Boasting the largest fleet of hybrids and getting bigger, Lexus blends their green technology seamlessly into their products in a diverse lineup of luxury vehicles to suit folks from varied well-heeled walks of life. The days of hoping a hybrid can roughly approximate the experience of driving a conventional car are over. The ride isn't always perfect either; it can be harsh on rough patches and railroad crossings. From steering to suspension, we felt disconnected from the road. Having earlier paired an iPhone to the car's Bluetooth phone system, a simple process, we were pleased with the call quality, plus the well-designed onscreen keypad.
Messing around with the different settings, we didn't notice a big difference between the Sport and normal settings on the suspension, other than a rougher ride in Sport. There are no significant changes for 2009. The rear seats have side seat-mounted and side curtain bags. Regardless of model, the finely crafted cabin always maintains Lexus levels of isolation from wind and road noise. The hybrid battery is located in the trunk, so cargo space is not a strong suit for this car, which has just 7.
Auto writers are almost universally impressed with the ride. No less and is trouble free, this is important. Power and Associates gave this vehicle a score of 10 out of 10 on its Predicted Reliability scale. Road noise was virtually inaudible from inside the cabin even on the highway, until I decided to embrace the spring sunshine and open the power moonroof. Route guidance from this system is basic, showing decent graphics describing upcoming turns, but not able to read out the street names. Noise levels aboard the 2009 Lexus 450h are unacceptable for a luxury car in this price range.
One that is easy, fun and engages you, the customer. In a realm where typical Lexus levels of fit and finish abound, revamped white-on-black gauges provide great legibility, basic controls are well-positioned and an array of supplemental function switches hide discretely behind a drop-down panel on the dash until they're called into action. There are also crumple zones in the front and rear and side-impact door beams. While most hybrids utilize their technological tidbits to increase fuel efficiency, there are no hard and fast rules saying this must always be the case. No need to worry here. Please confirm the accuracy of the included equipment by calling us prior to purchase.
Despite a slightly artificial feel, the electronically-boosted variable power steering is both quick and precise. Still, some say the driving experience is limited by electrically-assisted steering that can feel artificial. It's a beautiful car with plenty of speed, but the trade-off is that all that power hurts its fuel economy. One that is easy, fun and engages you, the customer. Our freeway soundtrack was pumped out through the premium Mark Levinson audio system's 14 speakers by a 330-watt amp. Destination entry is locked out on the touch screen while under way, but voice command proves impressively capable, prompting us for each part of a destination and doing a fine job of understanding our spoken street and city names. The electric-assist steering is well weighted, but it doesn't convey much road feel.
The sole caveat: Manual-style gear changes still must be made using the conventional console lever, as neither transmission offers steering-wheel-mounted shift buttons or paddles. The hybrid battery is located in the trunk, so cargo space is not a strong suit for this car, which has just 7. Another common problem is the lack of cargo space, though people do understand that this is simply a matter of needing to accommodate the hybrid battery and so simply part of the deal when buying this vehicle. And there's no shortage of high-technology features inside to live up to the image of a sport sedan for green geeks. The interior storage compartments are well-placed and fit seamlessly into the elegant interior, although some critics would like to see more of them.
But unlike V8s from other manufacturers, this car is an Ultra-Low Emissions Vehicle. The car doesn't do so well in cabin tech, and here we would look for the next update. Combine this with a high-torque electric motor, however, and the hybrid powertrain is capable of putting out 339 hp. Even in Sport mode, we could feel suspension travel in the corners, leading to a floating feeling as the car came through the apexes. The Traction Control senses wheelspin and compensates by transferring power to the wheels with the best grip. Horsepower calculations based on trim engine configuration.
Although it was untroubled by fast cornering, it also didn't provide much driving satisfaction. Although it was untroubled by fast cornering, it also didn't provide much driving satisfaction. Unlike many Hybrids, the 450h actually has two electric motors that generate power. The transmission uses variable ratios, but it does have a Sport setting and virtual shift points for its Manual mode. Altogether, the hybrid powertrain makes 339 horsepower and can push the 450h to 60 mph in just 5. Out on the twisting roads, we put the transmission and suspension in Sport and put the car in Power mode.
There are brands like the German that they just sell a good name because they made people believe they produce a good product. No need to worry here. No, internal combustion would remain unignited until needed. Fuel economy calculations based on original manufacturer data for trim engine configuration. A test example did 0-60 mph in 6. The system uses a combination of a gasoline engine and electric power, and it charges the battery system with the engine and during braking.