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I'm looking for a family car and am researching the possibility of buying an RX 400H under £10k.  Looking around autotrader, there appears to be a lot of choice betweeen:

  • 2nd gen 2005-2008
  • 3rd gen 2008 to 2009

A few questions come to mind:

1) Am I mad to even consider the possibility of such a purchase?  Would there be big bills around the corner for replacement of parts that expire about nowish?  

2)  What are the main expensive servicing bills, and at what sort of age do they need replacement (cambelt, batteries, etc...)?

3) What are the big differences in spec that occured in the period 2005 to 2010 - are there any particularly important / valuable / helpful benefits of the newer ones in this age band?

4) How exactly does the hybrid system work?  Does the battery ever charge from the engine, or only from the regeneration caused by braking?   I'm wondering if some types of driving would render the fuel economy benefits of the hybrid system unattainable?  Are there any occasions when the car is driven only by electric power?

I'm quite excited about the prospect that such a prestige model may be affordable (to purchase), but I'm wary of the cost of ownership.  

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Just about to go out to an early job (and I haven't got a 400h anyway) but you may find at least a partial answer to No.4 in the second post down in this topic:

 

 

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Well I took my 2006 RX400h with 53k miles on to my local Lexus dealer the other day to test drive a couple of cars and was offered £6500 for it which as its near mint  thought for a main dealer wasn't too bad an offer. Mine has been ultra reliable with only the odd brake caliper sticking and wheels needing to be refurbed. Just make sure all recalls have been done and allow £60 per wheel if need refurbing.

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Just to add a bit more information to Peter's post above - that £295 is the price for replacing the cam belt only.

When changing cam belts it's good practice to change the idler/tensioners too and also the water pump. All these parts are in or around the same area and the biggest cost of the whole job is the labour charges for the time taken to do it. A good 90% of the work done in changing the cam belt would have to be done again to get to the water pump if it was done at a different time, so having everything done at once saves a lot of money. Mine was somewhere between about £425 and £450 at a local independent garage for the belt, idlers/tensioners, water pump, new coolant and labour, including VAT.

Oh, and the belt needs to be replaced every 100k or 10 years, whichever comes first because they do deteriorate with age as well as use.

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Tried to add this text - the edit button was there but by the time I finished typing I couldn't save it, hence the separate posting:

It's extremely rare for a whole traction battery to go faulty and you can usually replace individual cells as and when necessary. You can DIY if you're that way inclined or there are independent companies out there who can sort it if anything ever does go wrong with the traction battery. The 'standard' 12V battery is only used to power up the computers and get the car ready - once you start the car the traction battery takes over.

That's about as much as I can offer in this discussion. We did consider a 400h but for the way we use the car, it made more financial sense to get a 300 and have an LPG conversion done.

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My biggest bill was for cambelt, water pump , plugs (which are hard to get to well 3 anyway ) full service , brakes freed off, £600 . Had a 12v battery twice since ownership as these are really small and like said above just provides power to electrics to tell hybrid system to start car. Same battery on a MR2 roadster only cheaper on the MR2 ! 

You need to drive one you will be amazed how fast they are and refined .  The RX400h don,t have air suspension unlike the se-l RX300 so nothing to go wrong there. I would look to get a SE-L spec if you can as you get rear DVD screens for the kids as well ! 

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6 hours ago, sorcerer said:

Just to add a bit more information to Peter's post above - that £295 is the price for replacing the cam belt only.

When changing cam belts it's good practice to change the idler/tensioners too and also the water pump. All these parts are in or around the same area and the biggest cost of the whole job is the labour charges for the time taken to do it. A good 90% of the work done in changing the cam belt would have to be done again to get to the water pump if it was done at a different time, so having everything done at once saves a lot of money. Mine was somewhere between about £425 and £450 at a local independent garage for the belt, idlers/tensioners, water pump, new coolant and labour, including VAT.

Oh, and the belt needs to be replaced every 100k or 10 years, whichever comes first because they do deteriorate with age as well as use.

That's a similar cost to most cars, I think.

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I bought mine 3 months ago from a used car dealer near Manchester who gets a few in direct from Lexus Bolton, I think. Its a 2007 model which has the newer Nav and dvd player. Its an SR model and was looking for a SE-L, but the newer SE-L they had was tatty and had more miles on it. Mine had 84k with a full Lexus history which will now end as I use a local garage for servicing.

Since purchase I have put two new rear tyres on, replaced the navigation display (centre of the touch screen was unresponsive, so check before buying, I didn't!), got a new nav disc,  purchased a luggage cover (these tend to disappear from used vehicles and are expensive second hand) and today have replaced the reversing camera which was working but the image on the screen wasn't the best.

Fortunately, mine has had the 10 year service just 1500 miles before I bought it, and water pump, cambelt etc was done already. You can also check on my lexus what has been done to the car since new at the dealership. Found that mine had a replacement gearbox at 39k.

Next purchase will be a Grom Vline to upgrade the ML entertainment.

Its a fantastic car to drive, quiet, smooth and economy during normal use, commute etc hovers around the 30 mark. 

