It should come as no surprise that the 2012 Lexus RX 450h earns our award as the best hybrid SUV for long-term resale value. The Lexus RX models have always had the goods to make them valuable - clean styling, legit luxury, notable interior comfort and, available in front-drive and all-wheel drive (AWD), excellent poise on the road. This is not an off-road contender, but who cares? Nobody in their right mind would wear a wedding gown to go mud wrestling.
The heart of the 2012 Lexus RX 450h matter is its hybrid drivetrain. That substantial matter consists of a 3.5-liter V6 working in tandem with an electric motor. The combination produces the equivalent of 295 horsepower which is sent to the driven wheels through a continuously variable transmission (CVT). According to the EPA, the LX 450h's hybrid/CVT drivetrain hits some pretty good city/highway fuel economy numbers: 32/28 for the front-drive models, and 30/28 for the AWD version. It'll hold its own getting up to speed at a stoplight or on an on-ramp too.
Thanks to a dearth of direct competitors for the 2012 Lexus RX 450h, it's hard to assess the initial value of the hybrid SUV's $46,110 price tag. A much easier assessment is the notion of how much of that 46 large you can expect to get back after five years of ownership. By our calculations you'll be able to recapture 43% of that amount, which is good for a luxury vehicle, and very, very good for a hybrid.
Significantly refreshed last year, the Toyota Highlander's hybrid system delivers the equivalent of 280 hp, which is plenty of hybrid horsepower.
- at 36 months: 53.0%
- at 60 months: 39.5%
If you like your hybrid SUV shaped with boxy space efficiency, buy the Escape hybrid now because a rounder Escape replacement is due next year.
- at 36 months: 47.5%
- at 60 months: 31.5%