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Lexus RX 450h Prices Paid and Buying Experience



  • horns1976horns1976 Posts: 56
    We got $1,000 off sticker and a fair trade-in for non-Lexus vehicle from dealer in Dallas. In TX, you save tax on trade-in (6.25%) and only pay tax on net purchase. Vehicle has heated seats, Levinson, RSES and cargo mat. Black w/ivory interior. The dealer had several 400h on the lot and we were never on a waiting list. I contacted the dealer on Thursday, purchased the car on Friday. Personally, I think there will be deeper discounts in the near future but that's just my opinion. The car is just now being advertised on TV. That will generate additional interest and could drive prices up, which would be good for those who have already bought. :) :)
  • elainetelainet Posts: 3
    On June 29, per phone, I was promised by Lexus Mission Viejo (California) that, provided my 99 RX300 with 43,500 miles was in good condition (as defined by Kelly Blue Book), I would receive $16.7K as trade-in on a new 400h with an MSRP of $50,863. I explained I would be driving 48 miles up and down a mountain to get there and would only make the drive if the deal was for real. Assured it was, I made the drive only to have a sales manager offer $14,000 for my RX 300 with no explanation as to why the person who had made the phone deal could not show his face to me or as to why suddenly my car was no longer worth $16.7K (it was definitely in good condition, perhaps excellent condition). When I angrily walked out the door, the sales manager rushed out after me to offer $15K. I kept on walking, drove the 48 miles of mountain road back home with a developing headache from the stress of having been ruthlessly scammed (didn't my time, over 6 gallons of gas, and my human need not to be lied to mean something to those two sales persons?!) that turned into a migraine that kept me in bed all of the following day. After recovering enough to type on the day after that, I sent faxes to three other dealers telling them of my experience and stating I would not drive to another dealership without a written commitment to buy my RX300 at full Kelly Blue Book value for good condition unless a qualified person could show me why it was not in good condition. Lexus of Riverside (California) responded, in writing, with just such a promise. By the time the migraine was completely gone and I felt like driving again, it was July 2, so the Kelly Blue Book values for the year's 3rd quarter were now out. The KBB value was now $16.5K, which I did receive from the Riverside dealership toward purchase of a 400h with the exact same MSRP that Mission Viejo had used ($50,863), and there were no "surprise" fees or costs tacked on to it.

    Financial death to dealerships who permit their staff to lie!!
  • horns1976horns1976 Posts: 56
    elainet...I don't blame you one bit for getting upset about the way you were treated. Obviously, the Mission Viejo dealer thought they could take advantage of you but they were wrong.
    I'm assuming that the $16.5K value you received for your trade was the KBB average trade in value for your vehicle in good condition in CA. Is that correct? I'm asking because I'm trying to decide if we got a good deal or not. Thanks.
  • kenbtkenbt Posts: 33
    I would love to know how to save sales tax.

    I am located in San Pedro, CA
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,680
    I would love to know how to save sales tax.

    Move to Oregon or Alaska! In CA you are going to pay sales tax even if you are a resident of a state that does not charge any tax. A definite reason to shop elsewhere for non-residents.
  • dmbfloridadmbflorida Posts: 38
    Please post re: selling your car yourself and "show as trade to save on sales tax".

    It is impossible for me to report my actual buying price for my RX 400h because of the extras I received (free) which were reductions from the MSRP.
    I had a high trade-in on my car and this also saved me sales tax.
    I received three years/20,000 miles free maintenance after purchase.
    I received window tints.
    I received hand-painted pin-stripes on both sides.
    I received a $100 referral fee for referring a relative for a RX 400h purchase.

    The car was on the lot without assignment to someone on the Waitlist and the dealership wanted to sell before Saturday.
    The "story" I was told in giving me the incentives was that future allocations depended on how many 400h models were not sold during "inventory" on Saturdays. Anyway, I was and still am happy with the "bottom line" price.
    The only feature I received which I have no use for is heated seats... I live in hot SW Florida and will never use them.

    btw, my car color is silver so the tires were Michelins, probably OEM.
  • elainetelainet Posts: 3
    Hi - quoted $16.5K on July 2 as the "Trade-In Value". The word "average" did not appear next to the figure quoted. I typed in my zip code (yes, California), the current mileage, and selected "good" condition.

