101 2ND STREET, EUREKA, CA 95502

Open daily 08:00 am to 05:30 pm

Towing Capacity and Performance of the Lexus RX 450h

Towing Capacity

The Lexus RX 450h is a popular midsize luxury SUV that offers excellent fuel efficiency along with ample cargo and passenger space. However, many prospective buyers wonder about the RX 450h’s towing capabilities and how it compares to other SUVs in its class. In this detailed guide, we’ll provide an in-depth look at the Lexus RX 450h’s towing capacity, how it affects performance, guidelines for safe towing, and how it stacks up against competitor SUVs.

Overview of the Lexus RX 450h Towing Capacity

The 2022 Lexus RX 450h has a maximum towing capacity of 3,500 pounds when properly equipped with a tow hitch and wiring harness. This allows the RX 450h to tow small-to-midsize trailers, boats, ATVs, and UTVs.

The towing capacity remains consistent across all RX 450h trim levels. Upgrading to the RX 450h F Sport, Luxury, or Ultra Luxury packages does not increase hauling abilities.

Towing capacity is also identical on the 2022 Lexus RX 350 (gas model) and RX 450h hybrid. The addition of the hybrid powertrain does not impact tow ratings.

How Towing Affects Performance and Fuel Efficiency

The Lexus RX 450h utilizes a hybrid powertrain that pairs a 3.5L V6 gasoline engine with three electric motors. This provides 308 combined horsepower and allows the RX 450h to accelerate from 0-60 mph in 7.7 seconds.

When towing a heavy load close to capacity, owners can expect acceleration and passing power to feel more sluggish. The gas engine will run more frequently to provide extra power, reducing the hybrid system’s fuel efficiency.

Towing range is also impacted. Under normal driving conditions, the RX 450h can achieve around 30 mpg combined. But expect fuel economy to drop into the low 20s when towing at or near the maximum 3,500 pound rating.

Owners should monitor engine temperature closely when towing. The RX 450h’s grille is designed for airflow optimization rather than maximum cooling. If the engine shows signs of overheating, turn on the A/C and reduce speed immediately to avoid damage.

Towing Equipment and Trailer Brakes

The Lexus RX 450h comes standard with a Class III tow hitch receiver and wiring harness, providing a 7-pin connector to power trailer lights. An optional towing prep package adds a heavy-duty radiator and supplemental transmission oil cooler.

For maximum stability and braking performance, trailers over 1,500 pounds should have their own brakes. The RX 450h is pre-wired for electric trailer brakes and includes an integrated controller. For hydraulic surge brakes, an aftermarket controller can be installed.

Lexus recommends using a weight distribution hitch system on trailers exceeding 2,000 pounds. This helps evenly distribute the load and improves handling.

Lexus RX 450h Towing Capacity Guidelines

To safely tow up to the RX 450h’s 3,500 pound limit, Lexus provides some guidelines:

  • Use a proper tow hitch and wiring harness. Aftermarket products may not withstand the towing loads.
  • Weight distribution bars and anti-sway controls are recommended for heavier loads.
  • Do not exceed 500 pounds (tongue weight) on the hitch itself.
  • Stay within gross vehicle and axle weight limits.
  • Adjust tire pressure to specifications when towing.
  • Increase fuel capacity by using the optional driver-side auxiliary tank.
  • Monitor engine temperature closely and watch for signs of overheating.
  • Use lower gears on inclines to avoid transmission overheating.
  • Observe break-in limits if the vehicle has less than 1,000 miles.

Owners should also follow all state and federal towing regulations for licensing, load limits, trailer brakes, safety chains, and lighting.

How RX 450h Towing Compares to Other SUVs

Compared to other luxury midsize SUVs, the Lexus RX 450h’s 3,500 pound tow rating is quite average:

  • Acura MDX: 5,000 pounds
  • Audi Q7: 7,700 pounds
  • BMW X5: 7,200 pounds
  • Lincoln Nautilus: 3,500 pounds
  • Porsche Cayenne: 7,700 pounds

However, the RX 450h bests some competitors, including:

  • Cadillac XT5: 1,000 pounds
  • Infiniti QX60: 3,500 pounds
  • Land Rover Discovery Sport: 2,000 pounds
  • Mercedes-Benz GLE350: 3,500 pounds

So while it does not lead the class in towing, the RX 450h still offers better capacity than some rivals. When combined with its excellent fuel efficiency and luxury features, it remains a top choice in the segment for buyers who only occasionally need light-duty towing ability.

Towing Tips and Safety Considerations

Towing any substantial load requires caution and proper preparation. Here are some key tips for safe towing with the Lexus RX 450h:

  • Practice maneuvering, reversing, and braking with lighter loads first to get accustomed to how the extra weight impacts handling.

  • Ensure all cargo inside the RX or trailer is secured properly to avoid dangerous weight shifts.

  • Adjust side mirrors to maximize rear visibility around the trailer. Consider extended mirrors for better visibility.

  • Allow extra stopping distance while towing. Switch to low gear early and avoid abrupt braking.

  • Use extreme caution on wet, icy or snowy roads. The extra weight impacts traction.

  • Watch speed limits closely, as the RX 450h can accelerate quickly past legal limits when unloaded.

  • Keep an eye on rear traffic, as acceleration and stopping abilities are hindered.

  • Use extra caution on inclines. Stay in low gears and avoid overheating or overexerting the powertrain.

  • Verify tire condition and pressure before each trip. Inspect hitch connections for wear.

  • Consider safety upgrades like a backup camera, proximity sensors, brake controllers, and a transmission cooler.

Is the Lexus RX 450h Right for You?

The Lexus RX 450h offers an enticing blend of fuel efficiency, luxury and adequate towing for light-duty hauling. With 3,500 pounds of capacity, owners can comfortably tow small boats, ATVs, modest campers and other recreational gear.

However, buyers who regularly tow heavy loads near the limits may want to consider a more powerful SUV. Competitors from Audi, BMW and Porsche offer significantly higher capacities of 7,000 pounds or more. The RX 450h balances utility, efficiency and luxury, but is best suited for occasional light towing rather than extreme loads.

By following the proper guidelines and practicing safe towing habits, RX 450h owners can take advantage of the SUV’s rated capacity to trailers small recreational toys or even a modest pop-up camper for weekend getaways and outdoor adventures. As always, we recommend consulting the full owner’s manual for additional towing information specific to your Lexus model and year.

At Antich Automotive, we’re Lexus enthusiasts who love helping RX 450h owners properly equip their vehicles for peak towing performance. If you have any questions about towing capacity or want to schedule a hitch or wiring installation, please <a href=”#”>contact us</a> today!

What are the towing capabilities of the Lexus SUV line-up

Leave a Comment