EdgarG

RX400h or 450h which has higher cost of ownership?

Recommended Posts

Hello there, I wonder if you guys could help me out... I've recently seen my family grow from a modest three to a slightly overwhelming five! Twin boys... I'm now thinking I need a bigger car, the Golf just won't cut it anymore!

I've had my eye on an RX400h for a while but have recently had my head turned by the 450h. 

My question is, over a five year period, which car would cost me more? The obvious answer is the 450h right, it'd set me back more to buy in the first place for starters. But when I thought about it a little more I began to wonder... If, for arguments sake, an '07' 400h costs now about £7000 and an '09' 450h about £13000, that's a £6000 difference, but in five years time, when I sell I'd obviously get more for the 450h. At that point I reckon I'd probably get £4000 more for the 450h than the 400h. So i spend more to begin with but make more when I sell. So that leaves around £2000 for the 450h to make up over five years. Could a 450h manage that saving in petrol, road tax and less expensive servicing etc? I know it's all guess work but I'd be interested to know what you guys think.

Thoughts appreciated.

Edgar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming I could afford it, I'd always go for the younger car.  That also assumes the mileage is proportionately less too.

Your numbers are interesting and broadly representative of your dilemma Edgar.  However, there's always the sod factor, that unexpected element which I'd expect the younger and lower mileage example to be less prone to.

That's not an answer to your problem, just a personal opinion.

Good luck and let us know what you decide please.

I'll be looking for an RX450h next year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

why dont you go for a 12 plate GS250 ? You should be able to find one at yout target £13000 and it will feel like new. Its more than adequate for a family of 5, used to have it, great car

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if this helps but I've got a 2013 RX450h which I've owned for nearly 12 months and as far as running cost go I've now covered 13000 miles at an average of 37mpg (I can got 40 mpg if I try hard) and I've spent absolutely nothing on it, no repairs just going to have a service but nothing else.  #reallyhappy 😀

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did similar sums when I bought my RX350 in 2013.  At the time the cost of a hybrid version was considerably more that the simple petrol only 350.  Certainly the running costs for the petrol version were a bit higher (more road tax, higher fuel consumption) but the initial coast was considerably lower.  Curiously the cost difference in 2006 (the year of the car I eventually bought) was only £2-3,000 when new but in 2013 the difference in the second hand value (350 vs 450) was over £7,000.  You get a lot of petrol for £7K even at today's prices!  Add in the experience of some forum members with failure of batteries and an occasional inverter and the view that servicing for a 450 needed to be done by a Lexus agent whereas the 350 could easily be serviced by a reliable independent then over 5 years the sums clearly favoured the 350.  On our fairly limited mileage the same arguments applied to a LPG conversion.

Many people seem to get overheated about fuel consumption and seem prepared to pay a lot of money for a new car which saves a few MPG.  Fuel is not the major cost of ownership and the overall difference of small savings in MPG is not much.  For the 350/450 comparison on 5,000 mile per annum I calculated it would be no more than about £300 based on actual experience of achieved MPG rather than manufacturer's figures.  Add a bit for saving on road tax but take of savings for servicing and the overall difference is probably less than £500 a year.

 

I did not take into account the eventual resale value after 5 years ownership and the 450 would almost certainly get a better price than a 350 but I suspect that by then (for a car 12+ years old) but the overall figure would probably be much closer to the initial difference between he new cost than the second hand cost when I bought the car.  |Since I dislike changing carts and tend to keep them until they cost more to service than they are worth as long as they are not causing any trouble this is less relevant to me anyway.

 

I understand the the 450 is quite a different "drive" to the 350 as well because of the way the 4WD operates (petrol to the front wheels and electric to the rear for 450 so it alternates between 2WD & 4WD whereas 350 is AWD all the time) so I may not like the 450 anyway.

 

Whatever you decide good luck and I hope you and your wife enjoy your final choice.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, EdgarG said:

Hello there, I wonder if you guys could help me out... I've recently seen my family grow from a modest three to a slightly overwhelming five! Twin boys... I'm now thinking I need a bigger car, the Golf just won't cut it anymore!

I've had my eye on an RX400h for a while but have recently had my head turned by the 450h. 

My question is, over a five year period, which car would cost me more? The obvious answer is the 450h right, it'd set me back more to buy in the first place for starters. But when I thought about it a little more I began to wonder... If, for arguments sake, an '07' 400h costs now about £7000 and an '09' 450h about £13000, that's a £6000 difference, but in five years time, when I sell I'd obviously get more for the 450h. At that point I reckon I'd probably get £4000 more for the 450h than the 400h. So i spend more to begin with but make more when I sell. So that leaves around £2000 for the 450h to make up over five years. Could a 450h manage that saving in petrol, road tax and less expensive servicing etc? I know it's all guess work but I'd be interested to know what you guys think.

