Having your hybrid, and luxury, too
Yes, enlightened 21st-century driver, sometimes you can have it all. The 2011 Lexus RX 450h uses some of the most sophisticated technology available on the planet to deliver the all-wheel drive versatility ushered in by the SUV era a couple of decades ago, while cocooning passengers in a shell of uplevel creature comforts. It also delivers better combined fuel economy than the average four-cylinder mid-size sedan.
This four-door, five-passenger upscale sport ute also happens to be easy on the eyes, with the sort of self-assured, strong-shouldered, scoop-waisted look that one expects from a modern crossover utility vehicle, although is understated in announcing its hybrid status, with small badges. Standard wheels and tires are 18 inchers and tuck into large wheel wells, while optional 19-inch wheels give the ute an even stronger stance.
We drove this fairly pricey mid-sized model as our daily driver for a week, clocking over 200 miles, and using it for a wide variety of tasks that ranged from pleasure to work, carrying goods and gear that loaded with ease into the well-proportioned cargo hold.