In the UK the RX 400h is offered in three grades: RX400h, SE and SE-L. The entry-level specification includes cruise control, multi-zone climate control, eight-speaker sound system with dashboard-mounted six-disc CD autochanger, rear privacy glass, High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and electrically adjustable front seats.
SE models further benefit from leather upholstery, automatic wipers and lights, an electric sunroof, power-operated tailgate, electric steering column adjustment, Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), 40:20:40 folding rear seats, heated front seats and memory settings for the driver’s seat, mirrors and steering column.
The SE-L grade includes the Lexus Navigator satellite navigation system with touch screen operation, voice control capability and Electronic Traffic Avoidance. This system brings with it Bluetooth connectivity which permits hands-free use of compatible mobile phones, and the Rear Park Assist Monitor which transmits the view from the back of the vehicle to the colour monitor on the centre console for safe and simple reverse parking manoeuvres. SE-L versions are also equipped with state-of-the-art in-car entertainment, including an 11-speaker Mark Levinson premium hi-fi and a DVD player with twin monitors mounted in the back of the front seat headrests. The Lexus Navigator package is optional on SE models; the ICE DVD system is an option on the RX 400h entry-level and SE models.
UK Pricing And Insurance
|Model||OTR Price||Insurance Group|
|RX 400h SE||£39,540||16E|
|RX 400h SE-L||£44,350||17E|
The RX 400h is offered in seven colours: St Lucia Pearl, Platinum Ice, Aleutian Grey, Astral Black, Persian Quartz, Cherwell Green and Stafford Blue.
Designed For Low Maintenance Costs
Lexus designed the RX 400h to deliver low cost of ownership in terms of standard maintenance requirements, paying close attention to component durability and competitive parts pricing.
As a result, the labour time for standard servicing during the warranty period of three years or up to 60,000 miles amounts to 5.2 hours, just the same as for the conventionally-powered RX 300 model, demonstrating that the RX 400h’s hybrid technology does not bring higher maintenance requirements.
UK Market Dynamics
Sales of premium segment SUVs have consistently been split 70 to 30 per cent respectively between private and corporate sales. In terms of fuel preference, the market is dominated by diesels, which have maintained a segment of around 66 per cent. Among petrol engine vehicles, those of 4.0 litres or less account for almost 25 per cent of segment sales, while less than 10 per cent have larger capacities.
The new RX 400h is positioned to claim sales in both the high-power petrol and the diesel sectors, thanks to the strong balance of power, high torque and efficiency delivered by its Hybrid Synergy Drive system. It also has the potential to draw new customers to the SUV market, as it is the only luxury vehicle currently to offer such a technologically advanced powertrain.
In terms of fleet business, Lexus is targeting 65 per cent of RX 400h sales to be to corporate customers, compared to 15 per cent for the existing RX 300 model. This reflects the vehicle’s strong BIK tax position compared to its rivals. The SE model is rated at 23 per cent for BIK in 2005/6 and 22 per cent in 2006/7, bringing annual company car tax bills of £3,615 and £3,548 respectively. The RX 400h will allow Lexus to make a considerable step into the Corporate / Fleet sector.
The RX 400h is on sale in the UK from 15th June with a sales target for the remainder of 2005 of 1,625 units, rising to 3,850 in the full year 2006.Published 5 June 2005