Thoughts appreciated.

Edgar

Mine is a June 2012 RX450h and just hit 42k. Ive spent nothing on it apart from fuel, VED, wiper refills which I bought from Lexus UK on ebay and fitted myself and servicing.

Generally I would think the 400h would be cheaper overall however its also worth considering that the VED on the 400h is £260 whereas the RX450h gets away with £135

Just had a quick look on AT and the cheapest RX400h with less than 80k on it and not been in an accident is £7.5k whereas a RX450h with the same limits is £14k. £6.5k difference but the 450h does have more tech and kit in general.

In terms of fuel there's be marginal difference, insurance wise the 400h is in a cheaper band so it may make a difference.

Servicing is entirely dependent on who you use but i would say parts for the 450h are slightly dearer. The 450h is a safer vehicle according to the US testing (its not been tested by euro ncap)

Overall, I think the £2k over 5 years you mentioned is about right so ultimately, you have to decide whether its worth it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I swapped my 2006 400h which I ran for 7 years, for a 2010 450h in June. The change up cost £13k thro a main dealer. I only ever had problems due to the 12v Battery giving out on the 400h. I still keep running through my mind the economies of swapping, but I took an extra year warranty on the new car plus getting 2 for 1 with the new car so 3 years in total. My mpg is 36 on the new as oppposed to 30 on the 400h. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off thanks for all your comments. They make thought provoking reading. Please do keep them coming...

 

steveledzep

Yes, I know, the sod factor crossed my mind too and I agree less likely on a newer car.

 

 

talaipwros  

Good call re the GS250. I wonder whether the interior space is as wide as the RX. One of the reasons I'm going in that direction is the width across the back seats.

 

 

Morepower 

Two people have now said they have spent nothing in their 450hs'. The higher insurance group though I don't like the sound off. I should look into that. 

 

 

katabrontes

Interesting argument.  I didn't mention the 350 in my original post, I guess because I wanted to ignore it as an option. I think I have an irrational romantic attachment to a hybrid and it silent futuristic running, and I think I'm prepared to pay a little extra for that. My partner might not agree though! 

 

That high road tax is a bit of a killer too. I generally don't mind paying more upfront for a car if it means lower ongoing running costs. Finding over £500 a year just on tax would stick in my throat a little too much I think.

 

 

rayaans 

I hadn't thought about insurance until now. I think the 450h may cost more overall perhaps, but as you say you're getting more car!

 

 

400hWBA  

Interesting, but overall, year by year, are you spending more on the 450h or the 400h?

 

Anyone else have experience of running both cars?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Edgar, you are going through an identical dilemma to me. I likewise am a bit in love with the idea of the hybrid, and I also have it in my mind that, owing to the fact there are electric motors (that never go wrong) driving the car, and braking some of the time, surely this is placing less mechanical strain on the car overall, hence lowering the chances of things going wrong. I'm following this thread closely :) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, EdgarG said:

First off thanks for all your comments. They make thought provoking reading. Please do keep them coming...

 

steveledzep

Yes, I know, the sod factor crossed my mind too and I agree less likely on a newer car.

 

 

talaipwros  

Good call re the GS250. I wonder whether the interior space is as wide as the RX. One of the reasons I'm going in that direction is the width across the back seats.

 

 

Morepower 

Two people have now said they have spent nothing in their 450hs'. The higher insurance group though I don't like the sound off. I should look into that. 

 

 

katabrontes

Interesting argument.  I didn't mention the 350 in my original post, I guess because I wanted to ignore it as an option. I think I have an irrational romantic attachment to a hybrid and it silent futuristic running, and I think I'm prepared to pay a little extra for that. My partner might not agree though! 

 

That high road tax is a bit of a killer too. I generally don't mind paying more upfront for a car if it means lower ongoing running costs. Finding over £500 a year just on tax would stick in my throat a little too much I think.

 

 

rayaans 

I hadn't thought about insurance until now. I think the 450h may cost more overall perhaps, but as you say you're getting more car!

 

 

400hWBA  

Interesting, but overall, year by year, are you spending more on the 450h or the 400h?

 

Anyone else have experience of running both cars?

Well the 450h is in a higher band but that doesn't mean that insurance  will be alot higher. It could just be £50 or sometimes even be cheaper.

I recently checked insurance on a VW Polo GTI and it's in band 24 I think.  It worked out cheaper than a Lexus CT which is in a much lower band. 

tax on GS250 is quite high , nearly £300 I think. 

