September 15, 2008
It's been a long time since we've tallied up our fuel economy numbers for this car. So here's the scoop:
Best tank: 28.45
Worst tank: 15.55
Average MPG to date: 20.40
That's pretty mediocre considering the EPA estimate for this model is 26 mpg combined.
May 15, 2008
Although our Lexus RX 400h long-termer has mostly been retired from the fleet and is now driven by non-editorial Edmunds folks, it occasionally falls back into our hands to make sure everything's running smoothly with the goal to test the long-long-term reliability of hybrids. After driving the RX to and from Willow Springs International Raceway, I'm happy to report everything is A-OK.
I can't really say the same about highway fuel economy, however. With cruise control set at 75 mpg there and back, I only managed 25.4 mpg (according to the trip computer).
That's actually 0.4 mpg better than the EPA's 2008-standard highway estimate, but somehow I think it should be better even if the electric motor never kicks in at highway speeds. Certainly, the 27 mpg city is very impressive given most V6-powered crossovers get between 16 and 18 mpg in the city, however, I'm pretty sure we've never come remotely close to that. In fact, when I got into the car, it reported to me that it was averaging 18.3 mpg over its last 550 miles -- and that's not with the editor's lead feet on its accelerator.
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 31,831 miles
March 12, 2008
This month signifies two full years of Lexus RX 400h ownership. Our reasons for keeping it in service this long are primarily to test the durability of its hybrid system. This is also why it doesn't receive too many blog posts.
Now that we recently eclipsed the 30,000-mile mark, its about time for a fuel economy update. The numbers are unimpressive and well below 31 city and 27 hwy EPA estimations.
And most of our driving takes place in the city.
Best: 28 mpg
Worst: 16 mpg
Average: 20 mpg
Just because it's a 'hybrid' doesn't make a car fuel efficient. It still takes a conscious effort to be light on the throttle to truly appreciate the efficiency this Lexus has to offer.
Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Coordinator @ 30,280 miles
November 06, 2007
Hey, everybody, I'm green. Or am I?
EPA estimates for our 2006 Lexus RX 400h are 31 mpg city and 27 mpg highway. That's better than the average SUV and certainly better than Lexus's non-hybrid counterpart, the 2006 RX 330, which is only rated at 19 city / 25 hwy.
For 2008 these figures go down. The new 2008 RX 400h is rated at 27 city and 24 highway.
According to the consumption meter pictured here, over the last 3,000 miles we've averaged 19.3 mpg. Woohoo.
May 31, 2007
My commute is ridiculous. It takes me between 45 to 50 minutes to travel eight miles. I could ride a bicycle home faster -- that's if there was anything resembling a safe bike lane. But my stop-and-go drive home with speeds that top out at 30 mph perhaps once, is a great laboratory for testing our hybrid Lexus RX 400h's maximum gas mileage.
With continuous conscious effort and a keen eye on the energy monitor, I did my darndest to eliminate the gas engine from the hybrid equation. I accelerated slowly, keeping in mind when the gas engine usually started, and looked far ahead so I could coast gradually to a stop rather than staying on the accelerator and braking later. This latter step is also key for regenerating the battery.
On the six-mile highway portion of my journey, I averaged 33.2 mpg. After the two-mile, higher speed portion through city streets, the final tally was 30.3 mpg. That's better than the revised 2008 EPA city mileage for the 4WD RX 400h. So what's the significance of all this? I would say that the hybrid RX is best suited to folks who want a high-mpg luxury car to tackle a craptacular stop-and-go commute like mine -- who aren't too concerned with price. In my opinion, though, the top-of-the-line Prius is also luxurious, has basically the same lengthy features list as the RX, is vastly cheaper and gets even better fuel economy. I bet driving the same way, I could get our Prius at least into the 50 mpg range. Mind you, the Prius won't go from 0 to 60 in 7.3 seconds when you need it to.
James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 24,800 miles