    Do you happen to know what RSES means in this excerpt: "Vehicle has heated seats, Levinson, RSES, and cargo mat" ?

  • elainetelainet Posts: 3
    Just wondering what RSES stands for since, from your post, it looks like it's included in the MSRP price and I want to be sure that I recevied it, too.
  • briegelbriegel Posts: 139
    Rear Seat Entertainment System
  • horns1976horns1976 Posts: 56
    Sorry...RSES is Rear-Seat Entertainment System which is a fancy way of saying DVD player and small flip-down screen. Lexus charges you an additional $1840 for this option. By the way, the heated seats are $540 extra and the Mark Levinson stereo will set you back an additional $980. I'm pretty sure that the heated seats are mandatory with the Levinson stereo. Also, I think you can only get the RSES if you get the Levinson and heated seats. According to our dealer, if you get all 3 of the above options on your 400h--we did--that is called the "C" package.
    Personally, I don't think the RSES is worth the price. I think a DVD system with headrest mounted monitors, a la Pimp My Ride, is far superior to the Lexus system.
    Also, for those of us who live in TX, the heated seats are pretty much useless.
    Finally, I think the 400h, a $50K ride, should definitely offer satellite radio.
  • horns1976horns1976 Posts: 56
    dmbflorida...First of all, I think you got a pretty good deal. Obviously, the free 20K maintenance and window tint are worth something. And, of course, $100 is $100. In my opinion, the hand-painted pinstripes have zero value. My brother is t'd off that the dealer put them on his vehicle. But, we were not charged for them. I'm still not convinced that the stripes don't come from the factory.
    As I have posted previously, we got a high trade-in on a used GM vehicle, $1,000 off sticker, free rear cargo mat and no add on charges. Still a ton of money!!
    Now, regarding selling your car yourself and "show as trade to save on sales tax," here's how that usually works:
    You are buying a new car from a dealer. You make an agreement with a private party that he/she will buy your current vehicle. The dealer from which you are buying the new car shows your current vehicle as a trade-in. Then, the dealer sells your used vehicle to the private party at the agreed upon price (plus sales tax, etc.) So, you get the price you wanted for your car plus save the sales tax because the dealer shows your car as a trade-in. It's basically a paperwork transaction. That's the best of both worlds. I hope I've made this clear.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    " I'm still not convinced that the stripes don't come from the factory."

    Did your brother's RX400h have the pinstripe option listed on his factory window sticker? If definately didn't. Does Lexus have it as a available option anywhere on it's website? It definately does not. The fact is dealer's install the pinstripes. Actually, the dealer's subcontract it out to mobile painter's who come to the dealer and paint the pintstripes on the car within a 1/2 hour. They do this with random cars on lots because it is a huge profit center. Generally pinstripping a car costs the dealer about $50. But they end up trying to charge the consumer upwards of $300!! And then off course, they give away some for free, because it ends up making a customer who likes pinstripes feel great that they got $300 pinstripes for free!!
  • horns1976horns1976 Posts: 56
    Max...The pinstripes and window tint were on a separate dealer add-on sticker. Price - $395. Our salesman told us that the window tint was not installed and the stripes would be gratis. Good thing, too. I was going to tell him where he could put the $395. By the way, all the 400h's had the add-on sticker on the windshield.
    If I recall correctly, there are two pinstripes. The top one is gold and has the Lexus "L" logo in it. The bottom stripe is solid and matches the interior color, ivory. The vehicle is black which, in my opinion, is way too hot for Texas. But, he wanted the black. Like I said in my other post, he is ticked that the stripes are on the vehicle and is planning to cover them up with some sort of tape stripe.
    As an aside, he also wants to install a center grill guard on the vehicle. As of this post, I haven't found one that will fit. WAAG's center grill guard for the RX330 will not fit. I already checked with them. Waiting for response from T&H.
    Also trying to find a non-Lexus trailer hitch for the vehicle. Lexus dealers are too proud of theirs although I have seen a couple of posts from owners who successfully installed the hitch for the RX330.
    By the way, am I the only one who thinks the 400h color choices are pretty lousy?? The dealer we purchased from had only black, flint and blue or silver. I sort of liked the bamboo but it was like a chameleon. In certain light, it looked sort of green.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289
    Yes, the the 2nd window sticker is for dealer add-ons.

