Lexus's best-selling SUV is finally coming in a plug-in hybrid variant, the RX 450h+ AWD. With 37 miles of all-electric range, this is the SUV Lexus fans have been waiting for. Competition is stiff in the luxury midsize SUV category, though, and the Lexus is right in the middle of the pack:
But the RX 450h+ faces competition even closer to home: the regular hybrid (non plug-in) RX 350h Luxury AWD. Spec-for-spec, feature-for-feature, these are very similar vehicles. Of course you will drive a cleaner, smoother, better engine with the plug-in, but you'll also pay $9,000+ extra for the privilege. Do the extra gas-savings make the plug-in worth the price?
The short answer is "maybe" but not obviously. Based on current national average electricity and gas prices (the RX uses Premium), it would take 133,164 all-electric miles driven before the plug-in hybrid overtakes the regular hybrid on gas savings alone. If you're charging to 37 miles of range once per day (and fully depleting it every day), it would take just under 10 years to reach that point. Counting weekdays only (e.g. for a commute) would be nearly 14 years. Financially speaking, you should probably just get the regular hybrid unless you're charging both at home and at work. But don't you want this one instead? :)
As always, you can customize these savings numbers yourself in the EV Savings Calculator.
Availability for the RX 450h+ is predictably limited. Lexus dealers we reached out to are taking deposits, but with different promises about when they will arrive. First vehicles should ship in the next few weeks, but some are spoken for up to 4-6 months. We recommend getting in line now if you want one.