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Lexus RX 400h and 450h



  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    Telescoping the wheel doesn't change the view. You get use to the change in perspective - at least I did with our van and that was a lot harder car to drive. One can't see what is directly in front of the sedan hood either - especially if one is short.

    The ability to change the distance of the wheel does make this much more comfortable for me to drive than other cars where the wheel is always to close.
  • frenchornefrenchorne Posts: 31
    Fizban, thought you might be interested in this post which describes a comparison of the two vehicles. The RX is definitely more adjustable for shorter people.

    frenchorne, "Lexus RX 400h vs ?? Comparisons" #16, 7 May 2005 12:43 am
  • mirexmirex Posts: 68
    I have heard from two different sources that the battery under the hood is much smaller than one found in non-hybrid cars and it will run out of power if the vehicle is not started for two weeks or longer.

    Does anyone know if this is true and if so what does this battery power and what causes the drain when the vehicle is off?
  • jdtjdt Posts: 10
    I just got my 400h last week and it had a significant pull to the right. After several trips to the shop, it turns out they had used the numbers for the 330 on the alignment rack which aren't the same. It's much better now after using the correct settings for the 400h, but it still seems to take a good bit of effort to keep the car pointed straight on any kind of road crown. Since they gave me several 330s as loaners through the shop ordeal, I had a good chance to compare the handling. The author of message #1015 mentioned the low power steering boost compared to the 330, and I wonder if it's possible to adjust this upward on the 400h. Any ideas? Thanks in advance-
  • rocky7rocky7 Posts: 13
    I know there are those “dittohead” curmudgeons out there including on this forum who are discounting the value proposition of the RX400h.

    Assuming the miles I drive here’s how the numbers RX 400h work compared to the 2005 RX 330.

    Difference in actual delivered price from my dealer buying a car today. 2006 RX 400h vs. RX330. = $9,431.00 more for the RX 400h.

    Gas savings over 3 years at $2.09 (Currently $2.25) assuming actual mileage is 2 mpg less than expected = $1479

    Value of $2000 Clean Air Deduction = $700

    Amount of trade in value after three years approximately 50%. Normally on the $9,431 difference that would return $4,715. When Lexus catches up demand discounting will occur. Assuming the same discount ratio will be the same as the RX 330, then allow only $2,357.

    The RX 440h today is a 2006, the RX-330 today would be a 2005 and I understand 2006 RX 330 will not be out until sometime in Sept. Best comp to determined benefit of buying a 2006 RX 400h vs. 2005 RX 2005. Look at value today (5/05) of the 2003 RX300 vs. a 2002 RX300 both with same 36,000 miles. 2003 RX300 is worth at trade in value $2,051 more than 2002 RX300 with same miles base on trade in value today 5/05.

    Total savings:

    Gas Savings – 3 years = $1,479
    Tax savings - $700
    Additional trade in value return based on $9,431purchase difference after 3 years = $2,357

    Total difference = $4,536.

    If you do allow allow today for value difference between buying a 2006 400h vs a 2005 RX330 with the same miles at the end of 3 years from today, the 2006 400h will return an additional $2,051 in resale value.

    Total difference = $2,485.

    Mercedes and BMW customers pay approximately an additional $5,000 for a V8 vs. a V6. The RX 400h delivers the performance difference of a V8 vs. a V6.

    If you allow for this $5,000, the total difference = - $2,515. Yes $2,515 less at end of three years for the RX-400h vs. the RX-330.
  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    I think there is something wrong with your 400h. I wonder if running with the wrong settings caused some damage or if the car still has something wrong. Ours drives like a dream. It goes straight with no problem. It isn't over-boosted, but it is easy to manuever and about the same as I recall the 330 that we test drove before the 400h came out.

    Could you ask the dealer to test drive another 400h to see if it is the same as yours? Or maybe try one at another dealer.
  • headlessheadless Posts: 50
    That is incorrect...if the car is kept in storage for over a month, you may have problems...but that can be the case for any car....

    Otherwise, you don't have to worry about it too much...Lexus has addressed this issue and all is good!

  • headlessheadless Posts: 50
    You're forgetting that the RX400h is a better, faster ride too! I recently test drove a 330 just to compare to my was a slug!

  • headlessheadless Posts: 50
    I thought I had a similar problem with my was pulling to the right...however, I wasn't in the left lane too much when this was happening...due to the banking of roads, the car will deviate based on the slope...

