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Lexus RX 400h and 450h

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Comments

  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    I like that it looks pretty much the same as an RX330. I like the look of the car and didn't want a difference just for the sake of difference.

    I'm surprised how many people - even among my high tech friends - don't know what a hybrid is. Or the difference between and RX400 and an RX330. Even if there was a bigger difference, it would be lost on most people seeing you drive by.
  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    "If the car is rated at 268 hp, and the gas motor only makes 208 hp, the motors must provide at least 60 hp or about 45kW at peak output, but I never see the kW guage get far above zero in electric only mode."

    From what I see on ours, it will run on electric only when the power meter is in the range where it is a dashed line and as soon as it goes into the solid line line region the engine comes on.

    There may be reasons to switch from motor drive to engine drive even if the motor could supply more power:
    Battery life - for some battery technologies life is determined in part by the cummulative charge/discharge cycles. (Charging 10% and discharging 10% ten times counts as one cycle, so does charging and dicharging 50% twice.) I've seen a white paper on this for LiIon. I haven't been able to find out if the effect is the same for NiMH but it seems to be implied about some of what I've read.
    Effiiciency trade-offs - Electric drive is more efficient when the engine would have to operate at a less efficient point (very low RPM) to produce the power. All the power in the battery came from the engine. There are losses in converting the power and storing it. Once the power needed is in the range where the engine can operate efficientyly, then it is more efficient to draw it directly from the engine even if it is still in the range the battery and motors could supply.
    Battery availability for acceleration - some levels of acceleration are effiiciently produced by the motor(s) and engine operating together. If you run the battery far down running on engine only, then power may not be available for them to operate together to provide high power later.
  • markattymarkatty Posts: 9
    Dylan,

    I totally agree with you. What Lexus has done by having only minimal exterior distinction is to reduce the RX-400 to an engine option on an RX-330. Looked at that way paying extra makes little financial sense. Yes, you will get a tax deduction next 4/15, and yes, you will get somewhat better gas mileage, but unless they can make the 400 more than just an engine option, its uniqueness will be loss and with it much of the resale value, which was supposed to be a reason to pay a premium for the 400.

    In the three weeks I have had my 400 only one person, a 14 year old boy recognized it as a hybrid, everyone else thinks I have my mother's RX-330. The Lexus RX 300/330 has been Lexus' best selling model and here in the NYC suburbs they are a dime a dozen, rendering the small number of 400s invisible. Personally, I think the car is under-badged and needs several more not so subtle features to stand out as a "hot, must have" car.

    None of the other hybrid engine options, the Civic, Accord, nor the Escape have done much in the way of sales, particularly compared with ICE versions. The Prius on the other hand has been and continues to be a "hot" car and at least for now so is the 400. The Prius has distinctive (albeit, somewhat quirky) styling and says all the things that a hybrid should. With Lexus' decision to not emphasize the uniqueness of the 400, they run the risks of it becoming just an expensive engine option. For a small segment of people an inner glow about their environmentalism will be motivation enough to buy it. Unfortunately, 27 mpg is not so much better that its going to become the Sierra Club's car of the year. Nor is its hybrid performance going to displace the Porsche Cayenne S let alone the Turbo.

    So Lexus has a car with some environmental aspects, some better acceleration, some luxury and lots of invisibility. I am hoping their PR and Marketing department have something up their sleeve. I had expected a lot more promotion for a car with this much anticipation. They did get a great placement in the WSJ saying that Dustin Hoffman had bought one, but most of the articles have been about hybrids in general often with the Prius as the star.

    As to advertising, a few of the local dealers mention you can come in and drive it, but no promotions (understandable, since they expect to sell the car at full price). Lexus national advertising has been minimal too. In fact the only thing I have seen is a two page "early Infiniti type" ad in the WSJ. Both pages were blank except the top right that said something like "A list of all the Luxury Hybrid SUVs" and in the bottom right of the right page was a small picture of a 400. Toyata seems to be resting on their Prius laurels and their record profits. (What other company would say they were going to raise prices to help out the ailing US manufacturers.)

