Starting in 2006, those wishing to fly their “green” flag in the lap of luxury had a willing ally in which to strut their stuff, with its advanced gasoline-electric drivetrain, the Lexus 400h married the luxury and utility of Lexus’ RX midsize crossover vehicle with the improved fuel economy and performance of a hybrid.
The Lexus 400h crossover was the first true luxury hybrid SUV, and it came packaged with all the normal RX traits like premium interior amenities and a smooth ride. But the Lexus 400h reviews says, potential used-SUV buyers simply wishing to go green might also want to check out other, less extravagant hybrids if price is a consideration.
At first glance there’s little to distinguish the petrol-electric Lexus 400h parts from other models in the firm’s RX line-up. There’s the same high-riding stance, long overhangs and unusually steeply raked rear in the Lexus 400h. However, take a closer look at the Lexus 400h and you’ll notice small hybrid badges on the flanks and one on the tailgate.
Overall, the Lexus design looks a little dated and lacks the visual impact of prestige rivals, such as the BMW X5 or Mercedes M-Class. Buyers can pick the cars from five trim levels – SE, SE-L, SR, Limited Edition and Executive Limited Edition.
Available in either front- or all-wheel-drive versions, the Lexus 400h used a hybrid powertrain system that combined a gasoline-fueled V6 engine with a battery pack and electric motor generators. Similar to the hybrid setups on other Toyota products, the Lexus 400h could seamlessly accelerate on battery power alone during light acceleration.
Lexus 400h also boasted a generous 286 horsepower overall, giving it impressive performance along with superior fuel economy ratings. The Lexus mpg is estimated of 27 city/24 highway for front-drive models while the all-wheel-drive model rates at 26 city/24 highway.
Given its eco-friendly billing, the Lexus 400h delivers surprisingly strong straight-line pace; its hybrid power plant uses a 3.3-litre V6 petrol engine and electric motor to deliver 269bhp. Mated to CVT auto gearbox and permanent four-wheel drive system, it allows the Lexus 400h to sprint from zero to 62mph in a hot hatch-rivaling 7.6 seconds.
Competitors Lexus 400h
It’s been around for five years now, but the Lexus accessories still features plenty of safety kit. All Lexus 400h versions get eight airbags, ESP and powerful xenon headlamps. Sadly, the Lexus 400h environmental credentials can’t live up to the promise of its petrol/electric powertrain.
In isolation its 192g/km CO2 figure looks impressive, but traditional oil-burning rivals aren’t far behind and manage to deliver better fuel returns. The Lexus 400h is also quite expensive. With prices unchanged for 2008, the front-drive Lexus 400h model starts at a hefty $41,180, while the all-wheel-drive hybrid is priced from $42,580.
Fully loaded, the Lexus 400h easily climbs to $50,000, that’s almost twice the price of an Escape or Vue Green Line. If you’re looking for a luxury crossover with sportier performance than these Lexus 400h offers, check out the BMW X5; it’s expensive compared with the rest of its class, but the X5’s base price is not much more expensive than the Lexus 400h.
No SUV can match the Lexus 400h stellar fuel economy, but the Audi Q5’s gas-powered engine gets only 1 highway mpg less than the Lexus 400h does. It also costs a bit less than the Lexus 400h, and brings an equally upscale cabin and sportier performance to the table.
Lexus 400h review
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