I’m going to start off this Lexus RX 450h review with the following disclaimer: My favorite car that I have ever owned was the original Lexus RX 300. I bought this car when it first came out and loved it all through the three year lease term it was mine. I loved it so much I did the possibly tacky deed – I had the silver L gold plated. When I was pregnant for the first time, my husband drove me around in this car so I could finally get some sleep. That is how comfy the seats were. So you see, me and the Lexus Rx series? We go way back.

I wasn’t particularly thrilled however, when Lexus first redesigned the RX (without consulting me!).  I was so loyal to the original, that I couldn’t roll with the changes. I moved on to other vehicles, unaware how much I’d miss ol’ Lexie in the years to follow. So it was with a great sense of nostalgia and anticipation that I accepted the RX 450h for a review.

Hopping into the drivers seat, it all came back to me. Why I love the Lexus. It’s because as a mom, and as a driver, I am such a control freak. I fully admit it.  Thankfully the Lexus RX 450h celebrates this fact and lets me get my freak on and fly that Control Freak Mom flag high.

Control freak fact #1.  The loyal Lexus 450h loves me back.


Of all the cars I’ve driven over the years, none compare to the comfort and responsiveness of the Lexus RX. I hardly feel like I am driving. It’s like the car and I have achieved a Vulcan mind meld of some sort and I have only to think “merge left” and the merge is seamlessly occurring. As a driver of many a large SUV and minivan, I am occasionally unsettled by the feeling that the car is driving me. Nobody needs to feel like a bossy nag who is just trying to get the @#$! car to listen up and get it’s butt into that parking spot. The Lexus 450h made me feel like a celebrity. It was all “yes ma’am” and “what can I do for you?” and “let me cool your bum with my seat fan”  before I even had to ask .

Control Freak Fact #2: I go first.

I know it is polite to take turns. I’m polite. But sometimes you gotta gun it in Cali. Like when you are getting onto the freeway at metered rush hour and you are one of two cars allowed onto the road per green light, and a large truck is coming at you in the merge lane.  This is the moment, when mama has to get up and GO. This is also the moment that makes me think twice about any possibly sluggish hybrid. But no worries with the Lexus 450h. The truck and the van that was merging beside me? Eating my dust.

Control Freak Fact #: It’s my party and I’m the DJ.

The 450h that I tested was complete with a navigation and entertainment system that I wish I could transplant onto my present car. My kids (wrongly) think they are the boss of me. Hence their silly demands to turn up the radio, change the station, turn on a cd, locate the nearest rest stop etc. Of course doing all this is easier said then done while you are driving the car on the freeway. Unless you have the Lexus 450h. The entire nav/entertainment system is controlled by a simple touch sensitive (no looking at the controls) joystick with a display placed centrally, up high on the dash. No more scrabbling to press the right buttons down low between the seats to change between radio stations, and get that video started for your kids. As a total control freak, I hate to take my eyes off the road for even an instant. With this incredibly well designed system, I don’t really have to. I also don’t have to tell my kids how easy it would be to start their video. I’m still sticking with “Mommy can’t change the radio station while driving.”

Control Freak Fact #4 My car is on a diet, and it’s going great!

Feeding your SUV can get tiresome. All the pit stops, all the fill ups. I never had to fill the Lexus RX450 once the entire week I had it. Not that I was trying to be cheap, but it did not run out of gas. I went to San Diego on a 130 mile round trip jaunt, I drove the kids to school. I drove it to the grocery store and beyond. It kept going. The needle never dipped below a quarter tank. It got great mileage. Did I keep track? Well, no. I’m not that kind of control freak. I hate doing math and counting calories too. But lets just say the Lexus was an awfully cheap date. All salad and water.

Control Freak Fact #4: I  always travel with my entourage and all my stuff.

I really resent when a car makes me choose between carrying my stroller and my groceries. It’s like it’s trying to tell me I cannot take my kids shopping. Maybe the car is right. Taking my kids shopping is always a disaster. But it’s my disaster, and I’ll make that choice, thank you very much! I was able to get the stroller, the groceries and all four of my kids into the Lexus 450h (my 12 year old meets the size restrictions for riding in the front seat). Too bad for the husband. He had to stay at home. But, technically, I am not sure he minded.

If I was in the market for a hybrid for my family, and could afford the Lexus, I would buy this car in an instant. It’s safe, it’s fun to drive, it’s comfortable, and it’s eco friendlier than the rest of the pack.

If you:

  • have three kids or less (or you don’t mind a car that cannot fit your whole family)
  • are a control freak mama like myself
  • like luxury, spaciousness and conveniences aplenty
  • are looking for a first class hybrid vehicle for your family

then the Lexus  RX 450h may be your dream ride as well.