    I found that, when in the left lane, the steering was a bit more true, or it actually deviated to the left...

    So, before anyone complains of the car having bad alignment, please be sure to check it in both left and rightmost lanes...if it pulls to one direction both times, you likley have a problem...if not, probably not a big deal...

    Also, if you brake and the car pulls, this could indicate a problem...I'd be suprised if a new Lexus has these issues!

  • krellukrellu Posts: 31
    2nd fillup netted me about 24.23 mpg for 276.4 miles, maybe a 50/50 mix city/hwy.The first fillup was 198 miles which got me 22.76 mpg. Now
    after the fillup say 53 miles the computer is reading 32 mpg,about 10city/43hiway.
    The car has approx. 545 miles . Tomorrow will be 3 weeks of totally happy ownership.No problems with steering or anything else.
  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    Does anyone know if this is true and if so what does this battery power and what causes the drain when the vehicle is off?

    I haven't compared the specs to my Camry battery, but the 12-volt battery in my RX400h looks like a regular sized car battery.

    My manual set says "For parking longer than 30 days, charging of the 12-volt battery may be required." The high voltage battery is disconnected when the car is off so anything that runs then is using the 12-volt battery. For instance, internal lights when the doors are open, the receiver that listens for you key signal, the power door locks and rear door opener, etc. The manual does suggest that if you return to the car after parking for two weeks or longer, you turn start it and get the ready light on before you use the power rear door.

    It also says that you should drive at least once every several months for at least 30 minutes or 10 miles to keep the hybrid battery in good condition. Since, that is disconnected when the car is off, they must just be worried about leakage there.
  • headlessheadless Posts: 50
    There is always battery drain when a car is sitting....whether it be a hybrid or not...

    If you take whatever you are driving and sit it in the cold for a month without starting it, there's a good chance it won't start when you turn that key...I guess it would depend on how new your battery is...

    The hybrid is sensitive to this as well....

    As far as the automatic back liftgate...that drains a lot of, it makes sense not to use it if the battery is already drained a little for sitting for some time...

    I think the precautions make sense....I'm also sure that if you let the car sit for 30 days in the summer as opposed to in the winter, you'd get a different result! As far as driving, the car definitely does better the more you drive it...short trips do not get great milieage as the gas motor is working for the first few minutes you turn on the charge the battery...

  • jdtjdt Posts: 10
    Good suggestion - I'll ask my dealer to let me drive their demo 400h again this week just to compare handling. At this point, I have to keep my left hand on the wheel at all times just to avoid building up fatigue in my right wrist. This isn't my first SUV, but I don't remember having to work so hard to steer before and it doesn't feel like the 330 loaners they gave me at all.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The power stearing in the RX400h is electrical vs hydraulic.

    There will be some significant differences in the "feel".

    Hydraulics will not allow as much "push-back", feedback, to the steering wheel from rough road surfaces, roadbed sloping, or objects. And yes, the electrics will therefore require more driver attentiveness and hand pressure to maintain a good "track".

    If Lexus even uses differential braking to prevent wheelspin or slip on FWD vehicles, or front torque biased AWD such as the RX400h certainly is, then even lower brake modulation levels will be used on the hybrid because of the electric power stearing.
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    I've noticed that some cars with electric steering differ. I had a Mini Cooper that had electric steering and it tracked superbly. I think most new vehicles will have this method of steering within the next few years.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Is the mini-cooper truly electric or hydraulic using an electrically driven hydraulic pump like a few others?
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    To be quite honest, I am not sure. I remember from reading professional reviews and their own literature that it was purely electric.
  • shackmanshackman Posts: 9
    Will servicing the Lexus RX 400h require any special talents? I have a mechanic that has been servicing my cars for the last 20 years and wonder if this car will require special knowledge. I plan to pick up my RX 400h in about a month and was told by the dealer that my car is on the boat about to be docked. That sounds a lot like "the check is in the mail". In any case I am thinking about leasing rather than purchasing. Does anyone have any idea what a 36 month lease without a deposit which allows for 15,000 per year might cost. The only option I took was the heated seats.

