Beam (IHB) are available.

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    Moving into the profile, aero tabbed front corners clean up aero while a minor lower character line begins in front of the fender flares, disappears into them and reappears as a bolder character line rising towards the rear through the front smart access proximity handle(s). This line mates with the minor downward sloping hoods feature line in the rear door, rises above the rear handle and ends above the rear LED taillamp lenses.

    From above, a panoramic roof adds openness to the interior and really sharp looking chrome roof rail engine in a short overhang rear spoiler defines the roof line. A chrome Day Light Opening (DLO) and a unique shaped blacked-out lower C-pillar define the upper profile. It is not the 15 Camry C-Pillar plastic add-on treatment as that just thins out the C-pillar but more along the lines of Nissan’s new Maxima rear treatment with the chrome DLO trim flowing back into the steeply raked rear window.

    [​IMG]

    Below is another sculpted cutout with lower cladding surrounding the entire CUVs lower edges and fenders.

    Out back, after the steeply rakes rear windscreen, a very vertical face with small centered Lexus badge and a chrome strip below tying the two rear lamps together.

    Beneath is a silver colored hard plastic cladding - vs. black around the fronts and sides – with a piano black like lower inlay.

    Overall, the Cd of 0.34 has unfortunately increased – probably due to those new roof rails – vs. the 2015s Cd of 0.33.

    2016 RX’s Interior Design

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    The interior is standard Lexus luxury from to bottom and side to side. Available interior trim inlay decor includes Matte Bamboo, Espresso Walnut, Matte Linear Dark Mocha Wood, Striated Black Trim or Gray Sapele Wood with Aluminum adding to the stoic design. For the black trim, glossy black is used for the base, and a three-dimensional embossed pattern is then applied to create a high-quality sense of depth.

    The RXs real claim to fame however is its huge passenger volume. As in 139.7 cu. ft. of total volume. I believe there are some typos in the spec sheets as the 16s rear cargo volume is listed at just 18.0 cu. ft. and I know the 15 was much larger than this with a listed 40 cu. ft., both with the seats up. With the seats down, the 16 is listed at 55.9 cu. ft. vs. the 15s 80 cu. ft. of cargo volume. Ten this out on Monday or Tuesday as well.

    [​IMG]
    Seats up.

    [​IMG]
    Seats down.​

    New for this model year is the available Touch-Free Power Rear Door which allows users to open the rear hatch by placing a hand near the Lexus emblem. If only they used the Hyundai system where you just stand there.

    Based upon the concept of Lexus’ Human Machine Interface (HMI), an available Heads-Up Display (HUD) helps the driver to keep eyes on the road. The redesigned instrument cluster offers the driver instantaneous information with a quick glance at its large and easy-to-read gauge faces.

    I will supply more when I get inside it early next week.

    2016 RX’s 450h Drivetrain

    With this iteration of the RX 450h arrives with a completely reengineered direct injected 3.5L V6 mated to the Toyota HSD/Lexus Hybrid drive system. It now produces a combined output of 308 hp and 247 lb.-ft. of torque. This is up 13 hp from the 295 hp output of last year’s design thanks in part to the new intake ports and combustion chambers.

    The Lexus hybrid-powered drivetrain in most advanced iteration ever offered. A new Power Control Unit (PCU) and HV Engine Control Unit (ECU) improves efficiency, a lighter and more efficient electric hybrid system coolant pump, changes to the hybrid battery results in a more compact design to save space and lower weight. Also, the control functions of the E-Four rear drive electric motor (AWD models) have been enhanced for better response when accelerating during turns.

    A new transmission oil cooler for motor cooling and a pre-loaded differential for performance and enhanced control was added. The rear transaxle (for models equipped with AWD) features a new three-shaft configuration and aluminum case and cover to reduce weight.

    An added feature on the new RX, for both hybrid and gas models, is that the torque distribution levels at the front and rear of the vehicle, as well as to each individual wheel, are displayed on the Multi-Information Display (MID) when the system is in operation.

    Regarding AWD, the Lexus E-Four system is integrated into the RX 450h hybrid allowing reduced energy and fuel consumption by limiting the use of the AWD mode only when necessary and allowing the rear electric motor to act as a generator to charge the battery when the vehicle is in regenerative brake mode.

