The 2011 Lexus HS 250h (Base MSRP: $35,600 to $38,370) is one of the few entry-level luxury hybrid vehicles available, and it combines good fuel economy with an upscale look and feel. Reviews say the HS 250h has the quiet cabin and comfortable ride typical of other Lexus models and also can be optioned with high-tech features like rear parking sensors, a heads-up display, adaptive cruise control and adaptive headlights.
Although the HS 250h has little in the way of direct, entry-level competition, it does have a much higher price than some hybrids, like the related 2011 Toyota Prius (Base MSRP: $21,650 to $28,790), which itself offers an upscale feel in higher trim levels, as well as much better fuel economy at a lower price. Furthermore, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid (Base MSRP: $34,645), based on the well-reviewed 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid (Base MSRP: $28,600), offers better fuel economy in a larger package, making it a compelling alternative to the HS 250h.
The Lexus HS 250h was all-new in 2010, and it carries over into the 2011 model year unchanged. Check out our full report on the 2010 Lexus HS 250h (Base MSRP: $34,650 to $37,420) for detailed information on the model and reviewer impressions.
Fuel economy is a high point for the Lexus HS 250h; it gets an EPA-estimated 35 mpg city/34 mpg highway/35 mpg combined. These numbers slightly trail similarly priced competitors like the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which is both cheaper and more fuel efficient, with a combined fuel economy rating of 39 mpg.
The Lexus HS 250h gets average crash test results. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives the HS250h the highest rating of Good for front and side impact protection, but lower Acceptable and Marginal ratings for roof strength and rear crash protection, respectively. The federal government has not crash-tested the 2011 Lexus HS 250h using its new standards, but it does assign it a 4star 9out of 5) rollover resistance rating. Hybrids like the 2011 Lincoln MKZ hybrid and 2011 Toyota Prius (with active head restraints), fare better, earning the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation. The HS250h comes standard with antilock brakes, side curtain airbags, traction control, stability control, front-knee airbags and front and rear side airbags.
Edmunds.com provides detailed overviews for all new models, including the HS 250h. The editors find the Lexus HS 250h to be a comfortable and quiet car that achieves good fuel economy, but they also think the price is high considering available lower priced, higher fuel economy options. They like the available high-tech features.
Review: 2011 Lexus HS 250h, Editors of Edmunds.com
ConsumerReports.org editors test and compare the 2011 Lexus HS250h against many competing models based on criteria including ride, handling, reliability and safety. This detailed information is available to subscribers.
Review: Sedans, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
3. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
Some cheaper hybrids and other luxury hybrids perform better in IIHS tests than the 2011 Lexus HS 250h. Front and side impact protection gets the highest rating of Good from the IIHS, though roof strength and rear impact protection get the Acceptable and Marginal ratings, respectively.
Review: Lexus HS 250h, Editors of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
The 2011 Lexus HS250h is among the best performing luxury hybrids in terms of fuel efficiency. The EPA rates the HS250h at 35 mpg city/34 mpg highway/35 mpg combined.
Review: 2011 Hybrid Vehicles, Editors of FuelEconomy.gov
Our full report on the 2010 Lexus HS 250h provides details on the model as well as a collection of impressions from expert reviewers and other third-party resources. The 2011 HS250h is unchanged from this 2010 model year, so all observations continue to apply.
Review: 2010 Lexus HS 250h, Editors of ConsumerSearch, April 2010