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Lexus RX 400h - MPG-Real World Numbers

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
Share with others your RX 400h MPG here.


  • Here's hoping it gets a little better. Just made the first fill-up and the magic number was just under 26 mpg. I would say that miles driven during this period were approximately 75/25 - highway/city.

    Does anyone else have figures they can share.

  • jotterjotter Posts: 1
    Just picked mine up and drove 3.5 hours home on the highway and long country roads. Have not filled the tank (fuel gauge says 1/2 full - starting froma full tank), but the internal mpg gauges says 20.6 mpg. I am a bit sad with that number, but knew going in that the mpg was not the main reason I bought this car. Will update with a better idea after a few tanks.
  • drivetraindrivetrain Posts: 5
    At 350 miles, we're getting only 24-25 mpg, based on a mix of freeway and in-town driving in southern California. We're hoping for better.
  • krellukrellu Posts: 31
    At my first fillup average city/hwy was 22.76 for approx 198 miles.After this fillup I
    see the after about 35 miles average is about 26 mpg.
  • love2scubalove2scuba Posts: 34
    I have about 1800 miles now on my 400h. My last fill I go 28.8 mpg, almost all highway miles. I'm easily getting 27/31 highway/city that was advertised. Could not be happier.
  • pinzabupinzabu Posts: 11

    This may be premature 120 miles, mixed city/highway. 25.5 to 26.0
    Better with longer drive times, watched it go from 25.2 on short runs of 4 - 6 miles
    to over 26. .2 with longer drive even on highway. Car is two days old.

  • I'm only getting 19.4 MPG and I'm not very happy about it. I know it's because my commute is only 1.5 miles, but I was expecting to get much closer to the sticker (31). Mid 20s would be respectable.

    Does the MPG increase when the battery is fully charged?
    - It appears to on the Energy screen. More green arrows.
    It seems like a strange questions, but is it possible that you can get better MPG if you accelerate and decelerate quickly in the city? If not, is there an optimal braking technique to increase the charge in the battery?
  • love2scubalove2scuba Posts: 34
    It seems that there is a warm-up period of about 3-5 minutes before my 400h starts getting the advertised mileage. Your commute is probably too short to see much of an increase in MPG. On your first trip longer than 15 minutes, you should see that average go up considerably. As for braking, I find smooth starts and stops work best. Try to leave a nice space between you and the car in front when possible to limit the amount of breaking needed. Hope that helps...
  • xlntmpgxlntmpg Posts: 8
    I'm curious how people are doing for gas mileage lately.

    I drove one for the first time today and got 32mpg on a 30 mile commute.
    2/3 highway, 1/3 city driving.
    77 degrees and muggy.

    Not bad.

    The longer drive certainly helps offset the warm up period.
  • raberabe Posts: 1
    Okay, here we go...lots of info from me since I've got over 3500 miles on my 400h and have done various tests so far. I'm a software tester by profession, so I try to be specific and note things of interest.

    1. For my first tank of gas I babied the cr*p out of it and got almost 29 average for the whole tank. (DON'T BROWSE THIS MESSAGE AND STOP HERE!!) That was keeping the highway top speed to 65mph and using a feather touch on the gas pedal. My trips around town took me all over the Baltimore beltway from one side of town (Elkridge) to the other (Carney). Not very much 'city' driving at all, though some instances where traffic on the beltway really slowed down. Keep in mind that was April...and the temperatures were still on the cool side, so no air conditioner was in use.

    2. Second tank I babied it still, but on the highway I tended to go up towards 70 mph top speed and did an occassional sprint past people on the highways (man it's TRULY got pickup in that regard). Average mpg for me dropped down to about 27-28.

    3. Began to drive more aggressively over the next few tanks and the weather began heating up (so the air conditioner now is running full time) and my average has dropped to about 25-26.

    Important Things to Note:
    Read up on the EPA how they do their testing for mpg estimates..

