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Rx In Tthe Snow


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Well I managed to drive teh 5 miles into work this morning in the RX absolutely no problems. Only issue was wipers couldn't shift the initial weight of snow, but after that no problems, even when snow was 6" plus.

Saw a couple of abandoned Bimmers on the way in. :blush:

My old IS's would never had made it.

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Quite looking forward to a bit of snow, only had an inch or two in Hampshire last year and it was pretty much gone once I got off the residential side-streets. No snow down here yet but a frosty -5 degrees start. Electric drive doesn't seem to play much in these temperatures. After 25 minute drive still have nothing happening with washer jets, presumably the pipes or the bottle is frozen. Only filled it up last night, must be a 50:50 mix. Do other people's RX washer systems survive a cold night outside any better than mine? De-icing the screen takes an age too, anyone know whether any new Lexus have heated front screens (or do Ford have that locked up?). Hooray for heated seats - toasty cheeks!

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Quite looking forward to a bit of snow, only had an inch or two in Hampshire last year and it was pretty much gone once I got off the residential side-streets. No snow down here yet but a frosty -5 degrees start. Electric drive doesn't seem to play much in these temperatures. After 25 minute drive still have nothing happening with washer jets, presumably the pipes or the bottle is frozen. Only filled it up last night, must be a 50:50 mix. Do other people's RX washer systems survive a cold night outside any better than mine? De-icing the screen takes an age too, anyone know whether any new Lexus have heated front screens (or do Ford have that locked up?). Hooray for heated seats - toasty cheeks!

My washers are OK, once the engine gets warmed up.

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Washers fine in mine once engine warmed up; reckon it's more a Hybrid problem possibly with the engine heat being used / recycled more efficiently so takes longer to warm up the jets?

Yep Ford had the patent although from my searching it supposedly ended in 2006.

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Well I managed to drive teh 5 miles into work this morning in the RX absolutely no problems. Only issue was wipers couldn't shift the initial weight of snow, but after that no problems, even when snow was 6" plus.

Saw a couple of abandoned Bimmers on the way in. :blush:

My old IS's would never had made it.

Yep mine was the same in the snow, we had 6-8 inches and I was trying to find the deepest un-used snow I could - the car coped perfectly.

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I'll have to get some proper washer juice then, rather than the Halfords stuff.

Driving home was great fun, in about 10 inches. Took forever due to traffic (apparently local semi-motorway was blocked for 15 miles with 1000 cars abandoned...) but the RX just cruises up hill and down dale, with just the odd flicker of the traction light. Got a bit 'clenched' when seeing front-drive Audi A4 (previous car...) slowly sliding and rotating back down the steep hill towards me though. But general feeling that if it weren't for all the 2WD cars bunging up the place, I'd be trundling around pretty normally. What were they thinking when they wrote that bit in the manual about 'Not recommended for off-road use'?

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What were they thinking when they wrote that bit in the manual about 'Not recommended for off-road use'?

I'm guessing it's more to cover them warranty wise from possible damage to the car rather than the car not actually being capable. Ok it's missing alot of things for proper off-road like low range, locking diffs etc but it seems to go reasonably well (There was a 4x4 comparison on a website comparing ML, X5, Toureg, RX450 in which the RX came second and even though the X5 got stuck twice in the snow the RX coped fine)

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There was a 4x4 comparison on a website comparing ML, X5, Toureg, RX450 in which the RX came second and even though the X5 got stuck twice in the snow the RX coped fine)

I believe the X5 was on 'bling' wheels with summer tyres - any SUV with the wrong tyres will struggle in this weather.

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[Yes, I know, just basking in the unexpected semi-offroad capability of a car clearly optimised for luxury tarmac. I've spend too much of my life in 'real' (ie green-coloured) Land Rovers to think about racing Richard Hammond to the North Pole in an RX....! :winky: ]

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[Yes, I know, just basking in the unexpected semi-offroad capability of a car clearly optimised for luxury tarmac. I've spend too much of my life in 'real' (ie green-coloured) Land Rovers to think about racing Richard Hammond to the North Pole in an RX....! :winky: ]

Sorry! Should have realised it was a tongue and cheek comment :)

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Now my RX450 is certainly no Range Rover but I have to say that it has coped very well in the snow. At least as good as my RX350 did and maybe a little better even?

