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Lexus RX 400h and 450h

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  • tommtomm Posts: 31
    Just received the co. letter - yes, 4-15-05; plenty hp and pick-up. We bought our '99 Lexus RX in 8-98 - 83,500 miles now - never any problems - just looking forward to some better milage. The RX (esp. the 400h) will be beautiful, roomy, economical, sacious, and very peppy - who needs more?? If you don't want a Lexus, just buy the Toyota and stop complaining!
  • plee1plee1 Posts: 15
    Please let me know if I'm being unreasonably frustrated. It's now about 3 months out from the release date, and yet there still seems to be little information on some crucial information such as MSRP. Lexus stated that it was going to assign a particular car to a particular customer while on the shop floor, which suggested to me that color (and potentially option choices) could be individualized per customer wishes. Yet my dealer has indicated that they expect cars to just come in to its lot pre-loaded and in pre-assigned colors and it will be take it or leave it. I seem to remember being promised quarterly updates, but those don't seem to be forthcoming.
  • jimxojimxo Posts: 423
    A friend of mine has one and asked if I wanted to take it for a spin.

     

    It's not his he works for Lexus. I'll post some pics and report back with my thoughts. My wife drives a 01 RX FWD so I have that to measure it against. If there is a window sticker or pricing I'll be sure to get it.
  • windy6windy6 Posts: 57
    Got the new issue and it reviews the 400h (along with some other interesting vehicles) Obviously more of a "hype" article than anything else.

     

    Interestingly enough it lists the "price" as $46K-$50K, but since it discusses the RX 330's low price of $36,675, let's assume that 46 is for the unfindable "completely stripped down model. After reading the article my wife's only comment was, "I'm glad we didn't wait the extra year to spend that much more.

     

    windy6
  • birgerbirger Posts: 80
    Hi,

     

    I had the opportunity to drive the RX400h last Sunday. Not much more than 15 miles, but enough to have me seriously considering getting this and not the 2006 Mercedes ML (W164) as my next vehicle.

     

    It's VERY powerful if you step on it, yet incredibly silent. Moving gently off from a stop, you use only electric power - smooth! Driving it was a real pleasure.

     

    Fit and finish are excellent - only trouble being that due to fuel consumption issues they're considering not offering the moonroof here in Europe (weight).

     

    I'll get my impressions together in a more detailed form soon, if you wish.

     

    Kind regards from Luxembourg, Europe

    Birger
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    Welcome, Birger from Luxembourg! I've been to your fair country.

     

    Did you drive this car at a dealership? Is it now available to purchase in Europe?

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  • birgerbirger Posts: 80
    Hi, Kirstie

     

    Thanks for the welcome - by "fair country" do you mean Luxyland or Denmark??

     

    The test drive was at the local Lexus dealership. Availability here in Luxembourg is estimated for August or September. I just read in a German magazine that they expect deliveries to start in June.

     

    Kind regards, all

    Birger
  • wco81wco81 Posts: 554
    Didn't think SUVs were that common in Europe.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,042
    I've been to Luxembourg, not Denmark.

     

    Maybe this vehicle will be more popular in Europe than traditional SUVs. I'm sure a big barrier to sale is the gas guzzler aspect.

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  • I have been to Europe several times and there are a lot of small and mid-sized SUV's on the roads. You don't see any Suburbans, but there are a lot of RAV4s and the like. I saw quite a few RX's when I was in Britain last year.
  • Says 30/26 MPG city/hwy. 4WD and 30 MPG! AND 0-6 in the low 7's?

     

       I thought the idea was a fairly loaded RX, with a $5k hybrid engine, which is what MT is reporting.

     

       I'm sure there are a couple of options, but if the price is under $50k, it's a good value!

     

       DrFill
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    I dont know if anyone posted this new review yet, but here it is:

     

    http://macleans.auto123.com/en/site/printpage/printpage,view,Lexus.spy?
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    http://www.evworld.com/view.cfm?section=communique&newsid=758- 8

    Its 650 Volts under the hood.

