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Rx330 Or Rx400h?


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If you were to buy an Rx soon, which one would you pick?  

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  1. 1. If you were to buy an Rx soon, which one would you pick?

    • Rx330
      18
    • Rx400h
      33


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My vote went to the RX330 only because of the "soon" in the question. Just yesterday a Lexus salesman advised that the new delivery date is spring of 05. He didn't want, seemingly, to express any enthusiasm that even that date wouldn't be slid.

IMMHO the RX400h engineering team will soon, if not already, be reconsidering using the V6 with V8 performance in favor of an I4 with the current V6 level of performance.

V8 performance will undoubtedly have great appeal to lead foots and would be teeny-boppers but the "green" team ( the "mass" of the customer base) is definitely more interested in fuel economy with a more sensible level of performance.

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Definately the 400h. I aggre with Willard that the "soon" is the question. For one not only are we not sure of a release date, we'll have to deal with wait lists. I just bought a Prius, its not easy to find one and its not fun either. We got ours in 2 weeks for sticker but we got lucky, that dealer is now charging $5000 over sticker.

IMMHO the RX400h engineering team will soon, if not already, be reconsidering using the V6 with V8 performance in favor of an I4 with the current V6 level of performance.

I seriously doubt this for one reason. Even if you're right that would:

1. Cost too much. Lexus is more apt to wait until the vehicle reaches a refresh time to make a change.

2. A change would cause them to loose face. When has Lexus drastically changed models that are unpopular (the IS300)? They don't, they wait it out.

V8 performance will undoubtedly have great appeal to lead foots and would be teeny-boppers but the "green" team ( the "mass" of the customer base) is definitely more interested in fuel economy with a more sensible level of performance.

I also seriously disagree with this. For one, the market shows no evidence that this is true. What the market DOES show is that SUV buyers don't care at all about fuel economy. In fact, all of the consumer research puts fuel economy right at the bottom of the list with power in the middle, room and features being the most important. I've never seen ANYTHING in the SUV market tht would make me say people think economy is more important than power. Thats not even true of most car markets, let alone SUVs. Popularity of vehicles like the H2 and big V8 SUVs like the Expeditions and Yukons blow that theory right out of the water. Its the smaller engined SUVs that go unsold, if your theory about economy minded buyers were correct this would be the opposite. The H2 gets 8MPG, and they can't keep them on the lots.

Lexus isn't looking for the "green" crowd with the 400h, they're looking to offer people more power and features while cashing in on the "hybrid" name which will bring Country Club noteriety (wow, Sally's got a hybrid etc)and will bring hybrid technology to the mainstream.

Most Prius buyers don't even buy for the fuel economy, they don't get the kind of economy that they advertise anyways.

Switching to an I-4 setup wouldn't yield enough MPG value to make the tradeoff in power worth it. I don't like driving the Prius because its simply anemically slow. I would never buy a Lexus that preformed like that.

Luxury car owners want power, they have plenty of cash to buy gas. "greenies" wouldn't buy a $45,000 luxury car full of wood and leather anyways so designing an SUV for them would be insane. They'll go buy an Escape, they're not interested in cars like Lexus.

This approach I believe is very smart, every Lexus car will have a high performance varient, and it will be a hyrbid. This saves Lexus their CAFE standards, and lets the buyer have high performance in a more effiecient less guilt ridden package. Nobody is going to buy a slow anemic LS430 hybrid, they will buy a fast, sporty LS500 hybrid. They don't care about economy, if they were so concerned about getting the most for their money, they wouldn't be shopping for a Lexus, a luxury item.

We're talking about a 270hp SUV with 0-60 times under 7 seconds that gets 30mpg, thats exciting stuff.

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We chose the 400h because it had enough room, comfort, and more than 30mpg.

The Prius did not have enough room We did not care whether the vehicle has the

SUV classification or not, we just wanted enough room for traveling. We keep our

vehicles for 20 years, so the price did not matter as much as the reliability and

whether or not it had all the features today that we would want 15 years from now.