To get out of my garage I have to reverse up through 90 degrees into the end of the cul-de-sac. Then move forward and right 90 degrees to exit. I cleared my drive but still 2 inches of packed snow and then at end of my drive it goes into 8-10 inches of snow - some packed some drift. Once out of the cul-de-sac 300-400 yards of packed snow then onto slushy main road. Well to set the scene my neighbours XC90 (bald tyres) wouldn't make it onto her own driveway.

The RX?? not a problem. the electric motors seem to make it very well suited to crawling slowly through deep snow and the VDIM beeped/flashed and I kept going without a problem.

As I said not a Rangie but certainly good enough to get us through this global warming stuff they keep harping on about :whistling:

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We live up on the Pennines in Ripponden, West Yorkshire. One of my sister's colleagues rather foolishly attempted to drive over the tops on the moor road along with a few landrovers (he was in a Jag!) and this is what happened: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8446200.stm

The RX400h has been brilliant in the snow. We live on a steep hill and have had 8" of snow, at least. On the fresh stuff, the car has tip toed quite sure footedly and got where other cars haven't. I have taken the opportunity to test it on the flat and get used to how it handles, but the traction control has kept the car going where I have pointed it. I would say that on the whole, the hybrid has been a little bit superior to my previous RX300 and RX350s. I can only hypthesise that as the system is motor driven, the electronics are controlling the delivery of quite finely as opposed to the propshaft driven rear wheels having power then having to be braked again (OK - its only a theory!).

I did manage to test the car to get it stuck getting home on Wednesday. Faced with either going up steep hill or down steep hill (we live half way up and can approach from either way, albeit with quite a detour of coming down), I elected to go up. Basically, the lack of low range on the RX founded that decision as the only way of otherwise slowing the car is with a little engine braking (in B mode) and a light touch of the brakes. I didn't want to risk bobsleighing down with the ABS light flickering! The hill in question is about a 1:6. and I got about 100 metres up before the car just stopped. Its a bit weird with the hybrid compared to a petrol car, as it when there is no grip to be found, it just cuts all the power and the car goes silent. In a petrol car, you could rev the engine hard and spin the wheels instead. A friend came out of the house and proceeded to shovel ice off the road in front of each of the wheels, and then I would manage another 6-10 feet until stopping again. At one point, the car slid backwards about 18" with all the brakes on and in Park!!! Well, with perseverance, I got home. That was certainly a slippery road, and the only other car I know that made it, was aforementioned friend, who tackled it with an old Isuzu Trooper complete with 4 wheel diff locks and low ratio. All in all, I don't think the RX did bad at all. In fact, it is making me ponder whether to get a spare set of wheels with some winter tyres on, if they can be had for a reasonable price. After all, that contact patch between the car and road is all important, and I think that the car could inspire more confidence, particularly with respect to braking in bad weather, if it has the kind of rubber that works well below 7C.

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We live up on the Pennines in Ripponden, West Yorkshire. One of my sister's colleagues rather foolishly attempted to drive over the tops on the moor road along with a few landrovers (he was in a Jag!) and this is what happened: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/8446200.stm

The RX400h has been brilliant in the snow. We live on a steep hill and have had 8" of snow, at least. On the fresh stuff, the car has tip toed quite sure footedly and got where other cars haven't. I have taken the opportunity to test it on the flat and get used to how it handles, but the traction control has kept the car going where I have pointed it. I would say that on the whole, the hybrid has been a little bit superior to my previous RX300 and RX350s. I can only hypthesise that as the system is motor driven, the electronics are controlling the delivery of quite finely as opposed to the propshaft driven rear wheels having power then having to be braked again (OK - its only a theory!).

