Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance: Luxurious, Powerful but Potentially Annoying

Is the Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance too much for most drivers? The name is long, but that’s not what will annoy you when you step behind the wheel.

The Lexus RX is one of the foundational luxury SUVs in the market, hitting the roads more than two decades ago. Today, this midsize luxury SUV offers several trims and packages full of advanced equipment and features. The 500h signifies this is a top-level hybrid Lexus SUV while the F Sport Performance part of the name should indicate some sporty attributes. None of this will annoy you, but some of the tech might.

What’s so annoying about this Lexus SUV’s tech?

Do you want your SUV to tell you to “sit up?” Most of us feel that we grew out of this when we became adults. Slouching should be your right as an adult, and this Lexus SUV tries to take it away from us. If you want to spend time hunting through menus to find the right screen to disable this overbearing mother feature, you can, but most drivers might simply live with the feature and involuntarily sit up when told to do so by the RX.

Is this SUV worth the cost?

The Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance delivers on the Lexus promise of excellence. This SUV is extremely comfortable, well-built, quiet, and quick. These qualities make it a fantastic place to spend time. The price you’ll pay for this hybrid Lexus SUV is at least $65,150, but it can quickly reach over $70,000 with some added features. Is this the SUV you want to drive? Let’s find out what makes it great and what doesn’t.

How much power is offered?

This trim of the Lexus RX brings you plenty of power for the drive. The powertrain is comprised of a 2.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine plus a twin-motor hybrid setup. This power system is attached to a 6-speed automatic transmission and AWD to send power to all four wheels. The overall power output is 366 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. This means you’ll have ample power to get going in a hurry and enjoy the drive. The fuel mileage is pretty good as well, coming in at 27 city/28 hwy mpg.

The exterior remains polarizing

Lexus continues sticking to its guns with the spindle grille and sharp creases that cover the body panels. The front seems to be folded inward toward the grille, with a set of narrow headlights flanking the creased areas of the hood. Some will love the look; others might be glad they can’t see the outside of this SUV when behind the wheel. Either way, the Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance continues to be an interesting and admirable SUV with a polarizing style, which appeals to most people but not everyone.

The cabin is the place to be

Regardless of how you feel about the exterior of this top-end Lexus SUV, you’ll admire everything you see in the cabin. This area provides you with attractive surfaces that include three-dimensional materials at work for you. You’ll enjoy the inspiring style and contrasting colors found throughout the cabin. The seats are comfortable and supportive, and the spacious cabin provides you with plenty of room to stretch out on long trips.

Did Lexus go too far?

The current Lexus RX includes a large 14-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, but did the company go too far? While a massive improvement over the previous trackpad system, this touchscreen ensures the RX is extremely reliant on it for most functions. This has become a problem in many vehicles, in which some drivers would prefer to have buttons and dials instead of touchscreens.

Another place you’ll find a little too much tech is in the door handles. These electronic handles require you to push them to open the doors, which is counterintuitive to most drivers. You can pull them, but it takes two pulls to open the doors. Eventually, you’ll get used to pushing the door handle to open instead of pulling.

The steering wheel buttons take things way too far. In the Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance, you must set your finger on the button, wait for the display on the head-up screen, and then press the button. This makes everything from increasing the volume to setting the cruise control more labor-intensive than it should be.

The verdict

The Lexus RX 500h F Sport Performance is powerful, comfortable, quick, and reasonably efficient. If you can get used to the tech and extra steps, this could be an excellent hybrid luxury SUV to drive, but that might be asking too much of some drivers.

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