The 2022 Lexus RX 450h F Sport Handles Shockingly Well for a Hybrid SUV
The terms “hybrid” and “SUV” typically equate to “fuel-efficient” and “boring,” but in the 2022 Lexus RX 450h F Sport, that’s not quite true. I have the pleasure of driving the RX 450h F Sport for a week and while it does have sedate driving dynamics when driven normally, it is shockingly fun to drive on canyon roads.
The 2022 Lexus RX 450h F Sport has something in common with the LC500
I have a 38-mile route that I take every press car on. It consists of a few miles of city driving, about 20 miles of highway driving, and 10 miles of twisty canyon roads that snake through beautiful Colorado scenery. In my opinion, it’s one of the best routes to take any car on if you want to test the way it drives on normal roads in addition to the way it handles in tight corners. I drove the 2022 Lexus RX 450h F Sport on this route and it took on the hairpin turns and off-camber corners better than I ever thought it would.
The fact that it has an all-wheel drivetrain could have something to do with it. But what struck me more was the way this 4,700-pound hybrid SUV rotated so well when pitched into a turn, that is until I double-checked its specs. Apparently, Lexus not only imbued the RX F Sport with performance dampers, but it also gave it an Adaptive Variable Suspension taken straight out of the venerable LC500 supercar.
Does that sound like overkill? Maybe. But it definitely makes this porky hybrid more fun to drive. In fact, I was able to cover that canyon stretch just as quickly as I have with smaller cars like the Mazda3. All while getting a combined fuel economy rating of 31 mpg.
The Lexus RX 450h has plenty of power as well
Speaking of the car’s powertrain, the RX 450h is no slouch. Under its hood is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that’s mated to a Lexus Hybrid Drive electric motor. Together, the fuel-sipping duo produces 308 hp and rockets the RX 450h from 0 to 60 mph in only 7.9 seconds, according to Lexus. That’s pretty quick, again, considering it’s a hybrid SUV.
What makes the F Sport trim even better are the sport front seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel. I know what you might be thinking: “Does that sporty stuff really belong in a Lexus RX?” Yes, in my opinion, they do.
I say that because while the sport seats do look a little out of place, they feel fantastic. Compared to the normal RX seats, the F Sport buckets have really good bolstering and lumbar support and the leather steering wheel feels good when gripped tightly. The whole motif looks and feels sporty without feeling overdone. And somehow, the whole package just works.
The F Sport package provides a sportier look
The F Sport package also adds some aesthetic appeal in the form of aggressive front and rear bumpers, a sportier mesh front grille, and 20-inch wheels – all of which add a more imposing look to the otherwise stately RX. Oddly enough, I think all of that added flare goes well with the car’s “Grecian Water” paint job, which is a really bright blue that probably shouldn’t belong on a Lexus RX either, but I like it.
Ultimately, the 2022 Lexus RX 450h F Sport combines a luxurious ride and stellar fuel economy with a surprising amount of power and shockingly good driving dynamics. If you want a hybrid SUV that won’t bore you to death while driving it, this could be the one to get.