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I have a 2003 RX300, had it for a year. Bought it because I wanted to get rid of my van and get a nice car and a walk-in box trailer that I could transport furniture in on the odd occasion I need to (I'm a furniture restorer). The RX has totally won me over. It's been as bullet-proof as it's reputation suggested. It's comfortable, decent ride, nice to drive, well equipped, always a pleasure to drive. I'm a convert.

Now, the only fly in the ointment is that I get an average of 19mpg regularly (living in the High Peak), and get 17mpg towing (trailer or caravan).

I like the idea of the hybrid as it will make a huge difference I'd think to my 4 mile, hilly commute to work, and I'd hope to get nearer to 30mpg average as opposed to my current 19mpg average. Also I DO like tech!

My budget for an RX400h is likely to be nearer £4000 than £5000 unfortunately, so I'm thinking around 2005MY, 120-140Kmiles probably.

My question to all you knowledgeable Lexus aficionados is:  Is the Battery likely to need replacing soon in a car of that age? I had read that 10 years is a good lifespan for the batteries.

 

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I don't know, but...

If it was me - I'd be looking to get my MPG up in my RX300... I get about 24 or so... Better the devil ...?

 

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I bought a 100K 400 2018 for £4K. The best mpg I got like all motors was on the long distance motorways. I was creeping up to 35 Mpg.

The 400 has imo a solid HV Battery. You can test the cell performance with various apps.

initially I thought the car would be electrically delicate. It’s pretty robust as it turns out. My HV has been swilled in water. You should know the 400 does have some leak issues. But a dry out in my case cleared all the low resistance warnings  

The other thing to watch for is timing belt and wp. Should be changed at 100-110K.

its a great vehicle. Comfortable as anything. And it was quick. I used to have an e39 540i that was a 6.2 second to 60 job. The 400, well maintained, is a 7.5 seconder. It’s quick.

Can get a bit rusty underside. Mine was from a coastal town and it showed. Brush and hammerite job. 

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I currently (not my choice) have both models, RX300 and RX400h. Is your RX a series 1 or 2? Your mpg figure for your RX300 does not surprise me. You will get better mpg from the 400h. For comparison, I am getting roughly 17 mpg for local town work of less than 2 miles. The 400h does about 24 mpg. 

My advice (from experience) would be to keep the RX300 and use the £4,000 to run it. If your RX300 is sound then .............. "Better the devil you know" 

If someone was migrating from another make to a Lexus RX, then I would recommend the 400h over the RX300. Work out your mileage and see how much EXTRA the 300 will cost you. The psychological difficulty is seeing/working out the mpg as you fill up. In terms of money, you would be spending approximately £1,150 more for fuel every 12,000 miles. That would take you about 4 years to break even - 7 years if you did 6,000 miles a year. 

The 400h's are reliable but issues aside from the Battery can be costly. What would appear economic sense is not necessarily what we would actually LIKE to do!

Please let us know what you decide to do. Your decision is the right one for you.

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Another option would be to have your RX300 converted to run on LPG.

It must be 5, possibly even 7 years ago since we had ours done so I don't know what current prices are like but it cost us £1400 for the conversion, so you'll have to sit down and work out the financies.

You get lower MPG on gas so you fill up more often, but because it's cheaper to buy than petrol you don't spend as much. It's also better for the engine, better for the environment and definitely better on the wallet.

I did a comparison on Fuelly at the time and (again, if memory serves) a 'petrol only' RX300 was the most expensive at 22.6p/mile, the RX400h was returning 19.6p/mile, and my LPG RX300 was by far the cheapest at 13.5p/mile.

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Good replies all. Thanks.

I'm thinking Herbie has likely nailed it. I was considering an LPG conversion after I'd got an RX400 anyway. I have had two cars converted before, one was a Volvo V70 T5 bought at 165,000 miles and 3 years old - ex police car - and the other was a BMW 545i bought from a friend who'd had it from new. The Volvo did 100K miles on lpg with me, then another 30K with a friend who bought it off me. The BMW did 50K on the lpg but died from sucking water into the engine in a deceptive ford in Norfolk. Interestingly, the BMW had a water seal go just behind the water pump. Cheap part, expensive repair necessitating the engine coming out and both heads off: the combustion chambers and piston crowns were bright silver, no carbon anywhere, and there was no discernible step on the shoulders of the bore. Engine looked like new, after 87K miles with the previous owner then 50K miles on lpg with me. I'm a fan.

