About the Lexus RX400h
The Lexus RX400h offers an appealing combination of the comfort, opulence, and utility associated with Lexus’ midsize RX luxury SUV, with the fuel economy and emissions control of a hybrid. While the 400h is capable of smoothly accelerating on battery power alone, it also offers reasonably strong performance thanks to its formidable 286 horsepower V-6 engine. While other hybrid SUVs had been produced before by competing automakers such as Toyota and Ford, the RX400h is notable in that it represents the first truly luxurious hybrid SUV.Lexus RX400h Features
2008 was the final year the Lexus produced the RX400h. The 2008 Lexus RX400h comes in a single, well-equipped trim and has either front-wheel or all-wheel drive. Standard equipment for the model’s one trim level includes 17-inch wheels, a power rear liftgate, 10-way power front seats, cloth upholstery, second row seats that slide and recline, dual-zone climate control, multifunction steering wheel controls, heated exterior mirrors, and a premium audio system that comes equipped with eight speakers and a dash-mounted six-CD changer.
While the 2008 RX400h comes equipped with full hybrid technology, it remains capable of operating in gasoline only mode, electric only mode, or by combining the two (depending on the situation). The vehicle’s gasoline engine is a 286 hp, 3.3-liter V-6. The vehicle also has two 288-volt, nickel metal hybrid, battery pack-powered, high torque electric drive motors. Standard safety features for the 2008 RX400h include front, side curtain, and driver knee airbags in addition to stability control, traction control, and a rollover sensor. Additional safety options include adaptive cruise control and a rear back-up camera. The 2008 Lexus RX400h earns a perfect five star rating in government safety tests for front and side impacts.
The interior of the vehicle is streamlined and modern. Gauges show bright rings, and a touchscreen provides details on the vehicle’s power generation split. Additional features include aluminum accents, as well as a split rear seat that slides and reclines.
On the road the RX400h offers remarkably similar performance to its sibling, the standard gasoline powered Lexus RX 400. While it may lack the engine roar of the non-hybrid Lexus RX’s 3.5-liter V-6, the RX400h offers drivers good acceleration along with a soft and compliant ride. Reviews also indicate that the handling on the vehicle is surprisingly responsive, especially when accounting for the extra 300 pounds of curb weight that the hybrid carries.
All in all, the 2008 RX400h earns a reputation as a quick, luxurious midsize crossover SUV that offers very good fuel economy. Purported drawbacks include not cornering well when pushed, and a cabin that lets in noise when traveling at higher speeds.
While the 2008 RX400h comes in only one trim level, Lexus offers a number of additional options, including a Premium Package and a Premium Plus Package. The first of these, the Premium Package, adds leather trim, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, memory settings for the driver’s seat, and a sunroof. The Premium Plus Package includes all of these features along with adaptive xenon headlamps. Additional options (available a la carte) include 18-inch wheels, a premium 11-speaker sound system by Mark Levinson, a navigation system, a back-up camera, a rear-seat entertainment system, satellite radio, and an improved interior that features genuine wooden trim.
Front-wheel drive versions feature two electric motor generators, one for starting the vehicle up and another for providing forward momentum. Opting for the all-wheel drive version of the 2008 RX400h adds a third electric motor that drives the rear wheels. EPA estimated gas mileage rates at 27/24 mpg city/highway for the front-wheel drive version. That version also accelerates from zero to 60 in 7.5 seconds, while the all-wheel drive model can reportedly do it even faster, in 7.3 seconds.Lexus RX400h Evolution
The Lexus RX400h was first introduced in 2006 and only manufactured until 2008. During the vehicle’s extremely limited run of production Lexus made very few changes to the model; limiting changes to very minor interior and exterior trim revisions.