  • rx400_ownerrx400_owner Posts: 59
    The roads in our neighborhood are fairly crowned and I don't find it takes any more attentiveness or work to steer the RX400H than my Camry. We are now on the third tank and thanks to the late rains, we have had plenty of time to try it out on wet roads. The handling on ours is great. From what the original poster describes, it sounds like he has a defect or damage from mishandling by the techs at his dealer.
  • mirexmirex Posts: 68
    Headless, thank you for your response. Your analysis sounds right to me.

    My 400h is due to land in Portland on June 5th and I anticipate picking it up 7-10 days later. Can't wait to get some quality time behind the wheel.
  • jdtjdt Posts: 10
    Well, maybe there's hope for my car if yours behaves the way you describe it. My dealer has already replaced the steering controller, so I'm not sure what else they can do. I'll retest drive the demo to see if it feels better than mine, and if so, perhaps they can figure something out. I wonder if the steering drive motor is ok, and if there is any adjustment available to the amount of boost with electric steering...
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    right out of my month, use2sellcars, thanks.

    If there is no opportunity to recover inertial energy during braking and/or coastdown then the hybrid concept is actually a huge detriment to fuel economy.
  • sysweisyswei Posts: 1,804
    If there is no opportunity to recover inertial energy during braking and/or coastdown then the hybrid concept is actually a huge detriment to fuel economy.

    I'm not so sure. I think you have to consider it on a performance-equivalent basis. Lexus likes to say you're getting V8 type performance from a V6 engine, and they have a point imho, so the more appropriate comparison is to the fuel economy of an equivalent-performance vehicle...maybe a V8. Even without the inertial energy capture, with a 400h you're getting the performance benefits of an extra cylinder or two without paying for the gasoline for that extra cylinder or two when the hp/torque isn't needed.
  • jdtjdt Posts: 10
    Ahh, success at last! I took out the dealer's demo 400h out for a test drive this morning and noticed a considerable difference in handling compared to my own new car. The alignment wizard at my dealer was actually on duty today, and he made an adjustment. Apparently Lexus allows up to +/- 0.75 degrees of range in the steering alignment, and mine was set on dead center. So, he reset it for 0.5 degrees to the left which fixed the problem and it's still well within the recommended range. Half a degree may not sound like much, but now my 400h feels like a different car. The steering is still a bit heavy compared to some other cars, but now there's no tracking problem. I guess they don't all come off the line exactly the same way, do they?
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    But during highway cruise just how often do you need V8 level performance?

    I just drove my 2001 AWD RX300 from Seattle eastside to and from Lewistown MT. I90 to Garrison, over the continental divide to Helena, I15 to great Falls, then on to Lewistown via a two lane road, mostly. ~1600 miles.

    At no time did I feel the V6 was lugging on the various (wet, no snow/ice) mountain passes nor did I wont for more HP when passing. MT drivers are NOT slouches and the RX came up to passing speed as quickly as I could have desired.

    Most of the drive (except in WA) was done with the cruise set above 75MPH so passing generally meant exceeding 90MPH. Averaged above 20MPG overall.

    I'd be curious to know if the RX400h can do as well in MPG, obviously not enough need for the higher level of performance, rarely WOT.
  • sinepmansinepman Posts: 137
    From what people are posting it would appear that they would have gotten around 25 MPG on the same trip in an RH. Certainly would take some time to justify the 9k additional price!
  • love2scubalove2scuba Posts: 34
    Yes, you are correct that it would be very difficult to make your money back on just fuel savings. BUT you keep forgetting that you are not just giving that $9k away either. You should make at least have of it back on resale and depending on where you live around $750+ on tax savings. That, along with fewer trips to the pump, less money to the oil companies, less emisions with more power, should make it at least breakeven for most people.
  • sinepmansinepman Posts: 137
    I'd do it for that reason, but other won't. If someone even balks at the prospect of spending the add'l money, they should not consider it as they'll constantly be second guessing themselves. I also hear some states do not charge sales tax, which makes the spread even less.
  • love2scubalove2scuba Posts: 34
    Unfortunately I live in California where there is no such sales tax break. But I look on the bright side, gas is so expensive here that it won't take me that long to breakeven :shades: !
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    that govern how much energy it takes to move a mass such as my RX300 or the RX400h 1600 miles at 75+ MPH.

    If the RX400h, weighing more than my RX300, actually does 25% better than my 2001 RX then Toyota should share their secrets with the rest of the manufacturers to help us reduce our dependance on fossil fuels altogether.
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