Intro: Lexus was among the first Luxury brands to incorporate hybrid technology into its cars. In 2010 they unveiled the HS 250h as the world's first dedicated luxury hybrid vehicle. This 5-passegner compact hybrid is a carryover for 2011.
Based on the same platform as Toyota's Prius, the HS has a more sharply raked rear window, ending with a short rear decklid. "Hybrid" badging informs onlookers of its fuel saving technology, as does the blue backlit Lexus emblem, a feature found on all current Lexus hybrids.
Performance: The hybrid equation for the HS starts with a 147 horsepower 2.4-liter inline-4 cylinder gasoline engine working in unison with an electric motor, regenerative braking, and a battery pack. The net output is 187 horsepower sent to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission.
The HS can also run on ECO mode which controls the hybrid system and air conditioning to prioritize fuel economy, improving it by as much as 7%. The EV mode allows the HS to run on just the battery at speeds up to 20 miles per hour.
Fuel Economy: Fuel economy for the HS 250h is as follows:
Features: The HS features an attractive interior with standard push button start, leather seating, dual zone automatic climate control and a power sliding moonroof.
For those seeking to take advantage of the wide array of tech features offered by Lexus, we suggest the Navigation package. This option includes a pop-up 8-inch color LCD display with XM traffic and weather updates along with updates for sports and stocks, as well as Lexus Enform, which allows the driver to plan a trip from home and link it to the navigation system.
All of these features are operated by the remote touch controller which comes with the navigation package. It's comprised of a trackball like joystick that controls a floating cursor on the navigation screen and snaps to icons on the screen. This system results in improved ergonomics while operating the navigation system.
Safety: Standard safety features include 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, enhanced electronic stability control, traction control, side impact door beams, front and rear crumple zones, and a full array of front and side impact airbags.
Pricing/Warranty: Base MSRP for the 2011 Lexus HS 250h is $36,330. A Premium trim model starts at $39,100. The HS is backed by a 6-year, 70,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Summary: Lexus has constantly worked to stay at the forefront of the luxury hybrid game. The 2011 Lexus HS 250h furthers that goal by delivering this artfully designed and tech-heavy, compact sedan. (2:53)