When it comes to Japanese-made hybrid vehicles, everyone’s first association to the term is the Toyota Prius. The Lexus HS250h is a similar car, but coming from another angle and with different purpose.
If you’re on the market for a hybrid-powered car that exudes an air of expensive sophistication from the outside, you’ll have plenty of luck with the Lexus HS250h. This is a car that many are seeing as the Prius’ younger brother, even though the two have very little (if any) in common. The HS is in its own category in many ways and especially so when it comes to exterior design that incorporates such nice features as projector-beam headlamps, LED tail lamps, 17-inch split five-spoke wheels and optional complex-looking 18-inch split seven-spoke ones. Here’s what you need to know about this car.
Sufficient Hybrid Power
The HS250h is equipped with a 2.4-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine that produces 147 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 138 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,400 rpm. On the hybrid side of things, it also incorporates an electric motor capable of generating 141-horsepower, but the total combined power is limited to 187 horsepower. Paired with a continuously variable transmission, the HS sends its power to the road via the front wheels and achieves 100 kilometres per hour from a standstill in 8.4 seconds.
An Astonishing Cruiser
When it comes to cruising in a straight line down a highway, the HS250h is one of the most effortless cars on the market by far. This sounds easily achievable in any vehicle, but consider that a long road trip can really be exhausting in vehicles that have uncomfortable seats, a bumpy ride and twitchy steering. Soaking up expansion joints is what the MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbone rear are ideal for, in addition to the fact that the HS also has seats simply built for comfort and not corner-cutting. The steering manages to offer the right amount of resistance no matter the speed and that’s a great thing.
The seats are one of the absolute highlights of the HS250h, as they are extremely comfortable, heated and cooled, 10-way adjustable and draped in superb semi-aniline leather. Lexus even used bioplastics to cover 30% of the trunk and interior. The bottom centre of the dash is home to an odd-looking controller that Lexus refers to as its all-in-one controller Remote Touch. It takes some getting used to, but is overall very fun to play with. You can load up your HS with the latest infotainment bells and whistles, such as a Technology Package that includes a heads-up display, radar-based cruise control, pre-collision warning system, park-assist sensors, Lane Keep Assist, as well as a 15-speaker Mark Levinson stereo, XM satellite radio and plenty more.
Meets the Bar
When it comes to meeting the bar set by larger luxury vehicles, the Lexus HS250h meets it in a number of aspects, most notably comfort and overall ride. If you’re a loyal buyer of Lexus vehicles who doesn’t want to go anywhere near a Toyota but still wouldn’t mind the fresh feeling of sitting behind the wheel and owning a Japanese hybrid, then the HS250h might just be the car for you. It certainly has plenty to offer and also comes with the brand’s famed bulletproof reliability.