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Sammycat

2006 Rx400H - Please Share Your Opinions

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Hi,

I am new to this forum but have been reading a lot of posts. I test drove a Lexus RX400h this weekend and the car really impressed me. It is certified and under 40K miles. The price is pretty good even when you compare that to other 2007 RX350 SUVs.

I am really planning on getting this car. However, I would like to hear from the people in this forum and let me know how you think of that car? Is there any reason why I should be worried about since it is a first generation Lexus 400h? What is the total cost of ownership down the road? Why some people chose RX350 over the RX400h when the price was not that great?

I live in Michigan and would really like to have a nice SUV that can handle the tough winter here :)

Thanks!

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Most of us are driving the first generation 400h and it has been reliable, at 60K the most reliable i have ever owned. It combines smooth power with reasonable fuel efficiency. Regarding michigan, i dont live there however there will be a fuel consumption penalty during the cold weather where you will not get as good gas mileage, around 3 mpg less than summer. I strongly suggest a garage for this vehicle. The '4 wheel drive' system works for most of us, better if you have winter tires, however checkout some of the posts regarding the 4wd system. This vehicle is mostly front wheel drive with an electric motor that kicks in for rear traction when it senses wheel slippage, uneven roads or incline or turning a corner. I have taken it over mountain passes and driven it in the occasional snow of seattle and done well. Some people used to a bmw or audi or subaru system will find it lacking. Obviously make sure you see service records, hopefully the goodyear eagle tires are no longer on the vehicle, they wear poorly and suck, not in a good way, in snow. Also double check that your lexus is a 4wd, they did make some front wheel only in the hybrid, usually those were sold in warmer climates. the 4wd versions have the electric motor in the rear as well as front. Find out if the traction battery warranty is transferrable to you, it is good to 100,000 miles on the entire hybrid system, and would be a source of comfort as those parts are expensive if they fail. good luck and welcome

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I love the Rx400h, but one thing worries me in your post- winter driving.

The Rx400h is HORRIBLE in the snow- heavy or light. I even have the AWD version, and it has a LOT of issues with snow on the ground. The hybrid system limits power to the wheels when the car senses slipping, which has literally left me in the middle of inclines with no power. You keep pressing the pedal, but nothing happens. Computers do everything for the Rx400h.

Some say if you put on winter tires it will be OK, but i've seen no proof of this- and anyone would be nuts to put snow tires on a Lexus for the 5 or 10 times a year you may need it...

The Rx350 is much better in the snow compared to the Rx400h. Before i had my Rx400h i had an Rx300, which handled like a SUBARU compared to this Rx400h.

I would only suggest the Rx400h vs the Rx350 if you want to be able to say you drive the "hybrid SUV" or if you are the type to enjoy the little extra HP the 400h has compared to the 350 (.2 sec 0-60). The fuel economy isn't justifiably better and the physical appearance is about the same (minus a front bumper change).

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Most of us are driving the first generation 400h and it has been reliable, at 60K the most reliable i have ever owned. It combines smooth power with reasonable fuel efficiency. Regarding michigan, i dont live there however there will be a fuel consumption penalty during the cold weather where you will not get as good gas mileage, around 3 mpg less than summer. I strongly suggest a garage for this vehicle. The '4 wheel drive' system works for most of us, better if you have winter tires, however checkout some of the posts regarding the 4wd system. This vehicle is mostly front wheel drive with an electric motor that kicks in for rear traction when it senses wheel slippage, uneven roads or incline or turning a corner. I have taken it over mountain passes and driven it in the occasional snow of seattle and done well. Some people used to a bmw or audi or subaru system will find it lacking. Obviously make sure you see service records, hopefully the goodyear eagle tires are no longer on the vehicle, they wear poorly and suck, not in a good way, in snow. Also double check that your lexus is a 4wd, they did make some front wheel only in the hybrid, usually those were sold in warmer climates. the 4wd versions have the electric motor in the rear as well as front. Find out if the traction battery warranty is transferrable to you, it is good to 100,000 miles on the entire hybrid system, and would be a source of comfort as those parts are expensive if they fail. good luck and welcome

Thank you very much for your advice. I will double check with the dealer and make sure that I ask the questions. I would have never thought about asking them before I read your post. Thanks again!!!

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I love the Rx400h, but one thing worries me in your post- winter driving.

The Rx400h is HORRIBLE in the snow- heavy or light. I even have the AWD version, and it has a LOT of issues with snow on the ground. The hybrid system limits power to the wheels when the car senses slipping, which has literally left me in the middle of inclines with no power. You keep pressing the pedal, but nothing happens. Computers do everything for the Rx400h.

Some say if you put on winter tires it will be OK, but i've seen no proof of this- and anyone would be nuts to put snow tires on a Lexus for the 5 or 10 times a year you may need it...

