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Lexus RX 400h

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The Lexus RX 400h is an automobile assembled by Toyota Motor Corp. under the Lexus brand name using Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. It is called the Toyota Harrier Hybrid in Japan. After first being introduced in January 2004 at the North American International Auto Show, it would become the world's second mass-produced hybrid SUV, after the Ford Escape Hybrid. In November 2004, Toyota announced the American launch of hybrid Lexus/Toyota SUV will be delayed to the 2006 model year, with European and Asian launches to meet the same fate. The Toyota version of the same car debuted in Japan in March of 2005 as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

The gasoline-powered part of the engine system is a 3.3L 3MZ-FE V6, very similar to the one found in the RX 330. It produced, in the case of the Harrier Hybrid, 211 HP and 212 lbs. ft. of torque. This gasoline engine is aided by one or two additional electric motor(s) (depending on model), one driving the front wheels, producing 67 HP connected to the CVT gearbox, and the other driving the rear wheels, producing 68 HP JIS. The whole system, called Hybrid Synergy Drive, produces a maximum of 272 HP JIS. Under normal driving conditions, only the front motor and petrol engine will be used. The rear motor will only be used under full-throttle acceleration or when the front wheels lose traction. The petrol engine will switch off automatically and the car will be electrically driven when either stationary, decelerating, or being driven at a slow speed. A Ni-MH battery is responsible for powering the motors, and it is charged during deceleration.

The assistance of the electric motor increases the vehicle's performance; the 400h Hybrid can reach 60 mph (97 km/h) in less than 8 s, quicker than the petrol-only RX. Despite the increased performance, the RX 400h/Harrier Hybrid consumes roughly the same amount of petrol as a compact four-cylinder saloon and it qualifies as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) in America. Under the Japanese "10.15 mode" fuel consumption standard, the Harrier Hybrid can run 17.8 km per litre of fuel (compared with the standard coil-sprung V6 3.0 L Harrier, which returned 9.4 km/L). In Japan, it qualifies as a "4-star" LEV-car, where it produces 75% fewer emissions than the standard specified in Heisei 17 (i.e. year 2005).

See WikiCars' comprehensive Lexus RX400h Hybrid Review Page


Recent Changes

The RX 400h is new for the 2006 model year.

Styles and Major Options

Standard Equipment

  • Leather-trimmed interior, steering wheel and shift knob
  • Brushed aluminum interior trim pieces
  • Power tilt-and-telescopic steering column with memory
  • Lexus Memory System to control power driver’s seat (except lumbar), outside mirrors and steering wheel
  • Illuminated entry system
  • Power tilt-and-slide sunroof with one-touch open/close and sliding sunshade
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS)
  • High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps with dynamic auto-leveling
  • Roof rack with rails
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • 10-way driver (including lumbar) and 8-way front passenger power seats
  • Lexus eight-speaker, Premium Sound system with in-dash six-disc CD changer
  • Steering wheel mounted cruise control, audio and display function controls

Individual Factory Options

Dealer Accessories

  • All-weather floor mats
  • Car cover
  • Cargo mat
  • Cargo net
  • Front-end mask
  • Tow-hitch receiver
  • Wheel locks
  • Wireless headphones

Pricing

Today's actual prices for the Lexus RX 400h can be found at CarsDirect.

Model Trims

FWD

AWD

MSRP

$44,660

$46,060

Invoice

$39,746

$40,992

Gas Mileage

As seen on the FuelEconomy.gov website, the City/Highway MPG averages are as follows:

Trim

2006 RX 400h FWD

2006 RX 400h AWD

MPG

33/28

31/27

Reliablity

Safety

  • Front seat-mounted side airbags (SRS)
  • Driver's and front passenger's advanced airbag system (SRS) with crash-severity sensors
  • Front and rear roll-sensing side curtain airbags
  • Driver's knee airbag
  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM)
  • ABS with Brake Assist
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
  • Reinforced Body
  • Three-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners seatbelts for all seats
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)
  • Traction Control (TRAC)
  • Direct Tire Pressure Monitor System
  • Theft-Deterrent System with engine immobilizer
  • LED tailights

Photos

Rx400hinterior.jpg
Rx400hdash.jpg
Rx400hmonitor.jpg
Rx400hside.jpg

Colors

Neptune Blue Mica Neptune Blue Mica

Flint Mica Flint Mica

Savannah Metallic Savannah Metallic

Bamboo Pearl Bamboo Pearl

Crystal White Crystal White

Millenium Silver Metallic Millenium Silver Metallic

Black Onyx Black Onyx

Main Competitors

Unique Attributes

The available Four-Wheel Air Suspension controls vehicle height, depending on driving conditions and needs. At speeds higher than 62 mph, the vehicle lowers 0.3 inches automatically (Normal mode), providing increased control and lower drag coefficient. For additional control during sport driving, you can select Low mode, which lowers the vehicle by 0.6 inches. For low-speed emergency driving on rough terrain, you're able to switch to High mode to raise the ground clearance to a full 8.3 inches. Or, for easy passenger access or loading, the vehicle will lower an additional 1.2 inches (Access mode). The RX 350 is a certified Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle II (ULEV II) that everyone can feel good about.

Resale Values

As mentioned in the October 2005 issue of SmartMoney, the resale value of the Lexus RX remains to be high due to Lexus's "reputation for reliablity".