    MG2 driving the Front Wheels has 167 hp (123 KW)

    MGR driving the Rear Wheels has 68 hp (50 KW)

    Thats a combined power of 235 hp (173 KW) from 2 motors alone. The article says that its total hp is 268.

     

    Does it mean that only 33 hp comes from the engine.

     

    Can someone clarify.
  • I believe those individual numbers are their maximum outputs with their own conditions.

     

    The combined output is what it is (I belive the ICE's maximum output is > 200 hp) because each outputs its maximum at different time.

     

    Hong.
  • birgerbirger Posts: 80
    Hi,

     

    A relevant (for me) alternative to the RX400h would be the coming M-Class, as I already drive the present one in 270CDI form which is considered to be economical among SUV's. The '06 M-Class gets new V6 CDI engines - diesel is normally due to price and consumption the only reasonable choice here in Europe. The first test of the 320CDI engine which will be fitted to the ML just came out - in the smaller, lighter C-Class. But since the current I-5 270CDI is also offered in that body I couldn't resist checking the fuel economy figures. The new engine (in the C-class) uses 3-5% MORE fuel and has worse CO emission. Coming from a company as experienced as Mercedes this astounds me. Projecting the same fuel economy figures percentage-wise on the M-Class, the future M-Class comes out quite a bit worse than the RX400h - bringing my decision to leave the three-pointed star closer. Too bad - I have been happy with Mercedes, but their hybrid debut seems years away, and they haven't got the knowhow Toyota has acquired over the years.

     

    Of course, not everything is about fuel economy, but with one litre (not a gallon) costing around an Euro, it has to be taken into consideration.

     

    Cheers,

    Birger
  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    Yeah, and Euros... man, that's real money. One Euro per litre at current exchange rates ($1.27 per Euro) puts gas at... $4.78 per gallon. Yikes. You think it's hard finding a Prius in the U.S. right now, imagine what it would be like at that gas price!

     

    And now back to topic, imagine what the waiting list for the 400h would be...
  • plee1plee1 Posts: 15
    The Edmunds review says the following:

     

    Because the RX 400h has already secured more prelaunch orders than any other Lexus in history, the company is taking extra care to accommodate its customers. In September 2004, it announced a dedicated customer communication system that corresponds directly with the wait-list customers, updating them every few months on the status of their order. This retail ordering system allows dealers to assign a customer's name to a specific vehicle prior to production, and then track it through the distribution process.

     

    Has anyone on the waiting list received any information regarding this system?
  • Not the tracking system, but I've received several paper letters from various levels of people from Lexus.

     

    Hong.
  • Mercedes has an increasingly poor reputation in the U.S....Consumer Reports rates nearly every one of their vehicles among the lowest in reliability and does not recommend their purchase. Everyone I know who owns one complains about the trips to the repair shop. On the contrary, Lexus consistently comes out ahead. Welcome Europeans to the world of fine Japanese automobiles!
  • I am a Ford Escape 4WD Owner so I may have a bias.

     

    I am impressed by the new Lexus Hybrid and if I were the King I would choose this car as my mobile throne, given its luxury. But, after my research, I have a few concerns about increases in estimated economy over the RX 330 and its use as a 4WD alternative. Lexus has not as yet given us a firm suggested MSRP price.

     

    2005 Lexus RX 330

    MSRP Price Range $35,775 - $37,175 (2WD - 4WD)

     

    EPA Fuel Economy 2WD City 19 MPG

    EPA Fuel Economy 2WD Highway 25 MPG

     

    EPA Fuel Economy 4WD City 18 MPG

    EPA Fuel Economy 4WD Highway 24 MPG

     

    2006 Lexus RX 400h Hybrid

    MSRP Estimated Price $44,000 - $54,000

     

    EPA Fuel Economy AWD City 26 MPG

    EPA Fuel Economy AWD Highway 30 MPG

     

    As a Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD driver I have experienced a loss of power at high torque conditions (extreme 4WD) and now I read about the Lexus:

     

    "Since the rear electric motor is air-cooled, there’s a concern for excessive heat build up, which would cause the system to shut down (to protect itself), temporarily leaving the RX 400h's passengers stranded. Not good when the tide is coming in." (From Edmunds)

     

    You do the math from the RX 330 to the RX 400h. I am not yet sure the increase in MPG compared to the Estimated increase in cost and/or loss of 4WD power is worth it, even if you are the King.