Waiting a year to replace a 20 year old vehicle did not bother us. We decided to

get either a Honda or Toyota. After checking both, we decided Toyota had the

better technology. From the possible models, we chose the Highlander or RX

because of size. From these two, we chose the 400h for features. Sounds rather

boring way of car shopping, but we would rather do other things than shop for

cars.

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I seriously disagree with the writer who stated "the market shows no evidence that this is true. What the market DOES show is that SUV buyers don't care at all about fuel economy. In fact, all of the consumer research puts fuel economy right at the bottom of the list with power in the middle, room and features being the most important"

I bought my RX330 based on the best of MOST worlds. I loved the zoom and power of the FX45 but its mileage was and attrocious. I loved the rugged solid feel of other SUVs such as the BMW but the cargo was laughable. So in my opinion buyers are getting very very knowledgeable about all/most cars specifically through the internet before they buy. The Prius is a case in point. The power is not impressive, the features are probably no greater than any other econo car (no leather seats available) so its only high selling point is the mileage/technology ad the impressive mileage. What feature would prompt a buyer to the Hummer except massive size. So it is my thought that in some cases mileage be dammed but this is mostly for the people that perhaps have more money than sense.

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Actually the feature load on the Prius in unbelievable. It has options only shared with the LS430 Lexus like smart entry/smart start, bluetooth phone connectivity, voice activated nav, bi-xenon headlamps. Most Priuses sold are package 8s and 9s, the fully loaded cars. Fully loaded cars get about 15 less MPG, case in point, people aren't buying the Prius just for its fuel economy anymore.

Gas mileage simply isn't a huge concern for MOST buyers when shopping for 40k plus SUVs. The market simply shows that, which vehicles are the most popular? The ones that are the largest and use the most gas.

Kind off topic but if you liked the FX45 why didnt you look at an FX35? Just as much fun with similar mileage to the RX330.

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I'm a little interested in your choice of the word "chose" when niether the 400h nor the Highlander Hybrid have reached dealerships yet.

We decided we like the Highlander and the RX bodies and features. We did not

like the mpg, and would have chosen something else if Toyota had not

annouced it would put a hybrid package in each of them. Toyota had established its

credentials as supplier of quality hybrid package throug its Prius. We chose the 400h

based on the ride we had in the 330RX, just sitting in the 400H at the Ontario auto

show this year, and our confidence in Toyota from experience with owning other

Toyota vehicles.

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Be careful when perusing these first-generation hybrids, including next years RX400h. Auto analysts tend to agree that the segment does NOT typically deliver anything close to the mileage ratings promised in the various corporate sales pitches, and experienced engineers will tell you that it's always a smart choice to bypass the first offering of any major new automotive technology in order to allow the kinks and qwirks to get fixed by the manufacturers over a couple of model years. Hybrids will get better as successive improvements are made, but I would be very cautious in deciding to lay my hard-earned money out just to be first on the block....

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Be careful when perusing these first-generation hybrids, including next years RX400h. Auto analysts tend to agree that the segment does NOT typically deliver anything close to the mileage ratings promised in the various corporate sales pitches, and experienced engineers will tell you that it's always a smart choice to bypass the first offering of any major new automotive technology in order to allow the kinks and qwirks to get fixed by the manufacturers over a couple of model years. Hybrids will get better as successive improvements are made, but I would be very cautious in deciding to lay my hard-earned money out just to be first on the block....

u guys are true about the fact that the 1st gen is most of the time, the "Problematic" one. But the fact that Toyota/Lexus are pursuing hybrid in the Suvs is very enticing! I personally will risk it if I were to buy an Rx in the future. Huh, since i went for it with the Gx, I would go for it for the RX400h! Besides, the problems in the Gx weren't fixed in the 2nd gen model (03 Gxs had 2 factory defects, 04s got 3 DEFECTS!!!) :chairshot:

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I'm definately not a teeny-bopper, but I wouldn't be interested in the RX 400 if it had a 4-cylinder with V6 perormance. We travel over the Sierras and up roads like the grapevine into LA. We need a car with the ability to put out sustained power to get up those. With a 4-cylinder on that large a car, I'd be concerned we would get to a point where the batteries ran out and we would be on gas engine alone for an extended climb.

