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Lexus RX 400h Price Review Specs Colours and Features

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Lexus RX 400h is a gas-electric hybrid version of the RX 350 crossover vehicle. This handsome SUV gives any greeny with expense taste—or successful executive with green aspirations—something that no other vehicle line offers: a mid-size luxury hybrid utility. Available in front- or all-wheel drive, this hybrid crossover receives minor updates for the 2008 model year, which include a new front grill, chrome door handles, new finishing for its 18-inch wheels, and a rear spoiler. Mechanically, this is the same vehicle as its previous model.

The RX 400h is powered by a 3.3-liter V-6 engine and the latest version of Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive. Front-wheel drive models utilize two separate electric motor/generators, one each at the front and rear axles, working through a continuously variable automatic transmission. All-wheel-drive models add a third electric motor to drive the rear wheels. Combined, the engine and the electric motors together, generate the equivalent of 268 horsepower. The hybrid RX 400h can reach 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, tow up to 3500 pounds, and has fuel economy of 27 city/24 highway for front-drive models. The all-wheel-drive model rates at 26 city/24 highway.



This crossover’s full-hybrid system operates in various modes: gas-only, electric-only, or a combination of the two. Energy is stored in a nickel metal hydride battery that is tucked away under the rear seat of the vehicle. The RX 400h draws solely from battery power while standing, coasting, or accelerating lightly, thereby conserving fuel.

In terms of drivability, this hybrid crossover offers a quick off-the-line launch and brisk acceleration. Even better than that of the gas-powered RX 350. Its performance is well-suited for both city and highway traffic. For those with a careful foot, the RX 400h can reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour on electric-only power.

As for vehicle dynamics, the RX 400h is every bit as luxury-caliber as its gas-powered counterpart. It serves up a very smooth, relaxed ride, thanks to a softly-tuned suspension. But that doesn’t mean handling has been compromised. The 400h demonstrates a good level of agility and nimbleness for its size and weight. But it should be noted that the vehicle’s added weight does result in some noticeable body roll when taking corners too ambitiously. This crossover would not be described as sporty, but certainly capable.


In sum, the RX 400h is a refined, upscale people-mover with solid performance and commendable fuel economy. For those shopping for a midsize luxury utility, this is the lone offering on the market—at least until hybrid versions of the Porsche Cayenne, Audi Q7, and Cadillac Escalade arrive on the scene.

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