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
#69 of 100 Re: Happy, Happy Owner [markatty]
Sep 27, 2005 (12:39 pm)
I differ with you on a couple of things:
1. Never accelerate in downhill, but engage the gas pedal lightly so that it won't charge the battery, thus the SUV rolls longer....
2. Tailgating an 18-wheeler would do wonder for your gas mileage, but it may do less wonder for your well-being and insurance. LOL
I saw a gas mileage improvement past 5,000 miles... I am now at more than 8,000 miles and presently have 29.9mpg on the read-out for the last ~800miles.
Here is good tip:
When driving at steady speed, look at the left gauge (power KW output) and adjust the gas pedal so that the needle on the gauge is about one-needle thick above the "0" section.
The "0" section is the section where you have a bunch of parallel lines. Be one needle thick ABOVE it, at steady speed. This yields optimum mpg on my 400h. This requires a different driving mentality. you wont drive at fast speed but you will drive at pretty good speed and get pretty good gas mileage. I would generally speed above this point to get the speed, then drop back to one-needle-above for steady speed.
Mar 15, 2006 (7:00 pm)
There are so many things I like about my RX400h that I have to think a little about what I like best. With only 500 miles on the odometer here are my thoughts.
Of course I like it when I am stopped in traffic and the engine is not running. Since I spend too much time commuting in Miami traffic this is wonderful. So far, 28 MPG, and I am trying not to use all that power.
Speaking of power, that is great for merging on I95 and a few other places, but I have to be careful because it is so easy to quickly be going over 80 and negating the fuel economy capability.
The luxury features are great. The driver memory will be more significant when I let someone else drive it. The tracking headlights are a nice gimmick. The remote window opening will be great in the steamy south Florida summer. The rain sensing wipers may be interesting when I see them in operation. Headlight washers may never get used. The NAV would sure be nice to have, but I already have a Garmin 396. And Iím glad I found what I wanted without the faux wood steering wheel as the standard is much better for me.
The ride and handling are good, but not that much different from the í05 Highlander I had before. It is exceptionally quiet at low speeds. My sister, who has a Prius, warns that we need to be especially careful of pedestrians. If they cannot hear you, they are more likely to do something hazardous. The tire road noise is more than I expected, but that is very dependent on road surface and condition.
So when all is said and done I have to say that my favorite feature is the exceptionally smooth transmission. The VCT has no shift points so it is just wonderful, both accelerating and decelerating with no hesitations, no variation at all. This is particularly good compared to the Highlander, with very noticeable shift points that sometimes take away from the comfort of the driving experience.
What donít I like, besides the cost? See my separate post on a little noise problem. Other than that, the only significant dislike is the lack of visibility of the control labels on the center console in low light conditions. At night, the backlighting works well. In full daylight, they are readily visible. But in twilight conditions they are hard to read.
#71 of 100 2006 400h
Sep 11, 2006 (4:41 pm)
Well I'm quite surprised by my h. I have owned a 2001 RX300 and a 2004 RX330 previously. The 400h may look the same but this is a different animal.This a further step up the ladder from either of these two.The RX400h is quieter, smoother, rides better and altogether better built. It just has a more solid feel to it.It maybe my imagination, but the leather is a finer quality. Even the paint job is better. Its also ever so slightly longer and of course weighs more.My only negative is the front windsheild has a lighter tint than my 330 had. My general impression is this car is over engineered and it shows.
#72 of 100 2006 RX400h
Sep 20, 2006 (11:40 am)
Since I used this site to help me make up my mind on whether or not to buy a 400h, I think it is only right to give someone else the benefit of what my experience with the 400h has been.
I bought mine on Aug. 28. Today is Sept. 20, so I have had it less than a month and have around 500 miles on it.
First, the ride is unbelievable. It is so quiet. When you "start" the SUV, you hear nothing because you are running on the batteries. Then as you accelerate, the engine kicks in with no noise or motion. It is so seamless, I am amazed. Some of the reviews say that it is more noisy than the non-hybrid 350. There is only one time when you ever get more noise than a non-hybrid, and that is if you accelerate from a very slow speed quickly - in other words, when you "floor it". The reason you get more noise is that the engine doesn't shift at set intervals as it does with regular transmissions. You never feel a "shift" with the Electronic Continuous Variable Transmission (ECVT); however, the ECVT does allow the engine to rev up more in the situation I noted above. That being said, I have found that I never need to accelerate in a manner that causes this extra noise. If you accelerate at a good but not racy rate, you will not experience this extra noise. The bottom line is: this is the quietest vehicle I have ever been in, so don't let the noise comments concern you.
The ECVT is also amazing. There is no shifting, ever. The acceleration is great - even when you use the approach I mention above. The 400H is rated as a 4.0 liter engine which is comparable to a V-8.
