Notices
HS 250h Model (2010-2012)

Official HS 250h Review Thread

 
Old 06-18-10, 09:02 PM
  #46  
tigmd99
Lexus Test Driver
 
tigmd99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: CO
Posts: 1,331
Received 24 Likes on 20 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by flipside909 View Post
It's all about the Lexus experience...something most people don't understand. They only see a small picture, most of us see the value in the whole package. Since when did they get a free complimentary loaner car when brinigng in their Fusion Hybrid or dare I say Toyota Prius in for service? Who has a better warranty? Lexus offers 4 yrs/50k miles bumper to bumper, 6 years/70k for powertrain and 8 years/100k miles on the hybrid compoments. Where's Ford at? Enough said.

Lexus Warranty:
http://www.lexus.com/models/HSh/warranty/index.html

Ford Warranty:
http://www.fordvehicles.com/cars/fusion/2010/warranty/
Actually, the Ford HYBRID component warranty is the same as Toyota/Lexus. Lexus experience? Nah, no thanks. I have had plenty of luxury car experience...it ain't free, you pay out of your butt for it!

For me, a loaner is useless. I take my car in when i have a day off. Toyota dealer is 5 mins from my house. My oil changes are $30...and takes about 30 mins. The 30 mins allow me to get drinks/sodas (free) and look at other cars in the showroom floor. After 30 mins, i zoom off somewhere i like with my OWN car. What does Lexus charge for an oil change? $80? $120? 30 mins is too much to spare on your day off? Nah.

I doubt that my Prius will need warranty work within 4 years or 50k miles...so, that makes the extra factory warranty fairly useless. And if i wanted more, then for $800-900 more, i can get super long ext. warranty. Can you get ext warranty from Lexus for that cheap? So, the extra year warranty is a non-factor for those who know about cars.

For what i paid for my Prius V with ATP, i could have gotten an HS but i did not due to mainly the "Lexus" experience...or more like the constant open air jailhouse rapping by the service folks everytime you pass by. I made sure that i did not make the same mistake i did with my previous cars. And yeah, i did testdrive the HS...nice car, but it did not impress me enough for me to bypass the "Lexus rapping" (or any other luxury brand service) to buy one. I like my cheapo Toyota 30 min service thank you.

Last edited by tigmd99; 06-18-10 at 09:07 PM.
tigmd99 is offline  
Old 06-18-10, 09:24 PM
  #47  
LexFather
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Originally Posted by tigmd99 View Post
Actually, the Ford HYBRID component warranty is the same as Toyota/Lexus. Lexus experience? Nah, no thanks. I have had plenty of luxury car experience...it ain't free, you pay out of your butt for it!

For me, a loaner is useless. I take my car in when i have a day off. Toyota dealer is 5 mins from my house. My oil changes are $30...and takes about 30 mins. The 30 mins allow me to get drinks/sodas (free) and look at other cars in the showroom floor. After 30 mins, i zoom off somewhere i like with my OWN car. What does Lexus charge for an oil change? $80? $120? 30 mins is too much to spare on your day off? Nah.

I doubt that my Prius will need warranty work within 4 years or 50k miles...so, that makes the extra factory warranty fairly useless. And if i wanted more, then for $800-900 more, i can get super long ext. warranty. Can you get ext warranty from Lexus for that cheap? So, the extra year warranty is a non-factor for those who know about cars.

For what i paid for my Prius V with ATP, i could have gotten an HS but i did not due to mainly the "Lexus" experience...or more like the constant open air jailhouse rapping by the service folks everytime you pass by. I made sure that i did not make the same mistake i did with my previous cars. And yeah, i did testdrive the HS...nice car, but it did not impress me enough for me to bypass the "Lexus rapping" (or any other luxury brand service) to buy one. I like my cheapo Toyota 30 min service thank you.
Which is fine but its YOUR opinion. Clearly the market speaks differently. There is a niche for people that want the HS.

I mean the build quality between the two (Prius/HS) is pretty obvious and the HS doesn't even have the best Lexus interior.
 
Old 06-19-10, 05:58 AM
  #48  
tigmd99
Lexus Test Driver
 
tigmd99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: CO
Posts: 1,331
Received 24 Likes on 20 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by 1SICKLEX View Post
Which is fine but its YOUR opinion. Clearly the market speaks differently. There is a niche for people that want the HS.

