Taking all the stories about Lexus comfort without any pinch of salt, when we got inside the RX 450h for the first time we were expecting to sit on fluffy pillows, while a couple of naked Thai masseuses would jump from the glove compartment to provide a nice and... cozy atmosphere. Well, the truth is that our high expectations were a bit let down by a number of factors. No, it wasn't because the lack of car-integrated-Thai-masseuses...
First of all, the so-called wood inserts on the doors and on the center console are so blatantly made of wood-imitating plastic it actually hurts the eye. We would expect and almost be OK with plastic "wood" inserts on cheap econoboxes trying to rise up in the world, not on a 70,000+ euros premium crossover/SUV. Second of all, the quality of the [rest of the] plastics found on the center console isn't much better than that found on a 25,000 euros Toyota Prius, which we believe is saying something about the subject of "premium versus popular" in the Toyota group.
Leaving these two troubles behind, the rest of the RX's interior is pretty much top notch. The beige aniline leather looks very "Camry" at first glance, but its softness is of Bentley quality. We're not kidding about this bit. Also, every seat feels like it belongs to a living room, not to a car. The comfort they provide to every one of the maximum of five passengers is simply astonishing, while the interior features can make almost anyone feel at home.
Th overall interior space is more than adequate for four or even five fully-grown passengers, as long as they're not all like our 6 foot 6 (200 centimeters) colleague we're "using" to measure the inside of most of the cars we test. Also, despite the car using a pretty large set of batteries and another electric engine for the rear wheels, the luggage compartment is pretty large, with almost 500 liters (17.7 cubic feet) of available storage.
Another bit we really liked about the interior was the availability of small but useful storage spaces everywhere around the car. You can put your keys, your Coke (the soda, not the sniffing kind), your coffee, your papers, your glasses and a bunch of other stuff you need with you in the car. All in all, the practicality and the comfort of the interior almost made us "forgive" the two drawbacks we first mentioned about it. Still, we may forgive, but we don't forget. Continue reading