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Would You Buy An Rx400h Again?


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Just curious as to see if anyone else would have bought a different car/suv if they could do it over again.

I would def keep my RX400h, I just wish I bought one used so I could lower my truck and stiffen the suspension, it needs better handling but besides that its perfect!

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Just curious as to see if anyone else would have bought a different car/suv if they could do it over again.

I would def keep my RX400h, I just wish I bought one used so I could lower my truck and stiffen the suspension, it needs better handling but besides that its perfect!

If I could get an RX with a turbo diesel, no I would not.

In fact Toureg will have a V6 TDI in 09 as will BMW X5 and Q7. I will look at all of them with new CDI common rail clean running diesel's!

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Honestly, you couldn't pay me enough to buy a Volkswagen Toureg. It is probably the least reliable SUV in the US. I read an interesting "blurb" in Car & Driver that described their experience driving a Honda Civic Diesel (outside of the US). It wasn't even close to achieving the gas mileage that a Prius gets - so much for a "better" idea! :chairshot:

Seriously, there wasn't anything better when we bought our RX in 2005 and there STILL isn't anything better, all things considered. Ours is a keeper!

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Honestly, you couldn't pay me enough to buy a Volkswagen Toureg. It is probably the least reliable SUV in the US. I read an interesting "blurb" in Car & Driver that described their experience driving a Honda Civic Diesel (outside of the US). It wasn't even close to achieving the gas mileage that a Prius gets - so much for a "better" idea! :chairshot:

Seriously, there wasn't anything better when we bought our RX in 2005 and there STILL isn't anything better, all things considered. Ours is a keeper!

couldn't agree more. Until a JAPANESE company comes out with a better hybrid SUV, i'm keeping mine. I don't trust german cars as they are all POS. end of story

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Just curious as to see if anyone else would have bought a different car/suv if they could do it over again.

I would def keep my RX400h, I just wish I bought one used so I could lower my truck and stiffen the suspension, it needs better handling but besides that its perfect!

Nope. After having lived with it for a year, I wouldn't buy it again. Sure it's reliable (or so RX400h tells me- mine's been in the shop more than my wife's MBZ), and sure it's a hybrid. However, it's many shortcomings now outweigh those benefits. If I had to do it again I'd definitely buy something else.

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Just curious as to see if anyone else would have bought a different car/suv if they could do it over again.

I would def keep my RX400h, I just wish I bought one used so I could lower my truck and stiffen the suspension, it needs better handling but besides that its perfect!

Nope. After having lived with it for a year, I wouldn't buy it again. Sure it's reliable (or so RX400h tells me- mine's been in the shop more than my wife's MBZ), and sure it's a hybrid. However, it's many shortcomings now outweigh those benefits. If I had to do it again I'd definitely buy something else.

What problems have you had and what shortcomings are there? Most of what I've found through research is that they're very reliable.

The biggest shortcoming I can identify is the useless AWD system. These are really FWD cars with occasional rear wheel assist. From what I've read, the whole hybrid system basically shuts down if it encounters slippery conditions it doesn't like, particularly deep snow. Previously, we had Audi wagons that have one of he best AWD systems on the planet. My '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee also has an excellent AWD system.

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What problems have you had and what shortcomings are there? Most of what I've found through research is that they're very reliable.

The biggest shortcoming I can identify is the useless AWD system. These are really FWD cars with occasional rear wheel assist. From what I've read, the whole hybrid system basically shuts down if it encounters slippery conditions it doesn't like, particularly deep snow. Previously, we had Audi wagons that have one of he best AWD systems on the planet. My '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee also has an excellent AWD system.

Despite the fact that I had an ECU fail on it recently, I can't really harp on reliability. I'm sure it was a fluke and I'm not really interested in getting into a "consumer reports says so..." sort of debate.