Test driving the RX 330, it wasn't quite as responsive as I would like especially for rapid acceleration to get up to speed on on-ramps and such. I don't mean it was terrible but it was a bit under-powered at times. Also, its gas mileage was a little less than I would like. So an RX 400 that gets a bit better performance and a bit better mileage is just what I want.

We drove the Prius, but were concerned about its very low ground clearance. We sometimes go down imperfect dirt roads and I'd be afraid with the Prius that a rock would rip out something.

From what we've heard at this point, the trade-off of power, mileage, space and comfort in the RX 400 will be perfect for what we want.

By the way, I have heard from multiple dealers that the RX 400 will not have wood so they will be catering to that green desire. One dealer said that there will be less wood in all their 2005 models and that Lexus was looking for more renewable alternatives to old growth woods. I care about the environment, but I'm not a vegetarian and I have no problem with leather.

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I'm definately not a teeny-bopper, but I wouldn't be interested in the RX 400 if it had a 4-cylinder with V6 perormance. We travel over the Sierras and up roads like the grapevine into LA. We need a car with the ability to put out sustained power to get up those. With a 4-cylinder on that large a car, I'd be concerned we would get to a point where the batteries ran out and we would be on gas engine alone for an extended climb.

Test driving the RX 330, it wasn't quite as responsive as I would like especially for rapid acceleration to get up to speed on on-ramps and such. I don't mean it was terrible but it was a bit under-powered at times. Also, its gas mileage was a little less than I would like. So an RX 400 that gets a bit better performance and a bit better mileage is just what I want.

We drove the Prius, but were concerned about its very low ground clearance. We sometimes go down imperfect dirt roads and I'd be afraid with the Prius that a rock would rip out something.

From what we've heard at this point, the trade-off of power, mileage, space and comfort in the RX 400 will be perfect for what we want.

By the way, I have heard from multiple dealers that the RX 400 will not have wood so they will be catering to that green desire. One dealer said that there will be less wood in all their 2005 models and that Lexus was looking for more renewable alternatives to old growth woods. I care about the environment, but I'm not a vegetarian and I have no problem with leather.

the only reason that i would one day downgrade to the rx400h or get it is becuz of the fact that it's a hyrbid SUV. but i have an hunch that it will continue with the future gx and lx so we'll just see how the Rx400h will go!

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This was e-mailed to me recently from Lexus:

"We'd like to thank all of our Lexus Hybrid Newsletter readers for the insightful

questions that have been submitted about the Lexus RX 400h and the

technology behind it. We're in the process of answering these questions and

we'll be sharing that information with you in upcoming editions of the Lexus

Hybrid Newsletter. However, we'd like to take this opportunity to answer the

most frequently asked question of all: "When will the RX 400h be available?"

We think the best way to answer that is to share the very latest information

regarding the timing of the Lexus RX 400h launch, as well as some

enlightening new product information:

This is an exciting time for hybrid vehicles, with demand and acceptance

continuing to grow as new products enter the market. We couldn't be more

thrilled with the reception that the RX 400h has received from the media

and from informed consumers like you.

For the last two years, our target launch date for the all-new Lexus RX 400h

luxury utility vehicle has been late 2004. With the final development stage

completed and the pre-production phase now beginning, our launch date

has been more finely focused. We are now looking at early 2005 for the

official launch.

The RX 400h's eye-catching exterior is similar to the acclaimed RX 330's,

while adding style elements such as unique 18-inch wheels, dark chrome

grille, sporty air intake, round foglamps and jeweled taillamps. The computer-

controlled powertrain seamlessly blends power from the V6 gasoline engine,

the electric-drive motors and the generator. In place of the traditional

tachometer, the RX 400h has an illuminated power meter that displays the

level of power generated by the gas-electric hybrid powertrain. The driver

will also be able to monitor the gas-electric power distribution on the

standard seven-inch touch-panel display screen that comes with the

navigation system.

