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Lexus RX 400h and 450h



  • Hi you guys,

    Another Dane (living in London England)joining your forum.

    I have been searching the web for some considerable time in order to find a test drive report for the RX400h, but without success. Only the official Lexus press release stuff.

    I placed an order before X-mas 2004, and am expecting delivery in the UK in June/July (he says hopefully..).

    I am keen to learn as much as possible about the car before then, so if you can help, I would be very grateful.

    My current car is a Range Rover, but with the fuel prices in the UK going through the roof that will have to go.

    Drove a RX300 for a couple of days, but found the power somewhat lacking. Hope the RX400h will be better.


    Biger, how to I add a Danish flag to my posts??
  • For those interested there is a review of the RX400h in this months Car and Driver magazine:

  • Hi Birger,

    Most certainly we would love to hear your detailed comments from your test drive.

    What Luxembourg dealership has the RX400h in? Travelling on the Continent frequently, it would be a dream to pass through Luxembourg just to see the car 'in the flesh'. Please let me know.





    PS. I originate from Aarhus too (now 30+ years in th UK)
  • birgerbirger Posts: 80
    Hi, Carsten!


    Nice to hear from a fellow countryman - though you've been abroad for ten years more than me ;-)


    I can't remember anymore how you put the flag - I did it a long time back, and I couldn't find any direct hint now, so maybe the feature is no longer available - Kirstie, can you help?


    Apart from the excellent test in C&D that kiwiguy put a link to, I came across this Canadian one:,view,Lexus.spy?- artid=35385 It refers to the same press presentation in Hawaii, of course.


    A number of European auto mags were also invited to that presentation, and they are generally thrilled. I guess therel'll be more and more in the coming weeks.


    Unfortunately, the 400h at my local (and only) Lexus dealership was only on a two-week loan from Lexus' Belgian headquarters, so chances of having a test drive are rather slim - but check out and call them. One never knows....


    You mention that you felt a lack of power in the RX300 you drove - I can assure you that this will not be the case with the 400h. It's 0-100 km/h acceleration figures are in V8-powered X5/ML territory, and it feels like that. Of course, if you constantly wring every one of the 272HP out to max, you'll end up with a not very outstanding fuel economy - but still less than what you'd have had to feed one of the two mentioned SUV's.


    What is most impressive is the way it can move off quite briskly from a stop on electric power only - like an electric powered train pulling out of a station, but on mute ;-)


    I really liked it - and it's really mostly a matter of principle that makes me want to wait until I get the prices of the coming W164 M-Class Mercedes before taking the definite decision. Additionally, my wife seems to have taken a fancy to the design, which of course is very positive.


    This weekend, the first pictures of the new B-Class from Mercedes came out (I would maybe prefer something more compact (and economical), but still with lots of interior space), and though she liked it, she turned it down because of the lacking 4WD. A pity that Mercedes haven't gotten as far in hybrid technology as Toyota, because this body style (sandwich bottom) could make an excellent basis for a hybrid vehicle (even 4WD) without sacrificing any interior space.



  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,079
    I don't think it's available anymore!


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  • I agree the comparison is easy, here is another way to look at it.


    Compare the RX400h to luxury V8 4WD SUV's with comparable size and performance (EPA combined MPG):


    Lexus RX400h 28


    Mercedes ML500 15

    BMW X5 4.4is 18

    Porsche Cayenne S 16


    In fact, the only SUV's of any kind that get better combined MPG than the RX400h are the 2WD and 4WD hybrid Escapes. The next car after the RX400h on the EPA "SUV" class list is the Toyota Rav4, 2WD, 4 cyl, at 26 MPG combined.


    Only one EPA "luxury" class car gets better mileage (the Mercedes E300 cdi diesel at 30MPG combined), and no EPA "upscale" class cars do better. You have to go to the "family sedans" class (where the Prius is classified) to find a better performing gasoline car.


    In that class, the RX400h gets the same 28MPG combined as the 4 cylinder Toyota Camry (0-60 9.2sec)!


    Diesels are very efficient, both due to the higher compression ratio (above 20:1), and the fact that direct injections eliminates the throttle plate and it's associated low load efficiency reduction. But diesels have innate and potentially unsolvable problems related to emissions from particulate matter (soot), carcinogenic partial combustion products (like aldehydes), and fuel contaminants (like sulphur). Diesels are not now legal in CA, or any US state that follows CA's rules (like NY).


    Hybrids are also very efficient, and their emissions are actually better than a comparable MPG gas only car. This is because they use battery power for the low load stop and go, and idle conditions that create most of the pollution. The gas engine is run mostly at higher load levels where emissions are lower.


    Sorry for the long post,


  • Let me state (again) that comparing the Escape to the RX400h is like comparing a McDonalds All-American to LeBron James!


       The RX is much heavier, more powerful, can tow more, is MUCH faster, has better dash displays, and is just as efficient!


       The Escape is efficient.


       The 400h is a Lexus.


       Do I need to explain more?


       Thank You.


  • Hi again,


    Does anybody know whether there is going to be similar models in the RX400H range as for the RX330?



    RX400H SE

    RX400H SE-L


    If you know, what is the difference in spec. likely to be?


    Hungry for information,



  • sunbyrnesunbyrne Posts: 210
    The presentation I saw at the Auto Show in Houston seemed to indicate there'd be only one trim level: fully loaded. Hence some of the steep price estimates seen around here and other places.
  • birgerbirger Posts: 80
    Hi, Carsten


    I think sunbyme is right, also as far as the European models go. You might be able to choose if you want the sunroof or not, and even that seems to be standard (depends on who you ask - my LUX dealer gave me a bit of BS on the availability of the sunroof being dependent on Lexus wanting to have the car classified as Euro 6), and you can of course choose exterior colors. The interior is either charcoal or tan leather with aluminium trim - the grey leather and the wood trim will not be available, according to my (German and Luxembourgish) sources.



  • According to my local dealer, the only options are color, ML audio, & Rear Seat Entertainment. There will also be some options that would be available on the RX330 that will not be available on the 400h such as; air suspension and Laser Cruise Control.

    Although I've read that Lexus has already made an online system available to those that have put down deposits, the latest news I've gotten from Lexus is that they are still not totally settled on final options and prices and won't make the ordering system available until these are final.

    Although the people that have placed deposits will get first pick of the available vehicles, it seems like it might be a while before they actually have access to the vehicle they would have ordered if given the chance.


  • ptm123ptm123 Posts: 15
    Here is the Lexus website with the preliminary product info.

  • Thanks for the preliminary data from Lexus.

    There is hardly any additional options: three listed are an audio upgrade, a heated seat, a towing upgrade.

    Not bad (or not good if you are looking for the lower base price).

  • Nice find.

    Does anyone have any experience with this feature of Lexus automobiles?

    Customized Body Electronics System (C-BEST) allows certain electronic settings to be tailored to owner
    preference (programmable by Lexus dealers).

    What sort of things can be programmed? Top speed? Max torque to wheels under heavy demand? Hmm...
  • rfruthrfruth Posts: 630
    What is the world coming to, worms in cars ? - snip - Automaker Lexus has denied that the Cabir wireless worm poses a risk to the Bluetooth-capable navigation systems featured in some of its vehicles.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Interesting thought. A hacker takes control of your GPS NAV system and steers you into a rough part of town, right into a chop shop... Maybe I don't want a NAV system for my vehicle...
  • Nothing so interesting as that. Settings include: time delay on head/interior lights off, sensor level to determine when headlights auto-on, doorlocks unlock when car is put in park vs. manually, doors lock when car put in drive vs. at 15 mph. There are other programmable settings in a similar vein.
  • cyclone4cyclone4 Posts: 2,302
    I am rather disappointed that the Laser Cruise Control will not be available on the RX400h. Is this for certain? I sure hope they change their mind about this option since I find this extremely helpful on my LS430 on the highway. I think it is the most significant option they offer. I sure hope Lexus changes its mind about this & it does become available afterall. We are number 17 on the waiting list at my dealer. This will be mainly driven by my wife. I am calling the dealer tomorrow to see if they can somehow persuade Lexus to include Laser Cruise Control as an option. I am willing to pay premium price for this. Please Lexus! Include this option.
  • I agree! I'm also rather disappointed that they will not be offering the smart ignition system that's available on the Toyota Prius. I would have been nice not to have dangling keys.
    I had heard that the air suspension offered much improved handling (less lean in corners). It would certainly have been nice to have an option that allowed some control of the cars handling (sigh).

