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Photos: 2008 Lexus RX 400h

The first luxury hybrid car available, the Lexus RX 400h shows its age with subpar cabin tech. But that hybrid drivetrain still delivers excellent fuel economy and low emissions.

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Wayne Cunningham

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1 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

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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2 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

Adaptive headlights

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

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3 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

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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9 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

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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10 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

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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11 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

DVD-based maps

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

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12 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

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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13 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

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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14 of 15 Corinne Schulze/CBS Interactive

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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