    It's imperative to note that...
    1. They test on level roads...NO hills!!! (that affects both city and highway without a doubt)
    2. Their city driving was based on an average speed of 20mph (The 400h excels at that speed and frequently runs long jaunts just on battery alone (Depending on how light you press on the accelerator). So that's how the 400h obtained a city average of 31.
    3. The highway testing never exceeds 60 mph. (Seems to jive with what I was seeing when I was babying my highway driving speed around 65)

    It's all in how you drive it, the speeds you drive, and the terrain. Is it worth babying the cr*p out of it just to get near 29 average mpg? I can't say for sure. Is it much more enjoyable to throttle it every now and then and pass someone easily that thinks you don't stand a chance? Of course! I can't vouch for the RX-330 and what I'd be getting in MY daily drives with one of them. I can only speak of what I observe with my 400h. I wish I had just one week to drive the 330 and do a comparison.

    Email me if you have any comments or questions.
    link title

    Currently my 400h is getting checked out because my front brakes squeal like banshees when I apply them while backing out of my garage in the morning. I mean they are LOUD squeals! :P
  • surwitsurwit Posts: 2
    I now have 1500 miles on my 400h and I am only getting about 22 mpg average. Doing a lot of higway miles and driving it at 75 mph. It has also been very hot around hear in June. I live in Chapel Hill. NC which, as the name implies, is hilly. I have never see anything approaching 30mpg city, and the best I have seen on the highway is about 26, if I baby it. I had an RX 300 AWD before this one, and it got 16 city and 20-21 hwy. I have driven several RX330s. The FWD version gets 18 mpg city and about 22 hwy. If I had it to do over, I would never get the hybrid. What the hybrid system gives you is more power without a mileage penalty. It is not an economy car! Basically, its a gimmick!
  • hyybrdhyybrd Posts: 2
    My mileage is increasing. No trips only local driving approaching 25 mpg. These are mostly short trips by my wife as this is her car.
  • mzuckermanmzuckerman Posts: 12
    2500 miles, half highway, half city, 24.9 mpg average.
  • andyux2andyux2 Posts: 17
    1200 miles in 3 ½ weeks, probably 60/40 - highway/city, some long freeway trips, some short city trips, rolling slopes and very infrequent use of AC: 28.2 mpg. We started out at 25+ mpg right out of the dealership and took some long freeway trips initially. We’ve hit 30+ mpg driving strictly city. We noticed that our manually calculated mpg is about 0.2 miles less than the computer’s calculation. Our salesperson told us if we wanted to save money but not hurt the car, we shouldn’t use cheap A--- gas but Costco cheap gas is okay. The acceleration is fantastic! Needless to say, we are very pleased.
  • :surprise: 675 miles...first tank @ 24 mpg and the second slightly better at 24.5 .half city and half two lane Oregon coast freeway travel yet.,..hard to believe that one can get near 30 except in town driving.great acceleration yet feels like an electric bus when slowing down ;) .. :D amazing technology to be sure..seamless interplay between the electric and gas motors..quiet..initially felt heavy and ponderous but that has faded..very comfortable. no regrets even if the mileage is less than stellar.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "our salesperson told us if we wanted to save money but not hurt the car, we shouldn’t use cheap A--- gas but Costco cheap gas is okay."

    Cheap Gas - don't do it, use one of the major brands that have detergent gasoline. Texaco, Shell, Exxon/Mobil, Chevron.