The RX 400h all-wheel-drive hybrid powertrain combines two powerful

electric-drive motors with the highly efficient 3.3-liter V6 engine found in

the RX 330 to significantly improve low- to mid-speed acceleration and

overall fuel efficiency. The system is a full hybrid, meaning that the RX 400h

is capable of operating in separate gas or electric modes, as well as a mode

that combines power from both.

The RX 400h will develop a combined system output of approximately

270 horsepower (versus 230 horsepower in the RX 330) and deliver

combined fuel economy equivalent to the current average of a compact

sedan. Zero-to-sixty acceleration will also improve over the current

RX 330's sub-eight-second time. The RX 400h will also be rated as a

Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV), one of the most stringent

emissions ratings in the industry.

The RX 400h uses a regenerative braking system to further boost system

efficiency. When the vehicle is coasting or the brakes are applied, the electric

motor functions as a generator, capturing kinetic energy in the form of heat

collected through the braking system. It then converts that energy into usable

electricity to recharge the hybrid battery.

In short, the new RX 400h will become the premium model in the RX series,

offering increased performance, smooth operation, better fuel efficiency and

a host of high-technology, safety, luxury amenities and comfort features."

We were seriously considering a Sienna, which not only gets better gas milage than just about every mid-large size SUV out there, but also can store more inside than all of them as well. However, when we heard about the RX400h and Highlander hybrids, we knew that either of these vehicles would more than make up for their smaller interior volume with significantly better fuel milage. 600+ miles to a tankfull is no less than incredible. Couple that with more power than any minivan and 100+ MPG during traffic jams (frequent in big cities like San Diego) and you end up with a package that is too good to pass up.

RX400hs will change the way people look at SUVs forever.

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Be careful when perusing these first-generation hybrids, including next years RX400h. Auto analysts tend to agree that the segment does NOT typically deliver anything close to the mileage ratings promised in the various corporate sales pitches, and experienced engineers will tell you that it's always a smart choice to bypass the first offering of any major new automotive technology in order to allow the kinks and qwirks to get fixed by the manufacturers over a couple of model years. Hybrids will get better as successive improvements are made, but I would be very cautious in deciding to lay my hard-earned money out just to be first on the block....

This isn't first generation Toyota technology, the technology has been out since 1999. I wouldn't worry about that. Plus all Hybrid components are warrantied for 8 years.

As for the mileage thats not entirely true. My fiancee is a member of a Prius board like this one and they DO get the advertised 60MPG. BUT you have to drive it very carefully to do that, plan and combine trips, etc etc. In real world driving it gets around 45MPG, which still isn't bad.

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By the way, I have heard from multiple dealers that the RX 400 will not have wood so they will be catering to that green desire. One dealer said that there will be less wood in all their 2005 models and that Lexus was looking for more renewable alternatives to old growth woods. I care about the environment, but I'm not a vegetarian and I have no problem with leather.

Naa, this dealer's full of it. If anything the 2005 interiors have MORE wood than ever before. The 400h has no wood, it has brushed alluminum trim to make it look high tech. Lexus isn't concerned about the use of wood.

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AHHHH! :chairshot: I hope Lexus still continues to use Woodgrains in their future vehicles, cuz if they want to use the silver to make it loook futuristic, well, that's one thing i wouldn't like about their futuristic vehicles. :cries:

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The choice is a bit of a tough one in my opinion, here's why:

- RX 300 & 330 have been around for a while now & have proven to be excelent with reliability, fairly frugal with gas (all things considered that it's an SUV) compared to many other models. I know the Prius has a battery warranty of 8 years or 100,000 miles for "hybrid related components" I would assume that The RX 400h is about a year longer & maybe 12,000 miles more. The problem is if down the road something happens to the "hybrid components" like you need a new hybrid battery? I hope by then the prices for a replacement will be a lot more reasonable. Most top quality mechanics should be able to perform service but will they be able to work on complex things like a hybrid vehicle if they are not trained & your stranded in the middle of nowhere? Just some things to consider.

