This is a small sedan that was pulled from the U.S. market in its third year because of poor sales, but that was because Lexus misjudged the market; the car remained in production and was sold overseas. The driver can select from four operating modes; EV (Electric Vehicle), Eco, Normal, and Power. The EV mode uses only the electric motor for short distances up to 20 miles per hour, while the other modes produce a different balance of power and fuel efficiency; the maximum rating is 35 mpg. Indeed, 187 horsepower in a 3700-pound car is definitely biased towards gas mileage rather than performance, but the torque characteristics of an electric motor make any hybrid vehicle accelerate quite well off the line.
The 2012 model is equipped with the Lexus Enform App Suite. It’s basically a suite of smartphone apps that appear on the navigation screen and, using a Bluetooth link, operate through a single smartphone app. It includes a search engine, several entertainment streams and social media apps, traffic-and-weather, stolen vehicle tracking, emergency assistance and collision notification. Enform is not compatible with all smartphone operating systems or even with all system updates. Although Enform is free, it operates through a smartphone, so it can impact the cost of a cellular data plan.
The HS 250h is the only Lexus model we’ve found that’s included in Toyota’s service campaign to address excessive engine oil consumption. Toyota extended the warranty on all its models with this engine, but many owners are not happy and have filed a class-action lawsuit against the company. This model is also loaded with “safety systems” like Intelligent Highbeam, Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control and much more. Few aftermarket service shops are equipped to deal with features like this, and given the extended warranty and oil consumption issues, it’s probably best to have this vehicle serviced by the dealership.
To find a hybrid vehicle service shop near you, go to shop finder on this web site.