Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

The elevated driving position of the RX offers great visibility, while the materials used are high quality plastics and wood. Cars equipped with satellite navigation come with a new driver interface which differs from any previous Lexus. Anyone familiar with Lexus navigation systems probably enjoys the intuitive feed of the touch-screen display. However, positioning the display close enough to reach means the driver has to take his or her eyes a long way from the road to use it.

For the RX450h, the screen has been positioned below the base of the windscreen - good for safety but out of reach. It is accessed through a control system on the centre console which is surprisingly easy to use. The driver uses a controller which moves a cursor on the screen and selects icons via a button - like clicking a mouse on a computer.

Lexus RX comfort levels are fairly high. The RX450h is slightly larger inside than its predecessor, with more room for passengers. Leather trim is standard, with heated and electrically adjustable front seats even on the entry-level SE specification, as well as cruise control and dual-zone air conditioning. SE-L models come with ventilation as well as heating in the front seats.

There is almost no intrusion from the engine - it is barely audible when it turns over after the electric motors have brought the RX up to speed. There is some noticeable wind noise around the door mirrors at high speed, but this is partly because everything else is so quiet.