Overview & Reviews
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 RX 400h SUV married the luxury and utility of Lexus' RX midsize crossover vehicle with the improved fuel economy and performance of a hybrid.
Available in either front- or all-wheel-drive versions, the Lexus RX 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 400h could seamlessly accelerate on battery power alone during light acceleration. It also boasted a generous 286 horsepower overall, giving it impressive performance along with superior fuel economy ratings.
The Lexus RX 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 potential used-SUV buyers simply wishing to go green might also want to check out other, less extravagant hybrids if price is a consideration.
Most Recent Lexus RX 400h
The Lexus RX 400h midsize luxury SUV was produced from 2006-'09 essentially unchanged. It came in a single trim level with standard cloth seats, 10-way power front seats, dual-zone climate control, second-row sliding/reclining seats and a six-disc CD player. Popular options included leather trim, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a moonroof, a navigation system with a back-up camera and 18-inch wheels. An audio package with a Mark Levinson DVD audio system was also available.
Under the sheet metal, the 400h's hybrid drivetrain combined a 3.3-liter V6 engine with a 288-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack and high-torque, electric-drive motor-generators. Driving through a continuously variable transmission, the 400h produced 268 hp and boasted a 0-60-mph time of less than 8 seconds for standard and all-wheel-drive models. Standard safety features were plentiful, and included front, side curtain and driver-knee airbags, as well as stability and traction control and a rollover sensor.
Inside there was a streamlined, modern cabin with aluminum accents, bright-ringed gauges and a touchscreen detailing the hybrid's gas-electric power generation split. A sliding and reclining split rear seat optimized passenger comfort, and a power liftgate provided access to nearly 85 cubic feet of cargo space with the seats folded down. A third-row seat was not available.
Once underway, the Lexus RX 400h drove much like its traditional gas-powered sibling, and although the electric motors didn't provide the same lusty soundtrack of a performance car, acceleration was certainly spirited. The 400h's ride was soft and compliant, yet the handling was also generally tight and precise, a surprise given the hybrid's 300 extra pounds of curb weight. But you could definitely feel that extra weight in faster corners and quick transitions. Our editors also noticed that a good deal of engine noise entered the cabin under hard acceleration, as the hybrid system forced the V6 to regularly spin right up to redline.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 293.00
Would love it more if it got 30 mpg - 2006 Lexus RX 400H
By Marc - December 24 - 5:20 am
Have had my 400h over a year now and I have found it to be truly a comfortable, fun to drive luxury vehicle! We were sorely disappointed when it only got 24.5 mpg both in town and on the highway. I didn't expect the advertized 31 mpg, but I did expect to get 28. But, even 24.5 is 50% better than the non-hybrid. It does have different engine and transmission sounds; a gear sound and the engine goes faster or slower at unexpected times. But this is my problem, not the car's, after all, it is different technology. My father tells me that he didn't like fluid transmissions when they came out either.
A Lexus to Remember - 2006 Lexus RX 400H
By Leisa James - November 27 - 10:00 pm
The design of the RX 400h was the first thing that intrigued me about my Lexus. After the test drive I was sold. If youe'r thinking of investing in a hybrid I would strongly suggest you take the Lexus RX400h for a test drive. A hybrid costs more but I would purchase this hybrid again. I live in the rural area and my average speed is 45 mph. I am getting 25.5 mpg daily. It doesn't matter if I have to suddenly stop or increase my speed it averages the same mpg. The 6 cylinder engine has as much or more power than my former 8 cylinder engines that were in my large suvs. This car gives you all the comfort of the large suvs in a smaller and very sporty edition of an suv.
I Love This Car - 2008 Lexus RX 400H
By Peter Milewski - November 27 - 4:30 am
This is an SUV that rides and performs like a luxury sedan. It also gets great mileage. I averaged 27 mpg for my first 1000 miles and over 30 mpg on my daily stop and go commute into Boston. I am tall and this is the first car that makes me feel comfortable getting in and out of the drivers seat. The car has every bell and whistle you could want and some you may never use. I love this car!
RX 400h - 2006 Lexus RX 400H
By David - November 22 - 7:10 pm
I initially got 24 mpg. Now I get 26 mpg (all driving). Excellent for an SUV. Overall, excellent car... excellent power, performance, etc. Great job Lexus.
4,600 miles and I really, really like it - 2006 Lexus RX 400H
By 2RC2 - November 5 - 3:20 pm
Excellent automobile! I had the RX300 (2001), RX330 (2004), and now the new 400h. The 400h drives, rides, and handles like the RX330. But, has much better performance, and a little better gas mileage. I averaged 25.3 on 3,000 mile trip. the RX330 was getting around 21~22 for an average. It's an expensive automobile, but I really like it. Savings in fuel will not justify additional cost of the 400h. I have not experienced any problems with any of my Lexus'. I tried 87, 89, and 91 octane, could not tell any difference in mileage or performance. I do recommend you buy the 400h. Buy it for what it is. A "state of art", electronic/mechanical marvel.
Unimpressive mileage - 2006 Lexus RX 400H
By EJ - November 4 - 9:43 am
Moving from my third LX 470 Lexus to the Hybrid RX400h took a bit of adjustment. This hybrid has an impressive pick up, very quiet ride and quieter when idling (had to honk to people in front several times). Mileage is not as good as claimed, under average driving conditions in the city 22 mpg, highway around 21 mpg. A little pricey but so is everything with a LEXUS logo. Comes with almost every option except three that you can order as extras. Surprisingly satellite radio is not one of them, I had to get it installed professionally off lexus and it worked out great!!.
2006 Lexus 400h hybrid - 2006 Lexus RX 400H
By phigman - October 11 - 8:20 pm
Best car I have ever driven. Would buy the exact same car again. love my car
RX400h - 2006 Lexus RX 400H
By mz - October 10 - 6:33 am
After 500 miles in part highway and part city driving, car is averaging 25 mpg. This compares to 19 mpg for an Audi A4 and 16 mpg for an 8 cylinder Touareg about the same size and weight as the 400h.
Love the Hybrid - 2006 Lexus RX 400H
By Buckeye - September 15 - 2:23 pm
Bought our Lexus 400h in Sep '05 and extremely happy with it. The fuel economy is not what was advertised... but that is to be expected. But overall we are pleased with the gas mileage. Getting better than advertised highway but lower than advertized city. Love the looks, comfort and quality of the RX400h.
MPG Not What it should be - 2006 Lexus RX 400H
By crw - August 18 - 12:50 pm
I love this car. It is a great size, comfort and fit. It drives tight and I feel safe in all driving conditions BUT the gas milage is not where it should be. On medium length drives (15-25 miles) in slowish city traffic I get the best mpg but that tops out at 28 mpg when I use a middle grade gas, it's around 24 when I use a low octane gas. It has a big engine and can move quickly when it needs to but it does not get the 30-35 mpg it promised. All in all I'll keep it untill the gas mileage, comfort and quality of another car can beat it.