My complaints are more around the many things that annoy me about the car. When I bought it I chose it because it had the room I needed for two young kids and hobbies with lots of gear, and it got great fuel economy for a car with that much space. I valued those two things above all other decision factors at that time. Items that have since come to annoy me are:

- POOR front seats. They are so uncomfortable that we can no longer take the car on long road trips, as my wife's back is sore for a week afterwards.

- handling is too soft. Too much body roll. Lack of feedback and responsiveness. I'm sure others will chime and say that it's a luxury SUV, and it's smooth because that's what people want. I guess one man's smooth is another man's crappy handling. There are many other luxury vehicles that are still smooth but handle much better.

- No subwoofer in a $50K luxury SUV with ML sound? In general, I'm very unimpressed with the ML sound system, even in comparison to the ML systems in other Lexus vehicles.

- Lexus dealership service. When I took it in to get the ECU failure repaired, they returned it with TWO door dings in it.

- "AWD" system. Sure all four wheels can be made to go round and round, but to call the RX an AWD is the greatest exaggeration in history.

- The general treatment of Lexus customers as morons that will kill themselves given the opportunity. Everything from the "I agree" screen to locking out most functions while driving, to the obnoxious warning lights for even the most minor of issues like low washer fluid.

I've since come to the realization that I don't need an SUV, and I don't need a hybrid to meet my needs. I am likely to sell this thing in the next year and get a BMW 535xi wagon or a MBZ E-class wagon (if they come out with a sport package for it). Either one gives me the space I need, has gas mileage comparable to the RX, handles light years better than the RX, comes with better dealership service, and generally treats drivers like they are intelligent enough to dial the phone or use the nav system while driving.

Edit: Oh yeah, they both come with "real" AWD systems, to boot.

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Unless you are planning on buying diesels, no BMW 5-series or Mercedes E-Class wagon will average 25 MPG. If you believe they will, you will be very disappointed.

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Unless you are planning on buying diesels, no BMW 5-series or Mercedes E-Class wagon will average 25 MPG. If you believe they will, you will be very disappointed.

Go check the specs. The 5 series gets 25 mpg highway. Most of my driving is highway or expressway. My wife's E350 actually get's better than 25 mpg on pure highway driving.

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The BMW is rated at 16 mpg city / 24 mpg hwy and the Mercedes, 16/Highway 21 MPG, while the heavier RX400h is rated at 27 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, handily beating both German cars by a long shot when it comes to fuel consumption.

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If you want a wagon with the best AWD system, then it's Audi, the Quattro system beats everything else hands down, it handles well and has reasonable power. If you want the best driving experience, with a smooth power curve and great handling, then it's BMW, apparently their AWD system is pretty good. If you want the most room, reasonable power and handling, and an OK AWD system, it's the Benz.

If I were choosing between them I'd probably go with the Bimmer, I love the way my 330Ci convertible drives.

Your average mileage with any of them will fall way short of the RX.

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- handling is too soft. Too much body roll. Lack of feedback and responsiveness. I'm sure others will chime and say that it's a luxury SUV, and it's smooth because that's what people want. I guess one man's smooth is another man's crappy handling. There are many other luxury vehicles that are still smooth but handle much better.

I totally agree with you, believe me, I would love to hook up some super stiff sway bars and drop the RX/firm up its suspension with a coilover kit or the H&R spring kit at least, but I'm not willing to lose my warranty so thats a no-no for me.

- No subwoofer in a $50K luxury SUV with ML sound? In general, I'm very unimpressed with the ML sound system, even in comparison to the ML systems in other Lexus vehicles.
totally agree man, I had to upgrade the stereo system myself, which now sounds good, but nowhere as nice as the old bose system in my ML500. I love music so that was a big drawback for me as well
- Lexus dealership service. When I took it in to get the ECU failure repaired, they returned it with TWO door dings in it.
haven't taken my car to the dealer yet, so we'll see about that one
- "AWD" system. Sure all four wheels can be made to go round and round, but to call the RX an AWD is the greatest exaggeration in history.

