2008 Lexus RX 400h

At the end of its product cycle, the RX 400h was the first luxury hybrid on the market.

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Adaptive headlights

This model has the optional adaptive high intensity headlights, which turn into corners for better night time visibility.

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Hybrid power train

The best part of the RX 400h is its hybrid power train. In this all-wheel-drive model, the 3.3-liter V-6 engine works with electric motors powering the front and rear wheels.

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SUV body

Although dated, the body style still looks good, with a wide, slanted D-pillar. The car seats five, with substantial luggage space.

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Ride quality

The ride quality is very nice in the RX 400h, damping out bumps and jolts, befitting its luxury brand.

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Space-age and traditional

The cabin design of the RX 400h is a little space-age and a little traditional. Soft plastics and brushed metal cover some surfaces, while optional leather and wood cover others.

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Electric power steering

The RX 400h uses electric power steering, putting less stress on the engine than hydraulic steering, thereby saving gas.

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Charge gauge

As this is a hybrid, the tachometer gets replaced by a charge gauge, showing when electricity is being drawn from the battery and when it is being recharged.

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Adaptive cruise control

A display in the speedometer shows information about the optional adaptive cruise control, such as the set speed and the following distance.

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CVT

As with all Toyota and Lexus hybrids, the RX 400h uses a continuously variable transmission. It gives less driving excitement, but much more smoothness to the experience.

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DVD-based maps

The map display looks good, but this is an older system lacking many modern features.

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Compass display

The compass is a nice alternative to the map display, and suggests the RX 400h could go into the trackless wilderness, but really it's just for show.

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Radio display

There is a radio display on the center stack, below the LCD. Most of its information is duplicated on the LCD--it is only present as a legacy for vehicles without the navigation option.

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Disc changer

The six disc in-dash changer can read MP3 CDs, and a very usable interface is presented on the LCD.

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Mark Levinson audio

The Mark Levinson audio system, with 11 speakers and 210 watts, puts out very good sound with acoustic music.

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