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By Cars.com Staff
July 7, 2010
Vehicle Overview The HS 250h, a small five-seat sedan, is Lexus' first dedicated hybrid, meaning a model that's not available in gas-only form. It's also Lexus' most affordable hybrid to date. There are no comparable models from luxury brands, so the HS will compete with any other small, efficient luxury car, like the Acura TSX and the clean-diesel BMW 335d.
New for 2011 There are no major changes.
Exterior The HS 250h is recognized immediately as a Lexus, with a more mature evolution of the IS sedan's front end. Based on the European Toyota Avensis, which is related to the Camry, the HS falls between the IS and ES sedans in size. Exterior features include:
Standard 17-inch wheels
Optional 18-inch wheels
Optional LED headlights
Interior The interior exhibits the quality materials for which Lexus is known, and 30 percent of the cabin and trunk are covered in ecological plastics, also known as bioplastic, which is said to produce 20 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than traditional plastic in its manufacture and life cycle. Interior features include:
Standard 10-way power leather seats
Optional navigation system with backup camera and traffic, weather and stock information
Optional head-up display
Under the Hood The engine runs the efficient Atkinson cycle, which Lexus' other hybrids do not, resulting in disproportionately higher mileage — about 30 percent better than the most efficient Lexus model on regular gasoline. An exhaust-heat recovery system gets the engine warmed up quickly so it can turn off and switch to electric-only operation earlier. The feature should also help decrease engine-on time in colder temperatures, saving fuel. Mechanical features include:
2.4-liter four-cylinder teams with an electric motor for a total of 187 horsepower
Safety Safety features include:
10 airbags standard
Standard active front-seat head restraints
Standard antilock brakes
Standard electronic stability system
Optional lane departure warning system
Optional adaptive cruise control
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