    Thanks to these upgrades, the Lexus Hybrid Drive system is supposed to provide excellent driving performance, efficiency and typical Lexus low NVH.

    On an efficiency and performance front, mixed messages are being sent.

    2015 RX 450h FWD/AWD: 7.8/7.4 seconds to 60 mph and a 32/28/30 // 30/28/29 mpgUS city/highway/combined ratings.

    2016 RX450h FWD/AWD: 7.7/7.9 seconds to 60 mph and a 31/30/30 // 30/28/29 mpgUS city/highway/combined ratings.

    [​IMG]

    2016 RX’s 450h Chassis

    The new RX utilizes basically the same underbody platform of its predecessor but with new front engine mounts to the sub-frame structure. The side engine mounts have been relocated to enhance the vehicle’s lateral responsiveness which provides better steering feel and cornering reaction of the chassis.

    A front-strut and double-wishbone suspension outback received major improvements to provide better steering response and ride comfort. The stiffness of the springs and sway bars were changed providing less body roll and pitching.

    With increased rigidity of the front axle, hub bearings, retuned bushings, steering feedback from the tires to the driver’s hands has been significantly enhanced. The grip level and traction of the tires were also changed, helping the RX to respond crisply during turn-in and enhance its overall agility. At the rear suspension, the rigidity of the bushings was modified to help reduce understeer and allow the RX to be agile without sacrificing control.

    The new RX 450h brake actuator was modified to help enhance the transition of the braking force.

    To match the changes made to the suspension, the steering system was modified for precision and responsiveness. The shaft stiffness between the column and rack gear was increased for better feedback of road information through the steering wheel. The newest EPS management system was adopted for wider control range of initial steer, return-steer and cornering in accordance to variable speed ranges and reactive force. Without changing the outer diameter of the steering wheel, the grip diameter and geometry were finely tuned to enhancing handling characteristics for everyday use.

    The driver’s seating position was lowered; the steering wheel was moved closer and made more vertical to accommodate long distance commuting. The adjustable range of the electronic steering tilt and telescopic steering column was expanded to allow tall drivers to sit in a comfortable driving position. Thank you Lexus.

    The RX’s platform includes increased panel joint strength through the use of high-tech body adhesives and laser screw welding. A large percentage of high-tensile strength steels are used throughout including underbody cross members and front (A-pillar) and middle (B-pillar) sections. A new process metal framing process called “annular frame construction” strengthens the frame within the vehicle around the front and rear doors. The redesigned body frame sections and additional spot welds around the rear portion of the vehicle improves both strength and rigidity.

    These design updates improve occupant protection, handling and lower NVH.

    2016 RX’s 450h Drive Modes

    The Drive Modes allows the driver to choose between distinct drive that can regulate the damping force of the suspension system, adjust engine output, re-map the throttle and modify other parameters of the engine and chassis.
    • “ECO” mode moderates engine power output, throttle response and the climate control system for increased fuel efficiency

    • “NORMAL” provides an even balance between engine performance and fuel economy

    • “SPORT” provides enhanced throttle response and enhanced acceleration while sharpening the feel of the EPS system.

    • “SPORT S” (available with vehicles equipped with the Adaptive Variable Suspension system) offers even a higher level of performance with aggressive throttle mapping, quicker drivetrain response.

    • “SPORT S+” combines the powertrain enhancements of the “SPORT S” mode while sharpening the feel of the EPS system and a stiffer suspension setting for flatter cornering

    • “CUSTOMIZE” offered for the first time by Lexus, enables the driver to individually choose the powertrain and chassis mode for F SPORT models.

    2016 RX’s 450h Safety

    A number of optional advanced driving aids and safety technologies are available on the new RX:
    • Dynamic Radar Cruise Control
    • Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist
    • Vehicle Sway Warning
    • Intuitive Parking Assist
    • Panoramic View Monitor
    • Intelligent High-beam System
    • Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Traffic Alert
    • Adaptive Variable Suspension
    Front, side, side curtains and driver’s knee airbag, TPMS with available tire inflation display function, active front headrests are featured.

    Braking and traction control systems discs all around, VSC, ABS, EBD, BA, TC, and Hill-start Assist (HAS) are also included. Additionally, Smart Stop Technology automatically reduces engine power when there is simultaneous application of the brake pedal and accelerator pedal under certain conditions.