Considering the RX is a workhorse for me and I have some other car for performance then the leisurely pace of the RX needn't factor into my decision. I currently have an S600 L BiTurbo (520bhp so 'sprightly' 😊) and before that I had an E55K. I'm selling the S600L at the moment - well, advertising it, hopefully selling it - and intend to get a Jaguar XJ Super V8 next.

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1 hour ago, Restorer said:

I'm thinking Herbie has likely nailed it. I was considering an LPG conversion after I'd got an RX400 anyway. I have had two cars converted before

Sounds like you know the score then John, and have a good installer on hand to do the work if you decide to go that way.

I've seen a couple of poor RX300 conversions as the two photos below show - the third photo is mine and shows what it can/should look like:


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1 hour ago, cruisermark said:

your commute is 4 miles on hilly roads - is the Hybrid going to play much a part in that?

Perhaps on the declines ?

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On 4/25/2021 at 6:35 PM, royoftherovers said:

Perhaps on the declines ?

I had hopes that overall I would see significantly better fuel economy compared to the RX300 as the hybrid system should help on cold start up and the hills which start from our house. Expected recharge significantly on the downhills on the way home.

 

All a bit moot now: going down the lpg path again.

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On 4/25/2021 at 6:27 PM, Herbie said:

Sounds like you know the score then John, and have a good installer on hand to do the work if you decide to go that way.

I've seen a couple of poor RX300 conversions as the two photos below show - the third photo is mine and shows what it can/should look like:

Booked in at my guy for this morning. Strike whilst the iron is hot etc. He knows what he's doing. Will fit the Italian system.

I have a 24 hour lpg pump 300 yards from me. Operated by a coded key individual to each customer. I am concerned about the decline in lpg users recently and in the near future as regards number of outlets that will close but on balance I still think it will work for me.

At 10K miles a year break even point is 12.5 months

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9 hours ago, Restorer said:

Booked in at my guy for this morning. Strike whilst the iron is hot etc. He knows what he's doing. Will fit the Italian system.

I have a 24 hour lpg pump 300 yards from me. Operated by a coded key individual to each customer. I am concerned about the decline in lpg users recently and in the near future as regards number of outlets that will close but on balance I still think it will work for me.

At 10K miles a year break even point is 12.5 months

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable conclusion to me!   Well done John!

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11 hours ago, Restorer said:

All a bit moot now: going down the lpg path again.

just a mo !!!

was reading somewhere on here today ...  heaven knows where tho'.....  sorry,.............  that fuel stations are beginning to " lose " their LPG pumps  ...  due to the advancement of EV possibly ?

Malc

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True. I have noticed lpg is getting harder to find these days. Any fuel station refurb usually does away with it.

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Shell have officially declared they are decommissioning LPG pumps on their forecourts. The independents aren't affected. My nearest is an independent, and there's Cheshire Gas's outlet in Stockport that was always 5p/L cheaper. And I know pumps in Leek, Congleton, Sheffield of course. Motorway Service Stations have pumps (expensive of course) and the majority of them aren't Shell. Loss of the parochial Shell sites won't be a problem, just removes the extra convenience they offered. May even help the remaining independents by increasing their turnover.

I'm feeling positive: maybe I've turned into an optimist....? 🙂

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On 4/25/2021 at 5:19 PM, cruisermark said:

your commute is 4 miles on hilly roads - is the Hybrid going to play much a part in that?

I have to say that my RX hybrid loves the Alps.  We often skied there in the past and stayed in cheaper accomodation up the neighbouring mountain.  So come down and back up in the morning to ski.  and the reverse going back - about 12 miles each way everyday  and the fuel gauge would hardly move all week.  Obviously use no petrol on the way down but also the clever thing on the way up is the endless hairpins -  normally you brake hard for these and go round slowly but not in a hybrid - just lift off and both the uphill gradient and regenerative breaking will slow you down nicely with the added benefit of free energy boost to help with the next uphill leg 👍 

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On 4/28/2021 at 8:23 AM, Restorer said:

Will fit the Italian system.

