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MJB

Test Drove An Rx400 Last Week

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I've got an RX400 SEL on order from Lexus here in London - probably due to delivery in September - but last week I took one out for a test drive.

I am not familiar with the RX300, so don't know how it compares, but here are a few reactions. Sorry, don't have time for a proper, detailed review:-

Extraordinary driving experience. Turn key. Brief (and not very attractive) beep. Great screen graphics show Battery in operation. Then silence. Pull away in silence. At about 15mph, petrol engine kicks in - but I was unaware of it till I saw the screen display! Remarkable technology.

Performance - very nippy. Plenty there when you put your foot down.

Petrol engine shuts off again as you break - but you still don't notice it. Seamless. Amazing.

Very comfortable, but I worry about the leg-room in the back. How do you guys feel about space in the back of your RX300s.

Liked the new grill and light clusters.

Will I still buy it?

Yes, I think so. It's very expensive (£45k for the SEL) yet I feel that Lexus may have cut one or two corners to keep the price "down". E.g. Interior aluminium trim is tacky compared with the wood in my SC430...

Great Levinson hi-fi but I felt that money had been skimped on the DVD and rear-mounted screens. Very cheap.

I could be partly swayed by the result of the London congestion charge decision.

I really liked the hybrid experience - the sense of driving something 'new'.

But is it enough...

Couple of months to make up my mind. Hope to see more reviews!

All the best.

Martin

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Glad you had fun - I'll post a 'after a couple of months' in a month or so with driving experience so far if that helps - when is your delivery date exactly or do you only know September sometime? I'll get it in before that.

John

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I've got an RX400 SEL on order from Lexus here in London - probably due to delivery in September - but last week I took one out for a test drive.

I am not familiar with the RX300, so don't know how it compares, but here are a few reactions. Sorry, don't have time for a proper, detailed review:-

Extraordinary driving experience.  Turn key.  Brief (and not very attractive) beep.  Great screen graphics show battery in operation. Then silence.  Pull away in silence.  At about 15mph, petrol engine kicks in - but I was unaware of it till I saw the screen display!  Remarkable technology.

Performance - very nippy.  Plenty there when you put your foot down.

Petrol engine shuts off again as you break - but you still don't notice it.  Seamless. Amazing.

Very comfortable, but I worry about the leg-room in the back. How do you guys feel about space in the back of your RX300s.

Liked the new grill and light clusters.

Will I still buy it?

Yes, I think so.  It's very expensive (£45k for the SEL) yet I feel that Lexus may have cut one or two corners to keep the price "down". E.g. Interior aluminium trim is tacky compared with the wood in my SC430...

Great Levinson hi-fi but I felt that money had been skimped on the DVD and rear-mounted screens.  Very cheap.

I could be partly swayed by the result of the London congestion charge decision.

I really liked the hybrid experience - the sense of driving something 'new'.

But is it enough...

Couple of months to make up my mind.  Hope to see more reviews!

All the best.

Martin

Hi Martin, don't know if your aware but the rear seats are ajustable so it could be the car you tried had the seats forward. If you slide the seats back you will find you have more enough leg room, check it out.

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Thanks guys. No I didn't notice that the rear seats are adjustable - good point! That could make a difference.

John, I'd love to read a proper review from an owner. Lexus can only tell me that mine will arrive "in September", so I have time to consider

To be honest, the list process here seems pretty shambolic! Lexus Park Lane (the dealer) say that Lexus UK took back responsibility for allocating away from dealers. Hence it's all gone odd and the dealers don't really know what's happening. That's their story anyway.

Ah well.

I'm really interested in the experience of anyone who owns/has driven an RX400.

All the best,

Martin

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Hi Guys,

Been reading for a while but this is my first post.

Got my RX400 SE a week ago and absolutely love it. I've been on the waiting list for 13 months, and I must admit that I wobbled a bit in that time as to whether I'd eventually buy or not (the cost, the size of the car). But the posts here and in the US, and my test drive, convinced me of its worth. I used to have an IS200, so I obviously enjoy the new elevated driving position. It's also hard not to be won over by all the gadgets - simply the Bluetooth phone link is enough to send me to tech heaven (works perfectly with a Sony Ericsson P910 by the way), and the parking camera is truly useful. I also love the 'hidden' compartment in the boot for small shopping bits.

I haven't been for a really throaty long drive in it yet, but already I love the power of the acceleration and the control (although yet to get an torque steer). And of course it feels like a great safe place for my family.

But the Hybrid element was the thing that swung it for me - partly the fact that I'm saving fuel, partly the fact that it's so lovely and hushed when I pull away and stop at lights, and partly because it salves my conscience that I'm not an uncaring environmental soul.

A few very minor caveats: I do get some wind turbulence with the roof open at 30-ish mph, and the breaks need some getting used to to avoid sudden judder. I still feel a bit awkward seeing the big thing outside my house, and have spent a fair bit of time telling neighbours and other friends about its electric elements in an attempt to avoid PC disapproval. Is it me being paranoid, or do people let me out less at junctions these days? I'm sure soon I'll soon relax and enjoy it for what it is - a wonderful piece of engineering and a joy to drive.

And the best news is, my wife loves it, thank ***!

Gustavo

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The seats in the rear of the 400 are 1 inch higher than the 300 - it's the batterries. Don't know if this makes a difference to the leg room.

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No - doesn't make a difference to the leg room at all.

I have driven an RX400h for a month now - what a piece of kit !

As for the price, cheaper than other similar spec 4 x 4's with that performance, not to mention Lexus' quality or the mpg!

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