I mean the build quality between the two (Prius/HS) is pretty obvious and the HS doesn't even have the best Lexus interior.
And it is also flipside's opinion on the "lexus experience." I was just pointing out flipside misunderstanding of Ford's warranty.

Market? HS250 is a very slow seller! What market are you talking about? Niche? There have been many "niche" vehicles that are complete failure on the market. You know that, 1sicklex...you have been on all the car forums!

Build quality? or Materials? I agree with materials, but build quality? I don't know. I sure hope so with the materials since the Prius is under $25k while HS is over $35k (base models). My Prius V ATP has a lot more stuff than a base HS...techno wise. I think both share a similar platform too...so, they are not that far apart. The CT200h will be a much better seller IMO...unless Lexus ruins it with a high price tag (like what they did with HS).

Last edited by tigmd99; 06-19-10 at 06:04 AM.
tigmd99 is offline  
Old 06-19-10, 12:37 PM
  #49  
LexFather
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Originally Posted by tigmd99 View Post
And it is also flipside's opinion on the "lexus experience." I was just pointing out flipside misunderstanding of Ford's warranty.

Market? HS250 is a very slow seller! What market are you talking about? Niche? There have been many "niche" vehicles that are complete failure on the market. You know that, 1sicklex...you have been on all the car forums!

Build quality? or Materials? I agree with materials, but build quality? I don't know. I sure hope so with the materials since the Prius is under $25k while HS is over $35k (base models). My Prius V ATP has a lot more stuff than a base HS...techno wise. I think both share a similar platform too...so, they are not that far apart. The CT200h will be a much better seller IMO...unless Lexus ruins it with a high price tag (like what they did with HS).
You misinterpret niche. Even if the HS met its sales goal, it is still a niche as it is the only luxury hybrid only sedan. I didn't bring up sales levels and we are aware it is missing targets.

The Prius is a great car and the dominant hybrid by far, I am a huge fan of it but the HS is for people that desire something different. Considering we own two hybrids now we are a fan of the technology.

Now can we all get to posting links and reviews in here.

Last edited by LexFather; 06-19-10 at 12:41 PM.
 
Old 06-19-10, 10:30 PM
  #50  
tigmd99
Lexus Test Driver
 
tigmd99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: CO
Posts: 1,331
Received 24 Likes on 20 Posts
Default

For me, a true niche vehicle is one where it is popular within it's niche. Examples of success niche vehicles: Mazada Miata, Mini Coopers, Jeep Wranglers, Prius (to some degree), etc..

Failed niche vehicles: Pontiac Aztec, Suzuki X90, VW Phaeton, Mercedes R-class, Honda Element (i'm truly big fan of this one), etc.. Hyundai Equus?

HS250? Sure, it is the first "luxury" hybrid, but it is based on a Toyota Avensis (a regular sedan). The interior appointments don't scream Lexus as much as it does Toyota. The look is far from distinctive and too much like a Toyota. The ES350 manages to look the part...can you say the same about the HS? I don't...and i am sure that you agree with me on this one.

And i am sorry for going off-topic.
tigmd99 is offline  
Old 06-20-10, 07:58 AM
  #51  
Canesguy
Lead Lap
 
Canesguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: the desert SW
Posts: 611
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by tigmd99 View Post
For me, a true niche vehicle is one where it is popular within it's niche. Examples of success niche vehicles: Mazada Miata, Mini Coopers, Jeep Wranglers, Prius (to some degree), etc..

Failed niche vehicles: Pontiac Aztec, Suzuki X90, VW Phaeton, Mercedes R-class, Honda Element (i'm truly big fan of this one), etc.. Hyundai Equus?

HS250? Sure, it is the first "luxury" hybrid, but it is based on a Toyota Avensis (a regular sedan). The interior appointments don't scream Lexus as much as it does Toyota. The look is far from distinctive and too much like a Toyota. The ES350 manages to look the part...can you say the same about the HS? I don't...and i am sure that you agree with me on this one.

