Used Lexus hybrid systems: Just how economical are they?

Lexus RX 400h

We set out to prove that our pioneering Lexus Hybrid systems can continue to be reliable and efficient even after they have seen plenty of years of day-to-day living. To do so, we equipped our 15-year-old Lexus RX 400h with a telematics device and recorded our daily drives, and the results were surprising.

Please note that the results shown below are based on this specific vehicle only. All hybrids of this age will perform differently and results could vary due to a number of factors, including driving style, conditions, speed and vehicle load.

How long does a Lexus hybrid battery last?

All Lexus hybrid models are equipped with a hybrid battery that is engineered to last the lifetime of the vehicle. Our faith in the longevity of this key component is evidenced by including a comprehensive Hybrid Health Check in each regular service programme, which forms the basis for providing the hybrid battery with a warranty for up to 15 years.

Interestingly, the length of this warranty is almost double that of the average age of a vehicle in the UK, and even exceeds the average age of a vehicle that is scrapped in the UK. But while there is a generous maximum age for the warranty, it does not mean that a Lexus hybrid model will come to the end of its usable life at 15 years old. Far from it!

Used Lexus Hybrid graphic 1

To help prove this fact, the Lexus UK social media team purchased a relatively high-mileage Lexus RX 400h from an independent motor trader in the summer of 2019. Since then, we have taken the 2006 car through a series of health checks, a major service, an MoT test, and treated it to new OEM tyres on all four corners. In between these publicised events, the RX has been used as a support vehicle on photoshoots, a department pool car and even a development mule for the accessories division. The mileage now stands at 148,533, which is roughly equivalent to almost six times around the globe.

Why did we fit a telematics device?

Soon after purchasing the RX 400h, we installed a sophisticated telematics device to capture the driving data of every journey undertaken, irrespective of the distance, road conditions, route or driver.

Used Lexus Hybrid graphic 2

Its combination of GPS and OBD-sourced data gave us detailed information on the effectiveness of the vehicle’s hybrid technology in everyday driving. This included not only straightforward parameters such as distance, time and average speed but also the average fuel economy and proportion of each journey carried out on EV power alone.

What did the results of the telematics device show?

Our telematics device recorded over one hundred individual journeys by seven different drivers. The shortest distance was 0.61 miles and the longest in a single stretch was 131.51 miles, all of which averaged out at around 20 miles per journey over a total test distance of 2,037 miles. To put this into context, the average daily commute in the UK is a round trip of 23 miles.

Of greater interest, however, were the figures relating to fuel economy and EV assistance – areas that have a direct bearing on the effectiveness of the hybrid battery and associated hardware.

Used Lexus Hybrid graphic 3

When the Lexus RX 400h was launched in 2005, it offered the lowest fuel consumption in the premium petrol SUV market – a combined figure of 34.9mpg. Incredibly, our data showed that even with intergalactic mileage under its belt, 64% of our journeys exceeded that official figure. The RX frequently recorded economy in the mid-to-high 40s and beyond. In fact, the highest recorded fuel economy was a remarkable 62.3mpg in a nine-minute urban journey over 2.48 miles, where the RX remained in zero-emission EV mode for 79% of the time and 73% of the distance.

Used Lexus Hybrid graphic 4

The technology behind Lexus Hybrid Drive constantly looks for opportunities to switch the petrol engine off and rely on pure EV power. This is why the percentage of time spent in EV mode varied greatly, from just 5% to 100%. However, data from across the entire 101 journeys revealed that the RX spent a significant 43% of its driving time purely on electric power, which equated to 30% of the total distance travelled. That’s more than 600 miles of silent, luxurious travel using no fuel whatsoever.

What has our telematics test proved about the used Lexus hybrid system?

As you can see from the above infographic images, the results were encouraging and provided convincing proof that the hybrid system in our RX 400h remains fit, healthy and ready for many more years of service: for the lifetime of the vehicle, just as we said at the beginning.

Independent driver surveys have frequently hailed Lexus vehicles as the best-used cars on the market. Our experience with a 15-year-old RX 400h – the first of all Lexus hybrid models, remember – and hard data extracted from its day-to-day use reveals a car that is also reliable, economical and built to last.

25 comments

  1. Great Ride!

    Looking for a 58 or 09 Plate with Premium Spec and the Original ICE (Though Not Called that Now!)

    I even have Chrome and Metalic Tapes for the Central Consol Entertainment and the Six Pack DVD drives.

    Not to forget the Touchscreen Sat Nav Infotainment system.

    Nice.

    DO

    1. Hello Ian,
      Thank you for contacting us. We are so pleased to hear that your Lexus is serving you well.
      We wish you many more happy miles and adventures.
      Thanks.

  2. My 2016 NX 300h Premier has completed 43k miles and has averaged 43 mpg. I have never reset the trip so it is a true average.
    My previous RX450h averaged 38 mpg over 60k miles so I am not surprised with the figures you achieved.
    Having had one of the early RX 300 vehicles in 2000 I am still impressed at just how good they are and combined with the excellent dealer network it’s why I am a loyal customer.

    1. Hello George,
      Thank you for getting in touch with us and for sharing your experiences.
      We really appreciate your loyalty over the years and are so glad that your ownership experience has been so positive.
      We wish you and your NX many more happy journeys together.
      Thanks.

  3. Owned a CT200h for over 9 years, only done 54,000 miles, a fantastic car, currently doing 54mpg, and is cathedral quite, I have owned a Toyota / Lexus for over 40 years, they are very reliable, it’s that quote, for both vehicles, ‘ it’s the way the world drives’ and my wife has just purchased a little Toyota Aygo , lovely car, she is very pleased with that as well

    1. Hello Rob,
      Thanks both for your comment and your loyalty over the years. We are so glad to hear that you are still loving your CT.
      We hope both you and your wife continue to enjoy your respective vehicles for many years to come.
      Thanks.

  4. I had a 2007 model I loved it but a mechanic put doubt in my mind when he said the underside or the car had a lot of rust , so I sold it ! I’ve regretted it ever since , best car I ever bought 👍

    1. Hello Harry,
      Thank you for contacting us. We are glad to hear that you have such fond memories of your Lexus.
      Have you owned any more since?
      Thanks.

  5. I’m always in love with my 2007 rx400h drives like new, fuel efficiency and I like the outer shape looks beautiful with interior specs plus comfort it gives when on the road. My lifetime car !!!

  6. Our 2017 450h has been a problem-free dream for 45,000 miles. We plan on keeping this one for as many miles/years as it’ll give us. Hopefully our youngest will be driving it when the time comes. Best part of owning a Lexus/Toyota is peace of mind.

  7. I have recently sold my GS450h (replaced with an ES300h) and it was superb over all its 128,000+ miles (and just under 15 years old).

    These cars will do 20+ years with ease if looked after.

    Brian

  8. Purchased new in 2007 my RX400h has done 240000 miles. The average mpg in the winter is around 28 mpg, summer time 34/36 mpg, urban/motorway. The best was 42mpg over 500 miles. The car just goes on and on. Everything works and never let me down with a fault. Normal servicing and consumables, rear dampers need changing…still the original one fitted.

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