    You will pay for that cheaper gas later on, and the engine needs to stay clean to be efficient. I have found that Toyota's in particular need the cleaning fuels, and for a hybrid, having the engine at top efficiency is important, expecially since the engine stops and starts so frequently in traffic.
  • andyux2andyux2 Posts: 17
    Thanks for the tip on gas. We'll certainly keep this in mind with our new car with the different technology that we've been used to driving. We just sold our '83 Supra for $100 to our mechanic who coveted this car for years. The engine was still in great condition after 250k miles. We had to sell it because the fuel injector was starting to leak all that cheap A--- gasoline. We didn't want to have a fire. He said the cost to fix it (and other problems that were starting to show up) could be several times more than the value of the Supra .We sure like the huge improvement in fuel economy with the 400h. We won't be filling up as often so we just may use the better, more expensive stuff.
  • briegelbriegel Posts: 139
    I test drove a 400h today for about 30 minutes and about 17 miles. The drive was about half freeway at about 60-65mph and half suburban street driving at 20-40mph. This was in the Bellevue-Kirkland area of Washington state, in 70 degree sunny weather without using the A/C. I reset the average mpg at the start of the drive, and ended up with a 29.1mpg average! I would guess that my 2005 AWD RX 330 would not have done any better than 18-20mpg over that same drive. I was quite impressed!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    One has to be careful of the displays; the only true test of MPG is the good 'ole "fill it all the way up and divide the miles driven by the gallons used" method. The gauges can be deceptive in the short term.
  • mirexmirex Posts: 68
    After 775 miles I am averaging just over 29 mpg. 85% highway and 15% city. Air conditioner was off 80% of the time. I tend to use cruise control whenever it is safe to do so and my maximum speed has been 60 mph.

    The first two tanks were premium and the last 87 octane and I have not noticed any difference in mileage or performance.

    In a couple of weeks I will be leaving on a 2,000 mile road trip that will take me from sea level to a high of 7,500 feet. I generally set my cruise control for the posted speed limit so I will be cruising at 60-70 mph with short higher speeds while passing. I will report back after the trip.
  • dmbfloridadmbflorida Posts: 38
    on my new RX 400h, I am on my second tank of gas, now at 300 miles total so this is not enough time to really know what my mpg will be. Note: I filled up early.
    However, so far, it is about 26 mpg in flat, hot Florida, with very short city trips with A/C running. I expect better in more favorable circumstances.
  • I'm getting 22mpg too for city driving. Supposedly, an engineer from Lexus corporate came out to look at my car and said there was nothing unusual about my low gas mileage!! Ah, but they would note my account. Anyway, I'm pretty annoyed as well. . .anything we can do?
  • mirexmirex Posts: 68
    I just turned 1,000 miles and on my 3rd tank am averaging 27.7 mpg (80% Freeway and 20% city). I use cruise control whenever it is safe and generally set it at the posted speed limit (60 mph so far). I was averaging 28+ on my previous tank, but this time I have more short trips that are a killer on mileage. Unless I drove to and from, uphill both ways, I do not understand mpg in the 22+ range.

    I will soon be leaving on a 2,000 mile road trip which should give me a better idea of the highway mpg. I will be driving at sea level, over mountain passes as high as 7,000 feet and speed limits from 55-70 mph.

    I will report back with my findings. I will be writing down the navigation system's mpg as well as dividing the miles driven divided my the gallons used. I plan to reset the navigation system at each fill up.
  • pdpapapdpapa Posts: 1
    I too am very unhappy with mileage. Lexus Corp. has called me and I told them as well as dealer car was bought from. Took delivery on April 20, almost first day they came out. Now have 3400 miles, burn Costco gas, air on all the time, 120 miles since last fill up, car shows 19.8 mpg. Live in Palm Desert, CA. where it gets HOT in summer, past week average close to 106. Not sure if "special" gas we must burn in Calif. is cause but so far no answers. Last car was 2002 RX300, always got between 18/19mpg this time of year. Car before 02 was 1999 RX300, able to get 17/18mpg.

    What to do, what to do? I don't want to be told if I can afford to buy 400h I should be able to buy gas at any price. This is what friends tell me.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Last car was 2002 RX300, always got between 18/19mpg this time of year.