    BTW, your brother can have the pinstripes removed. Have it take it to a detailer and they can usually remove it, no problem. Or a auto body shop can do it for cheap also. It won't damage the paint job underneath either. Also, he may want to ask the dealer to get it removed. Usually their detailing department can do it.
  • bioya4bioya4 Posts: 5
    The $1k was paid a few months before so contacting AMEX wasn't really an option.
  • bioya4bioya4 Posts: 5
    Lexus was very pleasant to talk to but stated that the dealers set the terms of the deposits. Like any other large company, they already made their profit on this sale and don't really care much what happens down the road.
  • bioya4bioya4 Posts: 5
    That isn't how this dealership viewed it. The $1,000 to get on the waiting list is considered separate from the purchase price of the vehicle.
  • horns1976horns1976 Posts: 56
    Try contacting your state's attorney general's office. They might be interested in this. Don't know if there's anything they can do but it's worth a shot.
    Here's another thought. Does one of your local TV stations have a group of people that investigate complaints like yours?? If so, contact them about your situation. In many cases, the negative publicity (or threat thereof) incents the merchant to make things right.
    Good luck.
  • 400h4me400h4me Posts: 4
    My local dealer in Santa Rosa, California has keep me waiting a very long time. My salesmen has kept me well informed as to when he thinks I will get my hands on one. On April, 2004 we signed to put our name on a list that was being cut off at #35. We were #25 and were told this car was coming out sometime in November the same year. Well that didn't happen because Lexus changed the release date to April, 2005. I called and talked with my salesperson and was told that they are only getting a few a month since they went on sale, but the good news is that we have moved up the list and should be getting the car we ordered soon. This is the largest dealership in Northern California. Can someone explain how some dealerships in other states have them sitting on lots waiting for customers to come in and buy? I did get a call from the salesperson asking if I would consider a RX330 and he could deep discount the price. He also by some chance had a white colored Rx400h that someone backed out of the deal. At that time we were #11 on the list which makes me feel the others didn't want that color either. He offered it to us, but my wife said if I'm paying $50K for a car I should get the color I ordered! :cry: So to make a long sad story short "WE ARE STILL WAITING" :(
  • dmbfloridadmbflorida Posts: 38
    Thanks for the reply. I will consider the "trade-in" approach if possible later.

    My salesman offered me this procedure: If I arranged with a private buyer to buy my trade-in immediately and everyone completed the appropriate forms, then, for a $500 fee, that private party could buy my car at the trade-in price. I thus saved the sales tax on the trade-in.

    I did not do this, just negotiated as high as possible tradein price and saved the sales tax.

    Comments: The RX 400h was on the lot and did not have pin stripes or additional window tints (driver and passenger) in addition to the existing rear tints.
    I talked to the "painter" and he customized my hand-painted pin stripe colors. It looks great to me.
    The free maintenance was stated for 3 years/20,000 miles because I do not drive cars very much and have a pattern of low mileage.... Likely, it will be 3 years of free maintenance unless I make some extra highway trips. I had to bargain with the sales manager to increase the time for free maintenance in addition to the other bargaining points.

    Initially, I told the sales manager and salesman that I would buy an extended warranty and get a car loan from them. I imagined that I would get a better bargain if they thought that they would get money from these purchases. At the end, though, I told them I would pay cash and did not want the extended warranty*.

    * I know of several Toyota dealerships which sell greatly reduced in price extended warranties for the Prius. Does anyone know of Lexus dealers that will do this?

    btw, I assume everyone has read the article written by the former car salesman which I think is available at So, all the tricks and "closing" techniques were expected. I already knew what I wanted and was waiting for them to get to that point. I used the Internet Dept and ended up at the dealership for final negotiations. With several other new cars I bought recently, I negotiated with the Internet Dept and only went there once, to test drive the car and pay for it. The last car I bought using Internet only was a Prius and I got $500 off MSRP. Before that, I have surveyed maybe 25 dealerships in Florida to see what price I could get.

    I would want to comment on the dealership I used: Scanlon Lexus of Ft Myers, Florida... this is the best dealership I have ever used in terms of service and "white glove" treatment. Perhaps this is the standard Lexus treatment but I really liked it.
    I get free car washes weekly if I want to which is nice mostly because I don't like to put a hybrid car through the mechanical car washes.
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