KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 4/8/2011
Maintaining its signature style and trend-setting hybrid technology, Lexus continues to provide customers with luxury and value with the 2011 HS 250h. The smart and comfortable HS 250h satisfies buyers who want a socially-conscious vehicle with elegant features and top quality. This efficient, purely hybrid vehicle is in a category all its own among Lexus models and is designed to provide a level of sophistication not otherwise available in a full-hybrid vehicle.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you care about your carbon footprint, but want to drive a vehicle with a luxury nameplate on the decklid (you don't want to drive a Prius), the HS 250h may be your car. That is: You're environmentally conscious, but don't want to give up the comfort of a luxury sedan.
You May Not Like This Car If...
Despite the use of Lexus' L-Finesse design language, the HS 250h has a shape more reminiscent of an economy car - like the Toyota Corolla - than the upscale Lexus GS or LS. Those who prefer a stately and sophisticated luxury vehicle may find the styling of the HS 250h lacking.
What's Significant About This Car?
The 2011 Lexus HS 250h is now available in two new colors, Satin Cashmere Metallic and Deep Sea Mica, which accompany several other options.
Setting itself apart somewhat from other hybrid models, the 2011 Lexus HS 250h offers Normal, Eco and Power driving modes, which allow the driver to adjust the responsiveness of the accelerator and the efficiency of the hybrid system. Don't let the hybrid label fool you; considering its fuel economy, the HS 250h drives quite responsively and smoothly, if slightly lacking in gusto and a little buzzy in the cabin. It also includes several features that allow the driver to monitor efficiency, including the Hybrid System Indicator, which shows when the batteries are being charged or depleted, and the Eco light, which illuminates when the car is being driven most efficiently. While you can't expect a hybrid vehicle to outperform its non-hybrid counterparts, you can expect a reasonable ride and driving experience from the 2011 Lexus HS 250h.
The 2011 Lexus HS 250h features the option of Lexus' Intuitive Remote Touch interface, which allows the driver to control a cursor on the display screen with a conveniently placed mouse-like interface in the center console. The mouse gives Haptic feedback, a physical cue, when the cursor is placed over an icon, giving the user optimal control and navigation of the system's functions.
Intelligent High Beams
The available Intelligent High-Beam headlights on the 2011 Lexus HS 250h can detect oncoming vehicles or those traveling closely ahead, and will switch from high-beam to low-beam mode until the other vehicle is no longer in range.
The surprisingly roomy interior of the HS 250h embodies elegance and comfort almost on par with other Lexus vehicles, while offering practical accessories and a user-friendly control panel. Select vehicle preferences can be set and tailored to the owner, including a 10-way power driver's seat. Complementing its earth-friendly hybrid powertrain, certain parts of the interior and luggage area are made out of ecological plastics and other sustainable materials.
The HS 250h embodies the Lexus L-Finesse design theme, defined by the balance of form and function. Standing face-to-face with the 2011 Lexus HS 250h, you'll be seeing chrome, from the hybrid front grille design to the contemporary headlights. The aerodynamic shape is accented by integrated color-keyed lower front and rear spoilers for improved fuel economy. To emphasize its hybrid technology, blue highlights are added to the front and rear "L" logos and the "HYBRID" badge is incorporated into the side moldings of the rear doors.
Notable Standard Equipment
Standard equipment for the 2011 Lexus HS 250h includes 17-inch aluminum wheels with all-season tires, LED brake- and taillights, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and seats, a SmartAccess key system with push-button start, automatic dual-zone climate control and rear air-conditioning vents. Steering- wheel audio controls accompany a 10-speaker system that features a six-disc CD changer, a USB port, MP3, iPod, auxiliary audio input and Bluetooth audio streaming. Standard safety equipment includes a tire pressure monitoring system, an advanced front and rear airbag system with enhanced side-impact protection, anti-lock disc brakes and stability and traction controls.
Notable Optional Equipment
The 2011 HS 250h Premium model adds 18-inch alloy wheels, driver's-seat memory, auto-dimming side-view mirrors with memory and tilt-down, heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, upgraded leather-trimmed seating and a wood-trimmed interior. There are several other options, including a Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound System, a rear spoiler, a wide-view front monitor with backup monitor, front and rear parking sensors, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, a voice-activated navigation system and a pre-collision warning system.
Under the Hood
The 2011 HS 250h features a combination of a gasoline engine, a high-voltage battery and an electric motor, which work together to deliver a solid output of 187 horsepower and an acceleration of zero to 60 miles per hour in 8.4 seconds. When the vehicle is stopped or moving slowly, the gas engine will shut down to conserve fuel, and can restart quickly via the electric motor. The system also uses an Electronically-Controlled Continuously Variable Transmission (ECVT) to find the most efficient gear. Because it can be powered by its gasoline engine, the electric motor, or a combination of both, the HS 250h is a true full-hybrid vehicle.
2.4-liter in-line 4 (plus hybrid drive motor)
147 horsepower @ 6000 rpm; 187 hp total hybrid system
138 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 35/34
The Lexus HS 250h standard model's Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts at around $36,000, while its upgraded Premium trim will be over $39,000. Add some more to the bill for any more of the optional deluxe features, though, and you'll quickly find yourself approaching $50,000. On the other hand, the Lexus brand has traditionally strong resale values. To get the best deal, be sure to take a look at the New Car Blue Book Value to see what consumers in your area are currently paying for the HS 250h.