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The Lexus RX450hL is a premium hybrid crossover SUV by Lexus, a luxury division of the renowned Japanese automaker Toyota. Launched in 2009 during the third generation of the Lexus RX model, the RX450hL has been celebrated as the brand's best-selling hybrid vehicle. Available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive, it is powered by a range of gasoline engines, including V6 and hybrid engines. The all-wheel-drive system utilizes active torque control, sending 50-100% of the power to the wheels, enhancing the vehicle's efficiency. The RX450hL features an upgraded 3.5-liter V6 engine that outputs 245 hp at 6,000 rpm, coupled with a new, lightweight inverter which delivers a total output of 297 hp. The hybrid system employs up to three electric motors and leverages the Atkinson cycle for increased efficiency. It also benefits from two additional systems: an exhaust heat recovery system to reduce warm-up times and a cooled exhaust gas recirculation system to lessen fuel pump losses. The RX450hL takes safety seriously, equipped with standard front passenger airbags, front knee airbags, active head restraints, stability control, and hill start control. Advanced Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Control is available as an optional feature. With its excellent handling capabilities, fuel efficiency, and the comfort that Lexus is known for, the Lexus RX450hL stands as a leader in the luxury hybrid SUV market.
The Lexus RX450hL, a gas-electric hybrid three-row version of the RX model, faces several operational concerns. One major issue is the trunk door's failure to close securely due to a pronounced vertical crack located near the emblem on the rear liftgate panel below the window. This defect, suspected to be a manufacturing oversight, has implications, potentially leading to frequent battery failures if the compromised closing mechanism does not seal the trunk fully. In terms of vehicle modifications, although the Curt 13272 model trailer hitch, designed initially for the RX350, can be fitted to the 2020 RX450hL, there are concerns about potential interference with the vehicle's hands-free back hatch sensor. Balancing the hitch's installation while ensuring the sensor's functionality remains a challenge. Additionally, the RX450hL, despite its strengths in fuel economy and luxury, has been critiqued for its limited cargo and passenger space relative to midsize crossover competitors, certain interior quality shortcomings, and specific design elements such as the slow operation of the power-folding seat that seems out of place in a luxury SUV of its caliber.
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