And i am sorry for going off-topic.
Yes and no on what you say. There is some overlap between Toyota and Lexus. The Avalon is more luxurious than the IS Lexus line, for example.
Owning both though I must say that the HS is a lot more luxurious though than the Prius, both in terms of its interior appointments and ride. This results in its (HS's) penalty in mpg compared to the Prius, mainly due to its weight.
Canesguy is offline  
Old 06-20-10, 10:26 AM
  #52  
tigmd99
Lexus Test Driver
 
tigmd99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: CO
Posts: 1,331
Received 24 Likes on 20 Posts
Default

Canesguy, you need to compare the ES to the Avalon. The IS is a whole other platform.
tigmd99 is offline  
Old 06-20-10, 11:37 AM
  #53  
Canesguy
Lead Lap
 
Canesguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: the desert SW
Posts: 611
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Default

Originally Posted by tigmd99 View Post
Canesguy, you need to compare the ES to the Avalon. The IS is a whole other platform.
I understand your point but I wasn't comparing car models or platforms, rather the car brands (Toyota vs. Lexus) referring to your comment:

"HS250? Sure, it is the first "luxury" hybrid, but it is based on a Toyota Avensis (a regular sedan). The interior appointments don't scream Lexus as much as it does Toyota."
Canesguy is offline  
Old 06-21-10, 12:40 PM
  #54  
tigmd99
Lexus Test Driver
 
tigmd99's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: CO
Posts: 1,331
Received 24 Likes on 20 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Canesguy View Post
I understand your point but I wasn't comparing car models or platforms, rather the car brands (Toyota vs. Lexus) referring to your comment:

"HS250? Sure, it is the first "luxury" hybrid, but it is based on a Toyota Avensis (a regular sedan). The interior appointments don't scream Lexus as much as it does Toyota."
Quick Q: how does the JBL in the Prius stack up against the base HS system? From my limited exposure to the HS system, i was not that impress with the sound quality. On the other hand, i think that the JBL system in the Prius is very very good.
tigmd99 is offline  
Old 06-21-10, 06:44 PM
  #55  
Magellan55
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NC
Posts: 652
Received 18 Likes on 13 Posts
Default

Can we please stop comparing the HS and Prius V? They are different cars, for different people...
Magellan55 is offline  
Old 08-17-10, 10:45 AM
  #56  
GS69
Lexus Champion
 
GS69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NC
Posts: 3,544
Received 10 Likes on 8 Posts
Post AutoBlog


Lexus likes to say that it pursues perfection. Toyota's luxury brand has been playing the hybrid game for a while now with converted gas-powered models like the LS, GS and RX hybrids, and few would argue that these models represent the zenith of what a luxury hybrid can be. For that, Lexus finally decided to build a dedicated hybrid model from the ground up, and the result is the HS 250h.

Being that the brand's parent company builds the Prius, the industry benchmark for hybrids in terms of both fuel efficiency and popularity, Lexus has, on the 1 hand, a much deeper well of hybrid expertise from which to draw than its competition. On the other hand, it has the toughest act to follow in the 3rd-generation Prius. In the minds of many, a true Lexus hybrid should be everything Toyota's magic bean is and more – it should be the perfect Prius.

Funny thing, the HS 250h is not. Lexus hasn't built an upmarket version of the Prius with the HS 250h. Perhaps realizing that after 3 generations creating about as perfect a parallel hybrid as there is, Lexus up and decided that its own luxury hybrid should have a different mission. Unfortunately, after a week spent behind the wheel of a 2010 HS 250h Premium, we're not still not sure what that mission is.

As we said, the HS 250h is not a gussied-up Prius, and your 1st clue is that it looks nothing like the Toyota hybrid. The Prius was honed by computers to balance the maximum amount of interior space with the slipperiest shape possible, and the result is 1 of the most aerodynamic production cars in the world with a 0.25 coefficient of drag. The HS 250h achieves an also impressive but more modest 0.27 Cd thanks to its more conventional 3-box shape. This tall sedan's design, however, looks a little disproportionate, like a Hot Wheels version of the larger LS.

