Toyota first introduced its latest hybrid back in January at the Detroit Auto Show. The Lexus HS 250h joins other hybrid family members which now include the GS 450h, RX 450h, and the LS 600h L.
Toyota is now allowing the press to finally drive the new HS 250h and Autoblog was given the opportunity to get behind the wheel. Despite previous reports likening the HS 250h's platform to the Toyota Prius, Lexus is pointing out that the vehicle shares more in common with the Toyota Avensis which is available in Europe -- the second generation Avensis platform currently underpins the Scion tC which should be more familiar to residents of the U.S.
More important, however, is the 3,682-lb HS 250h's powertrain and fuel economy since the vehicle is after all a hybrid. The HS 250h is powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine which produces 147 HP -- the gasoline engine is joined by an electric motor and 245-volt battery pack which brings total system power to 187 HP.
The system in return allows the HS 250h to achieve 35 mpg in the city and 33 mpg in the highway (34 mpg combined). For comparison, the subcompact Honda Fit gets 25 mpg in the city, and 35 mpg on the highway.
When it comes to performance, Autoblog says that the vehicle can reach 60 mph in 8.4 seconds and can travel at up to 20 mph on battery power alone. The vehicle can also run in battery-only mode for up to five minutes on the condition that the battery pack has at least 50 percent capacity left and you keep the speed under 20 mph.
The $35,000 HS 250h ($40,000 fully loaded) seems to be targeting a pretty narrow demographic of people that don't mind the Toyota Corolla-ish styling, want a hybrid sedan (despite the much lower fuel economy numbers than a 2010 Prius), and prefer the Lexus brand. Others will be quick to point out that the cheaper Ford Fusion Hybrid gets 41 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway.
quote: Snobbishness and excessive consumption both rub me the wrong way.
quote: The $30k+ HS 250h seems to be targeting a pretty narrow demographic of people that don't mind the Toyota Corolla-ish styling, want a hybrid sedan (despite the much lower fuel economy numbers than a 2010 Prius), and prefer the Lexus brand.
quote: Your narrow demographic statement is strange. The Corolla is the bestselling car of all time. My guess is that the target market is for people who are moving up from the Corolla to a Lexus who want a Hybrid. After all, people who buy Toyota often buy Lexus when they move up the economic ladder.
quote: You took the words right out of my mouth :)
quote: It just doesn't add up for the US market.
quote: The Volt is right at that price point too and although not a Lexus, you get better fuel economy and the green bonus of driving a production serial hybrid.
quote: the Volt is slightly smaller car than this Lexus 250h/HS
quote: Insight--> Volt/Prius --> Fusion --> Lexus HS --> Altima --> Camry
quote: Although there might be a market for this car... it seems strange.
quote: Someone who wants fuel economy, yet is not willing to go all the way to a Prius (with nearly 50% better EPA ratings)
quote: and wants a smaller car than a Camry?
quote: And wants to pay alot more than a Fusion (which after all gets better EPA milage)?
quote: Not to forget the luxury part of its green title, the HS comes packed to the gills with plenty of luxury amenities, including LED taillights, a heads up display, power seats and Lexus’ new Enform telematics. Optional equipment includes satellite navigation with traffic, stocks, sports and weather updates and LED headlights. One cool feature of the HS’ navigation system is that it lets you upload destinations from any internet-enable device, ensuring you don’t miss any tourist spots on you next road trip.
quote: Lexus buyers expect luxury, reliability, and features, and the HS 250h delivers those in spades. It offers such optional electronic gadgetry as Bluetooth connectivity, a heads-up instrument display, a front-view monitor with a 190-degree angle of view, and adaptive cruise control. Its navigation system incorporates real-time traffic and weather, and casual-speech voice recognition. It even lets the owner customize the levels of haptic feedback in the mouse-like controller mounted on the console.The HS also includes leather trim, a moon roof, and swathes of insulation and thicker materials to reduce the noise, vibration and harshness that every Lexus owner dreads. Adding to the refinement is a sound-deadening inner layer in the windshield, exhaust flow optimized to cut noise, and even slower, softer-closing power window switches from the uber-luxurious LS sedan.
quote: EPA rating system still crap
quote: Was looking around to try and find a good yardstick for comparison of EPA to euro ratings
quote: How come all these newer higher tech cars in the US are less efficient?
quote: You have to convert Imperial gallons to US gallons. Then you need to take into account that the US EPA measures fuel mileage different than Europe does. Another poster in this thread explained this already.