Our first hybrid and first SUV; had it 7 years (+105k miles), in both city and rural areas (dirt roads). Our 400h performs consistently well, even in blizzards and icy/snowy conditions in hilly New England winters. Super comfortable - I'm 5'5" (and been pregnant twice with this car), hubby is 6' - we both love it. Low maintenance - our only major expenses (besides one new set of tires) have been replacing the battery and brakes. Note to new parents: larger, rear-facing car seats fit best on the passenger side to give taller drivers enough legroom (I fit; hubby doesn't). By far the best SUV I've ever driven - and the hybrid/gas mileage factor is the icing on the cake!
Our 400h averages 27-28mpg on hilly country roads, w/some highways. Comfy, quiet, smooth, luxurious ride. No road noise; plenty of power to get up steep hills and/or accelerate into highway traffic easily (far better than our Prius). Love the heated leather seats, nav system, 6-disc CD player, hands-free bluetooth and moonroof. Cargo space fits two 70-80lb dogs with ease and 40-20-20 seat split provides great flexibility; auto-liftgate in back helpful when juggling kids and bags. Second row fits larger car seats for infants/toddlers (e.g., Chicco Key Fit 30, Britax Advocate 70 CS Convertible/rear-facing) without sacrificing leg room for front passengers (but too crowded for driver's side).
Slightly more cargo space and a slightly wider second row (or the option of a third row) would be great, to fit more than two car seats - or more dogs.
Well, so far this has been the most exciting car we've purchased. We added the premium package with the camera, nav, wood, leather, moon roof, then also added color matched running boards and chrome wheels. Driving is a whole new experience (especially boppin' around downtown on electric only). Unbeknownst to me, my neighbor bought the same model, on the same day, and we didn't even discuss beforehand. Best purchase I've made in a long time.
Beautiful build quality, exceptional features. I am a sports car owner/driver, and I find it interesting that this car has made me change my driving habits as I strive to maximize my efficiency. If you want maximimum mpg performance this is a must, and it leads to safer driving habits on the road also. Having said that, it will get up and go if you romp on it. Typical Lexus luxury. Also, ignore recomendation for premium gas, 89 octane works just fine with no appreciable loss in performance or mpg.
Clean clean clean. Go green.
LI-ion batteries when available. Needs to use more composites to lose some weight.