When it comes to sophistication and style, it is hard to beat a Lexus. These luxury vehicles demand attention and respect while offering both comfort and reliability to their owners. However, they often come with a large price tag. Buying used is a terrific way for someone who might otherwise be unable to afford a luxury vehicle to own a Lexus, but should you buy a used Lexus Hybrid?
Buying a used Lexus hybrid could be a great way to save several thousand dollars on a reliable luxury car. However, the older the vehicle, the more expensive it may be to maintain, which could also increase insurance premiums.
Continue reading to learn more about this stylish vehicle, including how long you can expect it to last and what to look for when buying a used hybrid.
What Is a Hybrid Car?
A hybrid vehicle is one that uses two sources of power—an electric engine and a gas engine—which work together to run the vehicle. How it works, though, depends on the type of hybrid that it is. With advancements in technology and a shift in focus to an eco-friendlier design, car manufacturers are constantly trying to find ways to make the hybrid design better. The result is a lot of hybrid vehicles that all work differently.
For example, a full hybrid is powered by both the gas engine and the electric engine. This vehicle can switch between the two engines, running on just gas or just electricity, or it can use both engines at the same time. Full hybrid vehicles are often capable of recharging their battery packs through regenerative braking and a built-in generator.
Plug-in hybrids, as the name suggests, can be plugged into the wall and recharged. Their larger battery packs allow them to carry more charge, which in turn allows them to run on electricity alone. When the battery becomes drained, the vehicle will switch to gas power.
The Lexus Hybrid Drive system is a full hybrid system. The two power sources are separate from one another, and each can power the vehicle on their own or can combine to power the vehicle together.
How Long Will a Lexus Hybrid Last?
Since 2005, Lexus has offered a warranty on all their hybrid vehicles which covered the vehicle for 8 years or 100,000 miles (whichever came first). However, the company just recently upgraded its warranty, which now covers hybrid vehicles for 10 years or 150,000 miles. Most excitingly, the warranty covers both the original owners and any subsequent owners, which is almost unheard of in terms of warranties.
While this is not a guarantee that the vehicle will last that long, it is a guarantee that if anything major goes wrong during this time, you will be covered. Plus, most vehicles, when maintained properly, will last well beyond their warranty period.
How Much Would It Cost to Maintain a Lexus Hybrid?
With gas prices soaring, it makes sense that people would turn to a more fuel-efficient option, such as a hybrid, but will these vehicles actually save you money, or will the maintenance costs eat up all those savings?
Unfortunately, the answer to this question seems to be debated among professionals, with some saying that hybrid vehicles do not require any special maintenance and others saying that if they do break, they will cost more to repair.
Hybrid vehicles still need to be maintained because of their gas engine, but the electric component should not require any special maintenance. However, because the gas engine works in tandem with the electric engine, if something goes wrong with one system it could cause problems with other systems as well. That being said, many hybrid vehicles have retentive braking systems, which work to charge the battery and could also reduce wear and tear on brakes.
As you can see, there are ways that a hybrid vehicle could cost more if the electric components fail, but it could also help save you money on the normal maintenance of a gas engine.
We did some digging and compiled a list of the average maintenance costs for some of the more popular Lexus Hybrids.
|Average Maintenance Costs Over 10 Years
|2022 Lexus IS 350 (Sedan)
|Drivers can expect to spend $6,810 on maintenance and $802 on repairs during the first ten years.
|2021 Lexus GX 460 (SUV)
|Drivers can expect to spend $5,357 on maintenance and $918 on repairs during the first ten years.
|2020 Lexus ES 300h (Sedan)
|Drivers can expect to spend $4,495 on maintenance and $802 on repairs during the first ten years.
|2019 Lexus RX 450h (SUV)
|Drivers can expect to spend $8,230 on maintenance and $2,065 on repairs during the first ten years.
|2018 Lexus ES 300h
|Drivers can expect to spend $7,006 on maintenance and $2,329 on repairs during the first ten years.
|2017 Lexus IS 350 (Sedan)
|Drivers can expect to spend $8,104 on maintenance and $2,577 on repairs during the first ten years.
|2016 Lexus GS 350 (Sedan)
|Drivers can expect to spend $9,633 on maintenance and $2,706 on repairs during the first ten years.
Should I Buy a Used Lexus Hybrid?
Buying used can be a great way to save yourself several thousand dollars on a luxury vehicle but buying used is not without its risks. For example, hybrid batteries are larger than a typical car battery, and because they are more complicated, they cost more as well. Although hybrid batteries can last between 70,000 and 200,000 miles, buying used increases the chance that you will have to replace the battery, which can cost thousands of dollars.
Should you buy a used Lexus hybrid? It depends. If the vehicle has high mileage and the seller is asking close to the original price, you should probably pass on the sale. However, if you can find a used Lexus hybrid with low miles for a great price, it could be well worth every penny.
What to Look for When Buying a Used Hybrid
So, how do you know if a used hybrid is worth buying? Luckily, there are a few things that you can look for when buying a used hybrid, including:
- Check the mileage on the battery: Hybrid batteries can be quite costly, and that cost could negate anything you saved by buying used. Most hybrid batteries last between 70,000 and 150,000 miles, depending on the type of battery, and knowing if the battery is close to the end of its life is important when buying used.
- Research the cost of replacing the battery: Researching the type of battery the car has is important because it will give you an idea of how much life it has left and how much it will cost to replace. If you know this information, you may be able to use it to negotiate a better deal on the car.
- Check the warranty: Make sure to ask about the warranty and check to see if the warrantee will transfer over to you. Some warranties only cover the original owner.
- Have a qualified mechanic inspect the vehicle: This is important when buying any used car. Make sure the mechanic you go to is well trained in and understand hybrid vehicles.
- Ask for service records: Because hybrid vehicles use both an electrical engine and a gas engine, it is important to check for maintenance on both systems. Additionally, you should check for software updates.
- Research the car: The internet has made it easier than ever to research a car. Check reliability ratings, safety ratings, recalls, and even reviews from thousands of real drivers.
- Avoid older models: This might sound weird. After all, isn’t that the point of buying used? However, because hybrid vehicles are still fairly new, they are constantly being reinvented and upgraded, and a lot of the older models have bugs that have since been worked out. That does not mean that all older models need to be avoided, however, and that is why researching vehicles is important.
- Test driving: Driving a hybrid is much different from driving a fully gas-powered vehicle. The acceleration is different, and it may take a moment to get used to it. If you are not familiar with hybrid vehicles, it might be a good idea to ask someone who is to ride along with you. Make sure you feel comfortable with the vehicle before you buy it.
If you’re considering buying a used Lexus it’s worth investing a few dollars to check the VIN number against the vehicle database. An audit with a company like VinAudit (links to VinAudit) will guard against Mileage fraud, Salvage rebuilds, Title washing, Vin cloning, and a ton of other uglies.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Rustyautos.com. He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and has worked for GM, Volvo, Volkswagen, Land Rover, and Jaguar dealerships.
John uses his know-how and experience to write fluff-free articles that help fellow gearheads with all aspects of vehicle ownership, including maintenance, repair, and troubleshooting.