Read Caroline’s Lexus RX 450h+ review for everything you need to know about buying the new RX plug-in hybrid in Ireland.

The Lexus RX has been the Japanese brand’s flagship SUV for 25 years and a pioneer of hybrid technology in the luxury segment since the first RX hybrid was launched in 2005.

In 2023, the new fifth generation model introduces plug-in hybrid technology to the RX range for the very first time. And in Ireland it will be available exclusively in this form.

The new Lexus RX 450h+ is priced in the region of €89,000, with two trim levels available. The new RX gets improved design and handling, and a new digital cabin.

It goes up against other luxury SUVs like the BMW X5, the Audi Q7, Volvo XC90, and the Mercedes-Benz GLE.

Lexus has been a leader in hybrid technology in the luxury segment for many years. So is the new RX plug-in hybrid one of the best luxury SUVs on sale?

The new Lexus RX 450h+
The new Lexus RX 450h+


The new RX is probably the brand’s best yet when it comes to design. With a few tweaks including an elegant new nose, the RX oozes class and sophistication – a sort of understated elegance without any brashness.

It’s about the same length as before but the wheelbase is a bit longer and the A-pillar pushed back for a more elongated bonnet. There is a tasteful evolution of the famous Lexus spindle grille at the front with nice detailing and slim LED headlights. At the back, there is a new full width light bar and L-E-X-U-S spelt out.

There are two trim levels on offer, Luxury and Premium. Both now come with 21-inch alloy wheels for a dynamic look.


The theme of understated elegance continues inside. The cabin has been suitably modernised with an upmarket design and new tech on board too, like the full digital driver display and new 14-inch touchscreen with over the air updates and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. There are two handy dials to adjust the temperature but otherwise there is a heavy reliance on the touchscreen, which may upset traditionalists.

But it’s hard not to be seduced by the quality of the cabin, with plenty of leather and soft touch materials to command the luxury price tag. It’s very easy to get comfortable, thanks to heated and ventilated front seats as standard with massage function and 8-way power adjustment.

There’s good storage too for a large family car. Some neat features include the centre cubby that can open from either the driver or passenger side, and an electronic door release that adds the premium touch.

The cabin of the Lexus RX 450h+
The cabin of the Lexus RX 450h+

The Luxury model also features full leather upholstery, wireless smartphone charging, heated steering wheel, panoramic view monitor, ambient lighting,  panoramic roof and the third generation Lexus Safety System+. If you step up to the Premium model, there’s an upgraded premium stereo with 21 speakers, wood trim, heated and ventilated rear seats, 10-inch head-up display and an adaptive variable suspension.


The new RX has a longer wheelbase than before, so there’s a bit more legroom and plenty of headroom as well. It feels high-end in the back with lots of features like an armrest and tri-zone climate control.

There’s a 461-litre boot and a powered tailgate as standard. There’s also space under the boot floor to put the charging cables and lots of handy features like switches to let the rear seats down and a retractable cover to hide valuables.


In Ireland the new RX is available as a plug-in hybrid, badged the 450h+. It uses a 2.5-litre petrol engine, two electric motors and an 18.1kWh battery. The power output is 309hp and the battery can be charged to full at a maximum of 6.6kW in as little as 2.5 hours to give an electric driving range of up to 65 kilometres.

The new Lexus RX is an elegant and classy SUV
The new Lexus RX is an elegant and classy large SUV


Lexus has a long history in building hybrid cars and SUVs. When the RX 400h launched in 2005, it was the first electrified model available in the premium market. Built now on the brand’s GA-K platform shared with Toyota, the RX has improved handling and responsiveness. Four wheel drive ensures there’s loads of grip for a nice, secure drive. There’s even a Trail mode to prevent wheel-slip when driving on slippery or uneven roads.

The plug-in hybrid balances power well with efficiency. The RX 450h+ is smooth and responsive to drive, with 309hp and the 0-100 sprint completed in 6.5 seconds. Though it’s not an SUV you will really want to hurry in, offering a comfortable drive and hushed cabin. It’s easy to drive and doesn’t feel too big in town.

There are a number of different modes you can switch between like an Auto mode that moves between the EV and hybrid drive as the car sees fit, and a battery save mode. When the battery runs out of charge, the RX behaves like a standard hybrid so it’s remarkably efficient. Over a week of driving I averaged about 5.8 litres per 100 kilometres. With regular charging, it would be possible to achieve even lower fuel consumption or run it as an EV exclusively on short commutes. Motor tax is €140 per year.

Boot space in the Lexus RX
Boot space in the Lexus RX


The Luxury model starts from €89,070, while the Premium is available from €97,680. Both prices include metallic paint.


The Lexux RX is quietly elegant and classy, with a gorgeous interior and high levels of equipment. The new plug-in hybrid makes a lot of sense, offering buyers the option to run the RX on electric power alone for a limited range or as a fuel-sipping hybrid. It does’t feel too bulky on the road, yet is spacious inside. There’s a lot to like about the new RX and it’s a great alternative to the usual suspects in the large luxury SUV class.


Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes, Juror for Irish Car of the Year

The RX plug-in hybrid shines for its elegant design and efficiency
The RX plug-in hybrid shines for its elegant design and efficiency in real world driving