The Lexus RX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid SUV: The Complete Guide For The UK

Price: £67,100
Type of electric vehicle: Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body type: SUV
Battery size: 18.1 kWh
Electric range (WLTP): 42 miles
Tailpipe emissions: 26g (CO2/km)


Lexus, renowned for the manufacture of luxury cars, is owned by the Japanese automotive behemoth, Toyota Motor Corporation. Lexus was created in 1989 to compete against Japanese rivals, Honda Motor Company and Nissan Motor Company, who had established their premium brands, Acura and Infiniti, respectively. However, work on the Lexus concept commenced as early as 1983.

The Lexus brand is now a well recognised global automotive brand in the premium segment, with its luxury cars sold in more than 90 countries. The United States continues to be its largest market. Though Lexus is relatively late to the global electrification (EV) race, the company has been involved with hybrid technology since 2005, the year the hybrid version of the RX crossover made its debut. The company has been a leader in ‘self-charging hybrid cars’. The company currently has the following electric vehicles (EVs):

Lexus remains committed to leveraging its pioneering work in hybrid technology to push further with the development of electric vehicles (EVs).

Electric Cars: The Basics

For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

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The Lexus RX 450h + PHEV SUV

The Lexus RX SUV has been around since 1998. The luxury SUV has been reincarnated successfully through five-generations, and the RX Hybrid was the first Lexus model to be built outside Japan. The Lexus RX became the best-selling Lexus model shortly post launch, galvanising the broader expansion of the premium SUV segment.

In fact, to date, Lexus RX has sold over 3.5 million globally! The incorporation of the self-charging hybrid powertrain in 2005 played a key role in the success of the model. The current 5th generation was unveiled in May 2022, and is built on the GA-K platform, which includes, the RX plug-in hybrid variant. The Lexus NX PHEV also uses this platform.

In general, given the significant improvement in the electric range of the latest-generation battery-electric vehicles (BEVs), there are very few good reasons to choose a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), instead of a pure electric car. The only really compelling reason for buying a PHEV in 2023, is that you have very limited access to EV charging, either at home, public charging or the workplace, and that you need to travel significant distances on a very regular basis.

There is now only a minority of drivers that will fit this bill, as most of us in the UK have access to electric car charging, either at home, public charging stations or at the workplace! Moreover, most drivers in the UK average 30 miles a day! If indeed you are determined on a PHEV, albeit, a premium plug-in hybrid, then the Lexus RX PHEV maybe worth consideration.

A glance at the list of the longest range plug-in hybrids for 2023, makes it amply clear, that to be class-leading, a plug-in hybrid needs to offer a pure electric range over 60 miles on a single charge. Though the Lexus RX 450h+ plug-in hybrid benefits from Lexus’s fourth-generation self-charging hybrid and EV technology, it is surprising that the PHEV does not offer a class-leading electric range.

The RX plug-in hybrid incorporates a 18.1 kWh onboard EV battery with a claimed emission-free range up to 42 miles (WLTP). Decent, but not inspirational. Moreover, adjusting the e-range for real-world driving conditions, the electric range will be between 30 – 35 miles.

In comparison, the Volvo V60 PHEV, with a nearly similar sized EV battery (18.8 kWh) to the Lexus PHEV, has a claimed e-range up to 54.7 miles (WLTP). Even more impressive is the Range Rover Sport PHEV, which offers up to 71 miles on a single charge.

But of course, it is not just about the financial savings gained from driving a PHEV on electric mode, it is also the zero-tailpipe emissions when driven on e-mode. The Lexus RX PHEV has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 26g (CO2/km), which enhances its appeal. It is worth noting that in comparison, the Range Rover plug-in hybrid has claimed tailpipe emissions up to 20 (CO2/km), and the conventional RX petrol variant has emissions up to 189 (CO2/km). Bottom-line, the more the PHEV is driven on e-mode, the lower the tailpipe emissions!

In terms of charging, the Lexus RX plug-in hybrid does not offer DC charging. Most PHEVs do not incorporate DC charging capability, given the smaller EV battery size. The RX PHEV has a 6.6 kWh AC onboard charger and can be fully charged in 2.5 hours via a dedicated residential EV charger.

