Lexus' luxury SUV, the RX, got an update for the 2010 model, enhancing the body work and changing the power train. The RX comes as either the hybrid RX 450h or the gasoline only RX 350.
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The hybrid power train in the RX 450h makes a combined 290 horsepower only, but it moves the vehicle adequately, delivering zero-to-60 mph times in under 8 seconds. Fuel economy is around 30 mpg.
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These adaptive LED headlamps are optional for the RX.
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Although the suspension doesn't use any advanced electronics, the car delivers a very nice ride.
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The RX is relatively small for an SUV, and only seats five.
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The rear seats fold down easily, maximizing cargo space.
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The cabin of the RX 450h is very comfortable, with luxury materials throughout.
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Steering was overpowered in the previous generation Lexus RX. For the 2010 model year, the company stiffened it up, so it offers enough resistance to make you feel like you are driving.
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There is no typical automatic or continuously variable transmission in the RX 450h. Instead, it uses a complex planetary gearset with computer ratio controls.
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The new cabin tech controller is a joystick that controls a cursor on the car's LCD.
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Lexus keeps the hybrid power animation that first appeared in the Toyota Prius. When the car is in motion, it shows where energy is going in the power train.
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The updated navigation system stores its maps on a hard drive, and includes traffic information.
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There is no space reserved on the navigation hard drive for music, as there is in other cars, but the iPod integration offers a complete interface.
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Bluetooth audio streaming is another new music source with the 2010 RX 450h.
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The in-dash disc changer reads DVDs, showing them on the LCD when the car is parked, and on the two rear-seat video monitors.
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The Bluetooth phone system is excellent. It reads a paired phone's contact list and lets you dial names by voice command.
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET
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