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New Lexus RX 400h Owners - Give Us Your Report



  • Are they the OEM rim (that have been chromed) or are they RX330 rims (that have been chromed)?

    It is NOT safe to put the Rx330 rims (chromed or not) onto the RX400h because of the higher loads the 400h will place on them. The 400h is heavier and delivers A LOT more toruqe.

    The difference is that the 330 rims are smooth on the outside of the spokes, while the 400 are dimpled or recessed in appearance.

    There is a letter from Corporate somewhere on this site that spells out the the dealerships that they are NOT to substitute the rims.
  • kibblekibble Posts: 4
    Truth is I was not aware of the RX until I saw one on the same lot two weeks earlier, thought about it a week, went back to see if we liked it and would have bought that day if they had the color combo we wanted. I checked in the next Saturday morning and several more had arrived including a color combo we liked so we went down and got it. Maybe this dealership decided not to take advance orders...
  • kibblekibble Posts: 4
    "Are they the OEM rim (that have been chromed) or are they RX330 rims (that have been chromed)?

    It is NOT safe to put the Rx330 rims (chromed or not) onto the RX400h because of the higher loads the 400h will place on them. The 400h is heavier and delivers A LOT more toruqe.

    The difference is that the 330 rims are smooth on the outside of the spokes, while the 400 are dimpled or recessed in appearance.

    There is a letter from Corporate somewhere on this site that spells out the the dealerships that they are NOT to substitute the rims."

    I'll check them out, thanks for the heads up!
  • _hacksaw_hacksaw Posts: 2
    In December, my wife and I bought a new Acura RL. Incredible car. I picked up our new 400h on Monday, and so far I just love it. With respect to the toys and gadgets, it doesn't hold a candle to the RL, but the hybrid system makes up for all of that. I live in a collar suburb of Chicago, and spend much of my commute on the Kennedy expressway in very slow, often stop-n-go traffic. The commute in this morning put my odometer over 100 miles, and I'm doing 24.5 on average so far. And, oh my god, the fuel gauge has barely moved! I bought the car from McGrath, and have nothing but excellent things to say about them. I do have to say that a number of things really bother me about the car though -- no satellite radio, no voice dial with the Bluetooth system, lockout of the navi system (and telephone number pad dial) while moving, no ability to use the Bluetooth phonebook unless you upload numbers from a phone, unavailable Smart Access system (keyless ignition), and smaller things like no "range" display showing estimated fuel miles remaining in the tank, no tire pressure display and, wow, does the AM radio reception suck (upgraded audio with rear entertainment system). If I didn't own the RL, these things probably wouldn't bother me. Overall, I'm thrilled with my purchase, but the vehicle could definately be improved.
  • molokaimolokai Posts: 313
    Hi.. all the things you mentioned are nitpiks with the Prius too. There are numerous remedies available to Prius drivers. There is the NAV defeat fix which was my biggest complaint. Give it time, there will be solutions in the aftermarket.
  • cabluecablue Posts: 48
    Just to let you know, Lexus can install XM radio in your 400h. Two dealers told me that they can do this in any of their cars, including the 400h.
    As far as sunroofs go, I wouldn't buy a car without one. I love the light it brings into the car and mine is almost always at least popped up. Whenever I park, living in California where it's hot in the summer, I always leave it popped open to keep it from getting too hot inside. Early mornings or evenings it's wonderful. My husband, though, won't get one in his cars because he is tall and they do impinge on headroom. But he does appreciate it in my car. I open mine all the way often, except when it's cooking hot out or on the freeway. Occasionally we'll even do that with all the windows down, too. The kids love that.
  • Are you interested in selling this vehicle?
  • sheltshelt Posts: 4
    I just picked up my new Flint 400h Monday afternoon. I have a 24 mile commute on a four-lane parkway here in CT. In the morning, it's a clear shot. The afternoons are about 50% rush hour stop-and-go. So far, I've been cautious on acceleration, etc, but have cruised at 65-70mph when the road is clear.

