Make us your home page
Instagram
The Daily Drivers | By Peter Couture and Lyra Solochek, Times Staff Writers

The Daily Drivers: 2010 Lexus HS 250h hybrid has lots of comfort without the guilt

The HS 250h is the first Lexus hybrid that isn't an adaptation of an existing model. In a figurative sense, you can think of it as an upscale Prius; in a literal sense, it's a much different vehicle, a technology-laden sedan — it has a trunk — that errs on the side of comfort over hyper-mileage.

Appearance: There's nothing that shouts "hybrid" in the design. (The only clue is a discreet badge on the lower-body chrome trim and the "hybrid blue" background in the Lexus logo.) The sedan has a slightly sporty look with subtle lines. The wraparound LED headlights blend in with the chrome grille for a clean look. And about that three-bar grille: It reminds Peter of the Ford Fusion or, ironically, Honda's Insight hybrid.

Performance: The 4-cylinder mill, the same as on Toyota's Camry hybrid, produces a respectable 187 horsepower, and pulls the car from 0 to 60 in 8.45 seconds. That's plenty for your daily drive, but we suspect most buyers will be most interested in these numbers: 35 city, 34 highway. For a Lexus, that's outstanding. But compared with its cousin, the Toyota Prius (51 city, 48 highway), it's just so-so. Still, in addition to the hybrid technology, there are other features to make the HS 250h more eco-friendly, such as an exhaust-heat recovery system to warm up the engine faster when it's cold, and windshields that block infrared rays to keep the interior cooler. There is a choice of driving modes, from the most efficient EV (which relies mostly on electricity) to ECO (a combination of gas and electric) and Power Mode (push the button when you need a boost of acceleration).

Interior: The HS 250h is loaded with features and gadgets, as you might expect from a Lexus: plush 10-way leather seats, dual climate zones, seat memory. The angled center console makes it easy to see and use its controls. It features a mouse — sorry, "Remote Touch controller" — that controls the cursor on the LCD; no more dial controls or touch screen. We both liked all the gadgetry, such as the Driver Attention Monitor that senses if you are not paying attention and sounds a warning, and the Lane Keep Assist, which warns if you begin to drift. The cabin itself is roomy, with eye-pleasing ambient blue lighting on the controller as well as in the white-on-black gauges. One thing about the two-tone interior that stood out was some of the plastic seems more Toyota economy than Lexus luxury.

Our 3 favorites

Peter Couture

Touch Tracer: Shows what buttons you're pushing on the steering wheel controls in the Heads Up Display.

Wide-view front monitor: Let's you see what's around your bumpers.

The "mouse": It's easy to use.

Lyra Solochek

Heads Up Display: Keeps your eyes on the road.

Eco plastics: The plastics in the interior are plant-based, not petroleum.

Automatic sound leveler: Adjusts the volume of sound system to overcome noises.

The bottom line: If you want a little luxury and also want to assuage any guilt that comes with that, then this sedan is for you. The only question: Is the price worth the so-so (for a hybrid) mpg numbers?









2010 Lexus HS 250h Premium

Price: $36,970, $44,975 as tested

Powertrain: 2.4-liter inline-4 VVT-i with Lexus Hybrid Drive system, continuously variable transmission, FWD

Horsepower:

187 hp

0-60 mph: 8.45 seconds

Curb weight: 3,682 pounds, 3,770 pounds for premium

Dimensions

in inches:

Wheelbase, 70.3

Length, 184.8

Width, 70.3

Fuel economy:

35 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway

Fuel type:

Regular unleaded

Safety features: Vehicle stability and traction control, electronically controlled brakes, ABS, air bags and curtains, side-impact door beams, crumple zones.

Options worth considering: Driver Attention Monitor, precollision system, Lane Keep Assist, park assist, wide-view camera, hard-disc navigation system with traffic and weather.

Website: www.lexus.com/

models/hsh/

The Daily Drivers: 2010 Lexus HS 250h hybrid has lots of comfort without the guilt 06/10/10 [Last modified: Thursday, June 10, 2010 8:33pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Air bag recalls, lawsuits lead Takata to file for bankruptcy

    Autos

    Shattered by recall costs and lawsuits, Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. filed Monday for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., saying it was the only way it could keep on supplying replacements for faulty air bag inflators linked to the deaths of at least 16 people.

    Japanese air bag maker Takata Corp. CEO Shigehisa Takada bows during a press conference in Tokyo on Monday. Takata has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of defective air bag inflators.
[(AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi]
  2. Airbag maker Takata bankruptcy filing expected in Japan, U.S.

    Corporate

    DETROIT — Japanese airbag maker Takata Corp. has filed for bankruptcy protection in Tokyo and the U.S., overwhelmed by lawsuits and recall costs related to its production of faulty air bag inflators.

  3. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  4. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  5. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser