Last post on Dec 31, 2012 at 10:33 AM
You are in the Lexus RX 400h
What is this discussion about?
Lexus RX 400h, Hybrid Cars, Car Buying, SUV
#59 of 100 Re: RX400H [idele]
Jul 13, 2005 (5:32 am)
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!!
#60 of 100 Re: RX400H [falconone]
Jul 13, 2005 (6:21 am)
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.
#61 of 100 Why does a hybrid have to be an economy car?
Aug 08, 2005 (3:55 pm)
I own an RX400h. It is an excellent luxury performance vehicle. If fuel economy was paramount, which seems to be the sole criterium of many of the preceding posters, I would have bought a Prius. But I want luxury and performance and that requires a different car than the Prius. In fact, mpg performance of my RX400h is at least 25% better than my previous car when driven in the same gas and brakes style. Adapting my driving style to taking advantage of the hybrid drive adds another 10 % improvement in mpg. I regard the improvement in fuel economy purely as a bonus and, even without the better mpg, the RX400h, with the usual Lexus attention to detail and execution, is a joy to own.
#62 of 100 Re: Why does a hybrid have to be an economy car? [idele]
Aug 08, 2005 (6:13 pm)
I agree with you! Without effort, and I'm sure there is plenty for me to learn about driving it, I'm getting about 35 percent better mpg than our RX 300. I was coasting a lot and almost never braking. Now I'm finding that if I brake more I'm actually getting better mileage--or maybe the car is breaking in. I'm not sacrificing comfort or acceleration at the moment.
#63 of 100 Happy, Happy Owner
Aug 23, 2005 (12:10 pm)
Have 4k on my 400h and couldn't be happier. Averaged 27.5 for first 1500 miles of mostly hwy and mnt. driving, but was disappointed in city (25ish on short, cold runs with a/c on). Then read guidelines for EPA city test and tried to duplicate. No a/c, 12 miles avg. 20mph and 5 min at idle is how they do it. I drove 16 miles, little higher avg speed and probably 3-4 min at idle ("no gas or electric draw"). My avg: 33.5 and it stayed above 30 for next 10+ miles. My test at 2500 ft. elevation in 75 degree weather. This car is without a doubt the most enjoyable vehicle I've ever driven. Don't like the minor "thunk" sound and feel when the ICE kicks in. I did have one concern that happened on slow driving (dozens of stops in 2-3 miles) when I began getting a loud click noise from the rear whenever I hit the brake. This continued for another few miles then when I braked and stayed hard on the brake peddle, I got a "whooshing" sound from the engine area. After resuming highway driving, all "problems" disappear and never returned.
#64 of 100 Re: Happy, Happy Owner [mkkid]
Sep 14, 2005 (3:06 pm)
I'm getting nowhere near the mileage you are.
We own an '04 RX330 and an '06 400h and we're (my wife and I collectively) averaging a paltry 22MPG on the 400h over some 3K miles. This is according to the Lexus computer, not my own computation. I tried driving for a while with the AC off, and got up to 24.5MPG in mostly Highway driving. Over the same driving conditions the RX 330 gets around 17MPG. So my net gain for $9K is 5MPG. Yuk.
Given 15k miles per year, and $4/gallon it will take me 12 years to break even!
While I like the tranny and the pep of the 400h, and I like pulling into the garage silently, and I LOVE my lexus dealer (hence the his and hers RXs), I don't care for the bait and switch with the mileage -- the EPA estimate is 33/27 and I'm unable to touch that even with very careful driving (downhill).
Any thoughts about what I might be doing wrong?
#65 of 100 Re: Happy, Happy Owner [hylyskeptical]
Sep 15, 2005 (3:37 am)
Maximizing mileage on the highway is tougher in that wind resistance particularly over 70 mpg is always going to kill your mileage. For my present tank of gas I'm getting 29.7 mpg on mostly highway driving. Some things that might help is to set the center screen to the consumption screen on trip info and watch the bar on the right (of course while keeping your eyes on the road its bigger than the same info under the steering wheel display. What you want are 5 minute mpg averages above your present averages. Some ways to get this:
Keep the car under 70 mph
Try not to accelerate up hill, accelerate downhill and coast or let up going up hill
Don't tailgate, try to leave as much space as possible ahead so you don't have to brake and then accelerate
Do coast up or lightly brake for as long as possible when approaching slower traffic.