Despite its size, the HS 250h still exudes an air of expensive sophistication from the outside. Though many people didn't recognize what we were driving, no one thought it was a Corolla. Credit goes to the rich paint color options, including the Matador Red Mica shade of the car we used to photograph, as well as the lustrous Aurora White Pearl of our actual tester. Likewise, nicely packaged lighting hardware that includes projector-beam headlamps (optional high-tech LED front lamps are available) and LED taillamps let passers by know you aren't rocking a Yaris. Then there are the wheels. Standard models receive 17-inch split 5-spoke wheels while Premium models go even larger with complex-looking 18-inch split 7-spoke wheels.



Just like the exterior, the interior immediately lets you know that you're not sitting in a Prius. The dash design is entirely different, with high-class electroluminescent gauges placed right behind the steering wheel where they should be. The center stack doesn't sweep out all the way to the center armrest as in the Prius, but stops halfway, leaving a crevice for cupholders and controls for the heated and cooled 10-way adjustable front seats. The seats themselves set a standard for comfort and are draped in the most buttery semi-aniline leather this side of a Bentley, and Lexus scores a point of green cred for using bioplastics to cover 30% of the interior and trunk.

There's a lot of tech to take in once situated, and the odd-looking controller at the bottom of the center dash just begs to be played with. Lexus calls its all-in-1 controller Remote Touch, which is to say it remotely controls the flip-up nav screen mounted high on the dash. Your palm rests flat on the controller just like a computer mouse, and buttons for various controls are within comfortable reach of your fingers and thumb. The controller moves an arrow around the nav screen, but the real trick is its inclusion of haptic feedback, which means you actually feel through the controller when the arrow glides over a button on the screen.



Lexus says its Remote Touch controller is safer than a traditional dash-mounted touch screen because the display is mounted higher, thereby requiring less eye movement to view. Being analogous to a computer screen and mouse, it's easy to learn and quickly be comfortable with, but such a complicated configuration doesn't feel any safer and surely isn't more intuitive to use than simply touching a screen.

Along with the innovative joystick, buyers can also load up the HS 250h with the very latest infotainment technology. The laundry list of top-shelf tech includes an optional 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo; the latest XM satellite radio hardware beaming in programming as well as traffic, weather, sports and stock info; Bluetooth phone and audio integration; casual speech voice recognition; and the brand's own OnStar-like service called Lexus Enform with Safety Connect. A $3,900 Technology Package also adds a heads-up display that projects vehicle speed, audio info and turn-by-turn directions on the windshield; radar-based cruise control; park-assist sensors; a pre-collision warning system; and a new piece of tech called Lane Keep Assist, which we'll get to in a moment.



The HS 250h may have more technology packed in its interior than a DARPA lab, but demerits are surely deserved for the poor user experience when plugging in an iPod or iPhone via the USB port. Doing so allows you to charge the Apple device as well as navigate its contents using the Remote Touch controller and nav screen. Unfortunately, Lexus has less experience designing interfaces than Apple and it shows. It's easier to just connect your Apple hardware via Bluetooth and play DJ through the device itself. Of course, there are safety questions posed by taking your hands off the car's controls and looking at the Apple's small screen, and you lose the ability to charge your device. On one long trip, we were forced to switch and back forth between connecting via USB and Bluetooth because our iPhone was getting low on juice.

Not long after we discovered that the HS 250h is annoying to use with our iPhone did we stumble upon a gem of tech that made us smile again. It's called the Wide-View Front Monitor and is available as a $700 option. It works just like a backup camera, but it's in the front and can display up to 190 degrees of the world at front bumper level. It's particularly handy when pulling into parking spots or gently nosing out into an intersection when one's view of crossing traffic is otherwise blocked. Unlike the backup camera, the Wide-View Front Monitor can be set to come on any time the car is in Drive and moving forward under 7.5 miles per hour, or manually by pressing a button on the lower left part of the dash. We say leave it on manual, otherwise your nav screen will switch back and forth in stop-and-go traffic like a TV on the fritz.


And when it comes to viewing the back bumpers of other vehicles, the HS 250h will be doing a lot of that. Its 2.4-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine produces 147 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 138 foot pounds of torque at 4,400 rpm. Being a parallel hybrid, it can also call in the electric cavalry from a 141-hp electric motor, though total combined power is limited to 187 hp, all of which makes its way to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. The Prius can only muster a combined total power output of 134 hp, so the Lexus should feel like an electric hot rod, right? Nope. An extra 640-728 pounds (depending on trim level) of earth-crushing weight is carried around by the HS 250h. There's a reason some people call rich people fat cats, and the same goes for their vehicles, apparently.

