The 2012 Lexus HS 250h hybrid sedan earns a below average Total Car Score for its segment and has received some mixed signals from the media.
Some critics appreciate its combination of luxury and fuel frugality while daming with faint praise its 35 mpg fuel economy as merely average for a midsize hybrid. Another review doesn't rate the level of luxury in the HS particularly well. It also mentions how quiet the cabin is, then complains about engine noise. To confuse things a little further, this is considered a compact car, although it's somewhat larger than most examples.
Parent company Toyota has brought hybrid technology into the mainstream, and the HS uses a drivetrain similar to the previous-gen Camry fuel-sipper. This brings a certain amount of performance, although the total of 187 horsepower is more reassuring than inspiring.
There are even pros and cons with cargo space. The trunk has a practical size and shape, but the rear seats don't fold down. The irony here is that HS is supposed to stand for "Harmonious Sedan."
At least most people are agreed on the comfortable ride quality and a level of standard equipment that befits the Lexus badge. The usual advice of trying before buying has never been more sensible.
The HS was introduced two years ago, and the only change for the 2012 Lexus HS 250h is the addition of Nebula Gray Pearl to the palette of exterior colors.
The 2012 Lexus HS 250h hybrid is available only as a sedan and in base or Premium trim levels.
Propulsion comes from a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder combustion engine and an electric motor with an aggregate output of 187 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. This is sent to the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Because this is a hybrid, it's not just about fuel economy but also a general eco-awareness, hence the use of bio plastics in the cabin and trunk. Standard equipment includes a choice of driving modes from electric-only to "Power" plus a moonroof, Bluetooth, satellite radio and 17-inch alloy wheels. Premium brings 18-inch alloy wheels, heated/ventilated front seats, more leather and some wood trim.
Navigation, a reverse camera, parking assistance, driver attention alert, lane departure assistance and head-up display are all on the options list.
Ten airbags (including one each for the front occupants' knees) are standard, along with traction and stability control and braking assistance. All Toyota/Lexus vehicles have the Smart Stop feature that allows the brakes to override the throttle if both pedals are pressed in error at the same time. The safety factor may be expanded by a pre-collision system and radar-based intelligent cruise control.
EPA ratings for the 2012 Lexus HS 250h are 35 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 35 mpg combined.
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