I did manage to test the car to get it stuck getting home on Wednesday. Faced with either going up steep hill or down steep hill (we live half way up and can approach from either way, albeit with quite a detour of coming down), I elected to go up. Basically, the lack of low range on the RX founded that decision as the only way of otherwise slowing the car is with a little engine braking (in B mode) and a light touch of the brakes. I didn't want to risk bobsleighing down with the ABS light flickering! The hill in question is about a 1:6. and I got about 100 metres up before the car just stopped. Its a bit weird with the hybrid compared to a petrol car, as it when there is no grip to be found, it just cuts all the power and the car goes silent. In a petrol car, you could rev the engine hard and spin the wheels instead. A friend came out of the house and proceeded to shovel ice off the road in front of each of the wheels, and then I would manage another 6-10 feet until stopping again. At one point, the car slid backwards about 18" with all the brakes on and in Park!!! Well, with perseverance, I got home. That was certainly a slippery road, and the only other car I know that made it, was aforementioned friend, who tackled it with an old Isuzu Trooper complete with 4 wheel diff locks and low ratio. All in all, I don't think the RX did bad at all. In fact, it is making me ponder whether to get a spare set of wheels with some winter tyres on, if they can be had for a reasonable price. After all, that contact patch between the car and road is all important, and I think that the car could inspire more confidence, particularly with respect to braking in bad weather, if it has the kind of rubber that works well below 7C.

I too am pleased with my RX400h snow performance. It goes well with a light touch on most side roads here in Bradford but best avoid the really steep hills (up or down) as the B setting isn't enough to brake the engine downhill, and going up a steep hill gets you stuck as you say.

My business partner also has the same car and we are both truly convinced that your theory about decent software sensing slip and engaging the rear elec motor is spot on. Also I reckon the electric motor may well provide more torque at low speeds to keep you moving.

My wifes Merc has been left abandoned for two days at the top of a steep hill (safely off road) and I recovered it yesterday when the temp reached a balmy 1 degree C, and the Lexus has been my family's lifeline all week!

Bladgb

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Well, if you are in Bradford, you are not far away at all. I often work there during the week near the university.

My uncle also has an Rx400h and is a wise and skilled driver with a quite a bit of off roading experience in Land Rovers. He had a play on a flat snowy car park this week driving in circles, getting gradually faster, waiting to find the breakaway point when it would skid off. It didn't and wouldn't! It just kept going in circles with the car limiting the road speed and the traction control light flickering merrily. Now, I am not suggesting we should all get overly confident and take risks, but it is reassuring that these cars handle well and that the technology underpinning them works well, giving a performance envelope in these conditions that is far superior to 2WD cars, and a good compromise between those and full blooded 'agricultural' off roaders. I have to say, the RX is an ideal car for living in West Yorkshire all year round.

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I love my RX400h, its one of the best cars I have had and I was concerned about getting my baby out the garage in this weather as I did not think the RX was too clever in the snow, but after reading all these posts I am tempted to get out there with it.

I would have thought with the lack of engine braking and the B mode only seems to be effective at slowing you from higher speeds and not very effective down some of the hills in my area, I was worried that braking could put me into a worse situation, but that appears to be incorrect reading here.

I am not sure what the RX400h capabilities are in terms of its assistance. Everyone keeps saying to me that I have a 4x4 so I am laughing, but is it a 4x4 when the chips are down or is it just a front wheel drive car where the rear wheels kick in from time to time?

My wife has a 1 series and that is not clever at all in this weather, in fact I think the BMW is the most abadoned car I have seen out there!

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I think there are 2 important considerations: traction, grip.

Traction - ability for your car to put the power down. The RX400h seems to be pretty good at this. You can get power down through all 4 wheels if necessary, and the car decides that for you. Of course with a 2WD car, it cannot get so much traction when on a snowy surface. Our experience of the RX is that it is actually very good on getting power down and keeping the car moving. I had difficulty on a very steep hill covered in ice, but got well beyond where a front wheel drive car would have got before coming to halt as there was ice under all of the wheels. Got there in the end though after scraping the road.

Grip - on this one, I think the same applies to pretty much any car. If you are coming down a steep icy incline, it matters less whether you have 2WD-FWD, 2WD-RWD, or 4WD. You need to keep speed down, so its a matter of how much slowing down on each wheel can be achieved prior to a wheel locking and the car sliding. In this respect, I doubt that the RX has much of an advantage other than its weight. 4WDs with low ratio gear box would probably fair better in that engine braking can be used over all of the driving wheels to keep speed in check and keep a car under control, prior to needing the brakes. On 4x4 course, they can show you the effect of coming down a slippery slope (all feet off the pedals) and the car will let itself down gently, until you hit the brakes and then the back of the car may try to overtake the front, spinning it into a difficult situation. As you say, there is some engine braking in B mode, but its not as strong as say a first gear, or low ration box, but its better than nothing so that's what I use.

