Lexus RX400h (2005 – 2009) Review

Lexus RX400h (2005 – 2009) At A Glance


+Very successful hybrid application. Performance of a V8 SUV with better than diesel SUV economy. Handles well too. Most ECO friendly big SUV.

-Lost Congestion Tax exemption from February 2008 except for existing owners. Go through brake discs and pads very rapidly.

On average it achieves 89% of the official MPG figure

I don't feel any guilt making a case for the Lexus RX400h.

It's a quiet and very comfortable conveyance with the performance of a big V8 SUV, yet fuel economy that beats all full-size diesel SUVs.

I averaged 31.3mpg, which is nothing to be ashamed of in a car that kicks out 273PS, gets to 60 in 7.3 seconds and weighs 2,000kg.

It's not cheap at £36,393 for the base model to £45,258 for the fully loaded SE-L version I drove. And some of the trim isn't really grand enough for a forty-five grander, like the rattly ashtray cup holder and the honorary console between the seats. A BMW X5 has much better ambiance.

But it's superbly comfortable. It's very quiet and pleasant to drive. It handles better than most SUVs. And if you suddenly need to get a move on the combined power of the engine and two electric motors whack you up to warp speed remarkably quickly.

The anchors are very good, too. Despite nearly twice the weight of the Honda Hybrid, you don't get the same feeling of braking against the heavy flywheel effect of the electric motors.

So how does it work?

Real MPG average for a Lexus RX400h (2005 – 2009)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–38 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

Satisfaction Index What is your car like to live with?

We need your help with our latest Satisfaction Index, so that we can help others make a smarter car buying decision. What's it like to live with your car? Love it? Loath it? We want to know. Let us know about your car - it will only take a few minutes and you could be helping thousands of others.

Help us with the Honest John Satisfaction Index now

Ask Honest John

Is it possible to buy a warranty on an old car?

"Where can I get a warranty for a 2006 Lexus RX400h? Most companies seem to have a 12-year cut off for cover."
Unlikely to be able to purchase a warranty worth buying because warranties are insurances and insurances are based on risk. No one is going to sell you a warranty on a 12 year old car that covers the £3000 hybrid battery that the car is likely to imminently need. If you can buy a warranty at all it will be riddled with exclusions.
Answered by Honest John

Advice on buying a used Lexus?

"I am looking at a 2008 Lexus RX400h with 72000 miles from a Lexus dealer. I assume the hybrid battery and motor will need to be replaced. Could this be done properly by an independent Toyota/Lexus garage? Could they offer a comparable warranty to a lexus dealer?"
There shouldn't be anything wrong with the drivetrain because it is very lightly stressed. But the hybrid battery could be close to end of life and the high cost of replacing this impacts the value of the vehicle. There are various cheaper options for replacing hybrid battery packs but generally you get what you pay for and what you don't want is a replacement pack with only half the life of a new one.
Answered by Honest John

How reliable is the Lexus RX400h?

"I have been looking for a large estate or SUV - I have seen a 2007 Lexus RX 400h advertised with 45,000 on the clock for £14,600 by a Lexus dealer - full history with services having been carried out annually. I'm not familiar with Lexus as a brand, although I know they have a reputation for reliability and I'd be grateful if for an objective view on whether I'd be buying a quality car likely to give several years of faithful service or complex vehicle which is likely to start generating large repair bills with monotonous regularity?"
Very reliable. Good to drive. Performance of a V8 SUV with better economy than a six-cylinder diesel. But a 2007 could be reaching the end of its hybrid -battery life and that could cost £3000 to replace. If it has been recently replaced then £14,600 makes sense.
Answered by Honest John

Rejected warranty claim - what are my options?

"I bought a Lexus RX400h from a dealer 13 months ago. The car was sold with a 24 month extended warranty included as part of the deal. It is a 2005 car and has done 86,000 miles. Today I've found out the lower control arms need replacing due to the bushes having 'excessively split and failed.' The warranty claim has been turned down as they regard it as "wear and tear". However, the service manager at the dealer has told me that he has seen claims for this same problem approved for older Lexus cars with higher mileages than mine. Is the warranty company acting fairly here? If not, what are my options? "
They sold you a junk warranty. Tell the dealer who sold you the car and warranty that if this is not fixed FoC you will have it fixed by another dealer and will sue him in the small claims track of the county court for it on the grounds that the warranty he sold you "was not of satisfactory quality"
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What does a Lexus RX400h (2005 – 2009) cost?