Lexus RX 450h

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New hybrid-electric cars: Lexus RX 450h

Earning about 10 percent better fuel economy than the RX 400h it replaces, the 2010 RX 450h has a combined system horsepower rating of 295, which is 27 more than its predecessor. A 3.5-liter, V-6 engine works with a series of electric motors and a 288-volt nickel metal hydride, or NiMH, battery pack to achieve an estimated city fuel economy of 32 miles per gallon.

The hybrid version has all the luxury appointments of the new RX 350. This includes the optional front-light system that estimates where a vehicle turning a corner will be in three seconds based on speed and angle of the front tires, and then adjusts the lateral aim of the headlamps.

Safety equipment includes 10 airbags and an optional precollision system that automatically prepares seat belts and braking systems when the vehicle is closing in on obstacles and an accident is possible. It is expected to go on sale midsummer.

MSRP: Starting at $41,660.