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Thoughts On Used Rx400H?


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Looking for a new commuter vehicle that will also serve as a family vehicle. I currently drive a 2004 Nissan Titan but due to a new job with a 30 mile drive in bad rush hour traffic I've decided to look for either a new or used vehicle that will at least be good on gas and still give me the option to carry my family (and dog) in comfort. I have a 3 year old son with another on the way.

Anyhow, I found a used 2006 RX400h at my local Lexus dealer that I like a lot. It has 69K miles, is a FWD, and is loaded with the Mark Levinson audio and Navi. They are asking $25K but got them down to $24K and they are giving me fair trade-in value for my truck ($7K). The RX has a few door dings on the side trim that they touched up. I did notice some minor hail damage on the roof along with a 2 inch scratch (also on roof). They have also touched up a few area in the interior where the dash and door coverings are (leather or maybe just plastic??). Not real obvious, but it's there nonetheless. I did register on the Lexus owners site with the VIN number and it appears as though the service schedule was adhered to well.

Now to the driving bit...Not sure if there is just a learning curve or not, but noticed when test driving it that initially it is a bit sluggish off the line. So I start feeding in throttle and it takes a second and more pressure on the gas pedal before it starts moving, albeit slowly...then suddenly it will start exhilerating normally. Additionally, when braking there is almost an on/off type feel...similiar to a surging feel. Is all of this normal and I'm just not used to driving a hybrid? Also what do you all think of the pricing of this vehicle. It seems to be well below blue book (retail) but again the condition isn't perfect (just good).

I am thinking about buying but want some reassurances that I'm not making a mistake. If I do move forward with a purchase, I will insist on hail damage being repaired along with the scratch on the roof.

Thoughts?

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All of what you described (the sluggishness and on/off feel of the braking) is normal for the Rx400h due to the hybrid computer and regenerative braking system.

Make sure to check autotrader.com for deals in your area, as location matters!

Also note the repair costs for the dings and scratches you'll need to have repaired... Don't buy it with the damage just because the price is lower, as repair costs might make it more expensive.

The Rx400h is an amazing vehicle and i'm sure you'll love it! Even if it feels slow from a start, it's the quickest SUV Lexus has ever made! Its passing power from ~25MPH is exceptionable.

And have you looked at the 07 model? Several exterior and interior trim changes that you may like, including better (and i mean BETTER) nav screen quality and interior wood trim (replacing the 1970's looking silver trim).

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The next time you drive it, have the salesperson switch the screen so that the realtime power flow screen is showing. This will show you what is happening as you step on the gas or brake pedal. It really came in handy when I was teaching my kids how to drive; I could tell exactly what they were doing with their feet, just by looking at the screen.

Our 2006 has not had one issue in 6 years (purchased in April of 2005). Amazingly, reports show that the 2006 year RX400h was somehow faster than the 2007s - go figure! :rolleyes:

And while the RX400h may not be quite as fast as a Titan, it does 0-60 in 6.7 seconds and averages about 25 MPG.

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Since you seem to be able to get the service records see if the 60,000 mile service was done, with lexus 30 60 and 90 are the most expensive service intervals. I generally agree with the previous posters, and in addition on your next drive take it on the freeway and experience the power of the electric motors in tandem with the gas engine. Premium fuel will give you peppier acceleration, perhaps there is regular in the tank, it will take a few tanks of premium to feel the full effect. Your mpg will be better with the premium fuel which helps to make up for the added expense. I have never driven a FWD 400h perhaps they are different in initial acceleration than the 4WD model. There should also be a record that the front suspension recall work was done at the dealer.

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also, find out if the hybrid warranty that covers expensive hybrid parts is transferrable to a second owner, all origional owners have coverage on the hybrid system to 100,000 miles, 150,000 in california. i purchased mine new and have had zero problems at 72,000 miles and it is the best car i have ever owned, would definately do it again, and i like the body style you are getting better than the new one and the color choices for that matter. All of that notwithstanding, it would give you much more piece of mind to have the hybrid warranty to 100.000 miles.

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Oh i didn't catch the fact that you're looking at the FWD model... It's true that the FWD Rx400h is more sluggish than the AWD version as there's one less electric motor in the back. The AWD models have that extra electric motor for the rear wheels which definitely adds to the torque and acceleration...

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All the warranties stay with the car and transfer to any subsequent owners. 48mo/50,000mi bumper to bumper, 72mo/70,000mi power train, and 96mo/100,000mi hybrid system. I confirmed this when I bought mine used.

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