Sprint Review: 2023 Lexus RX 350h

Perhaps in an act of sheer desperation, Lexus has gone a bit too far over the line to let their new RX350h stand out from the crowd…

You should know: The first and obvious problem here is the vehicle’s colour, which most Saffas recoil from in sheer terror. Still, we should tip our collective hats in Lexus’ general direction for their colourful bravery. Other hues which this new RX comes in are pearl metallic blue or red, titanium grey, black, metallic khaki (I kid you not), silver, this “Sonic Copper” and quartz white.

More info: Although we at NamWheels like the extremely modern Lexus design language – complete with bizarre shapes and that “spindle grill” – the nose of this car may be one step too far. In a move already pioneered by the previous Honda Amaze, there’s a rather ungainly high-brow which spoils the front end; in our humble opinions.

Why you should: We were all agreed that the RX350h cabin is pure Lexus, i.e. the epitome of freaky design and superb technology. All contemporary safety, comfort and media options are included in the price and – unlike its German rivals – everything is included in the price of about 1.5 million bucks. Seating space and comfort is top-class.

What else? Needless to say, this Japanese luxury vehicle drives exactly how you would expect it to: quietly, fairly softly, quite economically (Lexus claims 5.4L/100km from the 54L tank), and almost silently thanks to the hybrid system’s low-speed EV mode. It’s also got a good hint of responsiveness and agility when needed, as our best 0-100km/h sprint time of 7.74 seconds proves. Lexus claims 7.9.

Why you shouldn’t: Lexus finally got rid of their track-pad control centre but also went all minimalist with their wide-screen media system. Although I only needed to find it once, it took me 10 minutes to find the audio shortcut. And while some people enjoy them, I grew extremely tired of this car’s multi-mode idea of an interior door handle…

In summary: The Lexus RX is probably one of the most progressive and impressive range of SUV’s out there, with vibrant designs and excellent spec levels, plus the choice of various models including two hybrids and a plug-in hybrid. And best of all, this RX 350h is just R35,000 more than a “normal” RX 350, so it’s a bit of a non-brainer for hybrid fans.


Engine:2,494cc i-4 petrol-electric hybrid
Transmission:6-speed Automatic, RWD/4WD
Max. Power:184kW @ 6,000rpm
Max. Torque:239Nm @ 4,300rpm
Avg. cons.:5.4L/100km
0-100km/h:7.74 seconds (7.9)
Top Speed:200km/h
List Price:R1,487,600 (March 2024)

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