However the biggest issue in my eyes is the  boot on the GS. You mentioned twins right?  I'd presume you'll need either 2 buggies or one big one and if they're in baby seats, it's much more practical having an SUV as it'll take a toll on your back otherwise. 

trust me, been there and done that haha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I swapped my 2006 400h which I ran for 7 years, for a 2010 450h in June. The change up cost £13k thro a main dealer. I only ever had problems due to the 12v Battery giving out on the 400h. I still keep running through my mind the economies of swapping, but I took an extra year warranty on the new car plus getting 2 for 1 with the new car so 3 years in total. My mpg is 36 on the new as oppposed to 30 on the 400h. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My concern in keeping my 400h was that the car would be 10 years old, and irrespective of the mechanical and electrical reliability age deterioration on rubber seals, paintwork, alloy wheels etc would manifest itself. I have read of water ingress problems due to leaking roof seals. Maybe if I'd have had a 2009 model I would have been tempted to hold on to it a while longer. Having made the decision to swap I then decided to cover my anticipated length of ownership with a warranty package. Obviously only having the 450h for a few months I don't know relevant economies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

If you need any help with insurance at all for either car your looking at then please feel free to drop me a line.

Regards,

Dan.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I ran a 400h for over 3 years and a 450h for over 1 year. I would say that the difference in running costs is not important enough to worry about. The two deciding factors would be resale value and also the fact that things are more likely to go wrong with an older car.

From a consumption perspective I use to average 28mpg in the 400h, and now 31mpg in the 450h (mine is pre-facelift model and I believe that the post-2012 cars - with DRLs - are a little better), so not much difference. I am not too sure how people manage to attain lofty figures like 37mpg, but I would argue that my driving style is pretty much representative of the average driver. While I don't have a very heavy foot, I put enjoyment before economy.

I would recommend buying from a dealer: they offer a cast iron warranty that should take care of any problem during the first year of ownership. Like others on this forum, I have had very few issues with both cars, and all were sorted under warranty. You may also want to consider an extended warranty - again from the dealer (there are several threads on this) and remember that servicing costs at a main dealer is cheaper for cars over 5 years old.

To put things into context, both RX have been cheaper to run than my previous Renault Grand Scenic 1.6 due to breakdowns, less than accommodating dealers and flaky warranty.

I'd say go and test drive both cars and make sure you can fit baby seats and buggies in!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've done a similar comparison myself lately, but comparing the cost of keeping my 2007 GS300 on the road over another 5 years or trading up for a newer GS450 or RX450.  When I looked in detail, and was realistic about ownership and running costs, these are the figures that I came up with, which include all running costs and depreciation plus a little for incidental repairs based on experience and age of the car (for the GS):

GS300 75K miles kept for another 5 years at 8K miles per annum = £4,190/yr:  5 years continued ownership = £20,950 

RX450, 20K miles example, kept 5 years at 8K miles per annum = £4,338/yr:  5 years ownership = £21,690

Both the above discount the cost of buying the car in the first place, since depreciation is factored into the running costs (about £2K/annum for the RX or about £700 per annum for the GS), so you can see that realistically, barring any major hiccups with the GS, it is the cheaper option to keep the car and perhaps benefit from further improvements in hybrid technology 5 years down the road.  Or....consider it a sideways move and buy an RX now because it's a want and not a need.

The way I see it, reliability, or at least not having the nuisance of dealing with major issues in spite of whole life costs being similar, are worth the extra on the newer vehicle.  About £5K has had to be spent on the the GS to get it up to standard and to repair some unfortunate issues such as a cracked exhaust (new system over £800), replacing noisy tappets (engine out, all 24 done, top end rebuild at £3K and this at just 64K miles).  You can't warrant newer cars being definitely more reliable, but chances are that they will be.  You'll always get the odd example that throws a wobbly but on the whole, the newer hybrid technology seems to be very reliable if not any better than 60 to 70% as economical as claimed.

Buy what you can afford, and want as much as need.  The newer car in RX guise has a fair few improvements and advances over the old one, but fuel economy aside, the older 350 was lighter and has permanent AWD rather than being a FWD car with occasional stability support from an underpowered 67BHP motor in the rear (ie don't consider it an AWD because in the traditional sense, it isn't).  As far as cost of hybrid ownership goes, I consider the Lexus hybrid system to be more akin to a petrol engine using energy recovery for the occasional electrical boost or very limited slow speed Battery only option, the cost for which is a lot of extra mass and complexity.  Is it worth it?  Perhaps on the newer '16 registration cars which have an improved system with better mpg, but on the older one, a really good low miles RX350 might just be a smart move longer term until you can afford to buy into the newer models.

I only say that because the V6 petrol unit is as sweet as a nut, one of the most advanced and reliable on the market (I was unlucky with my 3 litre but it ought to stay reliable now its sorted).  You wont have air suspension to worry about, nor inverters, Battery packs etc.  However, you can buy approved used from Lexus and benefit from their warranties including the 10 year hybrid and transmission £56/yr warranty for peace of mind if buying the older hybrid for peace of mind. In fact, it would be very sensible, but add that to annual running cost comparisons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.