Don't get me wrong, I think the hybrid concept is fantastic & we are going to see millions more on the road 10 years from now.......I'm just not a huge fan of being the "pioneer" if you will with reletively new technology for longevity when it's still kind of in it's infant stage. On the other hand, one can't get much better than the luxury brand of Toyota....Lexus! :D

:cheers:

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Believe me, if you are stranded in the middle of nowhere, most hillbilly mechanics won't know how to work on an RX300, let alone the 400. In fact, you won't find many tire shops that are qualified to install or remove runflat tires, so if you drive a car with runflats (more and more cars are being equipped with them), get a sidewall puncture, and are out in the middle of nowhere, you are out of luck!

Remember when airbags were first introduced? How about antilock brakes? The same concerns were presented as reasons for NOT buying vehicles with these features. Look at us now!

Fear not technology, for it will benefit us all. :cheers:

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More than fair RX & for the most part I agree. However, my main point was with a brand new model being launched such as the RX400h & how complex the new technology is, there almost always has some growing pains in the first couple model years that get worked out over time........I prefer to excercise on the side of caution & see how they fair in "real world" conditions with extreme cold to sweltering heat & everything in between. I know they are tested re-tested & torn apart & tested again.......there is no substitute for real world conditions IMO. B) Compare the problems with a 92 ES with the last year of that type of body style the 01 (as an example) & one will understand what I mean.

:cheers:

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with my experience with Lexus, I'll be ok to get a first gen of the 400h. I trust them more than any other brand that will introduce the hybrid. huh, that's what i did with my Gx, except it doesn't have the hybrid technology, that's it! :lol:

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By the way, I have heard from multiple dealers that the RX 400 will not have wood so they will be catering to that green desire. One dealer said that there will be less wood in all their 2005 models and that Lexus was looking for more renewable alternatives to old growth woods. I care about the environment, but I'm not a vegetarian and I have no problem with leather.

Naa, this dealer's full of it. If anything the 2005 interiors have MORE wood than ever before. The 400h has no wood, it has brushed alluminum trim to make it look high tech. Lexus isn't concerned about the use of wood.

My dealer said he can get me all wood interior on the 400h if I choose.

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More than fair RX & for the most part I agree. However, my main point was with a brand new model being launched such as the RX400h & how complex the new technology is, there almost always has some growing pains in the first couple model years that get worked out over time........I prefer to excercise on the side of caution & see how they fair in "real world" conditions with extreme cold to sweltering heat & everything in between. I know they are tested re-tested & torn apart & tested again.......there is no substitute for real world conditions IMO. B) Compare the problems with a 92 ES with the last year of that type of body style the 01 (as an example) & one will understand what I mean.

:cheers:

I'd agree but the technology has been around for almost 5 years now, its been tested by time in all kinds of conditions. The technology IS sound. The same technology from the Prius is going into the 400h, its just mated to a bigger engine thats all.

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More than fair RX & for the most part I agree.  However, my main point was with a brand new model being launched such as the RX400h & how complex the new technology is, there almost always has some growing pains in the first couple model years that get worked out over time........I prefer to excercise on the side of caution & see how they fair in "real world" conditions with extreme cold to sweltering heat & everything in between.  I know they are tested re-tested & torn apart & tested again.......there is no substitute for real world conditions IMO.  B)  Compare the problems with a 92 ES with the last year of that type of body style the 01 (as an example) & one will understand what I mean. 

:cheers:

I'd agree but the technology has been around for almost 5 years now, its been tested by time in all kinds of conditions. The technology IS sound. The same technology from the Prius is going into the 400h, its just mated to a bigger engine thats all.

:cheers:

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