What a grey day

Generic SUVs? By Chris Chilton


The story so far

|’ve switched from Mazda CX to Lexus RX, and |’m wondering if they’re more di erent than they look at first glance

★ |mpressive refinement - Missing those hard keys


Price £73,100 (£73,350 as tested)

Performanc­e 2487cc fourcylind­er plus two e-motors, PHEV, 304bhp, 6.5sec 0-62mph, 124mph E ciency 256.8mpg (ocial), 108.8mpg (tested), 26g/km CO2 Energy cost 9.2p per mile Miles this month 1135 Total miles 7098

Contributo­r Ben Pulman’s departure left us with a bit of a hole, but convenient­ly filled the car-shaped gap on my drive. Ben was vacating the RX at the same time my CX-60 was returning to Mazda, so we engineered a last-minute swap that had me jumping from one grey luxury Japanese PHEV SUV to another with a very similar name – but a totally different character and level of polish.

Maybe that should be expected given the £21k as-tested gulf in price between these two similarly-sized cars but I was still shocked by the RX’s vastly superior refinement. The Lexus rides so much better, is dreamily quiet in EV mode and, unlike the Mazda, has zero driveline shunt. It also ekes a few more miles from a charge, seeming to regularly manage at least 32 before asking for the plug. The RX doesn’t win every comparison, though. I like the RX’s larger (and more touchable) touchscree­n, but I also miss the Mazda’s rotary controller as well as all its hard keys for things like the heated seats and wheel. And while the RX’s wheel requires less twirling thanks to snappier gearing, the turning circle is notably worse; blame the engine being mounted across the nose. Overall, though, I’m impressed – and soothed. Ahhh.

 ?? ?? Thank heavens for the easily recognisab­le Lexus grille
Thank heavens for the easily recognisab­le Lexus grille
 ?? ?? Lexus RX 450h+ Premium Plus Pack Month 5
Lexus RX 450h+ Premium Plus Pack Month 5

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