    I really do like the car it does a lot of things right, but being invisible is not one of them. Lexus may be right that their target audience really only wants a Lexus, and is not interested in distinctive styling, but I have found it disappointing to be lumped in with the more sedate Lexus SUV crowd. I'd jump at an after-sales badging package whether from Lexus or someone else.
  • mirexmirex Posts: 68
    I play my ipod-mini wirelessy through my audio sytem in my RX-300. It sounds fine to me.
  • shackmanshackman Posts: 9
    I for one am thrilled to hear that the RX 400h resembles the 2005 RX 330. :surprise: I absolutely love the styling especially of the rear view and thought that the RX 400h did not have those great crystal back lights that the 2005 RX 330 has. Just today I saw several 2005 RX 330's and told my wife that I wish the RX 400h had the same back view. She asked me if I wanted to change my order and buy the 2005 RX 330 and I had to think twice before answering. You all made my day!! :shades:
  • pinzabupinzabu Posts: 11
    Did anyone purchase the extended warranty? I keep my cars 8 - 10 years. Thoughts on this or any of the other options/products offered at purchase? :confuse:
  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    We bought the 7 year 100 k mile one after the dealer knocked a few hundred off the price. I hope it turns out not to be needed. I normally wouldn't buy one especially for a Toyota or Lexus product. My Camry has about 200k miles and has needed almost nothing other than the normal wear and tear repairs (e.g. brakes).
    One of my reasons for the decision was the number of electric motors in the car. A lot of the talk seems to be about the batteries or the hybrid control electronics which are already covered out to 100 k miles anyway, but over the years the non-automotive electric motors I've owned have been relatively high failure items. Since this car is so new and even Prius hasn't been around long enough to have a good idea of the repair rate for these items, the extended warranty seemed like a good idea.
  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    Do any of you have a T-Mobile GSM phone that has hooked up to the RX400 bluetooth well?
  • phil15phil15 Posts: 3
    Can anyone tell me how much noise you should hear from the engine when it starts coming off the battery? I can hear the engine kick in especially when sitting
    at a traffic light & taking off. I also notice in the morning when backing out of my driveway on battery then the engine kicks in very rough noise at the floor board
    at the left foot rest. not as noticeable when driving around town in normal stop & go traffic, only from a stand still. I don't know if I'm expecting too much from this vehicle. Last car was a RX330
  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    I don't notice anything like that with mine.
  • rvckidrvckid Posts: 1
    I have a T-Mobile GSM Blackberry/phone. It was easily synched with my new 400h so that I can make and receive calls. However, I have not yet figured out how to upload my phone book. All calls need to be manually dialed from the phone. Any info regarding the phone book hook up would be appreciated.
  • jasonatljasonatl Posts: 1
    I don't really "hear" the engine start up, but I feel it. To me, it feels akin to a vibration from a slightly rough road - and lasts for 1/2 a second or so. I can't say that I notice this every time. I defintely notice it in the driveway as I back out of the garage. My guess is that there are two reasons for this: 1) first (cold) start of the engine; 2) I'm on my driveway, barely moving, with no noise or vibrations around me (i.e., a better signal-to-noise ratio).

    My observation is that this is "normal." To me, it is noticeable at times, but not annoying or at all bothersome.
  • lleecpalleecpa Posts: 35
    We are deciding between these two vehicles. We normally sell our cars once they reach 90,000 miles. Have anyone compared these two cars? Gasoline useage is an obvious one. Yet, by using 90,000 miles - 60% freeway - 40% local, assume $3 per gallon for gas, the difference is around $8,355. Difference in price between the two are around $15K. I currently have a 2001 Mercedes E430 (absolutely love the car) and my husband has 2000 Accura TL (we plan to sell this one).

    Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    Get an E320 CDI and get an honest 37 MPG on the highway, at any speed you like to drive.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    With the Cayenne you would be carrying a lot of extra un-needed weight around for 90,000 miles. If you have non-sports off-road duty (cabin in the woods) for it then fine. But then that monor off-road duty virtually rules out the entire RX series.

    If you haven't considered the BMW X3 or the new ML you might want to give them a looksee.
  • cabluecablue Posts: 48
    I absolutely love the Cayenne S. That's the car I would get if I didn't care about gas consumption. I am seriously considering the 400h because of its gas mileage. I drive a BMW 530 and wanted something sporty to drive with more room than my car. The Cayenne S was, imo, the only SUV that had that sporty feel driving and the luxury I was wanting. But, I cannot bring myself to get a new car with such horrible gas mileage. Not because of the cost of gas but because of the consumption. If everyone keeps buying these gas guzzlers, the car companies will continue to make them, unless the government steps in and requires better mpg. People need to be conscientious buyers. One has to prioritize their values. My husband objects to buying Japanese. I don't have as much a problem with that as he does.
  • headlessheadless Posts: 50
    First of all, the X3 is not a good vehicle and is not selling well. Although it has a BMW motor, it is a true underachiever in almost every other aspect. Do yourself a favor and pass this one over!

