Geneva Motor Show 2012• Third generation of Lexus’s hybrid 4×4
• Second Lexus model to show off the new company ‘face’
• Expected on sale this summer

The Lexus RX 450h is a full production model, due to be unveiled by the Japanese manufacturer alongside the Lexus LF-LC Coupe Concept at this month’s Geneva Motor Show.

What is it?

Lexus’ fourth generation RX 4×4 and the third to feature hybrid engine technology. It’s aimed at those who like the idea of a large, capable off-roader, but dislike being spat at by cyclists at traffic lights. If you want a reasonably economical 4×4 but can’t bring yourself to drive a diesel, it could be the perfect solution.

What’s it like?

Other than the new headlamps and pinched grille, which brings the RX 450h’s front end aesthetic in line with the new Lexus corporate theme first showcased on the new Lexus GS, little information has been given prior to the car’s unveiling. It’ll be quiet, that’s for sure: Lexus’ superb interior refinement married to a hushed hybrid motor will make for a supremely relaxed mode of transport. Also expect generous equipment levels and competitive pricing when it eventually goes on sale.

What’s it up against?

Given that the original hybrid RX came out in 2003, it has taken rival manufacturers a long time to offer a similarly powered 4×4. Currently, the only real alternatives are the Porsche Cayenne Hybrid and the Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid. However, if you’re sold on the Lexus (read stress free) way of motoring, there is little that will tempt you into those models.

When can I buy it?

For now, Lexus is keeping tight lipped about an official launch date, saying only that it will be available in UK showrooms this summer. If you’re interested in a used model, you can browse examples advertised on Auto Trader here.

By Daljinder Nagra

The cars of Geneva 2012:

Audi A3
Audi RS4 Avant
Ferrari F12berlinetta
Ford B-Max
Ford Fiesta ST
Ford Kuga
Hyundai Veloster Turbo
Lamborghini Aventador J
Land Rover DC100
Lexus RX 450h
Mercedes A Class
Nissan Invitation
Porsche Boxster
Volkswagen Golf GTI Cabriolet
Volkswagen Polo BlueGT