The Rx350 is much better in the snow compared to the Rx400h. Before i had my Rx400h i had an Rx300, which handled like a SUBARU compared to this Rx400h.

I would only suggest the Rx400h vs the Rx350 if you want to be able to say you drive the "hybrid SUV" or if you are the type to enjoy the little extra HP the 400h has compared to the 350 (.2 sec 0-60). The fuel economy isn't justifiably better and the physical appearance is about the same (minus a front bumper change).

Thank you for your reply. Winter driving is very important for me if I decide to purchase this vehicle. I certainly didn't hear the sales mention a word about this car's disadvantages in the snow :) Thank you for sharing that with me! I am going to do more research now and maybe decide on a RX350 instead of the 400h. Plus, if the tires are that easy to wear down in this vehicle then that is definitely something to factor in when you think about the total cost of ownership...

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If you get the right set of tires, they should last you just as long as they would on any other car. Both the Rx350 and Rx400h have the same tire size and type, same wear, etc.

The disc brakes on the Rx400h may last a bit longer in comparison to the Rx350 because the hybrid's regenerative braking takes some stress away from the regular disc brakes. My 08 Rx400h has about 53,000 miles and it's still on the original front and rear brakes, with a lot of life left.

Biggest cost of ownership on the Rx400h is the main battery, which will need replacing past the 8 year mark. That's a HUGE cost...

If you're not planning on keeping the car for longer than 8 years or so, and if you don't "need" to drive in the snow, then the Rx400h may do the job. But if you plan on driving in the snow often or want to keep the car for longer than 8 years, i'd say go with the Rx350...

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please do not misunderstand regarding the tires, it was only the Goodyear Eagles that were factory tires that had a low wear rating. I am happy with the other tires out there available for this vehicle, just saying check what tires are on now. Have you driven both? The 400h is smoother, has more power, and a proven reliable drivetrain. it gets better mileage than the rx350 and pollutes one third less. A better question is, how much winter driving do you do and what are the roads like? Since you are in Michigan i wanted to bring up the snow factor that some have found to be one of the few weaker areas of the 400h. Regarding the main battery, i am not hearing about replacement under 200,000 miles under normal situations, doesnt Lexus expect the hybrid system should last the useful life of the car? on the 400h my brakes are still good at 60K, no starter or alternator to replace, tires have been the only replacement other than normal maintenance. Make sure the 30K service was done which is the most expensive of the service intervals until 60k

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I have to agree, the Rx400h is a lot smoother than the Rx350, due to the CVT (continuous transmission). No gear shifts!

However the Rx400h is a lot louder than the Rx350 when accelerating, light or hard. The motor revs a lot faster even for the smallest of tasks. The Rx350 is virtually silent inside... The only time the Rx400h is quieter than the Rx350 is during the first 5 seconds or so upon start-up before the engine kicks in... The car doesn't stay in hybrid mode for very long at all. Once you hit 5mph it kicks right on. You can keep the car in hybrid mode for longer if the battery has recently been charged (maybe after going down a long hill or what not) and if you keep the headlights, radio and AC off.

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please do not misunderstand regarding the tires, it was only the Goodyear Eagles that were factory tires that had a low wear rating. I am happy with the other tires out there available for this vehicle, just saying check what tires are on now. Have you driven both? The 400h is smoother, has more power, and a proven reliable drivetrain. it gets better mileage than the rx350 and pollutes one third less. A better question is, how much winter driving do you do and what are the roads like? Since you are in Michigan i wanted to bring up the snow factor that some have found to be one of the few weaker areas of the 400h. Regarding the main battery, i am not hearing about replacement under 200,000 miles under normal situations, doesnt Lexus expect the hybrid system should last the useful life of the car? on the 400h my brakes are still good at 60K, no starter or alternator to replace, tires have been the only replacement other than normal maintenance. Make sure the 30K service was done which is the most expensive of the service intervals until 60k

I definitely felt the RX400H have more power when I test drove it 2 days ago. I didn't see what tires were on the vehicle but the dealer told me they changed two of the 4 when they went through the certification process. I am not sure how much winter driving i am going but that's one of the reasons we want to get the SUV as the other car is a sedan.

The 30,000K maintenance was indeed completed already. The price was just under 30K. We are debating whether we should take it..

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I'd say the Rx400h works in the snow as often as a FWD car does. When a FWD car would just spin out (going nowhere), the Rx400h just sits there. So they're about equal. I'm not saying the Rx400h is unsafe in the snow, you should just know there may be times when you're literally STUCK in the middle of a minor incline...