    An available Lexus Safety System + helps mitigate collisions across a wide range of vehicle speeds. It includes a Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection that detects sudden stops initiated by the vehicle in front, warning drivers of potential contact with obstacles ahead; Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist; Intelligent High Beam (IHB) that helps ensure optimal forward visibility during nighttime driving; and All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control.

    The Pre-Collision System warns the driver via an audible warning as well as a visual alert through the Multi-Information Display (MID) when it detects an imminent collision, and automatically applies the brakes to reduce impact force or avoid the collision altogether. The Pre-Collision Brake Assist detects an imminent collision and increases the brake force when the driver depresses the brake pedal. The amount of additional brake pressure provided when the driver depresses the brake pedal is increased in stages according to the level of possibility of a collision.

    Auto Brake helps provide the driver additional assistance. If an obstruction is detected by the sensors, and the system judges that there is a possibility of collision, a pre-brake warning illuminates the brake lights to notify the following vehicle that the driver’s vehicle will decelerate. If the probability of collision increases and the driver does not apply the brakes or steering input, the pre-collision brake is activated, helping to avoid the collision or reduce collision damage. If the collision is avoided, and the vehicle has stopped, the brake force is maintained for a maximum of two seconds until the driver operates the accelerator or brake pedal.

    All the above were designed to or added to maintain or improve both the NHTSA and IIHS Crash Test ratings.

    The 2015 MY RX 450h already achieves a 5-star rating with AWD and an unfortunate 4-stars with FWD. On the IIHS, the 2015 MY RX achieved what appears to be a perfect rating across the board other than LATCH with a Moderate rating.

    2016 RX’s 450h Infotainment

    The standard audio system includes an 8” display, HD Radio, Bluetooth audio, voice recognition microphone, micro SD card slot, an AUX mini jack, two USB ports and nine speakers, with frequently used switches placed closest to the driver.

    The available 12-speaker Pioneer audio system includes 7.9” subwoofers and newly-developed 7.1” woofers in the front doors.

    The high end 15-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround System and Green Edge high-efficiency conversion technology is also available. I never had any issues with Lexus base through Levinson sound systems but they are no match for the European systems.

    Optional NAVI can be viewed through a hi-def 8” or optional hi-def 12.3” displays. I really do like the Lexus side by side 12.3” display in particular.

    The new computer mouse-like Remote Touch Interface is hit or miss. Gen 1 was terrible. Gen 2 was excellent. Gen 3 was just ok. We will have to see what is offered in the RX on Monday/Tuesday.

    [​IMG]

    2016 RX’s 450h Early Conclusions

    Along with the std. quiet and controlled comfort, latest high end amenities and surrounds, the new 2016 RX 450h could be the first 300+ hp automobile to best 40 mpg. I thought it might be the all-new 16 Maxima but I bet the 16 RX 450h does it first.

    We will have to see.
     
  2. rfruth

    rfruth Well-Known Member

    I like the Lincoln MKZ hybrid, $ 10,000 less but lower MPG & no Heads-Up Display ;)
     
  3. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    No Heads UP Display ?!? I say we throw ALL the tea into the harbor.
     
  4. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Yesterday’s 2016 Lexus RX Marketing Overview Presentation by Yuval Steinman, Lexus' National Marketing Manager.



    Wayne
     
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Yesterday's 2016 Lexus RX Press Preview Technical Overview with Doug Hubert, Lexus College Dealer and Product Training.



    Wayne
     
  6. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Yesterday's 2016 Lexus RX Press Preview - F-Sport Technical Overview with Doug Hubert, Lexus College Dealer and Product Training.



    Wayne
     
  7. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Yesterday's 2016 Lexus RX Press Preview Q&A with Lexus' Moe Durand, Doug Hubert and Yuval Steinman.



    Wayne
     
  8. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    When I see that face coming up fast in my rear-view mirror , I'll probably........laugh.
     
    xcel likes this.
  9. Prozac

    Prozac Well-Known Member

    Personally, not a fan of the body styling. All of the angles and body lines just seem to make it too busy.
     
    xcel likes this.
  10. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    And finally finished the 2016 Lexus RX 450h First Drive Overview in detail vid after 2 days of work putting it together.



    Wayne
     
  11. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    Some first impression drive grades.

    2016 Lexus RX 450h Exterior

    [​IMG]

    The all-new 4th gen RX exterior garners a B.