    My results on a 212 mile interval, which included about 20 miles around town, were 28.9 mpg! I was very surprised with the relatively high figures after seeing so many 23-24 numbers. A few things I've noticed -- 1) laying your foot into it from a standing start costs a lot more than I would have guessed (ie - many miles to nurse the mpg's back!), 2) the passing acceleration is great!, and 3) running the A/C hard at highway speed seems to cost about 1-2 mpg.

    If I had to guess, I think my mileage would drop to ~24-25mpg if I start using the car's power and drive like I would in my other cars. Overall, I'm really happy so far. The only thing I've found a bit odd is that the electric-assist steering is a little heavy at highway speed, even compared to German cars. And....there's no excuse for not having the ability to either play mp3 cd's or connect an iPod. Other than that, perfect score so far...
  • hybrathybrat Posts: 13
    Your vehicle is not designed to be driven off-road.

    SUVs -- you've come a long way baby!
  • lexus400hlexus400h Posts: 4
    You folks are great. I've been monitoring your forum for about three weeks to glean whatever insight I could to help formulate my decision take the 400h plunge. I'm happy to report I traded in my '02 Mercedes-Benz E-class last week and took a 400h home to meet the family. I must admit I was a little concerned I might miss certain aspects of the Mercedes, but so far this has been a home run and I would make the same decision again. This is my first Lexus and I'm very pleased with the overall quality built into this automobile. The fact that it's a hybrid is icing on the cake with a cherry on top. I've looked at SUV-type vehicles before because I like the interior flexibility to create more cargo room as needed, and sitting a little higher off the road, but the mpg ratings were always a huge turn off. To get the vehicle I've wanted and help save the environment at the same time... like I said before, home run.

    I do have a question for you. I have about 200 miles on my car so far and averaging 24 mpg with mixed driving, mostly city. Is there a break in period after which I might see an mpg improvement? 24 mpg is certainly respectable for this type of vehicle, but I expected something closer to 26+ mpg.
    Thanks again!
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    Welcome to the forum. A couple questions. How long were you on a wait list for the RX400h? What part of the country do you live in?
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,302
    Welcome aboard! Some people do strongly believe that after about 1500-2000 miles, the 400h will get better gas mileage. I am not sure if that is the case or not. I can tell you this much however. If you follow common sense rules of driving (coasting as much as possible to a stop, not gunning the accelerator, etc.), you will get terrific gas mileage in the city. You can even do better than the EPA estimate of 31 mpg. On one test drive of 27.5 miles in the city a few weeks ago I averaged exactly 40 mpg in pure city driving by following the speed limits and without the AC on. The environment is a big factor (especially on the highway) in determining what kind of gas mileage you will get. For example, wind speed and direction is a huge factor. AC or no AC, number of passangers and extra weight, type of terrain are a few others.
  • I recently found this page which shows the speed vs time profiles that the EPA uses for the "city" and "highway" driving tests.

    I was rather surprised by some aspects of the profiles especially the "highway" profile. I have always equated "highway" with "freeway." I had read that the EPA highway test was for a speed of 60 MPH wihch seemed reasonable given most freeways being somewhere between 55 and 65 MPH speed limit now. It turns out that the actual profile is more for something like what I would drive on a non-freeway country highway. It just touches a 60 MPH peak speed a couple of times and the average speed is surprisingly low: 48 MPH - much slower than one will usually be going on an uncongested freeway.

    The city profile is less surprising, but it doesn't represent the driving I'm usually doing when not on a highway/freeway. It looks like pretty urban city driving rather than the typical California more suburban city driving. For some reason they have two pulses of high speed (56 MPH) - the first one I think is just to get the engine warmed up because it is a fairly short test, not sure why the second one is there. Then most of the test goes between stopped and 25-35 MPH. 40 -45 MPH would be more typical for the main surface streets around where I live. With 23 stops (about one every half mile), the average speed is 20 MPH.

    The tests don't seem to represent typical driving. My freeway driving is typically much faster than the "highway" test. Non-freeway driving around here is generally somewhere between the city and highway tests - stops a bit less frequent than the city test and average speeds considerably higher.