  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    You believe this, I have a bridge to sell you too. LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    Some of the early promotional material for the RX400h bragged about 600 mile cruising range. I wonder what happened to that. With a 17.2 gallon fuel tank and 26mpg highway, the range is quite disappointing (about the same as a LX470, which is equally diaappointing.) Interestingly, the info on the Highlander hybrid mentions a 600 mile range. I presume that this is out-of-date information.
  • grommetgrommet Posts: 445
    Air suspension on the RX330 does virtually nothing in my experience. I was hoping for a more sporty feel, but it disappointed. There is probably a reason it's fairly rare...
  • We saw our salesman today. He said Lexus will NOT be e-mailing the wait list people as earlier reported. He said Lexus said it was too difficult to do. He said the latest he heard was that this dealership (near Seattle) could be getting five or six 400hs for April 15th, a few more if it's a truckload. Said a couple of their guys drove one down in Cal. recently and said they were duly impressed with the giddyap. Mpg - 26 highway, 30 city.
  • andy3andy3 Posts: 5
    For those of you on the wait-list, be
    sure and read the latest issue of Road and Track for a brief article on the 400h. Most disconcerting, for me at least, is that the writer says the vehicle cannot be used off-road, as apparently the rear electric motors can load-up and fail in distressed driving conditions. Not your usual AWD vehicle capabilities, right?
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Anyone who spends $44K-$50K for a Lexus hybrid SUV and then wants to do "real offroading" just bought the wrong car anyway.

    Here's the Road and Track reviewer:

    "One thing you can't do is drive off-road, which will no doubt disappoint the tens of RX owners who routinely slog through the mud. The reason is that under load and without sufficient speed, the air-cooled rear motor could fry." 869&page_number=1

    I think the latest estimates say less than 5% of 4WD/AWD SUVs sold in the USA ever see anything offroad. I'm betting the RX400H will do fine in regular mud and snow, just nothing heavy and deep.
  • gagricegagrice Pahrump, NevadaPosts: 31,432
    Anyone who spends $44K-$50K for a Lexus hybrid SUV and then wants to do "real offroading" just bought the wrong car anyway.

    Might be real bad if they are trying to get up the beach ahead of the tide and get stuck in the sand. If you have a 4X4 you expect it to be able to function as a 4X4. You paid for it and it should be available if needed. I'll bet there are people in LA right now trying to get through mudslides in their SUVs that would not like to find out it only works on dry land or 3 inches of snow. Quit making excuses for poor engineering. Poster wwest months ago questioned this very thing and many posters gave him a bad time for even thinking that Toyota could screw up.

    wwest, "Lexus RX 400h" #514, 29 Nov 2004 2:16 pm
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 431

    I laughed at your writing.
    "I'll bet there are people in LA right now trying to get through mudslides in their SUVs "

    If you drive a Hummer up a hill, it will naturally cause mudslides, landslides, etc.

    Is there any SUV that can help us escape from Avalance, Tsunami, etc, something like Hummer H0 which is taller, wider and longer than Hummer H1.

    Expect SUV sales to slider in the face of rising gas prices.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    quote gagrice-". If you have a 4X4 you expect it to be able to function as a 4X4. You paid for it and it should be available if needed. I'll bet there are people in LA right now trying to get through mudslides in their SUVs that would not like to find out it only works on dry land or 3 inches of snow. Quit making excuses for poor engineering."-end quote

    It's not a 4x4, it has an AWD system, and you know the difference Gary.

    If they wanted to make a 4x4 Off Road Hybrid and saw a market for it, they WOULD make one. This is not for that. It's a smallish, car-based, crossover SUV and is not made for offroading.

    Lexus/Toyota is not trying to fool anyone (oH the ConSpirAcy !!! ))))):)
  • falcononefalconone Posts: 1,726
    Gary may have confused his zoloft and took metamucil when he posted that. I am quite certain that the system will perform admirably in ALL road situations. I once owned an RX300 and believe me, this car is NOT capable of offroading in anything other than a fire road or gravel road.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I owned an RX300, too, and, if nothing else, the tires supplied are totally unsuited to off-roading.
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