The Best of All Worlds in the All-New Lexus RX 450h+ Plug-In Hybrid

As the first luxury brand to offer a hybrid in the segment, it’s only fitting that Lexus offers a variety of electrified RX powertrains.

Building on the recent all-new redesign of this iconic crossover, the new 2024 RX 450h+ plug-in variant forms the very top tier of the line-up, sharing the spotlight with its more conventional hybrid sibling in the guise of the RX 500h F Sport. Occupying the lower rungs on this premium SUV ladder are the RX 350h (also a hybrid) as well as the turbocharged, exclusively petrol-powered twins – the RX 350 and RX 350 F Sport.

Touted as the best of both worlds, the plug-in hybrid has truly come into its own in recent times. Driven carefully by maximising the range permissible on a single full charge, the new Lexus RX 450h+ should be viewed as a bona fide electric SUV in its own right. For example, if you have the ability to plug in overnight after returning home from work, you’ll find that most of your daily commute can be dispatched in complete electric silence. 

Of course, being an RX, the 450h+ boasts the same characteristic ‘Orca killer whale’ profile courtesy of its spindle body design and seamless grille which project a strong, clean athletic presence. The low centre of gravity is accentuated by standard 21-inch 20-spoke alloy wheels with a dark premium metallic finish. At the rear, a single lens taillamp wraps around the body, further emphasising the RX’s wide and low silhouette.

Some details worth mentioning that incidentally apply across the board, include a panoramic roof, LED Adaptive High-Beam System (AHS); side mirrors with auto-retractable-, electro-chromatic-, memory-, Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)-, Heated-, Camera- and reverse-linked tilt-enabled functionality as well as privacy back glass offering total UV protection and a handsfree power rear luggage door.

A standout Lexus feature is the Digital Latch with Safe Exit Assist - when exiting the vehicle, it helps detect a vehicle or bicycle approaching from the rear and prevents the occupant from opening the door if it senses danger.

The RX 450h+ is offered in nine exterior colour options: White Quartz, Sonic Titanium, Morello Red, Graphite Black, Opulent Blue, Terrane Khaki, Sonic Chrome, Sonic Iridium and Sonic Copper.

RX-First Plug-In Hybrid Powertrain

Powered by a high-capacity lithium-ion battery powering dual electric motors paired with a 2.5-litre inline 4-cylinder engine and an e-CVT transmission, the 2024 RX 450h+ has a combined system output of 227kW. Working on the premise of 75 to 80% of your driving being conducted in electric mode, results in staggeringly low fuel consumption – a figure of 1,3 litres per 100km is entirely achievable in the combined cycle. Emissions are correspondingly contained to just 29g of CO2 produced for every kilometre travelled. What’s more, this frugality at the pumps in no way compromises its get-up-and-go – it dishes up a spirited performance and consistent acceleration off the line with a healthy 6,5-second 0-100 km/h acceleration time. The RX 450h+ has an estimated 66,5 km driving range rating on electric power only.

These figures, however, tell only part of the story. What sets the RX 450h+ apart from its competitors is what happens when the charge in the hybrid battery is depleted. In most other plug-in hybrid vehicles, the car defaults exclusively to its petrol engine, which means higher emissions and poorer fuel economy until it can be connected to a power supply for recharging. Not with the RX, instead the vehicle switches seamlessly to hybrid electric performance so that the battery is recharged as you drive and a high level of efficiency is maintained.

Using the car’s selectable driving modes, you can maximise the benefits of the plug-in hybrid electric system on every journey. EV is the default mode: the car is locked into electric, running until the energy in the battery is depleted. That’s regardless of how hard the accelerator pedal is used - it won't awaken even if the pedal is mashed to the floor! Auto EV/HV mode allows the hybrid engine to be brought into play temporarily when the driver wants more power, for example when bursts of acceleration are required, reducing the draw on the battery’s charge. Incidentally, the handoffs between the petrol engine and electric motors are so smooth, that they’re barely discernible. The driver can also opt to use HV mode which maintains the battery’s level of charge constant by starting and stopping the engine when necessary, without requiring any driver intervention.

The RX450h+ comes equipped with two types of cables, Mode 2 (for home charging) and Mode 3 (for public charging/Faster charging). The RX450h+ is fitted with a larger battery (18.1 kW/h battery size) and the standard 6.6 kW Onboard Charger. Using a Mode 2 charging cable can achieve a full charge (up to 80%) in 7.8 hours. While the Mode 3 charging cable achieves a (up to 80%) in 2.7 hours.

The RX 450h+ utilises an electronically controlled, full-time AWD system for a confident, sporty driving experience, spearheaded by Lexus Driving Signature vehicle fundamentals. Optimising front and rear torque distribution according to the driving conditions, the driver can control the vehicle as preferred throughout varied road conditions and driving styles. This is underpinned by the Adaptive Variable Suspension, featuring a sophisticated Multilink rear setup. There’s also the benefit of smart packaging, with the RX’s adapted GA-K platform allowing the hybrid battery to be located entirely beneath the vehicle floor. This not only enhances dynamic performance by contributing to the car’s low centre of gravity, but it also helps secure more space in the cabin and load compartment.

