THE SUPERSIZE version of Lexus’s hybrid-only SUV offers a winning combination of power and practicality.

The RX, launched in 2015, was already Lexus’s biggest European-market SUV – but the L version came along three years later for those who craved even more space.

With its extended-length, this luxurious seven-seater is a more versatile and comfier take on a vehicle that was, eh, well, very versatile and comfy.

Tottenham Independent: Lexus RX-L

The extra 110mm of length is largely to be found in the RX L’s rear overhang, making space for that all-important third row of seats.

Power comes courtesy of an excellent hybrid powertrain, which allows the vehicle to combine efficiency with brisk performance.

The 3.5-litre V6 petrol unit is mated to an electric motor and badged up as the 450h.

It’ll take you from a standing start to 62mph in eight seconds, which feels very swift in real world driving conditions for a vehicle of this size.

Even more striking, though, is the quietness and smoothness with which it eases away at lower speeds.

In stop-start traffic or in built-up areas, the vehicle will run on silent electric power alone, and is especially comfortable and relaxing to drive. Even in the surrounding mayhem of a bustling rush hour scene, the Lexus seems to provide a soothing oasis of calm.

Tottenham Independent: Lexus RX-L

Once you need a little extra forward momentum and grunt, the petrol engine kicks in. It’s a smooth enough unit in its own right and only sounds harsh under heavy acceleration.

The handling is trustworthy, although the steering is not the most responsive and there’s a bit of body roll to look out for when cornering sharply.

That said, the overall impression is nimble enough that you don’t really feel like you’re driving such a large chunk of metal.

In terms of looks, it’s a car that benefits from sharp styling and certainly stands out from the crowd.

On this longer version, that extra bit added on behind the back wheels had the potential to go wrong aesthetically, but it didn’t.

In fact, the rear part of the roof sweeps backwards rather elegantly, looking well-integrated rather than appearing to be an afterthought.

Inside, there’s bags of space and adjustments for the front seat occupants, with a commanding driving position. The seats are hugely comfortable and supportive.

Tottenham Independent: Lexus RX-L

The middle seats will accommodate tall adults quite comfortably, while the back two seats are perhaps more suited to children, even if they do come with creature comforts such as their own air-conditioning controls and cupholders.

The quality of materials throughout the cabin is superb, with plenty of leather and soft touch surfaces adding to the premium feels. The part-wood steering wheel and the wood surrounding the central cup holders were nice finishing touches. The touchscreen is within easy reach and view of the driver and provides everything you need it to, although some systems are perhaps a little more advanced.

In terms of economy, it’s a vehicle that rewards those who drive smoothly and with less urgency.

You can maximise this ‘self-charging’ hybrid’s potential EV performance with gentle braking, which increases the amount of electric power regained from the regenerative braking system.

Tottenham Independent: Lexus RX-L

While the official combined fuel economy figure is 34.4mpg, I was able to extract more than that through some considered and delicate driving.

To help matters, the car’s Eco Monitor shows you when you’ve strayed into the ‘power’ band, thereby highlighting the driver’s heavy right foot!

In conclusion, it's a great all-rounder, ticking boxes such as power, space, luxury, economy and practicality.

The Lowdown

Lexus RX 450h L Takumi

ENGINE: 3.5-litre V6 petrol Atkinson 3,456



PERFORMANCE: Top speed of 112mph and 0-62mph in 8 seconds

OTR PRICE £64,215