     

    Mike
  • One, if you are using the RX400h in extreme off-roading maneuvers enough to overheat the REAR eletric motor, you bought the wrong vehicle!

     

       Two, the FWD would still work. The vehicle wouldn't be dead, just the rear aux motor.

     

       DrFill
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    When you consider cost, consider feature content. As is true of any Toyota/Lexus, adding features quickly adds to the cost. RX400h may be better equipped, and RX330 can easily exceed $40K mark with basic add ons. Besides that, the difference should also reflect in performance area. I have my suspicion. If Lexus were to put a powerful V8 under the hood that delivered similar performance to the hybrid, we wouldn’t be comparing costs.
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,302
    My wife is trading in the original RX300 for the new RX400h this April. We are on the waiting list. I talked to a young and knowledgeable salesman at my dealer & he indicated to me that the gas mileage for the new hybrid would be more like 39 in the city & 29 on the highway. This 30 and 26 does not make much sense to me. I would think that the difference between the city & highway mileage would be considerably greater. Has anything actually been confirmed yet?
  • In my original post I got the posted information direct from the Lexus Website so I would guess your saleman is more of an expert. I am only saying that buyers should check out all sources since salespeople are often the last ones to really know what they are selling and receiving commissions for.

     

    Mike
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,302
    You are so right. I just talked to the salesman again this morning and he corrected himself. He said that a representative from the Dealer just got back from a briefing at Lexus headquarters & that the gas mileage is indeed 30 & 26. Lexus told them that the RX400h is a totally different concept than the Prius, etc. The RX400h is built more on performance. It is very powerful, smooth, & quiet. The gas savings is still much greater than any other SUV around, but is not what one would presume based on other lower end SUV cars to this point.
  • "Built for performance"?

     

    Sounds like the Escape Hybrid.

     

    troy
  • I spoke to Lexus of Manhattan yesterday, and they said that they have not heard anything official about the customer tracking system, and that they only knew about it from the Lexus public announcements.

     

    The salesman said he expects cars to arrive around April 15, in assorted colors, at which time they will invite all of their waiting list customers to come in and see the car. They will then go down the list offering first pick to the first on the list and so on. He said that they may not even know the available colors, let alone the colors they will get, before arrival.

     

    This is the same way they will handle the new GS about to come out.
  • EPA estimates are usually conservative, to take into account real world factors. I have always gotten better mileage than the estimates, even for normal dirving, and especially on the highway.

     

    The Prius EPA estimates on the other hand, were far too optimistic, with very few drivers able to achieve them at all. I think that probably relates to some aspects of the hybrid drivetrain that the test cycle unintentionally favors (high part load efficiency). It resulted in much furor, and even talk of a class action lawsuit.

     

    It will be interesting to see how accurate the RX400h estimates are. I will begin testing as soon as I get it! I hope others will do the same.
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,302
    I was thinking the same thing. Maybe they are initially giving out very conservative gas mileage figures so that people will not have high expectations but then be pleasantly surprised.
  • One Ting: Comparing the Escape and RX is easy!

        

       The Escape is SLOWER than it's V6 counterpart, by about .5 to .75 0-60, depending on who is testing, but has gotten around 25-28 MPG combined in tests.

       

       The RX will be FASTER than it's V6 counterpart by the same, and it's economy will increase similarly.

        

       The Escape's EPA numbers and it's performance have matched so far.

     

       And Ting #2: The EPA doesn't know how to measure Hybrids.

     

       They're guessing on your car, based on tests that haven't changed in 30 years. They still can't figure GAS cars out!

     

       They're lost on hybrids! Since the Lexus can run up to 40 MPH on electric only, with Cummins-diesel level torque below 1500 RPM, expect much better mileage than the 18 MPG you get with the 330.

     

       DrFill
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