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Avg. Price Paid:$17,813 - $19,056
Original MSRP: $42,080 - $43,480
MPG: 27 City / 24 Hwy
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2008 Lexus RX Hybrid Interior

This interior review was written when the 2008 Lexus RX Hybrid was new.

The reviewer for the Detroit News says, "I love my Lexus...because it's so spectacular on the inside. To deviate from that approach with the hybrid version would have been wrong." The hybrid's interior doesn't disappoint, helping the 400h earn a good interior score.

Only BusinessWeek seems to be displeased with the overall look of the Lexus RX 400h's interior. "Designers chose to go with brushed metal instead of wood trim, probably to reflect the high-tech nature of the car. Big mistake."

Seating

Auto writers are pleased to report only two noticeable differences between the 2008 Lexus RX 400h's interior with its muse, the non-hybrid RX -- a raised rear seat and a missing tachometer. In order to fit the 400h's battery, the backseat is 0.7-inch higher, but still all seats are just as comfortable as before, reviewers say. Auto Mall USA places great detail on the seats' comfort, writing "the cabin is luxurious and inviting. The leather is soft and slightly bunched," then further explaining that "getting in is easy, with no need to either climb up or duck down." Consumer Guide adds that the seats are "padded for long-haul comfort."

Consumer Guide also finds the 2008 Lexus RX 400h has plenty of legroom and headroom for passengers and drivers alike, a sentiment auto writers agree with. However, a few reviews such as Automobile Magazine's, notice issues with the driver's comfort. "The driver's right leg does snug up against the center console, having us wish the seats were shifted an inch outboard," the reviewer writes. The Boston Globe complains "it would be nice if the driver's seat slid a little farther back," and Consumer Guide worries, "tall drivers may have trouble finding agreeable seat/steering-wheel relationship."

Interior Features

As the U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman states, the number of standard and optional features the RX 400h provides shows "you don't have to make tradeoffs to drive a hybrid." Other auto writers share Newman's opinion that the 400h comes with as much standard and optional equipment as its non-hybrid sibling, and that the vehicle is loaded with so much standard equipment that optional features are not necessary to make drivers happy. The 2008 Lexus RX 400h comes standard with brushed aluminum, brown walnut or maple trim for the steering wheel, shift knob and front and rear center consoles. Steering wheel controls are provides for the audio system and phone. Instead of a tachometer, drivers receive a power-gauge. HomeLink ® is displayed in a control panel between the driver's and passenger's sun visors and will can control remote entry to garages, entry gates, and even turn on/off home lights.

New Car Test Drive comments that "we find the switches and controls in the RX (and Lexus cars generally) to be among the best," and other reviewers generally agree. As Cars.com explains, the "bright, recessed gauges are easy to read." However, U.S. News' Rick Newman says "the dashboard can make you feel like you're in a science lab, with all those fancy diagrams on the display screen and a power-meter in place of a traditional tachometer."

Stereo and Entertainment

The standard audio system for the 2008 Lexus RX 400h is a six-disc, single-feed CD auto-changer with eight speakers, but a reviewer favorite is the optional Mark Levinson 11-speaker 210 watt Premium Audio System with in-dash six-disc DVD/CD auto-changer, which comes in a package with a navigation system. CNET refers to the system as an "enjoyable source of sound," further adding, "a major ergonomic win on the RX 400h is the use of a simple, separate display for the audio system. Some carmakers cram this information onto the main LCD, which we find creates needless competition for a display that is best left to navigation duty. The dedicated audio display is nestled among the audio controls and never requires you to switch the main screen to see things such as what station or CD is playing."

Navigation

The navigation system is featured in a package with the Mark Levinson ® Audio system, and includes the voice-activated DVD Navigation System with backup camera, and Bluetooth ® technology. A few auto writers were confused with the navigation system, and TIME Magazine finds it "slow and confusing." Consumer Guide says the touch screen "shows fingerprints and can wash out in some light conditions."

Check out our GPS reviews for advice and information on the best portable navigation units.

Cargo

Reviewers' praise for rear cargo space is even more significant because "the substantial battery pack in the hybrid model does not encroach on cargo capacity," as New Car Test Drive finds. Auto Mall USA is one of the reviewers to praise the 84.7 cubic feet of cargo space in the 2008 Lexus RX 400h (with rear seats folded) and recognize that it provides more room than the BMW X5, Mercedes ML350 and Infiniti FX. Other writers appreciate the power liftgate, which Automobile Magazine says is "a welcomed convenience in harsh weather, or when your hands are full." Automobile Magazine also notices a high cargo floor that allows for some underfloor storage. With the seats up, the RX 400h has 38.3 cubic feet available for cargo.

Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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