    Given the way the tests are done, it isn't surpising when our actual fuel mileage is different from the EPA numbers. Actually, when I look at the EPA test profiles it surprising to me that I get as close to the EPA numbers as I do. Freeway (~65 mph) I'm generally seeing around 27 MPG (or 26 when the AC is having to blast). Suburban surface streets, MPG varies more than on the freeway. Depending on AC load, traffic, speed, lights and hills plus how aggressively I'm driving, I see anything between 24 and 32 MPG. When conditions are just right, I've even seen high 30's. I've been getting 26 to 27 MPG over a tank which has included a fair amount of AC.
  • Did you reset the mileage meter when you got the car? When we got ours, it had a pretty low mileage on the meter left over from whatever the mechanic did when preping the car. That can easily pull down the mileage for 200 miles by a couple of MPG.

    Other factors:
    short trips. There is a mileage penalty for running with a cold engine in all cars, but the mileage meter makes it obvious. When I do a lot of short (<10 minutes of driving) errands, mileage gets pulled down - 24 MPG wouldn't be unusual.

    AC. In my driving seems to cost between 1 and 2 MPG when it has to run hard. In heavy traffic it could cost even more (not going many miles but the AC still runs).
  • lexus400hlexus400h Posts: 4
    I live in central NJ and I'm not aware of any dealership around here with a waiting list. I think there may have been some people waiting when the models first started to arrive, but I think those needs have all been met. I walked into my dealer on Monday afternoon and drove a 400h off the lot Wednesday evening. When I picked my car up there were five other 400h models available. Each weekend I see full page ads in the NY Times for other Lexus dealerships, most within 50 mile radius, that have 400h models available too, some with as many as 12 or more in their inventory. I can't speak for other parts of the country, but here in NJ the air waves and newspapers are full of special financing and leasing deals from the "other" car makers in an effort to clear the lots before their 2006 models start rolling in. With all that competition, selling a new model like the 400h, that for the most part you can't custom order, with an MSRP of $4989 can't be easy. All the 400h models I looked at had the typical options (Nav, sunroof, etc) plus heated seats, some even had the better radio. In my particular case, I was able to get my dealer to come up $1,000 on his original trade-in offer and drop $2,000 off MSRP for my 400h. If anyone out there wants a 400h now, consider coming to NJ! :)
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 31,111
    Thank you, I hear the NJ shore is beautiful this time of year. Can you give the dealership name. No salesmen allowed. Maybe someone on here will get the deal they are looking for.
  • rocky7rocky7 Posts: 13
    What dealers in Central NJ were you talking about. I just visited my daughter in Central NJ and I went out with her to look for a 400h.
    Of the two dealers we visited none had any 400h available for immediate delivery but felt depending on color choice we could have a car sometime in the next one to six weeks. None would discuss discounting, but one suggested as soon as they had more than a 30 day supply in stock, which could happen soon, we could expect limited discounting.

    Again I would appreciate names of which dealers you visited. If you have name of salesperson who has stock and is discounting that would be even better.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Just a reminder that you can post the name of the dealer, city and state but not names of individual salespeople.
  • sheltshelt Posts: 4
    After driving about 600 miles in my new 400h (27.5 mpg), I've decided there actually is a bit of a steering issue with the 400h. At first, I thought my alignment was off due to extreme pulling to the left on my main commute road. The road is crowned heavily, with drainage to the left. I have to hold the wheel fairly firmly to keep it going straight. Now, switching to the other lane, which drains right, I get a fairly strong pull to the right. I've driven this road for years, and have never noticed this problem with my 540i, Audi Allroad, or Explorer. The Explorer drives like a heavy truck, but doesn't pull like the 400h on the same road.

    I then went out and drove on a number of flat local roads, and I'm convinced the alignment is OK. In a parking lot,for example, I can release the wheel and the car will go dead straight without any noticeable pull.

    My conclusion is that the 400h steering system is "different". It feels like the electric boost or "centering power" is unsufficient at highway speed, or stated another way, that the front end is overly-sensitive to camber in the road. I noticed that letting go of the wheel on a slightly pitched road, even at very low speed, results in a fairly rapid turn -- more so than any of my other cars.

    The effect does feel like misalignment to me, but it occurs in both directions depending on road camber.

