January 21, 2010 – Hello Someday! The HS250h is Lexus’ first dedicated hybrid and their first hybrid starting at $34k. I had an opportunity to spend some time with a Silver Opal Mica HS250h Base model. I did get a chance to experience the HS in it’s true form. No Mark Levinson, no park assist, no back up camera, no heated seats and no HID! But don’t be fooled. Just because this car was absent of the Lexus options we’re used to doesn’t mean it’s totally stripped of it’s Lexus qualities.
This Silver Opal Mica HS has plenty to offer. This car had the black leather interior with charcoal gray accents. It also has the usual standard features like the Lexus 10-speaker Premium Sound System with 6 disc in-dash CD/MP3, XM Radio and USB/AUX inputs. You can even work your iPod through the steering wheel controls. All the usual standard Lexus power features are there including a moonroof, push button start and smart key remote access are standard. It also has a split 5 spoke 17″ wheel package with Michelin Energy MXV4 Plus tires which are V rated!
Despite having a combined 187 hp from a 2.4L 4cyl w/Hybrid Synergy Drive powertrain, this car is no slouch. There is plenty of torque going up long grades and driving up the steepest hills of San Francisco. It is a fantastic highway cruiser. It’s stable, smooth and in the cross winds, and it feels very planted. Thanks to its low 0.27 Cd, the HS cuts through the wind without effort or excessive wind noise. If you’re going 20 mph or below, you can run the car in full Electric (EV Mode) for a few minutes. The HS is a great city car. It’s very easy to zigzag through traffic and a breeze to park in tight spaces. On the highways the HS is quiet and as smooth as a car twice its size. Steering and suspension feel are very stable. Despite carrying a load of batteries, the HS can handle well in the twisties and those fast circular freeway on and off-ramps. Body roll is very minimal thanks to the front and rear sway bars and V-rated tires. Around town, the car seamlessly switches from gas to electric without noise.
The HS is all about efficiency and great fuel economy. The HS is EPA-rated at 35 city/34 hwy and 35 combined. The worst mileage I experienced was 32.1 mpg riding the car mostly in PWR mode and the drive selector in B. The best mileage I was able to achieve was 40.1 mpg mainly on the freeway. In mixed city/hwy driving, I averaged 34-35mpg consistently, all with the use of regular 87 unleaded gasoline. Being that this did not have all the bells and whistles, I was more focused on obtaining the best MPGs. I mostly drove in ECO and NORMAL drive modes if you can believe that!
So what’s not to like? The HS250h would make a great commuter car as well as a traveling companion. If you haven’t driven one, try it out, you will be surprised. Below are a few pics of my experience with the HS250h.
July 2009 – Silver Opal Mica – HS250h Base without Navigaton – MSRP $34,200
HS meets Wald IS F
Yes they are related in some way: L-Finesse.
RXs, IS Cs and more…
Gauge cluster of the HS250h
HS with the 2IS and 1IS
HS and a Corolla. Same size? NOT.
Bamboo Pearl & Silver Opal Mica. BP is darker and greener.
HS meets M3
HS meets its cousin, the 3rd Gen Prius
Split 5-spoke 17″ wheels and V-Rated Michelin tires!
HS – A West Coast Novelty?
San Francisco in the background.
Sutro Tower surrounded by fog
Visiting history: the former Naval Air Station Alameda
All Electric meets Hybrid
Visiting the former NAS Treasure Island & the Oakland Span – Bay Bridge
The cockpit of the HS250h -Non-Nav
About to head into The City
Ready to put the pedal to the metal!
You can find more photos here: