By on September 5, 2009

I am, of course, urging Roman Mica of to take a little more time for his reviews, deploy a few metaphors and tell us how he really feels. Remember: this internet deal is a two-way thing. If you’ve got some pointers for our budding videographer/reviewer, share them here. As with written work, TTAC welcomes new video contributors without regard to their editorial slant. All I ask is that the overall production quality meets the standard set by Mr. Mica and that you do NOT sound like a fanboy or a total asshole (that’s my job). Send an embed code (from YouTube) to

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21 Comments on “TTAC Video Review: 2010 Lexus RX450h...”

  • avatar

    Another excellent capsule review – keep them up (and succinct).

    43k! (well, cheaper than the Challenger).

    I await one of your reviews (or TTAC’s) of the 2010 Equinox (4 cyl, please). Consumer Reports has one “In Testing” right now – but they have the front seat legroom listed at 43″ – exactly what I need (I’ll be shopping next year).

  • avatar

    Interesting bit on the location of the aux plugs. As noted, the styling is definitely a step backwards, though I find the chinless front end even more objectionable than the sides.

    TrueDelta has no real-world fuel economy data on the 2010 yet. For earlier years:

    Note: the posted horsepower figure for hybrid powertrains varies by whether or not the electric motor’s output is included. Toyota/Lexus isn’t consistent from year to year, so I’m afraid neither are we.

    shaker — I wouldn’t base much on official interior specs. There are many ways to finesse them that the only reliable way to evaluate roominess is to sit in the vehicle yourself.

  • avatar

    28 MPG for all that weight and luxury…not too shabby. The hybrid Escape (company car) last week had 31 MPG indicated. Assuming the average is a running total until reset like my old LSC worked, I wonder what the long term running total on the Lexus would be…probably a bit less than 28 but still pretty damn good for what it is.

  • avatar

    never ever say supple. never ever again. kthksbye

  • avatar

    Great review. Details are especially important in luxury cars. If you could pick music that didn’t have lyrics so I’m listening to like two voices at once, it’d be easier to hear what you’re saying. Also, “handles pretty well, but it’s not a sports car” is used in like a billion reviews of everything from Fits to Camrys to Lincolns, so it’s sort of vague. Of course, it was only 3 minutes long, so there’s no time to go over everything like Jeremy Clarkson. He has like 10 minutes.

    Looking forward to the next video reviews!

  • avatar

    Thanks for the kinds words and helpful suggestions about my video reviews.

    I agree that my driving impressions were vague and cliche at best.

    I’ll work on it, but I’m not sure in America I could get away with saying stuff like “biblically bad” like Clarkson used to describe the new Honda insight.

    Perhaps “seismically bad” might fly, but I have yet to test drive the new insight ;-)

  • avatar

    “Handling” is far too generic and all-encompassing of a word. Granted the RX is in no way a drivers car and most buyers are just going to be interested in fuel economy and cargo space, but I think if you’re going to mention at all, then you should be a lot more specific.

    Start with the steering (and remember weighting is not the same as feel!). Is it sloppy with a lot of play on-center? Does it weight up with speed or during tight cornering? Does it give you any indication of what the front tires are up to?

    Is the throttle overly hesitant, too aggressive, or linear? Same for the brakes. Since this is a CVT transmission response is going to be different than a typical autobox, but you can still tell whether the transmission feels like it’s asleep at the switch or not.

    Specific criticisms to this video: considering its so short, some 25 seconds is far too long to demonstrate how nicely the window closes. When you’re talking about Lexus’ new mouse controller, we can’t actually see it. We can just see you talking about something off screen. If you want some pointers, CNET does in car tech demonstrations better than anyone.

    Since you made it a big point to talk about the aux plugs – what kind are they? If I don’t know if it’s a plug I might actually want to use, then I don’t know whether or not I should care about it being hard to reach.

  • avatar

    Lexus has shown little to no real progression for the last couple of years.

    They need to up their game big time in terms of exterior design, interior design and content and value if they wish to avoid slipping more.

    The new RX is worse than the last gen, also.

  • avatar

    I couldn’t believe the part about the location of the AUX plug. That is simply pathetic and inexcusable on ANY vehicle that is “all new” for the 2010 model year, let alone a luxury car that’s supposed to be stuffed with all the latest gadgets and gizmos. Hell, my 2004 Nissan Sentra has an AUX IN plug built into the stereo head unit.

  • avatar

    Pretty decent review. I was pleased to see that the reviewer focused more on what the target market will care about. The window thing is just one of the small things that shows that Lexus is paying attention to the small details. What really caught my attention were the small touches that made the car feel very luxurious.

    ohsnapback : The new RX is worse than the last gen, also.

