Dedicated hybrid

HS 250h

Strange bedfellows

Aerodynamic

LED tail lamps

Handling

L-finesse grill

Available LED headlamps

All-new dash configuration

Remote-touch controller

Push-button start

Floating center console

Icon-based menu

Hard-drive-based navigation

Wide front-view camera

Lane-keep assist and intelligent high beam cameras

Rear-view camera

Four modes

Shifter stalk

Instrument cluster

Deja vu

Looks familiar

Like the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight, the Lexus HS 250h is a dedicated-hybrid model, which makes the HS the world's first dedicated-hybrid luxury car.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Unlike the Prius, the HS 250h takes a more traditional, four-door, sedan form factor.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Lexus slots the HS 250h between the IS and the ES and oddly compares the hybrid to the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3-Series, two very different types of vehicles.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Thanks to carefully placed spoilers, body shaping, and underfloor air management, the HS 250h is able to achieve a low drag coefficient of 0.27, which is top in class.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Out back, the HS 250h receives LED tail lamps with clear lenses.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The suspension soaks up bumps with little drama. When pressed into a corner, the HS 250h exhibits a good deal of body roll--though not as much as we'd expected--and a great deal of understeer. Most importantly, the HS's handling is controllable and predictable.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Up front, the HS receives the most striking example of Lexus' L Finesse styling by way of its angular three-bar grill, which reduces drag by directing air up and over the hood. Look for this aesthetic to show up on future Lexus hybrids.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Available LED headlamps cut down on power consumption over halogen lights.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The HS 250h's dashboard features fantastic ergonomics, placing all of the controls at the driver's fingertips.
Caption by / Photo by Lexus
It's part joystick and part trackball, with a dash of haptic-force feedback tossed in. The Lexus remote-touch controller navigates through menus in a manner to which computer users should already be accustomed.
Caption by / Photo by Lexus
Keys are so 20th century. The Lexus HS 250h uses an RFID smart key and push-button start.
Caption by / Photo by Lexus
The floating center console puts all of the controls at the driver's fingertips, while lifting the displays up to where they can be seen with minimal eye movement from center.
Caption by / Photo by Lexus
The HS 250h's icon-based menu system uses haptic feedback through the remote-touch controller for easier use with less looking. As you roll over an icon, the joystick locks on and uses force feedback to pull the controller to the icon's center.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The navigation system is snappy and beautifully rendered. Turn-by-turn directions are read aloud through a text-to-speech system that pronounces street names. Traffic data is provided through Lexus' Enform service.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Below six miles per hour, a wide-angle camera mounted in the HS's nose can be activated to give you a peek around corners ahead of the vehicle.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
On the back of the rear-view mirror is the camera for the intelligent high beams, which look for other vehicles and adjust the high beam lights accordingly. Just above that is the camera for the lane-keep assist, which recognizes lane markers and gently nudges the steering if you drift out of your lane.
Caption by / Photo by Lexus
The rear-view camera, mounted on the rear decklid, brings the total camera count to four.
Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
The HS 250h has four drive programs: normal drive, ECO mode, power mode, and EV electric-only mode.
Caption by / Photo by Lexus
The joystick-like shifter stalk is reminiscent of that of the Toyota Prius and features push-button parking.
Caption by / Photo by Lexus
The electroluminescent instrument cluster relays information about the hybrid-drive system on the left and speed on the right. An integrated LCD display cycles between readouts of the radar-guided cruise control, lane-keep assist, and fuel economy information.
Caption by / Photo by Lexus
While the interior is like none that we've seen before, the exterior seems very familiar in both form and proportion.
Caption by / Photo by Lexus
Although slightly larger in most dimensions, we can't help but think the HS 250h looks a lot like the Toyota Corolla with a Lexus facelift.
Caption by / Photo by Toyota
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