Is it BRC or Landi maybe?

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On 4/28/2021 at 8:23 AM, Restorer said:

Will fit the Italian system.

 

13 minutes ago, serbarry said:

Is it BRC or Landi maybe?

My guy didn't use a system or 'kit' from one manufacturer, preferring instead to 'mix and match' to create the best possible system for the car.

About 17 or 18 years ago (maybe longer) when I first looked into LPG it was a complete minefield. You perhaps found a great installer with a great reputation but then found out that he was only fitting one system, and when asked if they could guarantee that it would work well on my car they couldn't.

The other side of the coin was also true in that you may find the perfect system for any given car but the only people fitting it weren't the best and had poor reputations.

It took me a good six months of constant looking and researching to find a competent installer who would guarantee the system he was going to fit would be up to the job and then some. He was true to his word and he did a brilliant job and the car performed superbly. I would have used him again but by the time I needed another installation doing, he'd retired.

It's about 6 years since I last had a conversion done and we traded that car in 3 years ago so I can't remember what he used on it, but it was like a breath of fresh air to find someone who actually had enough skill and knowledge to make a bespoke system for any given car.

I enjoyed running LPG, it had plenty of advantages. However, even though it's technically possible to convert a hybrid I'd never be brave enough to have it done; why add another layer of complexity to something that's already very complex anyway?

 

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I read that some owners of Prius and Auris TS did the conversion in Italy, and they seem very happy with it. But I agree with you: I would never do it in my car as hybrid is already a complex system.  

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On 5/2/2021 at 5:03 PM, Herbie said:

 

My guy didn't use a system or 'kit' from one manufacturer, preferring instead to 'mix and match' to create the best possible system for the car.

About 17 or 18 years ago (maybe longer) when I first looked into LPG it was a complete minefield. You perhaps found a great installer with a great reputation but then found out that he was only fitting one system, and when asked if they could guarantee that it would work well on my car they couldn't.

The other side of the coin was also true in that you may find the perfect system for any given car but the only people fitting it weren't the best and had poor reputations.

It took me a good six months of constant looking and researching to find a competent installer who would guarantee the system he was going to fit would be up to the job and then some. He was true to his word and he did a brilliant job and the car performed superbly. I would have used him again but by the time I needed another installation doing, he'd retired.

It's about 6 years since I last had a conversion done and we traded that car in 3 years ago so I can't remember what he used on it, but it was like a breath of fresh air to find someone who actually had enough skill and knowledge to make a bespoke system for any given car.

I enjoyed running LPG, it had plenty of advantages. However, even though it's technically possible to convert a hybrid I'd never be brave enough to have it done; why add another layer of complexity to something that's already very complex anyway?

 

I found a guy up in Yorkshire a couple of years ago who was a good engineer and would tailor-make a system, but I used a guy in Manchester that I've known as a customer for years. I trust his work although he's solely BRC. Too far to the Yorkshire guy for me this time.

So I've got a BRC system with the electronic lubrication system fitted alongside.

I picked it up yesterday morning. In the evening, after Tae Kwon Do, it wouldn't start. Turned over busily but no hint of firing. Oh, how I cursed Karl (lpg fitter guy). So I called Green Flag and settled down to wait/freeze. Finally I worked out it was a problem with my key! Got the spare out - fortunately had it with me - and vroom, vroom, off we went. Sorry Karl for doubting you.

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3 hours ago, Restorer said:

I found a guy up in Yorkshire a couple of years ago who was a good engineer and would tailor-make a system,

He's the one who did mine.

3 hours ago, Restorer said:

Finally I worked out it was a problem with my key! Got the spare out - fortunately had it with me - and vroom, vroom, off we went. Sorry Karl for doubting you.

Doh! At least it wasn't anything serious John - and I'm sure Karl will forgive you :thumbsup:

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