That said, the HS 250h will outrace a Prius to 60 miles per hour, 8.4 seconds to 9.8 seconds. It also offers 4 modes of powertrain pleasure: Normal, Power, Eco and EV. We're assuming Lexus recorded its Prius-beating 0-60 mph time using Power mode, which makes the HS 250h feel only as lively and responsive as a very heavy Corolla. Power mode should instead be called Normal because that's what it best approximates, and Normal and Eco mode should be called Eco and Numb. In actual Eco mode, the throttle behaves like a body part pumped full of Novocain. It's all in the name of increasing MPGs, but firmly pressing the gas pedal and getting back disproportionately less power is a disconcerting sensation that, for the most part, left Eco mode off the table for us.


Finally there's EV mode, which as its name suggests allows the vehicle to be driven solely on electricity for short distances. In our experience, "short distances" meant from one driveway to the next... while coasting. Nearly any application of the throttle will pop the car out of EV mode. The Ford Fusion Hybrid (and now the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which will directly compete with the HS 250h) allows pure EV travel up to 47 mph, which is actually useful and more importantly, repeatable, at least until the battery pack screams "Uncle!" By comparison, EV mode in the HS 250h is a novelty you'll probably never use in the real world.

You'll eventually want to stop and the HS 250h has brakes that are poles apart from the rest of the car's laissez-faire attitude. Whereas the deadened accelerator requires your foot to play the part of defibrillator paddle, the brakes are fully awake and sensitive to the slightest touch. They're regenerative, which means in addition to arresting motion, they're also charged (ha!) with converting the car's motion into extra energy for the battery pack. The coordination of these 2 duties is handled by the electronic controlled brake (ECB) computer, the calibration of which is likely why the HS 250h's brakes feel anxious underfoot. The regen comes on too soon and too strong, hauling the car down faster than you intend. When combine that with the opposite nature of the throttle, your right foot feels schizophrenic as you try to keep straight which pedal gets the firm push and which the light touch.



We did discover an area in which the HS 250h excelled on the road, and that's highway cruising. The HS 250h is 1 of the most effortless cars we've encountered in a straight line. That may sound like a simple task, but a good, long road trip can be exhausting in vehicles with twitchy steering, a bumpy ride and uncomfortable seats. The HS 250h has seats made for comfort, not corners, and the MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbone rear are ideally suited to soak up expansion joints. The steering, however, is particularly ideal for long distance drives. Toyota has continually evolved its electric power steering, and the system in the HS 250h, while never managing to accurately mimic actual feedback from the road, always seems to offer the right amount of resistance no matter the speed.

Particularly impressive is Lexus' new Lane Keep Assist technology. It works with the Lane Departure Warning system and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control to actually see the lane markers flying by on either side of the car and increases the amount of effort required to turn the wheel so it's easier to keep the HS 250h on a straight and narrow path. This also helps counter cross winds that try to upset the rather tall sedan's composure on the highway.


So in terms of ride and comfort, the HS 250h meets the bar set by larger luxury vehicles. But this is where this hybrid's mission gets muddled. The base price of the HS 250h is $34,650. Our particular tester was the Premium trim, which starts at $36,970 and also included the aforementioned Mark Levinson stereo ($1,580), navigation system ($2,125) and Technology Package ($3,900). The sticker price was also padded with $397 worth of floor mats. For those without a TI-82 handy, that's a grand total of $45,672, not including a destination and delivery charge of $875.

Lexus doesn't want us comparing the HS 250h to the Prius, but we can't help it. The Prius starts at $22,800 and if you're hell bent on giving Toyota your money, can be optioned up to nearly $35,000. Fully loaded, the 2 are about $10,000 apart in price, so the average consumer might expect a commensurate amount of increased mpg for the premium commanded by the HS 250h. Not quite. How about fuel efficiency equal to that of the Prius? Not even close. The Prius leads the league with an official EPA rating of 51 mpg city, 48 highway and 50 combined. The HS 250h manages a score of 35 mpg city, 34 highway and 35 combined. That's about a 15 mpg deficit on top of asking $10,000 more for a car that some had hoped would be the perfect Prius.

