2006 lexus rx400h hybrid




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  • Lexus is leading the way in the luxury hybrid market with the introduction of the Lexus RX h. Based on the ultrapopular Lexus RX SUV, the RX.

    But better isn't cheaper and the hybrid RX isn't that much better than the regular one. Almost too much technology. Lexus RXh.

    How green was our hybrid? Somewhat kind on the gas bill and quick off the line, it was also a quirky bird to live with.

    A drop down menu will appear. In , Lexus introduced the RXh. Lexus knows of this problem, they put out a service bulletin in for this exact problem, but refused to help in any way. Within a year of purchasing a new sedan in '03, I realized I had made a mistake.

    Lexus RX h Information

    The Good Fast acceleration; unencumbered LCD and separate audio display; versatile rear-seat entertainment system. The Bad Grainy LCD map display; no factory option for surround sound or satellite radio; notched feeling in electric power steering. Of course, this all costs a pretty penny. Still, the RX h proves that a 4,pound luxury car can scoot to 60mph in a bit more than 7 seconds and still deliver an EPA-rated 31mpg around town, changing the perception that you'll find granola and Birkenstocks in every hybrid.

    The driving force behind the Lexus RX h is Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive technology, which lets the car run on either gas, electric, or both power sources. Power surges from a horsepower 3. Together, both power trains pump out an exhilarating horsepower. Like other hybrids on the road today, the RX h uses the electric motors to get moving and at low speeds, but once you feel the need for speed, the car taps into the gas engine for a boost.

    The Lexus engineers show their pride in the electrical half of the power train by including three ways to watch all the action.

    A large gauge on the left side of the instrument panel shows how hard the electric motors are either working or charging. For a more detailed view, you can switch to the main LCD in the center console, which displays how gas and electric power are distributed in your vehicle.

    Or view a smaller version of this screen embedded in the speedometer display, which you can call up with a few taps of the Display button on the steering wheel. As with other hybrids, nothing happens when you twist the ignition key. The car wakes up electronically, ready to move under electric power alone until you pass the 25mph mark, at which point the gas engine kicks in. There is an amusing yet serious sidebar to this arrangement; parking valets, friends, and car wash attendants who get in your RX h may sit there madly twisting the key, wondering why it won't start.

    Less entertaining is the way you may startle pedestrians by creeping up behind them, running silently on electric power, especially in noisy parking garages.

    It demands the driver be aware of the unique sound print of this vehicle. Once underway, you'll quickly appreciate this vehicle's main selling point: When the electric motors kick in, power delivery comes on as if from a turbocharger, roundly but forcefully.

    The numbers tell it all. The RX h goes from 0 to 60mph in 7. The power steering on the RX h sometimes feels a bit rough, an issue we've noticed on other hybrids. Conventional cars obtain constant hydraulic pressure for the power steering system by running a pump off the crankshaft pulley. Because the gas engine on the RX h isn't always on, its power steering runs off a volt electric motor that is always operational, preventing interruptions in power assist.

    The downside we noticed was a decidedly notched feel to the steering at times, almost as if the initiation of assist could use a little more damping. It's not a big issue, but in a vehicle of this caliber, we notice it more than we would in, say, the Toyota Prius.

    Fifth Gear - Lexus RX400h



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