I agree, my RX in the rain/snow isn't anywhere as close as the tank ML500 I used to drive, complete confidence in any situation.

- The general treatment of Lexus customers as morons that will kill themselves given the opportunity. Everything from the "I agree" screen to locking out most functions while driving, to the obnoxious warning lights for even the most minor of issues like low washer fluid.

lol, the "I agree" screen is gone in the 08' model so lexus listened to its customers! I don't think the safety features are that bad, I turned off the seat belt chime so im pretty happy about that as well

I've since come to the realization that I don't need an SUV, and I don't need a hybrid to meet my needs. I am likely to sell this thing in the next year and get a BMW 535xi wagon or a MBZ E-class wagon (if they come out with a sport package for it). Either one gives me the space I need, has gas mileage comparable to the RX, handles light years better than the RX, comes with better dealership service, and generally treats drivers like they are intelligent enough to dial the phone or use the nav system while driving.

the "idrive" or whatever sucks, lexus Navi is 10 times better than any other system out there. mercedes is absolute junk, BMW's isn't any better. Lexus has the most user friendly in car entertainment system (navi/stereo). Plus all you need is a hack to use the phone while your driving.

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Yes I would get another RX400h, I absolutely love it, its the best thing since sliced bread. I love sitting at a stop light when the gas engine is off, I look over at my wife and say" were are using zero gas right now and putting out zero polution" I do it all the time on the highway "we just drove the last mile and used no gas at all and put out no pollution" I also like driving around mall parking lots looking for a parking space on electric only. I notice people all the time looking at the car that is not making any noise as it drives by.

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the "idrive" or whatever sucks, lexus Navi is 10 times better than any other system out there. mercedes is absolute junk, BMW's isn't any better. Lexus has the most user friendly in car entertainment system (navi/stereo). Plus all you need is a hack to use the phone while your driving.

I agree on the iDrive sucking, though it's suckiness has been somewhat diminished in newer generations. Honestly though, how often do you use the nav system? I don't drive to some place I need guidance to but more than once every couple of months. The MBZ nav system, while being light years behind Toyota/Lexus, gets the job done. I'd gladly trade some nav system usability to address all my other complaints.

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the "idrive" or whatever sucks, lexus Navi is 10 times better than any other system out there. mercedes is absolute junk, BMW's isn't any better. Lexus has the most user friendly in car entertainment system (navi/stereo). Plus all you need is a hack to use the phone while your driving.

I agree on the iDrive sucking, though it's suckiness has been somewhat diminished in newer generations. Honestly though, how often do you use the nav system? I don't drive to some place I need guidance to but more than once every couple of months. The MBZ nav system, while being light years behind Toyota/Lexus, gets the job done. I'd gladly trade some nav system usability to address all my other complaints.

i actually use the navi system at least once a week, going to a random bar, party, city, restaurant, etc. It really helps having a useful navi that is TOUCH SCREEN! the benz you can't even touch arg stupid german cars however german cars handle much better but are less reliable, get less mpg, less residual value, tradeoffs...tradeoffs...tradeoffs

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We've had the 400h for 8,000 miles. It's fine - I'd do it again. Reading Consumer Reports about the reliability issues of German cars pointed me toward Lexus. Have since spoken with several owners who have confirmed this. Believe that the best cars are made by Toyota and Honda; Toyotas are typically quieter running.

Have to agree about the sound system, though. A $50k car should have an absolutely primo sound system.

Seats are very comfortable. I had an Explorer that had Recaro front seats. You could drive in these things for eight hours, then get out and stretch and you'd feel fine. The seats in the 08 400h are just as good. No gripes.

The instrument panel and other user interface stuff could be reworked. It's not a major issue. Would really like to see a glass cockpit concept.

We get about 25 mpg (actually got 31.8 driving from Page, AZ to Phoenix and around Phoenix for a bit). For the kind of car this is that's OK. Would like to see the interaction of the electric drive and gas engine system optimized - or at least have some more visibility vis-a-vis the powering algorithm.