    In the end, I've decided it's a bit annoying, but certainly not a driveability or safety issue. I just feel like I notice small differences in road camber much more. When driving on windy roads, I notice nothing at all. On cambered straight roads, I feel the effect almost constantly...
  • lexus400hlexus400h Posts: 4
    I purchased my car from Difeo Lexus in Bridgewater, NJ. They had a smaller inventory or 400h models, but were willing to deal. Another dealer is Ray Catena Lexus of Monmouth in Oakhurst, NJ. They're the ones that advertise weekly in the NY Times and claim to have a large inventory. The saleman there wasn't willing to discuss dropping MSRP.
  • I haven't noticed anything. I'm not sure how crowned our high speed roads are, but the 25-35 mph roads in my neighborhood have a lot of crowning - enough to be annoying on a long walk. I meant to try letting the go of the wheel to see if it would go straight on our home street, but I forgot to do it this morning.

    With the steering being electronic and all the electronic stability stuff, I wonder if there is a firmware adjustment for the "centering power".
  • rocky7rocky7 Posts: 13
    Thanks, appreciate your help and suggestions.
  • hybrathybrat Posts: 13
    I am convinced that my 400h pulls to one side based on a recent drive. I am calling the dealer tomorrow to get it looked into. The following from about the 400h's steering makes me think that my 400h shouldn't be doing this and perhaps offers some clues as to what might be wrong:

    "The optimisation of the caster angle and the adoption of &#145;Nachlauf&#146; geometry, which offsets the kingpin axis ahead of the axle centre, result in increased caster trail which enhances both straight-line stability and steering feel. The location of the kingpin axle outside the wheel, allied to the addition of a small, well-shaped sub-frame, results in excellent tight-turn performance and a compact turning circle of just 5.7 metres.

    Lower arm and tie rod geometry has been further refined to suppress changes in toe angle under suspension bounce/ rebound, thus ensuring excellent straight line performance.

    And the angled location of the lower arm member with the rear side higher than the front creates an anti-dive suspension geometry effectively to suppress nose-diving under braking.

    In addition, the front suspension also adopts a small level of negative camber, effectively leaning the top of each front wheel inwards when the vehicle is running in a straight line. Under cornering load, the change in vehicle posture naturally reduces the ground contact camber angle of the outside front wheel, optimising contact between tyre tread pattern and road surface for enhanced, high performance cornering."
  • joed2joed2 Posts: 5
    I have owned the 400h for a month now and just a few observations..... of course the quality is the usual Lexus "high" and the car came delivered literally with no problems whatsoever.
    I am of course now more observant of my MPG's. Its natural with all the emphasis on why the car was purchased in the first place. A SUV vehicle with a smaller car MPG rating. I am getting in the low 20's right now in combined MPG's. Most of my driving has been local (still under 1000 miles) and here where there has been a bit of disappointment so far. I notice that upon acceleration no matter how slight it might be the engine will "kick in" and not rely on electric power for that up to 30 mph start. I have babied the gas pedal to the point I could probably run faster off the starting line than the car. I do get electric only usage if I get up to a speed of 30 mph steady and put it on cruise control. As soon as I touch the gas again the engine will turn on. I was expecting something a bit different like normal acceleration with stop and go driving in that 20- 30 mph range and then use the engine for that boost to highway speed. Essentially, use the electric around town (live in a somewhat congested area) for speeds under 30 and only use the engine in that speed range when the batteries needed to be charged or that quick acceleration was needed.
    I was wondering if others have experienced the same. Also is anyone aware of a computer setting that could be made by LEXUS that would tune the vehicle on when the engine would kick in. I will be reporting this information to the dealership when I see then in a few weeks.
  • You might check your tire pressure. On another site, a number of people have reported finding that their tire pressure excessively high when they checked it. One of them has commented correcting the tire pressure has resolved his handling problems.

    I checked this morning on our fairly crowned residential (25 mph) street. My Rx400H runs straight on it (for the limited distances I can check since there are some curves on my street). It does at least as well as my Camry on this. Even if I started with the wheel turned slightly, it wanted to self-center and go straight.

