SUVs come in all shapes and sizes these days and new subdivisions seem to pop up with the regularity of the world’s most persistent cold callers.
There is one section that retains its position at the top of the metaphorical 4x4 automotive housing block, though, and that’s the luxury segment.
Lexus, of course, is a standout manufacturer in that sphere, particularly in the Middle East.
The brand has its rivals, of course, but they’re not exactly stacking up with the regularity of those aforementioned cold callers. So there was much anticipation ahead of the launch of the new RX500h, a luxury crossover that, in its previous RX450h guise, already showed plenty of zest and gusto.
This latest model was always likely to follow in those footsteps, but Lexus has upped the ante and given the RX500h a proper upgrade.
As a turbocharged hybrid, the new arrival has a combined horsepower figure that is nearly 20 per cent higher than its predecessor.
Notably, this has had an even more significant impact on the car’s overall performance, as the RX500h is 90kg lighter to boot.
It’ll get from 0 to 100kph in well under six seconds, which, while not making it the fastest SUV on the planet, still gives it a performance figure you’d associate more with the so-called “hot-hatch brigade”.
You can feel all that pep as well, even in the well-insulated cabin.
As you rattle along the motorway or, indeed, a less breakneck stretch of road, you get dual (and bizarrely contradictory) feelings of safety and dynamism at the same time.
When it comes to how its looks have changed, there is a redesigned spindle grille up front, matched with a pair of piercing, jewel-like headlights.
Other notable characteristics include the sweeping rear wheel arch, which has a wavelike quality curiously reminiscent of the kind of stylings you’d find on classic cars from a century (or more) ago.
Inside, Lexus has made the whole set-up more driver-focused than it was in previous models, but the passengers will like it in there too. You get a 14-inch multimedia infotainment display, with sounds coming from a 21-speaker set-up.
You can also get an F-Sport performance package if you really want to get about in a hurry, which is likely to be a popular option among the Lexus massive.
As with the majority of luxury car manufacturers these days, you get remote connectivity to your vehicle via the Lexus Connect app, which is a boon if you need to get the air-conditioning up and running before you get in.
It would be fair to say Lexus hasn’t let itself down in any way with the RX500h. It’s a neat bit of kit with a lot of tasty features and a responsible hybrid power train, and, despite the highish price tag, fairly decent value for money.