Would also like to see a proactive effort by Lexus to develop user/focus groups to ensure future models reflect current owners' concerns.

regards,

Fenton House

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The BMW is rated at 16 mpg city / 24 mpg hwy and the Mercedes, 16/Highway 21 MPG, while the heavier RX400h is rated at 27 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, handily beating both German cars by a long shot when it comes to fuel consumption.

Maybe in San Diego you can get that sort of mileage year-round, but anywhere that it actually gets cold you'll see the RX fuel economy plummet in the winter when it has to run the ICE to generate heat. Even up here, just a few hunded miles north of you, I see a significant drop in fuel economy in the winter. If you factor year-round average fuel economy for an RX in "average" weather conditions, the RX doesn't handily beat either one, in fact my wife's E350 gets better fuel economy than my RX right now.

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The BMW is rated at 16 mpg city / 24 mpg hwy and the Mercedes, 16/Highway 21 MPG, while the heavier RX400h is rated at 27 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, handily beating both German cars by a long shot when it comes to fuel consumption.

Maybe in San Diego you can get that sort of mileage year-round, but anywhere that it actually gets cold you'll see the RX fuel economy plummet in the winter when it has to run the ICE to generate heat. Even up here, just a few hunded miles north of you, I see a significant drop in fuel economy in the winter. If you factor year-round average fuel economy for an RX in "average" weather conditions, the RX doesn't handily beat either one, in fact my wife's E350 gets better fuel economy than my RX right now.

Interesting. How about after 100k miles on the E350, think it will still attain better MPG than the RX400h? Doesn't the RX keep upping its MPG as it wears on?

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The BMW is rated at 16 mpg city / 24 mpg hwy and the Mercedes, 16/Highway 21 MPG, while the heavier RX400h is rated at 27 mpg city and 24 mpg highway, handily beating both German cars by a long shot when it comes to fuel consumption.

Maybe in San Diego you can get that sort of mileage year-round, but anywhere that it actually gets cold you'll see the RX fuel economy plummet in the winter when it has to run the ICE to generate heat. Even up here, just a few hunded miles north of you, I see a significant drop in fuel economy in the winter. If you factor year-round average fuel economy for an RX in "average" weather conditions, the RX doesn't handily beat either one, in fact my wife's E350 gets better fuel economy than my RX right now.

Interesting. How about after 100k miles on the E350, think it will still attain better MPG than the RX400h? Doesn't the RX keep upping its MPG as it wears on?

Good question- no idea. I've only had my RX for a little over a year (~13K miles), and I haven't seen any significant increase in fuel economy past the first month or so. Given that NiMH battery cells have a life expectancy of about 5 years, unless you replace the battery cells in the RX I'd expect a significant decrease in fuel economy in the RX past 100K miles. Of course, it does carry a 7 year, 100K mile warranty on the hybrid system, so if you could provide documented proof of decreased mileage and successfully argue that hybrid battery capacity is causing it, you might be able to get a free battery replacement before that warranty expires. I have no idea what criteria a dealership would use in agreeing to a hybrid battery pack replacement- it may be only upon a fully dead pack, but anyone with a laptop knows that long before a battery fully dies it's lost a great deal of it's charge potential. My current "5 hour" laptop battery is good for about 2.5 hours right now.

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Actually, the NiMH batteries in the RX are good for 150,000 miles according to Toyota's extensive testing. That's significantly more than 5 years worth of driving for most people. During the time it takes to accumulate that many miles, the repair bills for MBs, VWs, Audis, and even BMWs would be exponetially higher than that of any Lexus. Keep any of these German cars long enough and you would know.

