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When it comes to upgrading their standard vehicle lineups with green technologies, Asian manufacturers have been at the forefront of the industry in recent years. Toyota being a particular pioneer, it's luxury offshoot Lexus has also always been among the first to offer greener options to buyers. That said, the company has never had a vehicle available to customers only as a hybrid. In 2010 it decided to break that frontier as well by offering up the Lexus HS250h. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
A Clear Mission From The Get-Go
Designed to only be available as a hybrid from the start, the HS250h was on the same mission as the Toyota Prius. Despite there having been a number of technologies shared between the two, the models were not based on the same platform. Likeness-wise, the HS250h is much larger than the Prius and resembles the Toyota Avensis marketed in Europe. Overall, the HS250h fits just between the ES and IS families of Lexus, especially when it comes to the pricing and dimensions. The input of the Prius is also mirrored in a couple more useful technologies, the first being a set of three switches that change the behaviour of the hybrid system, while the second is a heat recovery system that makes the engine warm up faster.
Not Lagging Behind Its Gas Counterparts
The aforementioned driving modes are very welcome depending on where you plan to take your HS250h. The Eco mode, for example, reduces the throttle response and the effectiveness of the A/C at the same time, while simultaneously improving fuel economy significantly. Normal mode brings the HS250h to its normal settings, making it a reasonably responsive vehicle overall. If you want to play around with your Lexus, go for the Power mode, which will trade off fuel economy for sharper throttle response and overall feel of the car. Finally, you also have the EV mode, which is designed to allow electric-only usage for short distances. For most drivers, the Normal and default mode will likely be the best compromise as neither Eco nor Power modes will affect ultimate power output.
An Eco-Friendly Luxury Car Done Right
If you’re not a fan of exceedingly radical dashboards like the one found in the Prius, you are guaranteed to enjoy your stay inside the HS250h. Boasting instruments behind the steering wheel, you’ll be welcomed by a modern-looking interior that makes for a pleasant time even during longer rides. The centre of the cabin is home to the tapered centre console, which is the base for Lexus’ touch-screen multimedia system and its controls. Referred to as “Remote Touch,” it is very intuitive and ergonomic, making it incredibly easy to use the navigation system and other features.
Four adults can find ample room inside the cabin perfectly, with leg and headroom to spare. This is not the case for many gas-powered competitors, which further demonstrates just how good of a job Lexus’ engineers have done. There’s plenty of support to be found in the big bucket seats, and the Bluetooth system from Lexus is very convenient; it is so excellent, in fact, that you can just leave your cell phone in your pocket while driving. While some are eager to describe the Lexus HS250h as an oxymoron due to the fact that it is an attempt to combine two ends of the spectrum, at the same time it goes without saying that there are plenty out there that are waiting for just such a model. Be it to simply stand out from their peers or “do their part” for the environment, it is clear that Lexus has once again stepped up and manufactured an impressive four-wheeler to serve as a great template for pushing the limits of the future even further.