But again, that's not the mission of the Lexus HS 250h. Best we can tell, this car is for the loyal Lexus buyer who wouldn't be caught dead in a Toyota but still wants that oh-so-fresh feeling of driving a hybrid, regardless of how well it actually performs in that regard. Unfortunately, Lexus has gone too far trying to differentiate the HS 250h, and in the process, it has spoiled the one trait that makes the Prius such a hot seller: MPGs. Perhaps the brand that claims to pursue perfection should have developed its own version of the perfect Prius, 1 that justifies such a high price tag with bragging rights for being more fuel efficient than its common cousin, not less.

GS69 is offline  
Old 08-18-10, 05:03 AM
  #57  
Magellan55
Moderator
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: NC
Posts: 652
Received 18 Likes on 13 Posts
Default

Well, I liked it until the end - more comparisons to the Prius? Why, why all the focus just on mpg just because it's a hybrid? Why should it get better mpg than a Prius - no other Lexus gets better mpg than it's Toyota cousin. I always thought Lexus was about luxury and performance - isn't the HS more luxurious and powerful than the Prius?

I'm still not sure what niche Lexus is trying to fill with the HS, but it certainly wasn't trying to out-Prius the Prius. What a lame conclusion to an otherwise spot-on review.
Magellan55 is offline  
Old 08-19-10, 08:55 AM
  #58  
rajeev6
Driver
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: TX
Posts: 144
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

Originally Posted by Magellan55 View Post
Well, I liked it until the end - more comparisons to the Prius? Why, why all the focus just on mpg just because it's a hybrid? Why should it get better mpg than a Prius - .......................
Fully agree - after driving Toyota Camrys for last 15 years, I wasn't looking for another Camry, I was looking for a Lexus - and found one - no compromise on power, still 190hp as my previous Camry V6 did, no compromise on luxury, specially with the premium package and, to the satisfaction of our two daughters, still green (they didn't want the ES350 even after the test drive).
rajeev6 is offline  
Old 01-16-11, 09:06 AM
  #59  
Rikg35
Lead Lap
 
Rikg35's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Houston , Tx
Posts: 665
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Default

my is350 is having a recall issue delt with, and im driving this hs250h and its awesomelooks like a bigger rolla and its very clean looking
Rikg35 is offline  
Old 01-19-11, 05:14 AM
  #60  
GS69
Lexus Champion
 
GS69's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: NC
Posts: 3,544
Received 10 Likes on 8 Posts
Post The Car Connection

2011 Lexus HS 250h
Summary Rating 7.0 out of 10
Bengt Halvorson

by Bengt Halvorson
Deputy Editor
Jan 18, 2011

The Basics
The Lexus HS 250h was introduced this past year, as the highest-mileage luxury hybrid sedan. Though it doesn't share any body panels with the Toyota Prius, it does borrow some pieces from the iconic hybrid, while its Hybrid Synergy Drive system utilizes a stronger 2.4-liter engine. The HS is actually larger and wider than the Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series, or Lexus IS—or about 6 inches shorter than the Lexus ES and about 6 inches longer than a Toyota Corolla sedan.

With a blunt nose and distinct, cab-forward proportions, the 2011 Lexus HS 250 doesn't look nearly as beautiful in silhouette as Lexus's IS compact sport sedan, or have the sleek, elegant aura of the ES 350. But the attention to details gives the design some pop. Inside the HS, there are some futuristic elements to the instrument panel design, which groups audio, climate controls, and infotainment into a center stack that wedges outward. Models with the navigation system get a pop-up screen and a centerpiece Remote Touch mouse/trackball-style controller that's simpler and more intuitive than other complicated interfaces (though it does require taking one's eyes off the road for longer periods).

The hybrid powertrain in the 2011 Lexus HS 250h is essentially what's tried and true from the Toyota Prius (and Camry Hybrid); it's a version of Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive system, here combining a 147-horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine with a 40-horsepower electric motor system to produce 187 horsepower altogether. A power control unit manages to recharge the battery while decelerating or braking, or to deliver an electric assist when accelerating. The HS 250h doesn't feel like a performance car, or even particularly perky, but it's not sluggish either—especially if you select 'power' mode rather than the rubber-band-like 'eco' mode. Thanks to the gasoline engine's torquey response, coupled with the electric motor's instant torque, the HS feels reactive in the 20-to-60-mph range and cruises at higher speeds more confidently than the Prius; the dash to 60 mph takes 8.4 seconds, according to Lexus, which makes it faster than most 4-cylinder compact and mid-size sedans but slower than most luxury ones.