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Chris, could you explain how to obtain service history of your car from the mylexus site?

Others would also be interested in this.

Know it is available in the USA. 

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Just registered my RX. Recent service history shown. Had new rear discs and pads at 51,654 miles. Great tip thanks!

 

You Google My Lexus and register - you will need your V5 registration document. A bit of a faff getting the details correct. It will even show Toyota servicing as well as Lexus.

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Yes, just register your car on Lexus.co.uk and my Lexus IS on the far right of the menu bar.

its really handy.

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18 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

Just registered my RX. Recent service history shown. Had new rear discs and pads at 51,654 miles. Great tip thanks!

 

You Google My Lexus and register - you will need your V5 registration document. A bit of a faff getting the details correct. It will even show Toyota servicing as well as Lexus.

Your right about the faff. Mine comes it can't find the vehicle. What did you use for the Version number? It askes for the version number but circles the variant number, then askes for characters before the * but mine doesn't have any * anyway. It's a rubbish site as I can't even update my preferences. 

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To be honest Steve I tried different combinations from the VERSION code. I think I used the first 5 characters but I tried different combinations - yes it is not that clear. Can't remember eventually what worked but was pleased to read the service history, which explained what had been done at the service. Mine was called the Essential service at Toyota Listers in Grantham.

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2 hours ago, Spacewagon52 said:

To be honest Steve I tried different combinations from the VERSION code. I think I used the first 5 characters but I tried different combinations - yes it is not that clear. Can't remember eventually what worked but was pleased to read the service history, which explained what had been done at the service. Mine was called the Essential service at Toyota Listers in Grantham.

Spot on! It's the first 5 characters on the Version number. Ignore the * and the ring around the Variant. Glad to know mine had all new brake calipers, disks and pads all round fitted two years ago. Thought they looked clean with no rust on them. Also had new nav unit fitted in 2012.

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Going back to the original post...

How many miles will you be doing, and on what type of roads?

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On 10/3/2017 at 4:43 PM, DanD said:

Going back to the original post...

How many miles will you be doing, and on what type of roads?

Hi All, 

Thanks for your very informative replies so far.  

As our main family car, it would do about 6-7k miles annually.  Most journeys would be short, 3-5 miles on country roads (to work, school, etc...).  Longer trips at weekends, holidays, etc...

Is there a setting in the console (on 400h) that can have any effect on fuel economy, for example to give a different priority to when the ICE cuts in?  Or, is fuel economy only controlled by the way it is driven?

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Your right foot controls all the economy. You won't see much benefit from the 3-5 journeys, especially in winter, as the engine would be running most of the time. Plus on country lanes you would probably not be using the brakes that much to generate a charge. With such a low mileage it would also be worth considering the RX350 

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Short journeys: little benefit from the hybrid system, especially in cold weather, as the car will let the petrol engine run until it has reached its normal operating temperature before going into "full hybrid" mode.

The hybrid system does work well on country lanes, (Regeneration starts as soon as you lift off the gas), however, if you live in a hilly area, you will rely on the petrol engine a lot more and therefore use more petrol.

Motorway journeys are not great for economy if you have a heavy foot.

Based on my own experience of a similar mix, expect around 28-29MPG.

Sure, the 400h is more expensive to buy than the 300/350, but there is more choice and road tax is much cheaper. I would also say that it is generally quieter and more refined, but not all will agree on that.

Whatever you look at it, you will be buying a car that is around 10 years old, if not older. The cars are extremely reliable, but at that age some components will start to fail through wear and tear, and parts are not cheap. For instance a replacement side mirror will cost you around £450, fitted by a dealer.

If you can, try and find one of the outgoing cars labelled EXECUTIVE LIMITED EDITION... they have all the extras with the exception of the rear DVD system.

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What is the best authoritative source of information that can tell me the differences between the model variations of the rx400h?  I'm thinking especially about the standard and optional equipment that each mode specifies.  

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1 hour ago, welland said:

What is the best authoritative source of information that can tell me the differences between the model variations of the rx400h?  I'm thinking especially about the standard and optional equipment that each mode specifies.  

Found this: http://www.parkers.co.uk/lexus/rx/estate-2003/review/features-safety-and-equipment/ .........

.... but not sure how complete it is.   For example, no mention of:

Memory seats 

Memory mirrors (is it true that memory mirrors can be fitted without memory seats?)

Bluetooth phone connectivity

Audio aux input

4wd / fwd (was watching a US video review on YouTube that said some are 4wd and some are FWD (I thought all UK models were all 4wd: am I wrong?)

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Related to my question about specifications, is there a Lexus site that can be used to check the specification of a specific vehicle?

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Have you searched this forum? - I know this has been addressed previously, with someone posting a PDF with details of each version... (sorry no time to search right now)

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2 hours ago, DanD said:

Have you searched this forum? - I know this has been addressed previously, with someone posting a PDF with details of each version... (sorry no time to search right now)

Hi Dan, 

I did have a look before I asked the question, but couldn't spot anything.  I'll have another look.  

Peter 

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