    Lines with smaller radius creases in the hood and profile would improve the shadow and perceived luxury.

    Using the plastic matrix grille from the F-Sport on the base RX and RXhs slat spindle grille would move the needle too.

    [​IMG]
    F-Sport Spindle grille is far more racy.​

    If the spindle grille ended a few more inches from the bottom and a bright body colored chin spoiler with a horizontal chrome insert were used for the lower 4 to 6 inches, - refreshed 16 Accord Sport/16 Mazda6 - it would achieve a more distinctive and less polarizing appearance.

    [​IMG]
    Base 2016 Lexus RX slat Spindle Grille.​

    The floating roof similar to the all-new 16 Maxima and somewhat the Camry looks new but is not a standout.

    The plastic C-Pillar extensions may add function in terms of aero but they still look like cheap add-ons to me.

    2016 Lexus RX 450h Interior

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    The Interior is good for a solid A-.

    Very roomy, quiet - most of the time, comfortable, great 12 inch center display with split screen layout, and edgy enough not to be boring.

    The New infotainment solutions including the Remote Touch Interface control worked well. Rear reclining seats were comfortable and more than an inch of knee room with the front seat adjusted to my height was excellent.

    A frameless rear view mirror looks great and finally a damped sun glass holder provide the basics for my needs. Hopefully yours too.

    No AndroidAuto or Apple CarPlay is a misstep Lexus had better be remedied or it could be costly in the future. Speak into your phone and the relevant information comes up 99 percent of the time. Speak into a Toyota/Lexus system and maybe 50 percent of the time you will get what you need? See the problem?

    The F-Sports three color stitching around the interior and burgundy seat colors were a bit out there as well. Sorry I did not take a pic. There was blue, white and red stitching in one of the F-Sports I was driving earlier in the day.

    2016 Lexus RX 450h Utility

    After all, this is what the segment is supposed to be al about. A solid A as that almost most 40 cu. ft. of cargo volume with the 20/40/40 split folding seats up and almost 80 cu. ft. of cargo volume with the seats down is super huge!

    [​IMG]

    2016 Lexus RX 450h Drivetrain

    The new RXs Hybrid drivetrain earned a solid A-. It is the first 300 hp automobile we have ever driven to break 40 mpg on a city/suburban/highway RT drive loop. This is exceptional!

    First Drive Displayed Results

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    Not bad, not bad at all.

    [​IMG]
    Finished with the same 6-Bar SoC.​

    On a pure highway drive loop, the 30/28 mpg city/highway rated AWD RX 450h F-Sport provided an indicated 37 mpg with speeds between 50 and 60 mph. Not bad for a midsize CUV in my opinion with only the turbo diesels taking it out. Jeep Grand Cherokee and Audi Q5 TDI come to mind here.

    [​IMG]
    All-highway RT displayed results.​

    Like all Toyota and Lexus hybrids however, even a slight ascent will cause the CVT to ramp up engine RPMs and with it, even with the RXs quiet interior, an unfortunate change in engine pitch is heard. With over 250 hp and over 200 lb-ft. of torque available from the engine itself, this should not occur.

    2016 Lexus RX 450h Chassis

    A B. The RX still has an unconnected steering feel despite improvements. The Hybrids non-linear Hybrid braking feel is better but not perfect either.

    Less body roll with a Lexus' compliant ride make up for those shortfalls.

    The Germans continue to own ride and handling but the Lexus offers an excellent compromise with a more comfortable overall ride.

    2016 Lexus RX 450h Safety

    While the 15 RX scored well on the NHTSA earning a 5-star overall crash test rating, the IIHS did not award it anything. Toyota has held back on allowing the small overlap to be performed since the Toyota/Lexus disaster occurred back in 2012 and 2013 when the entire lineup performed atrociously.

    An all-new more rigid structure - especially up front - should help diminish concerns but the question remains until that test has been completed.

    In other words, no grade can be offered but we will be watching this space closely.

    2016 Lexus RX 450h Summation

    All in, the 2016 Lexus RX 450h is a new Luxury CUV favorite moving the 2014/2015 Audi Q5 TDI quattro down a notch.

    It looks good despite a polarizing front end design, it's very comfortable, larger, and quiet except under acceleration and provides both huge volume and utility.

