Given the brutal, and ever lasting winter we’ve had this year in Manitoba, a heated steering wheel is an unbelievable feature. Yes, the Lexus RX 450h has that option and during the -40 bone chilling temperatures, anything that help ease the driving experience is always a bonus. The RX 450h starts at a base MSRP of $62,300 and the test model came equipped with the add-on Technology Package that added $10,375 to the final bill. Total MSRP before taxes, freight and PDI is $72,675.00.
The heated leather and wood steering wheel is part of that $10k package. Yes, $10k for a heated steering wheel in the winter! I’d say it would be well worth the upgrade as it also includes 19″ aluminum alloy wheels, 15-speaker Mark Levinson Surround Sound audio, blind spot monitor, front power seats, premium leather, park assist, voice-activated HDD navigation, head-up display and more.
The 2014 RX 450h is jam packed with refined features after it’s re-design in the 2013 model. The gas-electric hybrid CUV still has great performance and fuel economy as it comes with a 3.5L, 6-cylinder combined with three electric motors producing 295hp.
The interior of the RX 450h has premium leather throughout with wood-grain finishes. I’m personally not a fan of the wood-grain and would much rather prefer black carbon fiber finish. Rear passenger space is also very comfortable even with the 40-20-40 rear folding seat configuration. Storage in the back is good too except if you are transporting high/tall items which might get clipped due to the sloping rear window and trunk. There’s more than enough space to carry two hockey bags.
Depending on different driving situations, the RX 450h has three different driving modes. Sport, normal and EV. In EV mode, the electric battery is used to power the car so it’s great for slow, stop & go, Sunday driving in slow residential areas. In Sport mode, and definitely my driving mode of choice, probably because the dash illumination changes from blue to red. Plus, driving in Sport mode is more responsive and quicker and works well in highway driving conditions.
Photos by Ron Cantiveros | Filipino Journal