RX 450h in the Market
I've personally never understood car shoppers' desire to get a hybrid version of a luxury car or SUV, even if the mileage gains are significant, as they are in the RX; these buyers can afford more expensive gas if (when) prices spike. If the hybrid is also a pleasure to drive, it makes much more sense. An example of that is Lexus' own LS 600h sedan. When the driving experience is crippled by the hybrid system, as it is in the RX, there's no reason to buy. That's unfortunate, because the RX 350 is terrific and decently priced for what you get.
Adding the cost of the hybrid system to the cost of your daily driving happiness Ч even minus the huge mileage savings Ч is a tough equation for a car shopper to work through. There's no crossover Ч nor is there any SUV or minivan Ч that offers so much room with such great gas mileage, luxury badge or not. Even a four-cylinder Toyota Venza requires more stops at the pump.
Green drivers who can stomach the driving tradeoffs are the buyers who will gravitate to the RX 450h. I don't suspect anyone else will, but in today's increasingly eco-conscious world that might not be such a small group.
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