    A well-appointed interior, nice exterior, possibly segment leading safety, and best in segment efficiency under most driving scenarios makes it one hell of an automobile.

    The 2016 Lexus RX 450h. Lexus' best CUV yet.

    Wayne
     
  12. johnji

    johnji Member

    Such a Nice Car! Really love to buy it soon! thanks for sharing Nice Information!
    Many Thanks!
     
    xcel likes this.
  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    While not entirely pertinent to the North American market, the 2015 Lexus RX earned the highest score on the Euro NCAP Pedestrian Safety over any other CUV/SUV in history.

    Here is that piece...

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    The Lexus RX has just received a Euro NCAP five-star rating. The scores for all the respective tested areas were well above the minimum required to achieve five stars, and rank the new Lexus as one of the very safest vehicles in its segment.

    The Lexus RX scored 91% for “Adult Occupant”, 82% for “Child Occupant”, 79% for “Pedestrian Protection” and 77% for “Safety Assist”.
    With an overall score of 79%, the RX has the best pedestrian protection score of all large SUVs ever tested by Euro NCAP.

    Euro NCAP highlighted the maximum points scored by the RX for the protection provided to pedestrian’s legs and to the pelvic region, head protection was also predominantly good. In this particular field, Lexus is even ahead of the curve as the autonomous emergency braking system offered on all RX actively detects pedestrians. This system could not be rewarded in this evaluation as it will only be assessed by Euro NCAP as from 2016.

    Euro NCAP also underlined that all features evaluated for “Safety Assist” are offered as standard equipment in the RX.

    The RX is indeed providing as standard the most advanced and comprehensive set of active safety features on any premium crossover, the Lexus Safety System+ includes:
    • Pre-Crash System that uses a front-mounted camera and millimeter-wave radar to detect vehicles and pedestrians on the road ahead
    • Adaptive Cruise Control, which helps the driver maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front, even at very low speeds
    • Lane Departure Alert (LDA) and Lane-Keeping Assist (LKA), which recognize when the new RX is deviating from its lane on the highway
    • Automatic High Beam, which detects oncoming traffic and vehicles ahead and automatically switches the headlights between high and low beam
    • Road Sign Assist system that uses a front camera to recognize principal warning and command signs, which are then replicated on the multi-information display
    Even though not considered by Euro NCAP, Lexus RX is further equipped with optional Blind Spot Monitor, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Sway Warning which detects the signs of driver drowsiness and 360° Panoramic View Monitor dedicated to protecting its occupants and pedestrians.

    Wayne
     
  14. Airbalancer

    Airbalancer Well-Known Member

    How would compare this to Highlander H ?
     
  15. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Airbalancer:

    Almost the same other than a exterior grille, profile, higher end trim both inside and out and a lower EPA figure.

    Wayne
     
  16. Airbalancer

    Airbalancer Well-Known Member

    One thing about the HL , I like the squared off rear end , you able to carry more
     
    xcel likes this.
  17. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    In preps for the review, I updated the Premium Brands sales results through all of 2015 instead of the first 9 months above.

    [​IMG]

    Wayne
     
  18. brick

    brick Answers to "that guy."

    Don't forget 70,047 Volvos! Up from 56,366 in 2014. At least they showed up. ;) Infiniti gets the award for second-worst among US premium brands at 133,498 in '15 vs. 117,330 in '14. Looks like it was a good year for the segment as a whole. People must be feeling wealthy.
     
  19. Luke

    Luke Well-Known Member

    One issue I think is the Lexus RX450h pricing. On lots it starts at $55K and goes all the way up to $65K. Couple of typical safety features like LDW,CDW aren't standard. HUD although offered can't be found on the lots unless you special order it.
    It has a hybrid premium but still I think something like a MDX will save you lot of money since their package pricing is more reasonable when you get it loaded. Base Lexus pricing seems comparable but pricing exceeds quickly once you add some regular features.

    So maybe it competes now with the Q7 to justify pricing but Audi has higher quality interior and nav/infotainment system. The Nav system in Lexus is same as Toyota pretty much if I'm not mistaken (just like Acura = Honda).

    I did a short test drive and I think with typical driving most people see rather more around 25 mpg combined. It's pretty heavy vehicle and you feel it with stop & go traffic. Overall wasn't that impressed considering the price and seats weren't that comfortable. The seat bottom didn't have much padding.
     
    xcel likes this.

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