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: RX, F Sport and Takumi. All offer a generous level of equipment, as you’d expect for a hybrid SUV of this price. The entry-level RX L gets 18-inch alloys, smooth leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, eight-inch sat nav, DAB digital radio, front and rear parking sensors and smart entry.

With the RX L F Sport, you get a heated steering wheel and powered tailgate with hands-free sensor, along with the F Sport spindle grille, aluminium pedal set, F Sport seats and steering wheel and adaptive suspension.

At the top of the range, the RX L Takumi gets power-folding heated rear seats, a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, a colour head-up display, 360-degree camera, semi-aniline leather upholstery, 10-way powered front seat adjustment, memory settings for the front seats, steering wheel and door mirrors.

Infotainment, apps and sat nav

A large display sits atop the dashboard in the F Sport and Takumi models – an eight-inch version is standard on the entry-level model – 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. It's a very dated and frustratingly awkward system to use - a major let down in the otherwise very comfortable and plush-feeling cabin. 

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