My advice would be to get your RX out on a snowy car park away from other cars, and have a play. You will get a feel for how the car behaves and what the envelope is. Also get a feel for braking and from what speeds the ABS kicks in. On descending hills, I stop at the top, select B mode, and just let the car roll with no accelerator, and gently holding the brake on but trying to avoid changing the braking pressure. It takes a bit of nerve, and mistakes will be expensive, but so far so good. Its down to your judgement, the conditions, and your feel for the car that should dictate whether to attempt a descent, pick another route, or just stay at home with a cup of tea and watch an old film on the TV.

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This is the 2nd year I used my RX350 in the snow and it is impressive.

I'm now thinking that a set of winter tyres may add further versatility to the car.

I'm not sure chains would help?

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Well, where do I start, I originally has an IS250, and like all rear wheel drive car's it was hell in snow, I had the same problem last year, and when it snowed just before christmas, it was the last straw, I live on a slight incline I couldn't even get the car out and it just wasnt me, a BMW and a Mercedes couldn't get out. So on christmas eve I picked up an RX400h. After having the IS250 and a few scary moments I had it with it, I lost all confidence in driving in snow. So when it snowed last week, I looked outside and there was a bout 8 - 10 inches of snow, normally I would clear my drive and hald the road, I just sat in the car and drove, the neighbours were looking at me, thinking I was mad, It was amazing, I had no problem, It was that good, I will stick to the RX for the rest of my life, It is so amazing the car knows when to use 4 wheels, I can see it on the monitor when it is using all 4 wheels,, It just knows. Love it , Love it.

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Well I live in the north of Sweden, not far from the arctic circle, and the RX 400h behaves very well here in the winter. In fact that was one of the main reasons for getting one in the first place. The fuelconsumption rises a bit that´s the only negative I can come up with... :)

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Well, where do I start, I originally has an IS250, and like all rear wheel drive car's it was hell in snow, I had the same problem last year, and when it snowed just before christmas, it was the last straw, I live on a slight incline I couldn't even get the car out and it just wasnt me, a BMW and a Mercedes couldn't get out. So on christmas eve I picked up an RX400h. After having the IS250 and a few scary moments I had it with it, I lost all confidence in driving in snow. So when it snowed last week, I looked outside and there was a bout 8 - 10 inches of snow, normally I would clear my drive and hald the road, I just sat in the car and drove, the neighbours were looking at me, thinking I was mad, It was amazing, I had no problem, It was that good, I will stick to the RX for the rest of my life, It is so amazing the car knows when to use 4 wheels, I can see it on the monitor when it is using all 4 wheels,, It just knows. Love it , Love it.

I also had an IS250, never went in the snow with it. I remember it had a snow button, what did that do and did it not help?

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I'll add my voice to the ringing endorsements.

Got stuck in Guildford in my BMW 530 for 3 days last February. As a result of that experience I bought snow chains when I traded up to the RX400h. That seems to have been a waste of money - it just doesn't need them! Still, I keep them in the car anyway - like warding off rain by walking out with an umbrella. They might be handy going down hill one day too.

I haven't seen a BMW 3 or 5 in the Surrey Hills for a week now!

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Very pleased with my RX 300 in the snow, still need to take care but the car was very assured.

Here's a question for you though: A mate of mine is considering an RX, probably a 300 but maybe a 350 or a 400h. At our local Lexus dealership, i.e. Cardiff, he was told by a Lexus salesman, and I quote that "the 400h is not good in snowy conditions as it is only 2 wheel drive, with power going only to the front OR the back wheels at any one time"

I've told him that I believe that to be a load of rubbish, that the 400h is a "smart" 4 wheel drive. When moving off the vehicle is powered by the front and back electric motors to all 4 wheels, then as speed bulids the fwd petrol engine kicks in on its own until such time as 4wd drive is needed and the electric motors then make the vehicle 4wd. Am I right or wrong?

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