    On a short very steeply tilted road section (a place where they use to have another street joining from a lower level) it did want to follow the slope down, but this was way beyond any normal crown and I think pretty much any car wouldn't track straight there.
  • It sounds like you didn't do a lot of research on how these work before you bought. It would be a good idea to read at least the little hybrid overview you got with your manual. That clearly says that the motors are used for acceleration up to about 10-15 mph. Even that depends on other factors like how much charge is in the battery, how heavily you lean on the accelerator, etc. After that you might read some of the history on this forum.

    For instance message 1570 contains a nice analysis of the battery capacity that Dylan Hixon did. The batteries store about the equivalent of about a tenth of a gallon of gas or a couple of miles worth (and of course most of the time you don't start with a full battery and you don't want to run the battery down to zero). These aren't meant to be a main power source for running around town.

    The batteries are meant for supplying power when you need less than the engine can produce efficiently and for supplementing the power from the engine when you need more than the engine can produce efficiently. This allows the engine to be tuned for more efficiency in the range that it is normally used and then to stay in that range most of the time it runs. There are always losses in moving energy around so when the engine can efficiently produce what you need, it is most efficient to take the energy directly from it.

    I find I get good mileage with this car by:
    Accelrate normally - not jack rabbit but not trying to keep the ICE off
    Once up to cruising, drive smoothly
    Keep an eye on the lights and traffic ahead so that brakes are applied early enough for maximum regeneration or drop speed a little to arrive at the light when it is green.

    Short trips with a cold engine get reduced mileage so combining errands helps too. My first tank was a bit below 25 mpg. Since then I've been running between 25 and 27.5 mpg (depending mainly on amount of AC needed and how much I have short trips).
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    I traded in a 2003 Audi Allroad 2.7T with low mileage for the RX400H. I've had 5 Lexuses in the past and the quality and reliability were always top notch. Morever the trade in values were always very good. With my last Audi and one previous one (an Audi for an Audi) I took a beating on trade-in. The substantially lower depreciation rate on Lexuses make them a better buy. It's only one week in the new Lexus but I find it vastly superior to the Audi Allroad.
    The Audi had air suspension and I didn't think the Lexus suspension would be as good but it is. Fuel economy is superior and inline with reports posted here. I've taken one measurement: with airconditioning constantly on 24.9 mpg. The Lexus to my surprise corners as well as the Audi squealing tires et al. The Lexus corners more flatly probably due to the VDIM system. Steering is very precise and alignment perfect. The smooth flow of power is unmatched; hillclimbing is a joy. This hybrid offers a great deal more than fuel economy and super low emissions and in an excellent value
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I owned an Audi allroad too (2002) and I changed the chip to make it 330hp and also the tires. That car could eat the RX and RH for breakfast. As far as reliability is concerned, well it's obvious. The Audi needed brakes and rotors at 10,000 miles. It was mainly suburban/highway miles too!! If I had to make a choice I'd say the allroad is definitely the better looking car. The Rh/Rx is just so damn ubiquitous but it IS a great vehicle. No more Audis for me.. way too high maint. Enjoy the Lexus... I am sure it will give you years of enjoyment!!
  • ideleidele Posts: 200
    The Audis have a different look and are very handsome. I don't like the current grill. I thought about the A6 and also about BMW but hybrid technology and my desire to try it together with excellent Lexus experience was decisive. Lexus offers single pay two year leases and so for the first time I'm leasing. I expect to be in a Lexus LS600H two years from now. The instantaneous torque boost by the electric motors of a hybrid is immensely superior to a turbo with its lag. I also find the rear view TV terrific. I'm still learning about the car but there's no doubt in my mind the value is there.. To me the considerable improvement in fuel economy and environmental impact is just a bonus As far as ubiquity goes, I much prefer a popular car to a rare one.
  • johnlindyjohnlindy Posts: 1
    :) Just purchased my 400h on 7/26 and so good. Averaging 25.3 mpg on the first tank of gas with a 60/40 mix of city/hwy driving. The gas mileage continues to climb with each passing day of 19 mile work commute. I'm interested to see the NHTSA results from crash impact...
    The energy monitor is almost mesmerizing to watch. My previous vehicle was an '02 Dakota 4X4 with an 8 cyl. gas guzzling engine. My right foot still requires more training and this car is the perfect therapy...instant results presented to me on my progress. I'm putting the "conserve" back in Conservative!
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