The Lexus HS 250h was the very first dedicated hybrid from Toyota’s luxury brand, launched to much fanfare back in 2009, but with sales of the compact-ish sedan never living up to expectations, the car’s brief run in the marketplace has now reached an end: In fact—in a situation that says plenty about the HS 250h’s popularity—production of the vehicle actually stopped back in January; it’s just that not many folks realized it until now. But as savvy shoppers understand, Lexus’ loss can be their gain. Dealers are likely to be highly motivated to move out the 2012 models, which still offer the kind of luxury appointments one would expect in an entry-level Lexus, along with the kind of high EPA ratings one would expect in a hybrid.
2012 Lexus HS 250h: Exterior Overview
The Lexus HS 250h is priced from $37,030, and that gets you into a notably up-level sedan that’s just a tad smaller than an Acura TSX or Lexus Infiniti G, and gives away about 5 inches to the Buick Regal. The Lexus also takes a smaller number of chances in terms of exterior design, wearing the relatively staid sheet metal that was a hallmark of previous vehicles from the brand; however, it’s a look that also can seem quite sophisticated to customers who don’t necessarily need a luxury sedan with particularly dramatic styling.
And that being said, the HS 250h does have a notably aerodynamic shape—and a co-efficient of drag of just 0.27—with premium light treatments such as standard fog lamps, LED taillamps set off by blue accents and available LED headlamps.
2012 Lexus HS 250h: Interior Overview
The cabin of the HS 250h follows the same design brief as the exterior, with premium materials and high levels of available technology, but a minimalist approach to style cues. Thus, the front seats include standard leather trim with the driver enjoying a 10-way power-adjustable throne (with power lumbar functionality) and the passenger sitting in an 8-way power-adjustable seat, with heated/ventilated front seats and a driver’s-side memory function all standard on the HS 250h Premium.
Lexus also paid particular attention to the car’s climate system, featuring dual controls and a dedicated fan for the rear-seat passengers, as well as a Plasmacluster ion generator, air filter, pollen-removal mode and a front windshield designed specifically to keep out infrared rays and help the cabin stay cool.
Also cool: The standard sound system is a 10-speaker setup with two-way woofer and tweeter systems front and back to deliver audiophile-pleasing richness and clarity for all.
2012 Lexus HS 250h: Technologies
Naturally, the HS 250h offers a wide range of standard and available technologies, including:
- Lexus’ unique Remote Touch controller, allowing owners to manage numerous vehicle systems by using a device much like a computer mouse
- Bluetooth functionality for hands-free calling and music streaming
- A voice-activated nav system that can understand informal commands and provides an integrated backup camera
- A Head-up Display (HUD) system that projects important vehicle information, turn-by-turn direction arrows, and safety alerts right on the inside of the front windshield, where it’s easy for drivers to see
- Dual-camera park assist
- Safety measures like a lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warning
- 330 watts of Mark Levinson premium audio power, backed by 15 speakers and surround sound
- The Lexus Enform telematics platform
2012 Lexus HS 250h: Fuel Efficiency
As for the raison d'être of the HS 250h—its fuel-economy—here’s how the Lexus compares to the previously mentioned potential rivals:
- HS 250h—35 mpg city/34 mpg highway/35 mpg combined
- TSX—22 mpg city/31 mpg highway/26 mpg combined
- G25—20 mpg city/29 mpg highway/23 mpg combined
- Regal eAssist—25 mpg city/36 mpg highway/29 mpg combined
The Lexus obviously owns a fairly large advantage in fuel efficiency as compared to those cars—including 20 percent better combined fuel economy than even the eAssisted Regal—but its fairly large price premium of some $4,500-$8,000 has been a tough challenge to overcome. An end-of-its-lifecycle discount, however, would obviously make the Lexus HS 250h a much better value.
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