And also, the title of this thread indicates you're looking at a 2006... but in your explanation you state 2007, so which year is the one you're looking at? Can you find the manufacture date? There's a black sticker on the drivers side center door jam that will have a date at the top right, for example: 11/07- which indicates the car is a 2008 manufactured in November of 2007.

I'm only asking because i know some of the 2006 Rx400h's were pre-ordered as early as late 2004, arriving in 2005 as a 2006 model. So a 2006 may have actually been manufactured in 2004 or 2005, making it a lot older than it seems. Just one thing you may want to check, as two seemingly identical 2006 Rx400h's may have been made more than a year apart (and in this case, you'd want the newer one).

And in your last post, did you state the price is $30,000?? This seems VERY high for a 2006, and even still high for a 2007.

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I'd say the Rx400h works in the snow as often as a FWD car does. When a FWD car would just spin out (going nowhere), the Rx400h just sits there. So they're about equal. I'm not saying the Rx400h is unsafe in the snow, you should just know there may be times when you're literally STUCK in the middle of a minor incline...

And also, the title of this thread indicates you're looking at a 2006... but in your explanation you state 2007, so which year is the one you're looking at? Can you find the manufacture date? There's a black sticker on the drivers side center door jam that will have a date at the top right, for example: 11/07- which indicates the car is a 2008 manufactured in November of 2007.

I'm only asking because i know some of the 2006 Rx400h's were pre-ordered as early as late 2004, arriving in 2005 as a 2006 model. So a 2006 may have actually been manufactured in 2004 or 2005, making it a lot older than it seems. Just one thing you may want to check, as two seemingly identical 2006 Rx400h's may have been made more than a year apart (and in this case, you'd want the newer one).

And in your last post, did you state the price is $30,000?? This seems VERY high for a 2006, and even still high for a 2007.

The listing says it is a 2006 Lexus RX400h. I am not sure about the manufacture date but I can certainly get that information from the dealership. It is a certified Lexus RX400h and it has Navigation, rear view camera, Mark Levinson, Premium wheels, etc. The price is just under $30,000 :)

After listening to everyone's advice we also started looking at the RX350s. We certainly would like a car that handles well in the snow. Thanks!

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I'd say the Rx400h works in the snow as often as a FWD car does. When a FWD car would just spin out (going nowhere), the Rx400h just sits there. So they're about equal. I'm not saying the Rx400h is unsafe in the snow, you should just know there may be times when you're literally STUCK in the middle of a minor incline...

And also, the title of this thread indicates you're looking at a 2006... but in your explanation you state 2007, so which year is the one you're looking at? Can you find the manufacture date? There's a black sticker on the drivers side center door jam that will have a date at the top right, for example: 11/07- which indicates the car is a 2008 manufactured in November of 2007.

I'm only asking because i know some of the 2006 Rx400h's were pre-ordered as early as late 2004, arriving in 2005 as a 2006 model. So a 2006 may have actually been manufactured in 2004 or 2005, making it a lot older than it seems. Just one thing you may want to check, as two seemingly identical 2006 Rx400h's may have been made more than a year apart (and in this case, you'd want the newer one).

And in your last post, did you state the price is $30,000?? This seems VERY high for a 2006, and even still high for a 2007.

The listing says it is a 2006 Lexus RX400h. I am not sure about the manufacture date but I can certainly get that information from the dealership. It is a certified Lexus RX400h and it has Navigation, rear view camera, Mark Levinson, Premium wheels, etc. The price is just under $30,000 :)

After listening to everyone's advice we also started looking at the RX350s. We certainly would like a car that handles well in the snow. Thanks!

Ok Sammycat,

I live in Switzerland and we know what snow means. The RX400H is just the best SUV I have had so far and I'm 60 years old and have driven all kind of range rovers, jeeps, bmw, subarus, etc..etc..

So just go and get it ! It is true the winter tires type will be important though.

cheers.

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Hmm, that seems like WAY too much money for a 2006. :wacko:

Searching through Autotrader.com, there are quite a few 2006's with <40k miles with nav and mark lev for as little as $24,000. And the Lexus extended warranty is about $2,000, so even if purchased separately it would be cheaper.

$30,000 should be able to get you in at least a 2007 Rx400h (and the 2007's had SEVERAL upgrades). A little over a year ago we bought my 2008 Rx400h for $31,000 (but it was a DEAL...). I would keep searching, $30k is a LOT to spend on a 2006 ANYTHING.

Are you aware of the changes made to the 2007 Rx400h from 2006 model? Definitely worth the extra money IMO.

In 2007, changes were made from the 2006, including:

-Upgraded navigation screen (brightness, pixel clarity) (also true for Rx350)

-radios could now read MP3's and WMA's as well as standard CD's

-the 2006 interior silver trim was now replaced with yellow birds eye maple wood.