Long/downhill exit ramps are a great place to recharge the battery. Brake for as long as possible, even starting back on the highway if no one is behind you. Braking from high speed even gently puts the kw meter deep in the recharge zone.
Switch to open lanes when your lane slows so you won't have to accelerate to get back to speed.
Use small dips and down grades to coast or to build up speed to minimize acceleration up hills.
If you are busy or don't want to monitor your driving use cruise control.
Now this may sound like boring granny driving, but I find its fun. It gives me something to think about on my commute and each 5 minutes is a new challenge. (Lexus should have a 1 minute mode to reallly monitor driving.) I drive in the fast lane, which in the NYC burbs is 65 - 75 mph, which gets me there fast and I think actually helps mileage since it generally isn't as congested as the other lanes giving more room for coasting and planning.
I'm still working on whether firm acceleration using the electrics for a short period with very bad mpg is better than slower acceleration with little or no electrics and only bad mpg. (Personally I like to watch the electrics kick in.) Also wondering if anything is gained by by braking even harder when the kw needle is already full max. (I don't think so, just more regular brakes, but it does sound like there is more whine from the generators.)
Having said all this if you are driving at a fixed, high speed on a flat highway in hot weather, like the NY Times did when they "reviewed" the hybrid your mileage is not going to be much better. Its only when you can use the hybrid's advantage in changing road conditions that mileage get's significantly better. If you drive the hybrid the same as your regular car, much of the hybrid's advantages will disappear. Driving like a hybrid driver for a couple of weeks and most of these things you'll do without thinking. (I find myself doing long slow braking in my wife's Audi.)
#66 of 100 Re: Happy, Happy Owner [hylyskeptical]
Sep 15, 2005 (4:56 am)
You should have taken an extended test drive, reset the mileage and drive like you normally do. I actually did that with a Prius and was satisfied with the mileage I achieved. I realize that the RH does get a few MPG better than the RX, but it is not worth the premium. I'd suggest you sell it now since it is a good market at this point. You may be surprised and get most of your money back. Good luck!
#67 of 100 Re: Happy, Happy Owner [markatty]
Sep 15, 2005 (8:27 am)
I agree with your analysis and recommendations. I have 6500 miles on my 400h and mathamaticly. am averaging 26.9 mpg. On my last 3 trips between Seattle and Portland I have averaged 30.0 mpg. I noticed an increase in mpg after 5000 miles.
My present tank includes driving from Portland to Seattle plus 5 days of mixed city highway driving and registers at 29.0 on the navigation screen. I generally find that this reading is reduced by about .2 when dividing the miles by the gallons used.
I am averaging about 6 mpg better than on my 2003 RX300. I did not purchase my 400h with the idea that the extra mpg would pay for the increased price. I do, however, like the fact that I am using less gas and am more friendly to the environment.
A friend of mine who lives in Vancouver, Washington wanted to buy the 400h. His work place is about 5 minutes from his house and he takes numerous short trips each day. I talked him into buying the RX330 as it is better suited to his driving pattern. He is quite happy with his RX330. The 400h is not the car for everyone. Individuals should do a lot of research as to what the 400h does and will do. Several test drives of both short and longer trips would help in the decision.
I would buy my 400h again, but I knew what I would be getting before I made my purchase
#68 of 100 Re: Happy, Happy Owner [hylyskeptical]
Sep 15, 2005 (8:58 am)
No two people drive the same way and I admit I am obsessed with fuel economy. On relatively flat roads I use cruise control which shuts off ICE on the slightest downhill stretch. Even on level stretches at 55-65 I see the electric come on for a few seconds along with the ICE. When this happens you can see the "instant" section of the 5-min display jump 5-10 mpg. Every little bit helps! My current trip has covered nearly 5000 miles and the a/c has been on 95% of the time. I have to admit that my wife's driving style differs greatly from me (normal to fast acceleration) and I see a drop in our mpg meter after she has driven. On interstate hwys I usually stay in right lane at or below speed limit to avoid having to pass cars which affects mileage. I see no point in speeding, especially if it gets me to my destination earlier than necessary. You said your 400h is rated at 33/27; mine is 31/27. Try this: find a 20+ mile stretch of relatively level highway. Start out with a hot engine, reset your mpg meter, use cruise. Drive one way at 60mph and note mpg and turn around (reset meter) and drive back at the same speed.Note new mpg and then avg. both mpg figs. This should give you an accurate mpg assessment.