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HS 250h Review

lexus-hs-250h-image.jpgLexus HS 250h touts economy and safety features

The 2010 Lexus HS 250h is a four-door, five-passenger hybrid luxury sedan.  And while its exterior looks like a standard Toyota/Lexus economy car, the Lexus HS 250h offers a high-end interior, advanced safety features, and is loaded with the latest technologies to make a drive enjoyable.

Compared to other Lexus hybrids like the GS 450h or the LS 600h, the HS 250h is less expensive and offers better mileage. It has an MSRP of $35,525 and its EPA Fuel Economy Ratings are 35/34/35 mpg (city/highway/combined). In contrast, the GS 450h and LS 600h are priced, respectively, in the $60,000 and $115,000 range, with fuel economy ranging from 20 to 30 mpg. With its lower price, CNET dubbed the HS 250h an “economy luxury car.” 

Another distinction between the HS 250h and other Lexus hybrids is that the company’s previous efforts essentially were spinoffs of existing models. The Lexus HS 250h, like the parent company’s Toyota Prius, is a hybrid-only car.
To achieve its fuel economy, the HS 250h uses a 2.4 liter, four-cylinder engine and a battery-powered electric motor. The total horsepower is 187 hp. The car can run on the engine, the motor, or both. It can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 8.4 seconds, and has a top speed of 112 mph.

For those concerned about trading fuel efficiency for performance, the Lexus HS 250h offers four modes of operation. In addition to a normal driving mode, a driver can select an EV mode that runs the car on electricity only for short distances. An ECO mode controls the hybrid system and air conditioning to optimize fuel economy. Lexus claims this mode can improve the MPG by as much as seven percent. And in situations where a performance is necessary, the car’s Power mode provides more responsive acceleration. These modes can be accessed via buttons to the right of the steering wheel.

With these various modes available, a MotorWeek Road Test (watch video after review) noted that the HS 250h was “the most fun to drive gas/electric it had driven to date.” The driver in that road test also noted that the car displayed plenty of pep and at no time appeared under powered.

lexus-hs-250h-photo.jpgAnd for those concerned about safety and comfort, the Lexus HS 250h is truly a luxury car on all accounts. The HS 250h and HS 250h Premium versions are packed with high-end features and technologies. Standard in both are dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming inside rearview mirror with a built-in compass, auto-dimming outside mirrors, leather-trimmed steering wheel, cruise control, and the Lexus SmartAccess keyless entry and ignition system.

To make the ride more enjoyable, the car is packed with entertainment-related features.  The HS 250h and HS 250h Premium come standard with the Lexus 10-speaker Premium sound system that features an automatic sound levelizer. There’s also a built-in XM Radio (subscription required), a USB port to connect a media player, and Bluetooth support for the wireless integration of compatible music players with in-vehicle audio system controls.


By Jeff Carey

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