2010 Lexus HS 250h Hybrid Review

Expert Reviews hybrid Lexus

Heads-Up Display and Front-View Camera Controls

In Eco mode the throttle actuation on the engine and electric drive motor is reduced relative to the pedal angle to emphasize fuel economy. Never use Eco mode if in a hurry to be somewhere, otherwise your blood pressure will surpass that of a junior stock broker on Wall Street.

I tested the EV mode and it allows the car to be driven short distances at speeds 25 mph or less using only the electric motors. A great feature when stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and creeping along at a turtle’s pace, but press too hard on the accelerator pedal and the car kicks itself out of EV mode.

As with the Prius, the stubby shift-by-wire knob is moronic and too much like a video game controller. Again like the Prius, there is a “big-rig” beep to remind you that the car is shifted in reverse. Annoying but necessary because the physical feeling typically associated with gear shifting is missing with the CVT and electric motor combination.

Lexus buyers expect luxury, reliability, and features, and the HS 250h delivers those in spades. It offers such optional electronic gadgetry as the Mark Levinson 5.1-channel audio system, a heads-up instrument display with an adjustable viewing angle , a front-view and back-view monitor to aid in parking, and adaptive cruise control. More luxury features such as heated outside mirrors with integrated puddle lamps, Bluetooth hands-free system with voice control, and acoustic windshield glass are standard fare with the HS 250h.

Lexus HS 250h interiorshift-by-wire control knobparking assist feature

The myriad buttons scattered across the dash make the learning curve a bit high, though many are rarely used in the day-to-day.  Can’t turn your head to look behind you or see what is in front of the bumper. There are camera views for optional rear and front cameras. Yes, a front camera, which provides a 190 degree view so you can creep up within an inch of someone’s rear bumper when parking.

Standard is a 10-way power adjustable front leather seat for the driver and 8-way power adjustable leather seat for the front passenger. The optional heated and cooled front seats trimmed in semi-aniline leather in our test car were delightful.

We did like the XM live traffic and weather updates with the Lexus Enform(tm) navigation system using casual-speech voice recognition. The nav-system automatically alerts you when traffic problems are detected and allows you to adjust the route. Having the live traffic alerts saved me more than once when it detected major slowdowns on my route due to accidents and road work ahead on the route. Even if I didn’t program a destination into the nav-system, I could view the map and check the traffic flow of my intended path using the color codes displayed on the screen. Almost like having Joe-the-traffic guy in your car alerting of potential slowdowns and traffic accidents.

12.1 cubic feet of trunk space

A big drawback is the HS 250h’s small, 12 cubic foot trunk and only 90 cubic feet of passenger space. This is common to most hybrid sedans because batteries and other hybrid specific parts are located in the rear. By comparison, the Ford Fusion hybrid retains the same cargo space as its non-hybrid brethren with 16 cubic feet in the trunk and 100 cubic feet of passenger volume.

Lane-Keeping Assist: The steering definitely feels stiffer when the optional lane-keeping system is switched on. If you drift onto a lane marker, first it beeps at you, and then it rotates the steering to move you back into your lane. Heaven forbid that you should rely upon LKA in foul weather. We discovered LKA becomes useless on wet roads because the lane markers are undetectable by the camera system.

Competing models to consider, in my opinion, are the Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion hybrids. Like the HS 250h, both have small trunks. But they’re roomier inside, just as quick, and about as fuel-efficient as the HS 250h. Although, they lack the cachet of a Lexus, both come in at about 35 grand fully loaded, the starting price for an HS 250h. Much as I like the HS 250h, it isn’t for budget shoppers.

2010 Lexus HS 250h Hybrid

RATING 4.5 4.0 3.5 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.0/B

Lexus IS-F photo gallery

Lexus HS 250h Specs

Lexus HS 250h Specs

LexusOfficial website for Lexus cars, hybrids, and SUVs – www.lexus.com

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  • Peter Anastopulos says:

    My question is why do we need this car at all ?It is not in the class of of The Audi A3 TDI and gets poorer mileage .HS cost 10 grand more and is hideous looking.Based on the European market Avensis which is not that pretty to start with.I think the Hybrid Milan is a good comparison to this Car which is much more handsome plus gets similar MPG.Toyota has truly stumbled with its new safety issues lower quality and it’s bizarre unfocused products.Time to trim the line with to many undifferentiated models and put the quality back in.Gas saving seems to be not what our Northern C.A. Prius drivers are about as they race them up and down in the Diamond Lanes getting 20MPG.Just go Diesel for real world driving if MPG matters.

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