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Actually, the NiMH batteries in the RX are good for 150,000 miles according to Toyota's extensive testing. That's significantly more than 5 years worth of driving for most people. During the time it takes to accumulate that many miles, the repair bills for MBs, VWs, Audis, and even BMWs would be exponetially higher than that of any Lexus. Keep any of these German cars long enough and you would know.

good point. Once you reach 75k miles, owning a german car gets extremely expensive with all the servicings/rebuilding involved, under warranty a german car might not be too much of a hassle or cost to own $$ but once everything starts breaking, the japanese car is just getting broken in at 75k miles. All toyotas are made to last at least 200k miles if im not mistaken. German cars usually only last 75k miles until things start to go wrong (transmission, electrical problems, malfunctions, etc).

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Actually, the NiMH batteries in the RX are good for 150,000 miles according to Toyota's extensive testing. That's significantly more than 5 years worth of driving for most people. During the time it takes to accumulate that many miles, the repair bills for MBs, VWs, Audis, and even BMWs would be exponetially higher than that of any Lexus. Keep any of these German cars long enough and you would know.

Certainly the batteries may "live" for that long, but they will be operating at far less than their original rated capacity. That's just a fact of all lithium-based batteries.

As far as repair costs go, I know that repairs for our MBZ will cost us exactly $2,000 for 7 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first (we bought the extended warranty). After that, it's sold and we're on to a new car. Anyhow, my prior comment wasn't about repair costs, but rather merely stating that projected fuel economy of an RX should go down as battery capacity diminishes with age.

While we're on the topic of costs to the consumer, here's another little pet peeve of mine. Why is it that MBZ's come from the factory with Mobil1 synthetic, and their recommended oil change interval is 13K miles, while Lexus come from the factory with conventional oil and their oil change interval is 5K miles? Even if I convert my RX to Mobil1 (which I have) I still need to change the oil every 5K miles or risk voiding the warranty for not following service interval guidance? How about we calculate the cost to the consumer of having to change your oil 2.5X as often in order to maintain the warranty?

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Actually, the NiMH batteries in the RX are good for 150,000 miles according to Toyota's extensive testing. That's significantly more than 5 years worth of driving for most people. During the time it takes to accumulate that many miles, the repair bills for MBs, VWs, Audis, and even BMWs would be exponetially higher than that of any Lexus. Keep any of these German cars long enough and you would know.

Certainly the batteries may "live" for that long, but they will be operating at far less than their original rated capacity. That's just a fact of all lithium-based batteries.

As far as repair costs go, I know that repairs for our MBZ will cost us exactly $2,000 for 7 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first (we bought the extended warranty). After that, it's sold and we're on to a new car. Anyhow, my prior comment wasn't about repair costs, but rather merely stating that projected fuel economy of an RX should go down as battery capacity diminishes with age.

While we're on the topic of costs to the consumer, here's another little pet peeve of mine. Why is it that MBZ's come from the factory with Mobil1 synthetic, and their recommended oil change interval is 13K miles, while Lexus come from the factory with conventional oil and their oil change interval is 5K miles? Even if I convert my RX to Mobil1 (which I have) I still need to change the oil every 5K miles or risk voiding the warranty for not following service interval guidance? How about we calculate the cost to the consumer of having to change your oil 2.5X as often in order to maintain the warranty?

oil changes are peanuts. How can you expect to only pay $2,000 for repairs for 100,000 miles?? You realize there are loads of things NOT covered under warranties, like labor, misc parts, tires, normal wear and tear that german cars seem to exhibit much more than lexus'. By the way, we have electric steering, NO P/S, regenerative brakes that last 100k + miles. Brakes on my ML500 cost me almost $2k for all rotors/pads/install and that was at a local shop not the dealer! Things like a broken window motor ($500) and a broken sunroof motor ($500) all add up quickly. I would love to compare the ownership costs from a RX400h to a ML500 over the 7 year lifespan. I'll put down money that the Lexus is far less costly to own than a ML500, not to mention almost double the gas mileage. My ML500 got 13-14 mpg the way I drove, my lexus gets 21-22 and its not even broken in yet

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