2016 Lexus RX 450h, the wheel of this luxury SUV improvement throughout

2 years ago Christopher 0

The rise of SUVs of different sizes is a fact, but it is also true that those who enjoy ever greater success are small and medium. Perhaps the sub segment of the E-SUV (the segment E) is not the most buoyant market, but Lexus maintains its commitment as a Lexus RX, first launched in 2000 and now renovated 2016.

The first units of the Lexus RX 450h 2016, only version available in our country, will hit the market in January. The Japanese automaker expects to sell about 600 units here during the next year, but … what do you offer? We have already tested for the first time around Lisbon and tell you all the details.

Lexus RX 2016
Credit: Google Image

With such fierce as the one with the Japanese competition made ​​by BMW X5, Audi Q7, Range Rover Sport, Porsche Cayenne and Mercedes-Benz GLE, among others, improving the new RX with respect to the previous generation it had to be important. Design, performance, technology, safety, luxury … There are many aspects and needs to be improved at all. Did you get the new RX 2016? For the truth it is that yes, greatly improves.

Great leap in design

Maybe the car’s exterior design is subjective, it depends on the tastes of each one, and certainly the challenge of this 2016 RX is riskier than ever, but some things are undeniable, as the fact that this SUV significantly improved, both outside and especially inside. Like it or not, has much better pint.

Some of the features that are defined outside its angular shapes, curves and edges that blend the line of floating roof (the C pillar seems to be cut), the typical grid of new household products, new headlights, LED lights daytime running boomerang shape and sequential function indicators (light progressively from the inside to the outside, as in the rear), and new fog lights with cornering function.

For those looking for more differentiation in addition to the various available body colors, 18wheels (standard) they are also offered and 20 inches (the latter in three different designs).Of course, the finished F-Sport also offers specific aesthetic elements, sportier look, like an interior court (seats, steering wheel, etc …) and additional equipment (active adaptive suspension and stabilizer).

As far as dimensions are concerned, the 2016 Lexus RX is longer (extra 12 centimeters), has more battle (5 cm) and wider (1 centimeter), so that the inner levels of headroom and legs grow both front and rear seats. In total, it measures 4.89 meters long, 1.68 meters (as before) and 1.89 meters wide.

Interior look much better

If we go into the change it is important. Gone are the foot parking brake, the rough dashboard, center console or bulky high exchange rate selector (the van style) for an electric brake a more attractive dashboard, console whose design is more modern and a selector located where it should change. Ah! And we also forget the digital clock, and now features an analog clock, with much more class.

In the tested version, F-Sport and Luxury, in any case with the engine 450h, the instrument panel is also new. The first incorporates a digital box with central tachometer and the second looks two analog dials, one for the tachometer (no longer the realm of the hybrid system is circulated indicating when saving, not when it was or when recharging the battery) and one for speedometer, with a TFT screen of 4.2 inches for the computer in between.

Both materials (up to three types of leather, fabric, wood inserts, etc …) as the level of finishes and settings appear to be a step above the previous model. Of course, we miss the metallic-looking decorative moldings are really metal because a little disappointed to discover that it is plastic moldings (with how nice it is to touch a cold molding in winter and cool in summer, Metal, go).

Some of these are a Head Up Display generous size (which can be adjusted in brightness and position or off), a 12.3-inch screen on the dashboard (for the browser, which certainly looks somewhat dated with regard to others with more modern) mapping, improved ambient lighting, seats with multiple settings, called climate concierge (which automatically controls the climate control and air purification), automatic tailgate opening approximation (hand approaching the Lexus logo) automatically folding rear seats 60:40 or Mark Levinson audio system with 15 speakers (optional).

In addition, standard across the range, it joined the so-called Safety System+. This set of technologies includes ten airbags, adaptive cruise control, pre-crash, and warning of involuntary change lanes, lane keeping assistant, adaptive and automatic recognition of signal lights or pedestrian detection system. Optionally (or included in some finishes), can be equipped peripheral camera or assistant blind spot.

More performance and more accurate

As before, the hybrid system consists of a 3.5-liter V6 direct injection and two electric motors, for a combined output of 313 hp and maximum torque of 335 Nm. The combined fuel consumption of between 5.2 and 5.5 liters, depending on the finish, with minimal emissions of 120 g/km of CO2. Major improvements have been carried out in the electronic management, thermal management and design of the battery (now less bulky).

Under the skin of the Lexus RX engineers propose a suspension system of McPherson struts in the front and double wishbone at the rear, along with active anti-roll bars that vary their rigidity depending on the situation if the version is chosen F-Sport which also includes adaptive dampers whose hardness is modified according to the driving mode selected (Normal, Eco, Sport, Sport + or Customize). Furthermore, the tensional rigidity of the assembly is 30% higher.

Despite the slight increase in dimensions, Lexus has worked to improve the dynamics of the car and, after trying both generations one after another, we can ensure that improvement is evident and important. The new model is more accurate, showing more poise and its body sways least strong support, at least with the adaptive suspension (optional, except in the F-Sport version, which comes standard).

Either way, the RX is a good balance between comfort (which is great) and dynamic capabilities that allow a joy to be curvy roads despite the size and weight of the model. In fact, the suspension is more comfortable than the previous generation, while comfortable, was a little too dry to face cracks, potholes or uneven ground.

The RX 2016 is quieter than before thanks to the work of isolation that has carried out the brand and the aerodynamic changes, and benefits the consumer, they also reduce noise. Less sound reaches the passenger compartment from the engine, just rolling it shows only clearly notice the wind when driving at high speeds form.

Where difference is also noticeable in the hybrid drive system, which now provides a seemingly superior performance, so gains speed more easily. It is also true that weighs slightly less than before, specifically about 80 kilograms for a total of between 2.1 and 2.2 tons, according to the equipment level.

In addition, the speed is no longer stuck in the upper area of the lap counter (as before), and climbing more progressive, slightly hiding the eyes of the driver unpleasant feeling that the acceleration and the engine will not rhythmic, Typical of this system with continuously variable change. You notice an improvement, but still not noted for sporty performance. Speeds, and runs, but the way it does this is not ideal.

In short, the 2016 Lexus RX improved virtually all aspects, from the outside appearance, the interior design (we love the huge screen, the steering wheel or console design), operation of the hybrid system, which has been enhanced to make the experience more enjoyable driving-or running smoothness, to the comfort of the suspension itself. Good for Lexus, of course.