    If you are driving the same way that you drove your RX300 and not getting a good improvement in mileage, I believe you have a legitimate complaint. This being your 3rd Lexus in 6 years I would think they would listen to your complaints and try to resolve the problem. I disagree with the notion that the only way to get good mileage with a hybrid is to drive like an old lady. If you are of a mind to do that, it is not a bad thing. Yours is a good comparison in the fact that you are going from the non-hybrid to the hybrid version of a vehicle. If it does not improve your mileage by at least 25% I would consider the vehicle a failure. If you bought it to have a V6 that performs like a V8 then I suppose you should be happy. Maybe they will trade the RX400h for a 2005 RX330 and give you the 10 grand difference back. If they want to keep you as a Lexus customer that would be the way to do it.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    " If it does not improve your mileage by at least 25% I would consider the vehicle a failure. "

    If you drive the 400 like the 330, you are not going to get very good mileage. The HSD offers the opportunity for somewhat better mileage if one is very careful when driving, to get the most MPG out of the system. Otherwise, that ICE kicks in and what you get is better acceleration and performance, but not very good MPG. If you want better MPG, take a look at the techniques used by the "hypermilers" who get such great MPG from the small hybrids.

    If you don't want to drive the "high MPG" way, that is fine. Just enjoy your higher performance vehicle!
  • otis1otis1 Posts: 142
    There's lots of posts by people who say 'do this and do that' to improve your mileage. while I have no problem with adjusting your driving to play to the strengths of a hybrid car, some of these techniques could apply to a gas car (no jack rabbit starts, anticipate stops, try to coast, keep the speed under 70 mph, etc..) So I have no doubt that if you employ these techniques with a hybrid, you'll see improvements to your mileage. But what if you employ these habits with a conventional gas car? would you see similar improvements in mileage?

    I think if you "drive" the same way with your hybrid as you did with your gas car, you should see an improvement and i agree that if you don't, that's a failure in some sence. There's nothing wrong with 'maximizing' your MPG by applying some of these hybrid driving techniques, but you shouldn't have to solely rely on them to see gains in fuel economy. (this is not to say if you redline your gas car and redline your hybrid car, you should still see an improvement)

    pdpapa was getting 18/19 mpg with his rx330- that sounds like "normal" driving to me. If he was a lead foot, I would suspect that number would be much lower. So I really think the dealer who sold him the car should figure out if there's something wrong with the car, or just something "wrong" with the way he drives. (let him drive a demo rx400h for a couple of days and see what kind of mileage he gets on another car)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "So I have no doubt that if you employ these techniques with a hybrid, you'll see improvements to your mileage. But what if you employ these habits with a conventional gas car? would you see similar improvements in mileage?"

    Yes, absolutely. My CR-V went from 18 MPG (OK, I was really flooring it) to 22 MPG in town. The highway mileage hasn't varied.

    I agree that even with normal driving you will get better mileage with a hybrid - that same driving style with a 330 would probably net him aroung 18 MPG. So 23 MPG is a good 30% or so (forgive the math) improvement. But lots of people buy the hybrid SUV thinking it will give the mileage of the smaller Prius. This will not happen, and it is grossly unfair to compare a heavy SUV hybrid MPG with a lighter, aerodynamic car such as the Prius.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    I agree that even with normal driving you will get better mileage with a hybrid - that same driving style with a 330 would probably net him around 18 MPG. So 23 MPG is a good 30% or so (forgive the math) improvement.

    He may not have complained if he was getting 23 MPG from the RX400h. He is getting 19.8 MPG only a mile or two per gallon better than his RX300. You should be able to drive the two exactly the same and the hybrid should get significantly better mileage. If not it is less than a good upgrade. Not worth the big bucks.
  • katzjamrkatzjamr Posts: 146
    I am on my third tank with the second and third tanks averaging 26 to 27mph while driving with an eye to gradual increases and decreases in speed. One night i drove agressively as i was late and it only cost me .5 mph. Seattle has had a cool summer and i rarely have used the ac. Also short trips with a cold engine are murder on mph with this car. I think those with a hybrid should not expect great mileage if they are not willing to learn the best way to use it. The first thing my lexus salesman told me as we sat in the 400h before even taking off was, if i drove alot on the freeway i could get almost as good mileage from an rx330 and save the ten grand. I appreciated his honesty and drove both cars. The handling and power of the 400h and the possiblilty of good mileage depending on how i drove sold me. So far its been fun.
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