The mileage that I have gotten at 6,500 feet above sea level with the air conditioning on is: 26.5 MPG in town and 27.5 MPG on the highway at 75 to 80 MPH. It's not what is on the sticker; but to have a luxury SUV with the power of a V-8, I am very happy. I do notice that by watching the console screen which shows the interaction of the engine, the batteries, and the electric motors, I can drive in a manner to improve the mileage. In other words, when I first got the car, in town, I was doing 25.5 MPG. By just concentrating on how I coast and brake, I am now at 26.5 MPG. Also, if you wanted to go 65 MPH on the highway, I believe you would do much better than 27.5 MPG. The first day that I drove from my house to work which was generally in a downhill route on a city highway about 8 miles, I got 51.3 MPG.
My only complaint to date is no one at the dealership or at Lexus seems to know much about the voice activated commands that you can use. In this regard, I have found out that there are several difference between the 2006 models (version 4) and the 2007 models (version 5). It appears that this is a work in progress and they continue to improve the features each year. On the 2006, the voice activation commands don't work with the Bluetooth cell phone interface. However, I still enjoy the Bluetooth feature. The reception in the car is very good for both you and the other party. When you get in the car, the Bluetooth connects automatically. Once it connects, you are hands free. I also find there are more steps that you have to go through to use the guidance system than on the Garmin system I am used to. However, this is just a case of getting used to it. The guidance system does have some features that the Garmin doesn't have.
The other negative mentioned in the reviews is the extra cost, but if you buy before the end of September, the research I have done indicates I'll get a $2,200 federal tax credit and a $3,443 Colorado State tax credit. Credits come directly off of your taxes - they're better than deductions which were given in 2005 I believe. That more than offsets the extra cost over a RX350 - even before you start talking about gas savings. If you are going to buy after September, you'll have to do your own research - I believe things could change then.
My bottom line: this is an unbelievable engineering marvel. I look forward to driving it every day.
#73 of 100 Re: 2006 RX400h [lonlin68]
Sep 21, 2006 (6:48 am)
One other thing I forgot to mention. If you are concerned about the hybrid technology reliability, the entire hybrid system is covered by a 100,000 mile or eight year warranty. Also, for under $2,500, I covered everything else, other than maintenance items, for 100,000 miles. These luxury vehicles have a lot of gadgets, and this gives someone who wants to keep the SUV for a long time some piece of mind.
#74 of 100 gas octane 2006 vs 2007?
Sep 27, 2006 (7:57 am)
Question - did they change the gas octane from regular to premium?
My 2007 manual calls for 91 min.
#75 of 100 Re: 2006 RX400h [lonlin68]
Oct 05, 2006 (7:46 am)
Mileage Update - Over the last 460 miles, my average MPG is now 28.2 MPG. This is probably 50/50 in town verse highway driving. So the information about the mileage getting better as the engine brakes in seems to be true.
#76 of 100 Happy so far...
Jul 30, 2005 (9:10 am)
Just purchased my 400h on 7/26 and so far....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!
#77 of 100 rx400- the best yet
Jan 02, 2006 (8:03 pm)
I have 1000 miles on the "H" car. (as my family refers to it)
The car is the smoothest and is really a "bat out of hell" at the traffic lights. The gas milage is 27 around town . No big highway trips yet, but I'll report on this later on in the year. The navigation has a slow learning curve. I have put a few hours into the study of its behavior and I really like it a lot. The voice recognition stinks, but I believe if enough owners complain to Lexus, a fix will become available. Otherwise it can navigate through the most complicated of
gated communities where every street is 200 yds long and twist and turns constantly.
I wish I knew how everything in this car works with regard to when the ice kicks in and when both motors will operate. I watch the graphic and it is quit a show. My old rx300 is still a good car after 172k miles and it is used as the 2nd auto for the family. I think it will last forever.
#78 of 100 My wife's new 400h and my Infiniti M35x
Jan 09, 2006 (5:15 pm)
We traded in our 10 mpg Land Cruiser for a 400h we had ordered in December this last weekend (waited until after the new year to get the better tax break for hybrids). I am gonna love even 25 mpg when compared to the Land Cruiser's miserable mileage. I really enjoy the sounds the 400h makes particularly when running on electric. It reminds me of the high pitched hum I heard on some of the rides at Disney World like the People Mover. A rather pleasant memory actually! But i must say the telemetrics and tech gizmos are a full generation behind my Infiniti M35X's. Lexus really needs to update the nav access to voice input for at least addresses and the phone should clearly be voice activated. A satellite radio option should have been on it at inception not a year later (February I hear) My Lexus rep said my Treo 650 wouldn't couple but 2 minutes on the web at home and I had clear instructions on how to do it. Why don't the dealers check out some of the forums on their own cars I don't know. My dealer also knew nothing of the new energy bill's tax credits for hybrids. All they did was mention that the old one was expiring and tried to push me to buy it before year end. Enjoying the SUV but the dealer could've been more informed about their own product.