The rest of the driving experience is safe but uninspiring. The electric-assist steering has a rather quick ratio and reasonably good weighting, but soft suspension tuning means there's plenty of lean (and nosedive when braking); overall the HS handles in an unexciting but safe way. A Touring Package includes sport suspension tuning and 18-inch alloys, firming up responses somewhat. Braking is one of the high points; while hybrids often have touchy, jerky brake-pedal action due to regenerative action, the HS 250h stops predictably and without a hitch.

The Achilles' heel of the HS 250h is its rather low roofline, clashing with the odd, scooped-up seating arrangement. The sedan is a little short on headroom in front and very short in back. Compounding the matter is that, in front, the seats are mounted quite high—with the center stack's sharp edges against the driver's leg all the time; and tall drivers can't lower the seat enough. In the backseat, the HS doesn't feel nearly as roomy as a Camry—or even a Corolla—due to the restricted headroom, and three adults isn't really a possibility as they'd be jockeying shoulders. Materials inside are luxurious, even though the HS 250h has 30% of its interior materials derived from plant-based sources; but the overall impression is upscale, not opulent.

The 2011 Lexus HS 250h is otherwise tight and quiet inside, thanks to details like an acoustic windshield and triple-layer door seals. But there's a down side here, too: Engine noise is much more present than some buyers will expect in a Lexus. It's when you need any quick burst of power, or if you're just more of a leadfoot, that you'll find way too much engine noise. Although there's never any discernible vibration in the cabin, it's loud, and out of place from any luxury marque that has had the word 'perfection' in its slogan.

The HS 250h comes with an reasonably good roster of standard features, but it's the exceptional list of high-tech options that impresses. All-LED headlamps are a segment first, according to Lexus, and paired with Adaptive Front Lighting, Intelligent High-Beam, and headlamp washers. Other high-tech options include Intuitive Park Assist, a new heads-up display, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, front and rearview monitors, and Lane-Keep Assist, which warns you if you're straying out of your lane and actually applies a steering correction. As can be expected on a Lexus, there's a fine-sounding 330-watt Mark Levinson audio system available. With respect to connectivity and entertainment, the HS 250h has you covered there, too. Bluetooth, a USB input, and XM Satellite Radio are included, and of course there's a fine-sounding Mark Levinson surround-sound system to wrap it all together.

Styling
7 out of 10 The 2011 Lexus HS 250h is no styling standout from the outside, though its interior has a particular sci-fi-influenced fashion sense. See details and best of the Web
Performance
5 out of 10 The 2011 Lexus HS 250h has performance that's pretty bland, but adequate and safe. See details and best of the Web
Quality
6 out of 10 The 2011 Lexus HS 250h has a refined cabin feel, but it comes up short with a lack of interior space and a powertrain that's too raucous for Lexus. See details and best of the Web
Safety
7 out of 10 The 2011 Lexus HS 250h doesn't have particularly impressive crash-test ratings, but its feature list is strong. See details and best of the Web
Features
8 out of 10 The 2011 Lexus HS 250h is a tech powerhouse, but you have to check some pricey option boxes to get the good stuff. See details and best of the Web
Green
9 out of 10 While the HS 250h might present fuel economy numbers that aren't impressive to the hard-core green shoppers, it's 1 of the greenest luxury picks on the market. See details and best of the Web

We like
* Great city fuel economy
* Infotainment features
* Maneuverability
* Strong safety features

We dislike
* Coarse engine sound
* Lackluster handling
* Distracting Remote Touch interface
* Restricted headroom, especially in back
* No trunk pass-through or folding backseats

Key Takeaway
The 2011 Lexus HS 250h pairs nifty technology features with high mileage ratings, though it fails to provide impressive comfort or an engaging driving experience.
GS69 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: Official HS 250h Review Thread


Contact Us - About Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: