As the Lexus HS 250h sedan enters its third model year the luxury sedan has added more than just a new exterior paint color (Nebula Gray Pearl replaces Smoky Granite Mica for 2012). The first dedicated hybrid model produced by Lexus, which will start at $37,030, has a number of improvements for the upcoming year.
Available in standard and premium models, the HS 250h has a combined EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 35 MPG combined, 35 MPG city and 34 MPG on the highway utilizing regular 87-octane gasoline. The HS 250h also incorporates drive-mode buttons that allow the driver to select between four modes: Normal, Power, Eco and EV. Each mode changes the rate of throttle opening for a given throttle-pedal angle. Normal mode has an essentially linear throttle response that gives naturally progressive power. Power mode can be selected for a more responsive feel when desired. In Eco mode, air conditioning settings are adjusted and the throttle response is reduced relative to the pedal angle to emphasize fuel economy. Under certain circumstances, the EV mode can allow the vehicle to be driven short distances using only the electric motors.
While the HS 250h can generate an impressive 187 total system horsepower, the car also meets the California SULEV and federal Tier 2 Bin 3 exhaust emission standard. This system is also augmented by technology that reduces evaporative emissions to near zero.
The car goes from 0 to 60 in 8.4 seconds. Other features include 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, MacPherson strut front suspension, regenerative braking and a standard 10-speaker, 137-watt Lexus audio system featuring a six-disc CD changer, a subwoofer and center speaker.