    The new M series Mercedes is sweet...however, dollar for dollar, it cannot compete with the Lexus. The ML500 is 0-60 in 6.8, our RX400h is about 6.9-7.0 (depending who tests)...the Mercedes has nothing on acceleration once you're moving...the Lexus might even fare better...as far as 0-60 with the Lexus, the Lexus 7.3 is wrong. Independent tests have it faster (in the 6.9 range)...In addition, the Mercedes is a gas guzzler and at 93 octane...expect about 16 mpg...you can get 25 mph with performance with the RX400h and save about 15k...no questions here!

    As far as the person with the Cayenne question...if you get a Cayenne, don't waste your time unless you get the turbo...if you're considering the small engine or the 'S', don't bother...you won't be too happy. The Lexus has them beat.

    The best competition for this vehicle, IMHO, is the FX35 and 45 from Infiniti. The only thing that holds them back is the gas mileage and usage of premium gas...performance is great though, and the vehicle has very aggressive lines...

    I have now 1700 miles on my RX...I am averaging about 24 mpg with normal use...in my area, this means hilly terrain with speed limits of 35-45 mph...this is the WORST terrain for a RX as you need to constantly stop and start from lights....many times going up hills...and get to speeds that certainly require the ICE....and a lot of it...even with such though, I'm getting 24 mpg.

    On the highway, I range from 26 to 28 mpg, depending on speed. This is consistant with Lexus claims...

    Bumper to bumper traffic is truly where the RX rules...expect 30+ mpg...

    Headless
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    In addition, the Mercedes is a gas guzzler and at 93 octane

    If you can afford a vehicle that costs $50k to $100k why would you worry about gas mileage? Spending that kind of money the only thing to worry about is how well you like the car. And getting an RX400h that will go 0-60 in 6 seconds then driving it like a little old lady from Pasadena is real strange IMO. If you are worried about the mileage get a Prius and feel real "Green". Otherwise test drive them all and buy what you really like to drive. If you plan to go off-roading or tow your boat get the Cayenne or MB.
  • headlessheadless Posts: 50
    I certainly wouldn't use a Porsche for an off-road vehicle...the vehicle is made for performance, not lots of towing and off-road.

    The Mercedes is a little better off road...don't know how many people are going to buy a MB and drive it off-road though...more likely to tow a boat!

    I don't think how much you spend on a vehicle correlates to caring about gas mileage. In fact, the more expensive your vehicle, the more concerned you should be. The way I see it is the more money someone has, the less they want to throw it away...for that reason, vehicles like a Hummer and Porsche Turbo are a waste...what soccer mom really needs to be driving around in a Hummer at 10 mpg? I can't think of one...even the newer extended Denalis are getting about 20 mpg on the highway...there's no point to owning a vehicle that gets around 15 mpg (or below), mostly on premium gas...no matter how much money you make, IMHO....you can do just as well with more efficient vehicles...and that's good for all of us...

    Of course, it's America and we can do what we please, but the reason I bought the hybrid is because I wish to make a conscious effort to make an impact on our oil/gas consumption in this country....if we ALL drove hybrids of some form, we could lower our oil needs by probably 40%...and that would do wonders for our country! I need more space so a Prius isn't a good fit...but, next best for me is the hybrid SUV...and Lexus makes a good one with some performance so that you can enjoy the ride!

    Headless
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    According to 4Wheeler the Touareg is great off road and the Cayenne is basically the same vehicle. Plus they are both rated to tow 7700 lbs. That is more than any other midsized SUV. I would not tow that much with a short vehicle. The RXs are at the low end of tow rating. Maybe a more realistic number for the wheelbase. The only luxury SUV I have driven is the ML350. I liked it but would not buy with the MB gas. I am waiting for the "R" Class with diesel.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    The way I see it is the more money someone has, the less they want to throw it away

    We totally agree there. That is why I cannot understand anyone buying the RX400h. When for about $10k less they can get the comparable RX330. No way that you will come out ahead on gas savings. And the 330 is a very clean burning car. I have tried driving like grandma to get great mileage in my Passat TDI. It is not worth the effort. I don't like driving in the right lane getting stuck behind trucks going up hills. If I cannot get good mileage driving 75-80 with the traffic flow so be it.
  • jdtjdt Posts: 10
    I haven't been able to program the garage door opener buttons in my 400h. The manual says to hold one in until the red indicator light flashes, but I can't get any of them to flash at all. The little red light just remains steadily on. Should they do this whether the remote is activated or not? There are separate instructions for a "rolling code" remote, but I'd still think the indicator light should flash if the button is held in either way, right?
  • markrogomarkrogo Posts: 50
    I had no trouble programming mine. I do have a rolling-code opener, for what that's worth.