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Trim

2007 RX 350

2006 RX 400h

2006 RX 330

2005 RX 330

2004 RX 330

2003 RX 300

2002 RX 300

2001 RX 300

2000 RX 300

1999 RX 300

Price

MSRP

$45,890

$46,060

$40,120

$39,775

$36,425

$36,925

$35,705

$33,955

$33,005

$32,005

Invoice

$40,047

$40,992

$35,405

$35,100

$32,235

$32,493

$31,420

$31,420

$30,058

$29,015

Resale Value

N/A

$44,660

$36,370

$36,925

$33,875

$26,900

$23,975

$20,875

$16,950

$14,725

Engine

3.5L V-6 270 HP

3.3L V-6 268 HP

3.3L V-6 223 HP

3.3L V-6 230 HP

3.3L V-6 230 HP

3.3L V-6 220 HP

3.3L V-6 220 HP

3.3L V-6 220 HP

3.3L V-6 220 HP

3.3L V-6 220 HP

Criticisms

Lexus RX Generations

Current Model (Updated Second Generation)

For 2007, the RX has a mid-cycle refresh consisting of a new 2GR-FE 3.5-liter V6 instead of the older 3MZ-FE 3.3-liter V6 engine, changing the vehicle's name from RX 330 to RX 350. The RX 350 will also feature an updated DVD navigation system with better graphics, voice controlled destination inputs, and a new device called "bread crumbs", enabling drivers to retrace their steps.

Second Generation: (2004-present)

The second generation RX, called the Lexus RX 330 for the North American and Middle Eastern markets, was introduced at the 2003 North American International Auto Show. The North American-market cars were initially built in Japan, with production of the RX 330 started at Toyota's Cambridge, Ontario, Canada plant in September 2003 (some North American RX 330/RX 350 models are still made in Japan). The RX 330 is powered by a 3.3 L 3MZ-FE V6, producing 223 hp SAE and (238 ft·lb), and is available in either front or four wheel drive. "AIRS" air-suspension is again an option on the four wheel drive models, and interestingly, a Mark Levinson sound-system is available in place of the JBL system found in the Toyota Harrier.

Lexusgen2.jpg

For European and Asian markets, the second generation RX was launched in early 2003, where it continues to be a RX 300 and is made in Japan. Mechanical specification is more or less identical to the 3.0 L V6 Toyota Harrier, with only the four wheel drive version available. Once again, air-suspension and Mark Levinson audio can be specified.

The Harrier Hybrid went on sale in Japan on March 2005, and the hybrid Lexus RX 400h went on sale during the 2006 model year in North America. Europe and Asia will also receive the Hybrid RX during 2006.

First Generation: (1999-2003)

The first-generation RX 300 for the four wheel drive models made its debut in December 1997 as the Toyota Harrier. Two engines were available, the 2.2 L 5S-FE I4 which produced 139 hp JIS (102 kW) and 191 Nm (140 ft·lbf), and the 3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6 which produced 219 hp JIS (161 kW) and 304 Nm (224 ft·lbf). Both engines could be specified with either front or four wheel drive. All models came with an automatic transmission as standard, with the V6 version having the Sportmatic +/- feature. The Toyota Harrier was a sales success, and many went to other right hand drive markets in Asia as grey imports.

The Lexus RX 300, made its debut in America in 1998. The only engine and drivetrain combination available was the 3.0 L 1MZ-FE V6 and either front or four wheel drive.

Lexusfirstgen.jpg

The first-generation RX 300 continued largely unchanged until November 2000, when the 2.2 L 5S-FE engine was replaced by the 2.4 L 2AZ-FE 4-cylinder engine, producing 159 hp JIS (117 kW) and 221 Nm (163 ft·lbf). Again, the new engine was offered with either front wheel drive or four wheel drive. The change in engine also meant a change in model code, which was now ACU10 for the front wheel drive version and ACU15 for the four wheel drive version. A small facelift was also performed on the Harrier. 2000 is also the year where the Lexus RX 300 first went on sale in Europe and Asia. The distinguishing feature for those versions of the RX 300 is a different rear light cluster and larger wheels. The front wheel drive version was not offered in either Europe or Asia.


Worldwide

For European and Asian markets, the second generation RX was launched in early 2003, where it continues to be a RX 300 and is made in Japan. Mechanical specification is more or less identical to the 3.0 L V6 Toyota Harrier, with only the four wheel drive version available. Once again, air-suspension and Mark Levinson audio can be specified.

The Toyota Harrier Hybrid went on sale in Japan on March 2005, and the Lexus RX 400h hybrid went on sale during the 2006 model year in North America. Europe and Asia will also receive the hybrid RX during 2006.


Design quirks and oddities

  • Unique Front Bumper for increased cooling
  • Unique Grille
  • Unique Fog Lamps
  • New Tail Lamps, LEDs instead of traditional Incandescent Bulbs
  • 18 inch wheels
  • Performance tires

Currently, Lexus is using the fourth generation of Hybrid Synergy Drive from Toyota. Each generation surpasses the previous, making them faster and less expensive. The hybrid powertrain adds a mere 300 pounds to the vehicle’s curb weight, making it an impressive engineering acheivement, since the majority of this weight is mounted low in the vehicle. To manage the additional weight, Lexus made the chassis of the RX more chiseled. The Lexus RX, Lexus ES 350, Toyota Camry, and Toyota Highlander are all built on the same platform with slight modifications between the sedans and the SUVs.

Awards

See also



External Links