The sport utility vehicle (SUV) has a certain stigma attached to it; It's been seen for a long time as an irresponsible gas-guzzler. Only in recent years have the SUV’s fortunes begun to fade from such scrutiny. Car manufacturers, eager to maintain SUV fever, have made great leaps in making the SUV a more efficient vehicle, but few have made actual hybrid technology.
Then, the 2006 Lexus RX400h entered the market. The 2006 Lexus RX400h is based on the Lexus RX330 SUV, which showed great popularity with the public. The big difference between the two is the RX400h’s 3.3-liter V-6 hybrid technology engine. The engine is extremely powerful, giving the consumer lots of horsepower, great torque, and impressive acceleration.
Some nice little technological features are also included. The hybrid V-6 runs a bit loud, so Lexus installed a sound-absorbing windshield. A quieter radiator cooling fan is also included. The battery pack for the 2006 Lexus RX400h is in the back of the vehicle, under the rear seats, to keep the vehicle balanced.
Standard features are a lot more abundant on the 2006 Lexus RX400h than its RX330 counterpart. At the time of release, there was an $11,000 price hike between the two models. However, consumers were likely to find this worth it with the money they would save on gas and the extra luxury features.
Body Styles: Hybrid SUV
Engines: 3.3-liter V-6 hybrid
Transmissions: Continuously variable transmission
The 2006 Lexus RX400h is the first model year. This is also the first luxury hybrid SUV from the company.
The 2006 Lexus RX400h looks almost exactly like its RX330 counterpart. It has a handsome, sleek design. The hatchback slopes slightly, removing the boxy look that some SUVs have. Included on the2006 Lexus RX400h are a roof rack, fixed liftgate window, rear power liftgate door, power mirrors, heated mirrors, Xenon high-intensity discharge headlamps, daytime running lights, fog lamps, and 18-inch alloy wheels that are only optional on the RX330.
The interior of the 2006 Lexus RX400h is extremely plush. A seven-inch touch-screen navigation panel sits in the middle of the dash. Surrounding it are three chrome dials that control major functions. The navigation screen displays the gas to electric power distribution. The dash and doors have a futuristic and attractive aluminum trim.
There is plenty of room in the vehicle for passengers, although there isn’t a third row seat. The rear seat does have a 40/20/40 split and recline for the comfort of the passenger. There is plenty of cargo space. When the seats are folded, the 2006 Lexus RX400h provides 84.7 cubic feet.
Standard features include power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, one-touch open/close moonroof, rear backup camera, six-disc CD changer, and eight speakers. Optional items include a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, heated front seats, and a Mark Levinson audio system.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 Lexus RX400h has a 3.3-liter, hybrid V-6 engine that produces 269 horsepower with 212 lb-ft of torque. The engine is wed to a continuously variable transmission system. The 2006 Lexus RX400h can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in a staggering 7.2 seconds, far above the performance ability of many hybrid vehicles on the market. The battery pack for the 2006 Lexus RX400h is also 80 percent bigger than that of the Prius.
Most consumers don’t expect a hybrid to perform, but the 2006 Lexus RX400h has just as much power as its RX330 counterpart, and the ride quality is smooth. The McPherson struts absorb most road abnormalities without a whimper. The suspension system even absorbs most of the Lexus RX400h’s weight, although you can feel the immensity of this vehicle in some quick turns.
The 2006 Lexus RX400h has standard four-wheel anti-lock brakes, side, front, knee, and curtain airbags, as well as integrated stability, and traction control. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2006 Lexus RX400h a five star rating, its top mark, for front offset impacts, and a four star rating for side offset impacts.
EPA Fuel Economy
RX400h: 28/25 mpg city/highway
- Hybrid technology
- Luxury features
- High horsepower with great fuel economy
- Great ride quality
- Interior materials
You Won't Like
- Some excessive engine noise
- No third row seat
Great gas mileage with all the luxury amenities.
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