Lexus RX 400h Car review by Jason Dawe

14 Июн 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Lexus RX 400h Car review by Jason Dawe отключены
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable

Building on lessons learnt by Toyota, maker of the Prius, Lexus launched the RX 400h in 2005 for 4×4 drivers who wanted the safety and convenience of an off-roader but didn’t want to offend their green neighbours. With it, 4×4 drivers could glide through the city using only electric motors for emissions-free motoring at speeds up to 20mph.

The world’s first 4×4 hybrid, its secret lies beneath the rear seats, where an array of batteries holds power for two electric motors — one each for the front and rear axles. Under the bonnet, where you’d typically expect a large V8 engine, is instead a 3311cc V6.

Lexus, Toyota’s luxury subsidiary, claims this petrol-electric combination results in a car with the performance of a 4 litre petrol one (hence the 400 designation), but fuel economy on a par with a diesel SUV. Indeed official data reveal 269bhp, a 0-60mph time of 7.6sec, fuel economy of 34.9mpg in the combined cycle, and CO2 emissions of 192g/km.

Lexus sold 9,021 of these hybrids in the UK up to May 2008 — a respectable number. The concept of a high-performance SUV with palatable fuel economy and quite low exhaust emissions and company car taxes clearly struck a chord.


Finding a good used one is not that difficult. Prices start at about Ј22,000 for the earliest examples — a premium of some Ј6,500 (over the conventional RX 300) for the hybrid technology. With Lexus’s excellent reliability, you needn’t worry about being let down.

Batteries are apparently good for the life of the new-car warranty, and owners say that even beyond this, high-mileage examples are running trouble-free.

Externally, nothing apart from a badge differentiates the hybrid RX from the RX 300. Inside, it’s much the same — comfortable seats, a generous specification and superb optional sat nav. Only the replacement of the rev counter with an electric power meter hints at what lies beneath.

Turn the key, and there’s no engine roar, just a solitary warning beep to tell you all systems are go. At low speeds the batteries do the work and the silence remains. It’s only as speed gathers to 20mph, or a sudden surge of power is demanded, that the V6 engine joins in, working with the continuously variable transmission (CVT) to add power and potentially take the Lexus up to its 124mph maximum.

Driven with vigour, the RX 400h has big performance but offers no economy benefit. But ease off the throttle and let the batteries take the strain and the potential of hybrid technology becomes apparent. The Lexus can better 30mpg, and at low speeds is eerily silent.

LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable

The CVT seamlessly combines both power sources, as does the four-wheel drive, which sees petrol and electric power directed to the front wheels — unless a loss of traction is detected, in which case the second electric motor sends power to the rear axle. It is all extraordinarily effective.

If you want an SUV that’s greener than the rest, at a price that won’t cause a short circuit, the Lexus RX 400h really is a worthwhile option.

Check the following:-

BATTERIES

Stored under rear seat and don’t steal space

LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS IS IS 300h SE CVT Continuosuly Variable

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