    On an unrelated note, Lexus is cutting 400h advertising in an attempt to reduce the order backlog. Many dealers are telling would-be customers that walk in that the wait is 1 year.

    Of course, some of us waited longer. :)
  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    Our salesman gave us a separate instruction sheet with 4 steps plus 3 additional steps for rolling code openers. We used those instructions and they worked fine. The flashing doesn't start until you activate a handheld remote next to it.

    Our salesman also offered to come over and help with the programing if we had trouble with it, but we didn't need that service. If you continue to have problems maybe yours will do the same.

    Step 1: Test by pressing any button and seeing the red light come on.
    Step 2: Clear all channels by pressing both outside buttons at the same time until the red indicator light blinks rapidly (about 20 seconds) then release. (I assume this just has to be done the first time or perhaps to reprogram a button.)
    Step 3: Press the button you want to program and activate the hand-held remote until the red light blinks slowly -keep holding the buttons down for the next step.
    Step 4: keep the buttons down until the red light blinks quickly (1-30 seconds), then release.

    Rolling code set-up has three additional steps after step 4.
  • rocky7rocky7 Posts: 13
    I definitely notice in AM when we back out of garage. I mostly notice when engine shuts off at light and in stop and go traffic. I call still tell when engine comes on but it's not intrusive.
  • headlessheadless Posts: 50
    Although the Cayenne is almost the same as the Tourag, I don't know many who are going to go 4-wheeling in an 80k truck...I guess if you get the turbo diesel Tourag, you'd have a lot of towing power, but for a diesel, the mileage isn't all that!

    As far as MB and their diesel...expect more torque...with the SUVs, I'm not sure what the mileage numbers will be...of course better, but performace will be lacking...

    In regards to weathly people saving money, sure the RX400h makes sense...you pay more upfront, true, but you're doing a service to all by reducing emissions and getting better mileage...of course, the longer you have it, the more you'll save...remember, if we can cut our dependence on arab oil, we're doing something good for everyone...also, if you compare to a MDX, FX, or Cayenne, the RX400h uses cheap gas...this saves an additional .25 per gallon...so, costs for fuel do add up quickly...

    Compared to the 330, the RX400h has much better performance.

    I'm not knocking the 330, as it's a great vehicle, but I am saying the RX400h gives you all the 330 has and a lot more in the performance category...

    Headless
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    I believe the Tourag diesel isn't even sold in the US anymore because of extremely low demand.
  • subdriversubdriver Posts: 3
    Came close this weekend. I am 15th on the list and 4th in line for a white one. Noticed a white one on the lot Friday. Saleman and I checked and it was my interior grey leather trim. The 3 whites ahead of me had requested ivy leather. Sale Manager directed the 3 whites ahead of me be polled. Late Saturday the 1st two whites had declined. Saturday evening the 3rd white accepted. Soooo Close. You can imagine I was pumped for awhile. SubDriver
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    I think the Touareg V10 diesel ran into a snag with the EPA. They did sell the 500 that were imported. Way overkill for my tastes. Maybe a V6 TDI Touareg that are offered in the EU.

    headless:
    I thought the RX330 was also rated for regular unleaded. Or were you referring to the German choices? As far as the MB 320 CDI. I talked to a fellow that has the E320 CDI and he told me it outperforms the E350 gas by a good amount. Plus the 37 MPG on the highway. In the ML with diesel you would be lucky to break 30 MPG. None of the above SUVs are very aerodynamic. Not sure which has the best drag coefficient.
  • headlessheadless Posts: 50
    Yes, the 330 uses 87 ocatane as well...the German and other Japanese premier brands use the premium gas grade. This adds a lot to cost...figure about $1000 a year difference (RX400h at 27 mpg with 87 octane and others at 17 mpg with 93 octane).

    What do you consider to be 'outperforming'? Performance numbers or fuel economy numbers? I would think the diesel has more torque but lower hp...would be a slower machine overall (even though torque gets you from 0-60) but more efficient...as far as ML getting 30 mpg, I think that'd be a stretch...I'd say more like 25 as the drag coefficient is HUGE on that boxy frame...what are the CDI numbers in town?

    As far as SUV with best drag coefficient, I don't know...I'm sure we can ge that somewhere...those with higher center of gravities...built on truck platforms, will not do as well...those built on the car platforms will have less drag...

    Headless
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