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Lexus HS 250h

Lexus CT 200h
Lexus HS 250h could get kicked to the curb

When it comes to hybrid vehicles, Toyota has had plenty of success with its Prius, Camry, and Highlander. Toyota's Lexus division also has a few hybrids in its portfolio, but premium pricing means that sales of these models pale in comparison to their plebeian Toyota counterparts. One model in particular, the HS 250h, is sinking in the marketplace.
Left Lane News (via Ward's Auto) is reporting that the Lexus division is looking to kill the HS 250h after it only found 205 U.S. buyers in October of this year. For the January through October 2011 period, sales for the hybrid dropped nearly 73 percent compared to the same period last year to fewer than 2,400 units.
The HS 250h has plenty of strikes against it; one of which is the pricing. The vehicle has a starting price of $37,000. The second issue is that the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is larger, more fuel-efficient, and undercuts the HS 250h by a few thousand dollars. The third problem is that its CT 200h sibling starts at around $30,000, offers better fuel efficiency, greater cargo flexibility, and livelier handling.
In addition, the CT 200h appeals to a younger clientele that Lexus is desperately seeking -- the HS 250h on the other hand attracts a much older buyer (and not very successfully as the sales numbers prove).
Lexus has its work cut out for it if wants to build a successor to the HS 250h that actually strikes a chord with consumers. They could start by dropping the price, upping the fuel efficiency, and giving the vehicle an exterior that would actually make onlookers' pulse rise instead of flatline.

Sources: Left Lane News, Wards Auto (Subscription)

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Better than an MKZ and a CTh.
By HSOwner on 11/13/2011 6:47:18 PM , Rating: 2
I happen to be an owner of a 2010 HSh. I spend 2 hours a day in the car and find it a capable highway cruiser, and a competent handling car.

You have to keep in mind that this car is offered as the front wheel drive counterpart of the IS. My father has an IS, and the CT is a far superior car in many ways, far more usable interior and better configuration of trunk dimensions. But the IS is a better driver's car, which means than 80% of the time you're better off with the HS. Sure this car is not a sports car, nor is it supposed to be, but it is no slouch either. 0-60 in 8.4 seconds is far faster than a Prius and CTh, it is also faster than an MKz hybrid, and the Hyundia/Kia hybrids, and only a half a second slower than a Camry Hybrid. And the HS is not a Corolla, it doesn't share any parts, or even the wheel base. Saying that an HS is just a Lexi'fied Corolla is like saying that a Bentley Continental is a Bentley'fied VW Phaeton, so sod off.

The real world fuel consumption of the HS and MKz are almost identical, and the CT only about 2mpg more. I routinely get 39 mpg in my HS, which is above the EPA estimate and above the real world figures provided by the EPA.

Is the HS a winner? No it isn't. The CT has cannibalized the sales of the HS and the earthquake didn't help. Had the CT been available I might have considered one, just based on the advertised economy difference, however in the real world there isn't much difference. As for why Lexus is killing the HS, there will be an ES hybrid, but that wouldn't work for the current ES. The HS is a far more youthful car than the current ES, which is why I didn't buy one (I'm 28). The next generation ES probably will not be as much the mush-mobile that the current one and when I'm ready to trade my HS in I'll probably consider an ESh.

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