The Top Sports Utility Vehicle in 2013 [Lexus Rx]

July 4, 2013 in Auto News, Sports car

When it comes to sports utility vehicles, nothing is more important than adaptability. A good SUV combines the comfort of a luxury saloon, with the power and manouverability of an off-road vehicle. It’s a car of two halves – strong without being intimidating to drive, practical without being dull.
Fortunately, there is one car that fits this bill and that’s the Lexus RX.

TheLexus RX is staggeringly pretty for an SUV. Its sleek, slender bodywork and rather elegant interior combine to make it a beautiful example of modern vehicle design. Its also low on emissions, being the world’s first SUV hybrid. Even without considering the drive quality of the RX, it is clear to see that the team at Lexus have tried hard to solve some of the long-term issues surrounding sports utility vehicles, with this particular model. They’ve taken all of the baggage that an SUV is expected to carry – a bulky frame, a rough ride, a stiff suspension, an obnoxiously noxious exhaust, and they’ve turned it on its head.

As for the RX’s drive quality, well that’s something to shout about too. The vehicle comes with either conventional steel coil springs or an adjustable air suspension system – the choice lies with you. An air suspension system will set you back an extra £5,000 or more, but it does make for an unbelievably comfortable ride. There’s a lot more body roll with the RX than with most conventional SUVs and this is where the vehicle’s manouverability comes in handy. It has excellent grip and can manage potholes and speed humps with ease.

The only real issue with the RX is its battery power. The world’s first hybrid SUV it may be, but the world’sbest hybrid SUV – well, that’s yet to be decided. It’s a car that runs fantastically well on both petrol and electricity. It’s just that when it runs on electricity, it doesn’t run for very long. Yes, the only real bone of contention with the RX is its battery life. It will run on electricity for a short while, but its main identity is still quite obviously that of the petrol motor.

Such a flaw could be enough to disappoint some of the more economically aware drivers, but it won’t be of much concern to Lexus’ main consumer-base. Furthermore, it’s of arguable significance at this point in the game. The fact that Lexus has managed to design and produce an SUV that can run on electricity alone for any amount of time, is itself a fairly big achievement. The green capabilities of future models will have to improve in order for the company to stay ahead of the pack, but for now – the electric life of the RX is perhaps more intriguing than revolutionary. It speaks of what can be done and what might come next.

As an all rounder, the Lexus RX is hard to beat. It’s very quiet for an SUV, but it responds well to rough terrain. It can be driven gently, or it can be pushed to its off-road limits. It’s reliable, it’s roomy and it’s attractive. With a few minor adjustments, the Lexus RX could very well be the world’s greatest hybrid SUV.

Eva Holmes is a Guildford mechanic and Lexus super-fan.She advises anyone looking for a new or used Lexus in Guildford, to visit inchcapelexus.co.uk