Within a year of purchasing a new sedan in '03, I realized I had made a mistake. There were instances when the trunk was too small and a hatch was required for my needs. Then the price of oil skyrocke...
Within a year of purchasing a new sedan in '03, I realized I had made a mistake. There were instances when the trunk was too small and a hatch was required for my needs. Then the price of oil skyrocketed. Not only did I need a hatch, but now I wanted a hybrid.
In 2006, Lexus introduced the RX400h. At the time it came out, it went for the low $50Ks. I once rode in one as a livery vehicle and loved it, but it was too pricey for me. Over the next few years, I looked at other models of SUVs and/or hybrids. As it turned out, the RX400h was now in my price range as a certified, pre-owned vehicle.
Three months ago, I bought one. What I liked about the 2006 vs. newer models was that premium gas is not required. I was told by the dealership that if I use premium, I would get better mileage. My own experiment disproved that statement. Actual overall MPG is around 24/26. This car LOVES traffic jams, sometimes hitting almost 40 MPG. The included fuel consumption computer tends to be off by a couple of ticks, displaying better than actual mileage.
Comfortable and stylish, the interior is like a nice living room. The ride is extremely smooth. When you need that extra pick up to kick in quickly, it's more responsive than most cars I've driven. Also, when the doors and windows are shut, it is extremely quiet. The stereo system is good, but there are several options for speaker configurations. I have difficulty finding one that is useful for all genres of music. Lexus offers a Mark Levinson sound system as an option, which probably addresses that issue.
My vehicle went for a lower than market value price, only to find out that there were alignment issues, as well as its sitting at the dealership for over a year, reason unknown. Last week I had to replace the 12V battery, something I thought they would have identified in their pre-owned certification process. I had several problems starting the car, but the new battery has solved the problem.
Lexus prides itself on its service and I can see why. They have been attentive and helpful. The alignment issue has been resolved, the car has now been looked over by one of its best mechanics and they have been kind enough to provide loaner vehicles each time I took it in for service.
Newer models have better and more flexible navigation features, as well as better MPG stats and iPod/iPhone compatibility. But the difference in price is not something I am willing to pay.
For the same price, I could have bought a new, more utilitarian Hybrid SUV by other manufacturers, but would have sacrificed the extra cargo space, service, style, comfort and features of the RX400h, along with the brand reputation Lexus offers. Every time I get in the car, I know I'm in for another pleasurable driving experience. It was worth the wait.