The Lexus RX plug-in hybrid combines a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with the onboard motor/ generator and the EV battery. The all-wheel drive PHEV can achieve 0-62 mph in 6.5 seconds (maximum power: 309 hp/ torque: 391 Nm). The EV also benefits from instant torque when drivel on the e-mode. The top speed of the PHEV is 112 mph. More than sufficient for a family SUV! Lexus claims a fuel economy up to 235 mpg, but in real-world driving conditions, this is not realistic!

The PHEV is available in three trims, with loads of technology and equipment as standard. The cockpit is based on the Japanese Tazuna (‘reins for a horse’) concept (similar to the Lexus RZ BEV), and also incorporates the Omotenashi 64 colours ambient lighting. The plug-in hybrid also features a 14″ touchscreen, along with the Lexus advanced voice assistant system. As expected from a Lexus, the interior cabin is appointed to a high quality, with ample legroom and headroom. The boot size is 461 L.

The EV also incorporates a host of safety features (3rd generation Lexus Safety System +), and has been awarded a 5-Star EURO NCAP safety rating. The PHEV also offers an advanced parking feature, whereby, it will park the car for you! Other features include: blind spot monitor, rear cross traffic alert and braking, proactive driving assist, driver monitor, safe exit assist, Bladescan® AHS headlight technology and more!

As for the exterior appeal, the RX does not lack any confidence, in particular, given the new spindle body design and sportier aerodynamic coupé-like styling! The rear incorporates the new Lexus signature blade light that spans the entire width. Company-car drivers can take advantage of the lower Benefit-in-Kind (BiK-2%) tax rate for pure electric cars. You can lease electric cars via e-zoomed at fantastic prices.

Decent electric rangeCheaper alternatives available
Good level of standard equipment and safety featuresSome alternatives offer longer electric range
Quality interior and attractive exterior styling Rear-view visibility limited


The Lexus RX 450h + Plug-In Hybrid (credit: Lexus)

At A Glance
EV Type:Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV)
Body Type:SUV
Plug-In Car Grant (PiCG):Not Available
Available In UK:Yes

Variants (3 Options)
450h+ Premium Pack (from £67,100)
450h+ Premium Plus Pack (from £73,100)
450h+ Takumi (from £81,600)

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in one battery size: 18.1 kWh
Charging:DC rapid charging not available. Onboard charger 6.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 2.5 hrs)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type: Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:26g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Average Cost Of Residential Charging
Battery net capacity : 8.8 kWh £1.27
Battery net capacity : 11.6 kWh£1.67
Battery net capacity : 12.0 kWh£1.73
Battery net capacity : 13.10 kWh£1.89
Battery net capacity : 14.10 kWh£2.03
  • Note 1: The average cost of residential electricity in the UK varies depending on the region, supplier and type of energy used. An average for the UK is 14.40 p/kWh.
  • Note 2: Not all EV manufactures make available the data on net EV battery capacity, and in a number of instances the EV battery capacity advertised, does not state if it is gross or net capacity. In general, usable EV battery capacity is between 85% to 95% of the gross available capacity.

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Height (mm):1695
Width (mm):1920
Length (mm):4890
Wheelbase (mm):2850
Turning Circle (m):12.6
Boot Space (L):461

    RX 450h +
    EV Battery Capacity:18.1 kWh
    Pure Electric Range (WLTP):42 miles
    Electric Energy Consumption (kWh/100km):N/A
    Fuel Consumption (MPG):235
    Charging: DC rapid charging not available. Onboard charger 6.6 kW AC (0% – 100%: 2.5 hrs)
    Top Speed:112 mph
    0-62 mph:6.5 seconds
    Drive: All-wheel drive (AWD)
    Max Power (hp):309 (227 kW)
    Torque (Nm): 391
    Kerb Weight (kg):2,110 – 2,240
    NCAP Safety Rating:Five-Star

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    Ashvin Suri

    Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include, the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising large-scale industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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