    Interior styling, exterior styling, drivetrain, engine, economy, ergonomics, handling, AWD power transfer, cost of new 2010 vs. used 2009? That is a pretty vague, blanket statement.

    I personally prefer the exterior styling of the 2009, but otherwise, I think the 2010 has better interior materials, much better and more modern interior styling, far cooler gadgets (the mouse controller is wicked), and the 6AT plus the updated 3.5L V6 are welcome changes that should return better fuel economy. The 2010 feels much more luxurious than the previous generation.

    Petrolhead – I didn’t dig down into the console so much when I was driving, but I think the idea is that you can hide all the cables down in the console so you don’t have cables strewn all about the interior. That is one of my major complaints on the power points on my GTI. It is in the change tray so you have to keep the tray lid open in order to have anything plugged in. Being the neat freak that I am, it drives my OCD up the wall to have the lid open for my ipod or phone charger.

  • avatar

    FYI: I believe the Lexus Hybrid does not in fact have a true CVT. The interplay between the two electric motors and gas engine is actually controlled by a computer through a very sophisticated gearing systems that approximates a CVT.

    If I’m being picky I’d say in terms of handling the steering feel is over-boosted, as with many of the other Lexus models aimed at more of the luxury car buyer market.

    The ride is well damped with surprisingly little body roll for a pretty tall SUV. It almost feels, dare I say, German. Harsh bumps upset the otherwise smooth ride and intrude with an unwelcome surprise.

    The brakes are grabby and like many of Toyota’s hybrids—a bit clunky when they return power back to the battery.

    I spent time talking about the windows because I think that’s the secret sauce that makes Lexus so successful. Unlike any other car builder I believe Lexus really sweats the details.

    For instance the inside door handle is padded with a sublime cushy soft material. It is like sticking your hand in a lamb skin clove when you open or close the door.

    You combine all of those tiny little details and you get a something that is much more than the sum of all the wood, leather, metal, plastic that makes up a typical car.

    Does that that mean that the RXh has a personality of a fine Swiss watch or a refrigerator?

    That’s an entire different conversation.

  • avatar
    Seth L

    I hate all video reciews.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    Roman Mica: FYI: I believe the Lexus Hybrid does not in fact have a true CVT. The interplay between the two electric motors and gas engine is actually controlled by a computer through a very sophisticated gearing systems that approximates a CVT.

    Same difference. A CVT doesn’t have to be a belt-type system only. CVT stands for constant variable transmission, and Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive is just that, in a different form.

  • avatar

    Roman Mica : For instance the inside door handle is padded with a sublime cushy soft material. It is like sticking your hand in a lamb skin clove when you open or close the door.

    That is one of the details I was specifically thinking about when I made my post. I’ve driven BMW, Cadillac, etc, and none left that unexpected “oh, goodness, this is pleasant” feeling I got just from shutting the RX350 door.

    As far as the transmission, it is actually a planetary geartrain, from my recollection, but it still acts continuously variable. The setup seems much more clever than a belt style CVT.

  • avatar

    On the styling, the “fat back” styling of the rear fenders seems like a carry over (more?) from the toyota solara. I don’t get it, were there really THAT many people who loved the solara styling?

  • avatar
    Mirko Reinhardt

    CVT stands for constant variable transmission, and Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive is just that, in a different form.

    I always thought it was continuously variable transmission, which seems to make more sense to me. But then I’m not a native speaker and may have gotten that backwards.

  • avatar


    That’s what I’ve always heard too, so it’s not just a problem with not being a native speaker.

  • avatar

    I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around how 4,652 pounds and a SUV-high center of gravity can make for a pleasant driving experience, unless pleasant means driving straight and only straight. Despite what many car reviewers like to suggest, automobile do not defy physics.

  • avatar

    I think you did a good job. You spoke quickly but I didn’t get the sense that you were rushed. You were a little vague about how the car drives, but for a luxury SUV, that’s probably not such an important factor (disproportionately so in this forum perhaps). I might have liked to have heard about:

    1. The Aux back: Why is it there? So you can leave an Ipod there all the time w/o cabin clutter?
    2. The amount of room. It’s an SUV so I assume people buy them for either room for people or stuff. Comments about that?

    Lastly, I thought the window bit was a bit long, sure, but it was a good choice. It was a nice specific detail and it gave a sense of the attention to detail. So again, good job.

  • avatar

    Oh, if you want to see some good video car reviews, I actually like CNETs a lot. True they are 5min (vs. 3min) so just ignore the extra 2min they spend on the in car tech (then again, it is CNET).

    Note, I don’t work for Cnet, I just offer these as other examples of video reviews that appeal to dorks and mainstream consumers alike. My girlfriend can even sit through these when she sees them on my TiVo.

  • avatar

    About AUX,12V and USB plug, After your cable are installed you d’ont have to worry about them at all. That is what its made for !

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