2015 Lexus RX Hybrid: A Crossover With Great Fuel Economy

2015 Lexus Rx Hybrid

Not feeling the love for a Lexus.

This review feels a little odd to write. I expected to love, and feel spoiled by, the 2015 Lexus RX Hybrid. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a really nice car. But, I wasn’t wowed. I didn’t walk away wishing I had one. And I can’t quite put my finger on why. It does have some really nice features: the size is perfect for a family of four. I got to ride up off the ground for the first time in a while and I enjoyed that. But there’s still a little something off.

We were friends, friends with hybrid benefits

I didn’t think a hybrid crossover SUV would be fun to drive. I’ve always associated hybrids with city cars that have no power and that’s just not so. This sporty hybrid could handle anything and that surprised me in a good way! The Lexus doesn’t feel like a mom-car and everyone who saw it was impressed by its looks. The wood trim inside is pretty slick. It’s not wood grain plastic. It’s genuine wood. That’s pretty cool.

The fuel economy is impressive for a vehicle its size. I’m starting to love the idea of having a hybrid car in the future. The Lexus RX isn’t huge. Yes, there’s a place for a massive SUV. But, they’re harder to park, backup and maneuver. The RX simply fits in parking spaces and my carport like an ordinary sedan. I like that.

The cargo space is HUGE and if you put the back seats down? Wow.

So, why didn’t I love the Lexus RX Hybrid?

I think I expected it to feel luxurious. After all, it is a Lexus and they have a reputation for luxury. Here are a few things that kind of made me go meh:

No touch screen. What? Isn’t that kind of standard these days? Instead of a touch screen, the screen is embedded in the dash, up close to the windshield and you navigate the screen via a sort of joystick/mouse hybrid thing. I’ve never seen anything like it and it was really hard to get used to. The display on the screen wasn’t easy to figure out either and I didn’t care for the way it displayed what was playing on my phone via the Bluetooth connection. Navigating the satellite radio was hard too.

Besides the wood and leather, the interior was kinda plastic-y. I’m not sure how else to describe it. It just felt cheap and like it belonged in a vehicle from the last decade.

And last of all, that beautiful wood is slick. This could be a problem on the steering wheel. I drove the car in winter, so I wore leather driving gloves that gripped it well. But when I wasn’t wearing my gloves I didn’t feel like I had a good hold on the wheel. Love the look of the wood, I just don’t think it’s a good choice on the steering wheel.

What We Loved

  • 30 MPG city & 28 MPG highway. Nice!
  • Genuine wood interior trim
  • Automatic on-off headlamps
  • Power back door
  • Rain Sensing windshield wipers

Lexus Rx HybridWhat You Need to Know

  • Starting price: $48,845. Price for the model I drove, with premium and comfort package, $58,315
  • 3.5L 24 Valve DOHC V8
  • 18″ Alloy Wheels
  • On-demand all-wheel drive
  • Reclining/sliding 40/20/40 split rear seat

Note: Lexus provided the car for my review; opinions expressed are my own. 

A web developer, digital marketing consultant, auto journalist, truck expert, photographer and lover of gadgets, Erica is a textbook... More about Erica Mueller