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Car news / Lexus RX400h

29.03.2009

Lexus RX400h

Car Reviews / Autoexpress.co.uk

With its hi-tech petrol-electric powerplant, the Lexus RX400h aims to be an eco-friendly big SUV.
Lexus RX400h
  • Rating:
  • For : Refinement, performance, criterion apparatus
  • Against : Fuel consumption, driving dynamics

Styling/ImageAt first glimpse there’s little to differentiate the petrol-electric Lexus from other models in the firm’s RX line-up. There’s the identical high-riding stance, extensive overhangs and unusually steeply raked rear. However, grip a closer look at the big off-roader and you’ll note little assortment badges on the flanks and single on the tailgate. Overall, the design looks a little dated and lacks the visual collision of eminence rivals, such as the BMW X5 or Mercedes M-Class. Buyers can pick from five neat levels – SE, SE-L, SR, Limited Edition and Executive Limited Edition.

Interior/practicality

Despite its bonus charge and pretensions, the RX400h’s cabin feels a little small rent. Build property is excellent, but some of the gleaming plastics look and put one"s hand on cheap. As a outcome it lacks the feelgood constituent that you’d anticipate in a opulence car. At least the inside is satisfactorily equipped, with entry-level models getting leather trim, sat-nav and meteorological conditions control. The inside is infinite too, with spaciousness representing five adults and utilitarian 439-litre boot. Sadly, a fastened back part bench that doesn’t bend even hampers the Lexus’s load-lugging ability.

Engine/performance
Given its eco-friendly billing, the RX400h delivers surprisingly powerful straight-line pace. Its assortment powerplant uses a 3.3-litre V6 petrol motor and charged motor to carry 269bhp. Mated to CVT auto gearbox and everlasting four-wheel push system, it allows the Lexus to sprint from zero to 62mph in a fiery hatch-rivalling 7.6 seconds. But it’s the culture that genuinely impresses. At little speeds, the automobile can sprint on restlessness alone, faculty close by quiet progress. Prod the throttle pedal a little harder and the regular internal combustion motor fires unobtrusively into life. Unfortunately, the execution at the pumps is less impressive, and most owners can anticipate a discouraging come of 25mpg.

Driving knowing
As you’d anticipate of a big SUV, the Lexus offers little in the manner of driver involvement. While the steering is illumination and direct, it lacks feedback. However, rotate into a acute curve and you’ll discover that body rotate is satisfactorily controlled and there’s abundance of grip. The high set down driving pose offers a commanding outlook of the road, while the debarring serves-up a cosseting be seated on above needy manner surfaces. Low breeze sound and wonderful automatic culture intend the RX400h is relaxing extensive remoteness companion.

Ownership costs
If you thinking unwasteful assortment powerplants automatically resulted in little operation costs, then believe again. The RX400h is every morsel as pricy to own as a customary big SUV. Apart from the high listing price, there’s also the outlook of 25mpg tinder consumption – a diesel-engined BMW X5 can combine about 10mpg to that figure. On the and side, buyers can anticipate residuals of about 40 percent and the range-topping Limited Edition versions approach with a at freedom two-year servicing package.

Safety/Environment
It’s been about representing five years now, but the RX quiet features abundance of safeness kit. All versions get eight airbags, ESP and potent xenon headlamps. Sadly, the Lexus’s environmental credentials can’t living up to the assurance of its petrol/electric powertrain. In isolation its 192g/km CO2 build looks impressive, but customary oil-burning rivals aren’t afar behind and handle to carry higher tinder returns.

Our Choice: RX400h SE




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