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Mid-Size Crossover SUV Leader Lexus RX 450hL Takes On All Challenges

The leader of the pack of crossover SUVs since its introduction in 1998, helping to create the segment, the Lexus RX series is now in its 4th generation and decidedly grown up.

The loaded $54,000 RX 450hL is lavishly appointed, spacious, and comfortable with supple leather seating, hand rubbed wood accents and the comprehensive Lexus Enform connectivity tech for infotainment.

The new Lexus RX 450hL is about 4.3 inches longer to accommodate its three row 7-seats but it has grown into a mid-size Crossover SUV generally. The most is made of that scant increase to give this Lexus an expansive feel.

Though the F-Sport performance edition makes the most of the aggressive RX angular styling and menacing Darth Vader front mesh grille, the gas electric hybrid edition actually offers about a 13 horsepower boost over the highly acclaimed 3.5 liter V6 8-speed option and a 29 city / 28 highway EPA mileage rating.

The RX 450hL test vehicle scored as a dream daily driver with a confident presence on the road aided by a highly evolved torque controlled all-wheel drive system, backed by a seamless safety and collision avoidance technology suite.