Everything is Standard

Befitting its flagship status, the RX 450h+ comes standard with every conceivable Takumi* luxury grade element as standard, alongside user-friendly technology, and thoughtful in-cabin features.

Inside, the RX 450h+ intuitively orients all essential controls and information (e.g., gauges, standard Head-Up Display, meters, etc.) within the driver’s reach and forward sightline, and directs the space’s expansive, minimalist layout.

RX 450h+ customers will enjoy thoughtful, standard interior features, including perforated semi-aniline leather-trimmed interior, heated and ventilated power driver/front/rear passenger seats, thematic ambient lighting, heated wood and leather-trimmed steering wheel, Lexus Memory System, and a standard panorama glass roof with roof rails for an expansive in-cabin experience. A 21-speaker Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound System is available on the RX 450h+.

Front seats have been designed for accessibility, superior ergonomic comfort, and excellent holding capability, even during the longest of commutes or road trips. Passengers in the standard 40/20/40 power split-folding rear seat can charge their mobile devices on two USB Type-C outlets (five USB ports are found throughout the vehicle) or a standard 120V AC outlet. PS – there’s a wireless charger for those in the front pews. It goes without saying that through wired or wireless connection, users can access many of their favourite apps (including Apple CarPlay or Android Auto) and control menus via their preferred mobile device ecosystem.

The 2024 RX 450h+ is offered in 5 interior colour options.

* Takumi - Japanese master craftsmen

Tech & Safety in Detail:

Lexus Interface with 14-inch touchscreen

The 2024 RX 450h+ comes standard with a 14-inch high-definition touchscreen, providing easy-to-use controls and clear information to the driver and front-seat passengers. Menu operations are similar to those found on smartphones and tablets. For additional ease of use by the driver and passenger, a centre knob located at the screen’s bottom edge controls power on/off and volume.

An ‘intelligent assistant’ provides the new RX with even more handsfree capability - designed with dual microphones, enhanced noise cancellation, and seat detection capabilities for greater voice-recognition accuracy, by simply saying “Hey Lexus,” available voice commands can operate certain interior amenities, such as navigation, multimedia and climate control.

Heads Up Display is the cherry on top of this techno tour de force. Essential information such as a speedometer and shift position, as well as other information including navigational directions and the information displayed during the use of Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, and Lane Tracing Assist, is safely positioned within the driver’s line of sight. Conveniently, HUD can be linked to your memorised driving position.

Lexus Safety System+ 3.0

One of the hallmarks of RX’s success is its dependable safety and convenience features. The 2024 Lexus RX 450h+comes standard with Lexus Safety System+ 3.0, which provides additional features and monitoring devices over and above the obligatory systems such as ABS, Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Hill Assist Control (HAC) and Traction Control (TRC) as well as the now de rigueur Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA).

Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection

Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Pedestrian Detection is designed to help detect a vehicle, pedestrian, cyclist or motorcyclist and provide an audio/visual forward collision warning under certain circumstances. If the driver does not react, the system is designed to provide automatic emergency braking at speeds between approximately 10 and 180 km/h. PCS uses a camera and millimetre-wave radar for enhanced performance and reliability.

Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA)

When white/yellow lane markings or certain road edge boundary lines are detected at speeds above 30 mph, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist (LDA w/SA) which forms part of the Lane Keeping System is designed to issue an audio/visual lane departure warning if an inadvertent lane departure is detected. If the driver does not take corrective action, the system is also designed to provide gentle corrective steering for lane-keeping assistance.

Lane Tracing Assist (LTA)

When Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) is enabled and lane markers are detected, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) uses the lines on the road and/or preceding vehicles to provide active driving assistance and help keep the vehicle centred in its lane.

Intelligent High Beam 

Intelligent High Beam provides greater visibility for drivers with added illumination when the road ahead is clear, then temporarily switches to low beams when it detects the headlamps or taillamps of vehicles ahead.

Intelligent Park Assist

Utilising sonar and camera input, Intelligent Park Assist enables the RX 450h+ to steer itself into a parking space with little input from the user.

All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC)

An adaptive cruise control system intended for highway use that uses radar and camera technology to help keep the vehicle at a preset speed and distance from vehicles ahead, even in stop-and-go traffic. If the system detects the vehicle getting closer than the preset distance, it automatically slows the vehicle - even to a complete stop. At highway speeds, when the road ahead clears, the vehicle returns to its preset speed.


In summary, the RX 450h+ is the perfect package: it provides the efficiency and powerful, responsive performance that is characteristic of a plug-in system, but goes further thanks to the superior qualities of Lexus’s hybrid technology. This technical advantage combines with the rewarding response and handling of the Lexus Driving Signature, high equipment specifications, advanced safety and driver assistance features and its unique takumi craftsmanship luxury.

Price and Warranty

The Lexus RX 450h+ retails for R1,629,300 and as with all other Lexus models, boasts a best-in-class 7-years/105 000km Warranty and Full Maintenance Plan. The vehicle service intervals are pegged at every 15 000 km, alternatively once a year. The RX 450h+ further comes with an additional 8-years/195 000 km hybrid battery warranty.