-no need to reset the ICE system whenever the battery is replaced.

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Hmm, that seems like WAY too much money for a 2006. :wacko:

Searching through Autotrader.com, there are quite a few 2006's with <40k miles with nav and mark lev for as little as $24,000. And the Lexus extended warranty is about $2,000, so even if purchased separately it would be cheaper.

$30,000 should be able to get you in at least a 2007 Rx400h (and the 2007's had SEVERAL upgrades). A little over a year ago we bought my 2008 Rx400h for $31,000 (but it was a DEAL...). I would keep searching, $30k is a LOT to spend on a 2006 ANYTHING.

Are you aware of the changes made to the 2007 Rx400h from 2006 model? Definitely worth the extra money IMO.

In 2007, changes were made from the 2006, including:

-Upgraded navigation screen (brightness, pixel clarity) (also true for Rx350)

-radios could now read MP3's and WMA's as well as standard CD's

-the 2006 interior silver trim was now replaced with yellow birds eye maple wood.

-no need to reset the ICE system whenever the battery is replaced.

If that is the case, then I think I may start searching for the 2007 or 2008 models (both 350 and 400h). I am also debating whether to buy only the certified used cars. The price is definitely higher when the cars are "certified".

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I think the certified program is a joke. On a 2 or 3 year old vehicle, the extra "inspections" they do don't turn up much. There are supposed to be limitations as to which cars can become certified, (such as a limit on body work, accident history, etc) but there have been several cases where customers have found CPO's with poor body work and accident history nevertheless.

As long as the car you buy has less than 50,000 miles, you can take it to any Lexus dealer and get an extended warranty for about $2000. That's what we did...

Previous to my Rx400h we purchased a CPO 2003 Rx300 from a Lexus dealer. Same car you'd find at any old dealership...

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I think the certified program is a joke. On a 2 or 3 year old vehicle, the extra "inspections" they do don't turn up much. There are supposed to be limitations as to which cars can become certified, (such as a limit on body work, accident history, etc) but there have been several cases where customers have found CPO's with poor body work and accident history nevertheless.

As long as the car you buy has less than 50,000 miles, you can take it to any Lexus dealer and get an extended warranty for about $2000. That's what we did...

Previous to my Rx400h we purchased a CPO 2003 Rx300 from a Lexus dealer. Same car you'd find at any old dealership...

Thank you for the advice. I do see a $2000-$3000 premium for the CPO Lexus cars in my area. It's the money you spend to get a "peace of mind" i guess.

I also went to test drive a BMW X3 yesterday. Definitely different feelings compared to the Lexus RX's. However, when I later came back and looked at the total cost of ownership, Lexus still will save me more money down the road.

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I love the Rx400h, but one thing worries me in your post- winter driving.

The Rx400h is HORRIBLE in the snow- heavy or light. I even have the AWD version, and it has a LOT of issues with snow on the ground. The hybrid system limits power to the wheels when the car senses slipping, which has literally left me in the middle of inclines with no power. You keep pressing the pedal, but nothing happens. Computers do everything for the Rx400h.

Some say if you put on winter tires it will be OK, but i've seen no proof of this- and anyone would be nuts to put snow tires on a Lexus for the 5 or 10 times a year you may need it...

The Rx350 is much better in the snow compared to the Rx400h. Before i had my Rx400h i had an Rx300, which handled like a SUBARU compared to this Rx400h.

I would only suggest the Rx400h vs the Rx350 if you want to be able to say you drive the "hybrid SUV" or if you are the type to enjoy the little extra HP the 400h has compared to the 350 (.2 sec 0-60). The fuel economy isn't justifiably better and the physical appearance is about the same (minus a front bumper change).

And on the other hand, I live in Southern Ontario and we have our fair share of snow and slush and ice, and the 400h did not fail me last winter (I've only had it one winter). When it comes to winter tires, you'll need them more than 5 or 10 times a year. Winter tires are not just for snow, but also for cold. Tire manufacturers recommend winter tires anywhere below 7 celsius. The reason being that all season and summer rubber lose their flexibility below 7 celsius. When your rubber is hard, it won't grip the road. Winter tires stay flexible in cold weather. Sorry cduluk, that's old school thinking that you only need winter tires for snow.

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Heck, if they made a winter tire that performed well in the snow, didn't ride like a tank, and was perfectly silent- i'd take them!

I just couldn't sacrifice the good ride quality of all season tires..

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Heck, if they made a winter tire that performed well in the snow, didn't ride like a tank, and was perfectly silent- i'd take them!

I just couldn't sacrifice the good ride quality of all season tires..

And again, old school thinking. There are performance winter tires out there, and even a modern every day run of the mill snow tire has decent ride quality these days.

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