2012 Lexus RX 450h

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Key Specs
Our Take
Overview
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
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Key Specs

of the 2012 Lexus RX 450h. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Overall refinement
  • Gas mileage
  • Seat comfort
  • Optional Pre-Collision System
  • Optional dual-screen entertainment system

The Bad

  • Road noise
  • Leather seats not standard
  • Joystick-operated navigation system

Notable Features of the 2012 Lexus RX 450h

  • 30-32 mpg city mileage
  • 10 airbags
  • FWD or AWD
  • Optional wide-view side monitor
  • Optional head-up display

2012 Lexus RX 450h Overview

By Cars.com Editors
Vehicle Overview

Lexus redesigned its five-seat RX crossover for 2010, with the gasoline RX 350 carrying over a similar V-6 drivetrain. Because its electrically assisted V-6 grew to 3.5 liters from 3.3 liters, the RX 400h became the RX 450h. Slight exterior tweaks differentiate the RX 450h from its non-hybrid sibling.

Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. The non-hybrid RX 350 is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.

New for 2012

There are no significant changes for the 2012 model year.

Exterior
Though it's a few hairs taller than its predecessor, the RX 450h looks more carlike than ever; its dimensions give the crossover a wagonlike stance. In back are frosted taillight effects similar to those on the previous RX. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 19-inchers optional. Exterior features include:

  • Blue-trimmed Lexus logos
  • Unique grille and front bumper design
  • Blue-tinted headlights and taillights
  • Optional LED headlights


Interior
Like Lexus' other hybrids, the RX 450h's display screen can show the power flow between the drivetrain's electric motors, engine and battery. In place of the RX 350's tachometer is a gauge showing electric-motor assist versus battery recharging. Other features include voice-recognition software that Lexus says will pick up conversational prompts rather than traditional formal, specific commands.

High-tech options include a head-up display with LED lighting that's purportedly br...

Vehicle Overview

Lexus redesigned its five-seat RX crossover for 2010, with the gasoline RX 350 carrying over a similar V-6 drivetrain. Because its electrically assisted V-6 grew to 3.5 liters from 3.3 liters, the RX 400h became the RX 450h. Slight exterior tweaks differentiate the RX 450h from its non-hybrid sibling.

Front-wheel drive is standard, with all-wheel drive optional. The non-hybrid RX 350 is covered separately in the Cars.com Research section.

New for 2012

There are no significant changes for the 2012 model year.

Exterior
Though it's a few hairs taller than its predecessor, the RX 450h looks more carlike than ever; its dimensions give the crossover a wagonlike stance. In back are frosted taillight effects similar to those on the previous RX. Eighteen-inch alloy wheels are standard, with 19-inchers optional. Exterior features include:

  • Blue-trimmed Lexus logos
  • Unique grille and front bumper design
  • Blue-tinted headlights and taillights
  • Optional LED headlights


Interior
Like Lexus' other hybrids, the RX 450h's display screen can show the power flow between the drivetrain's electric motors, engine and battery. In place of the RX 350's tachometer is a gauge showing electric-motor assist versus battery recharging. Other features include voice-recognition software that Lexus says will pick up conversational prompts rather than traditional formal, specific commands.

High-tech options include a head-up display with LED lighting that's purportedly bright enough to read on a sunny day. The optional navigation system features Lexus' Remote Touch interface, which uses a joystick-like device to navigate menus on the dashboard screen. Interior features include:

  • Cloth seats standard, leather optional
  • Real wood trim
  • 10-way power front seats


Under the Hood
The RX 450h uses a gasoline 3.5-liter V-6 that's assisted by electric motors, creating 295 combined horsepower. It can cruise on electric-only power at low speeds. Like other hybrids, its electric motors draw power from the friction of deceleration, called regenerative braking. Mechanical features include:

  • Standard front-wheel drive
  • Optional all-wheel drive
  • Separate motors power front and rear wheels in all-wheel-drive models
  • Continuously variable automatic transmission
  • Towing capacity of 3,500 pounds with optional package


Safety
Ten standard airbags include four in front — the two required chest airbags plus two knee airbags — as well as seat-mounted side-impact airbags for both rows. Head-protecting side curtain airbags cover both rows. Other standard safety features include:

  • Active front head restraints
  • All-disc antilock brakes
  • Traction control
  • Electronic stability system

 


Latest 2012 RX 450h Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(4.6)
Interior Design
(4.4)
Comfort
(4.6)
Reliability
(4.9)
Value For The Money
(3.9)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

One of the best cars I have owned

by MikeDobbinsRealtor from Scottsdale Az on July 15, 2018

My car has over 90,000 miles on it and you would never know it by looking at it or by the ride. Drives like its brand new. I?m getting 28 mpg, which is not as good as the CT200h I gave up for this car... Read full review

(5.0)

The best automobile that I have ever owned.

by Davinci on September 20, 2017

This automobile is one great piece. There is nothing negative that I would say about it. Buy one! You will love it! Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2012 Lexus RX 450h currently has 0 recalls

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Lexus RX 450h Base

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranty

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    48 months / 50,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    72 months / 70,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    48 months / unlimited distance

CPO Program & Warranty

Certified Pre-Owned by Lexus

Program Benefits

Every L/Certified vehicle now comes with an unlimited-mileage warranty up to 6 years, complimentary maintenance plan. Each L/Certified Pre-Owned Lexus must pass a rigorous inspection and be thoroughly reconditioned to meet the same high standards as a new Lexus. Exclusively at a Lexus dealership.

  • Limited Warranty

    Unlimited Mileage Warranty Up To 6 Years

    Warranty is valid for a minimum of two years/unlimited mileage after the expiration of 4 yr/50,000 mile new vehicle Basic Warranty, or two years from L/Certified purchase or lease date, whichever occurs later.
  • Eligibility

    Under 6 years / 70,000 miles

    Vehicles receive a 161 point inspection and reconditioning.

    See inspection details.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The RX 450h received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker