Lexus RX L 450h interior & comfort

The Lexus RX L 450h impresses in terms of equipment and quality, but the interior design lets it down

The RX L 450h is well equipped, regardless of trim level, while some neat design touches and good build quality lift the interior. You’ll need to splash out on the top trim for the best experience, mind.

Lexus RX L 450h dashboard

Lexus dashboards tend to impress for their quality and technology rather than their style and panache. So you shouldn’t expect the stylish simplicity of a Volvo XC90 T8 or the sophistication of an Audi Q7.

It might be over-critical to claim that the dashboard in the RX L 450h looks a tad dated, but the myriad of controls, the questionable quality of some of the plastics, and the ‘Marmite’ analogue clock won’t appeal to all tastes. 

There are some neat touches, such as the aluminium inlays and the dark wood inlays with laser etching. Upgrading to the Premier trim adds a leather and wood steering wheel, which increases the level of perceived quality inside.

Equipment, options and accessories

There are three trim levels available in the UK: SE, Luxury and Premier. All offer a generous level of equipment, as you’d expect for a hybrid SUV of this price.

The SE features 18-inch alloy wheels, an eight-inch infotainment system, sat nav, reversing camera, leather upholstery, heated and ventilated eight-way electric front seats, tri-zone climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and an electric tailgate.

The Luxury trim adds 20-inch alloy wheels, a 12.3-inch infotainment system, parking assist, rain-sensing wipers, auto-folding and auto-dimming mirrors, LED headlights and LED sequential indicators.

Finally, the Premier trim features 20-inch wheels with optional colour inserts, a colour head-up display, illuminated scuff plates, adaptive suspension, 10-way electric seats, heated second row seats, five driving modes, premium sat-nav, 15-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound stereo, blind-spot monitoring, rear door sunshades, sunroof and card key.

There are two options packs: a Protection Pack, featuring rubber floor mats, a bumper protection plate, boot liner and mud flaps, plus a Style Pack, featuring cosmetic upgrades.

Given the quality of the Mark Levinson sound system, the extra safety features, and the overall feeling of luxury, our choice would have to the best flagship Premier trim. It’s expensive, but worth it.

Infotainment, apps and sat nav

The 12.3-inch display sits atop the dashboard in the Luxury and Premier models – an eight-inch version is standard on the SE – and it certainly looks the part. But it flatters to deceive. The display might have been acceptable in the 80s, but it can’t cut it in 2018.

The mapping, for example, looks distinctly old-school, lagging behind what you might be accustomed to on a smartphone. Scrolling through the menus is done via a rather odd joystick situated on the centre console, which is quite fiddly and can overshoot the option you’re hoping to select on the screen.

There’s a secondary multi-information display on the instrument cluster, while the head-up display on the Premier trim is the largest fitted to any car in the world. Sadly, the RX L 450h lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.