2011 Lexus HS 250h Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Lexus HS 250h Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Lexus HS 250h Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 187 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 35/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Lexus HS 250h

  • Currently available luxury hybrid sedans are few, but the 2011 Lexus HS 250h delivers with a luxurious cabin and thrifty fuel consumption.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable, quiet cabin; user-friendly high-tech equipment; safety features; excellent build quality.

  • Cons

    Touchy brakes; numb steering; gets pricey with options; less practical than Lexus CT 200h.

  • What's New for 2011

    The Lexus HS 250h is unchanged for 2011.

Full 2011 Lexus HS 250h Review

What's New for 2011

The Lexus HS 250h is unchanged for 2011.


When it comes to hybrid vehicles, there are luxury cars and SUVs that are eco-friendly in name only. And then there are some that truly deliver admirable fuel economy numbers. The 2011 Lexus HS 250h falls into the latter group even as it delivers all of the luxury trappings you'd expect from a Lexus -- a unique combination when you think about it.

Despite first impressions, the HS 250h is not a rebadged Toyota Prius. Instead, it features a unique chassis that is bigger than a Corolla's but smaller than a Camry's. The Lexus does, however, borrow its powertrain from the Camry Hybrid, which gives the HS significantly better performance than a Prius. As far as fuel-conscious hybrids go, the Lexus HS 250h is quick, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in only 8.7 seconds. Fuel economy suffers as a result, with an EPA-estimated 35 mpg that falls well short of the 50 mpg delivered by the Prius.

Inside the cabin, the 2011 HS 250h is loaded with plenty of luxury features, surrounding passengers with the fine leather surfaces and wood trim that you'd expect in any Lexus. Buyers should know, though, that tacking on options will make the final price climb fairly quickly.

Eco-friendly entry-level luxury sedans haven't hit showrooms in large numbers quite yet, leaving the 2011 Lexus HS 250h little in the way of competition. The forthcoming Lexus CT 200h will be a hybrid of a luxury car and a hatchback. as it will be a hybrid in powertrain performance. Since it shares its drivetrain with the Prius, it is slower but more economical than the HS 250h. The less expensive Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a compelling alternative with better fuel economy, a roomier interior and higher levels of standard equipment. A lack of brand cachet and a less luxurious cabin are the Lincoln's downfall, however.

Lowering the luxury standard further provides more alternatives like the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid (it's related to the MKZ), the 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and the 201 Nissan Altima Hybrid. For the time being, though, the 2011 Lexus HS 250h represents a solid choice for combining both luxury and fuel frugality.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Lexus HS 250h is a five-passenger, front-wheel-drive compact sedan offered in two trim levels: base and Premium.

The base model features 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, a sunroof, heated outside mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, full power accessories, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, power front seats (eight-way driver and eight-way passenger), a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with audio controls), dual-zone automatic climate control and a 10-speaker audio system with six-disc CD changer, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB audio interface and Bluetooth connectivity for both phone and audio.

The Premium trim adds 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers, auto-dimming exterior mirrors, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver memory settings, heated and ventilated front seats, real-wood cabin accents and upgraded leather upholstery.

Options include a rear spoiler, rear parking sensors, a separate front-and-rear parking-camera system, adaptive LED headlights, a Mark Levinson audio system and a hard-drive-based navigation system with traffic/weather/sports/stock reporting. A Technology package (which requires the Navigation and Parking Camera packages) includes a head-up display, lane-departure warning and assist, a driver-attention monitor, adaptive cruise control and Lexus' Pre-Collision system. Some of the Premium's features can be had as individual options on the base trim.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Lexus HS 250h is powered by a combination of a 2.4-liter inline-4 that works in tandem with a pair of electric motor/generators. Combined output results in 187 horsepower that is sent to the front wheels via a specialized continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). In Edmunds performance testing, an HS 250h accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, which is quick for a hybrid. Fuel economy checks in at 35 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 35 mpg combined, which is about average for a midsize hybrid sedan.


The HS 250h comes standard with antilock disc brakes with brake assist, stability and traction control, side curtain airbags, front-and-rear seat-mounted side airbags and dual front knee airbags.

Included with the optional adaptive cruise control is the Lexus Pre-Collision system, which can pre-tension the front seatbelts and activate brake assist immediately when the driver presses the brake pedal if an impending collision is detected. The optional Technology package includes the Pre-Collision system as well as lane-departure warning and driver-attention monitors.

The 2011 Lexus HS 250h has not been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedures. Its 2010 ratings (which aren't comparable to 2011 tests) resulted in a perfect five out of five stars in frontal and side impact protection for all passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awarded the HS 250h its highest rating of "Good" for frontal offset and side impact protection and a second-best "Acceptable" for roof-strength integrity.

Interior Design and Special Features

As with any vehicle wearing the Lexus badge, the 2011 HS 250h features a luxurious interior with top-notch materials and impeccable fit and finish. The HS 250h also comes loaded with plenty of high-tech features, and controls are mercifully intuitive. Opting for the navigation system will also get you the "Remote Touch" controller that mimics a computer mouse with haptic feedback to "feel" the onscreen audio, climate and navigation buttons. There's also a hybrid-status indicator in the instrument panel that lets drivers know when they're driving green.

Despite the HS 250h's smaller size, its backseat offers a decent amount of head- and legroom for taller folks. Likewise, the short trunk's wide opening and deep, boxy internal shape allows you to drop a golf bag straight in with no jostling required. The trunk can accommodate up to 12.1 cubic feet, but the rear seats do not fold down and there is far less utility than in the hatchback Prius.

Driving Impressions

With a focus on fuel economy, the 2011 Lexus HS 250h won't impress spirited drivers as much as frugal owners. Transitions between gasoline and electric propulsion are seamless and smooth, though throttle response is a bit leisurely. Flooring the accelerator results in a slight pause, but afterward, the HS 250h responds with a rush of linear power.

On the highway, the HS 250h provides a smooth and quiet cabin that is free of wind and road noise. Potholes and bumps in the road are readily soaked up by the compliant suspension, which is also pleasantly composed when taking to curves. Behind the wheel, this Lexus feels lighter than it really is, cornering flat with crisp turn-in. The electric power steering is precise, but lacks feedback. Initially, some drivers may note that the brakes feel overly touchy, but after some time it becomes easy to adapt.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

Excels in everything it is

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus HS 250h

Purchased this car CPO after one too many bad experiences with my beloved 2007 BMW X5 4.8i. Repairs too expensive for my college student budget. I know I'm comparing apples to oranges here, however, in everything that this car intends to do, it exceeds my expectations for it. While smaller than the TCH, it's shared powertrain move this car pretty decently. Electric/gas transition is very seamless. Well put together all around, and after driving around Naperville, IL for two weeks, I have averaged 40.2 and 41.6 MPG on the last two tanks respectively. After reviews on here, was hoping to get 30. Overall, a very good value for a used car as they are discontinued (unfortunately!).

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus HS 250h

I wanted to get a hybrid but not a Toyota... I am so happy with my choice! I have over 32,000 miles on my HS and have not had a single issue! The car is reliable and has great features - especially the ping to car directions. It was the first car I have ever purchased and am so glad I did.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Nice car overall

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus HS 250h

Went to buy a Prius, wife said no way would not drive an egg. We've had the car for about 9 months, bought used (demo) with 18k miles. Have about 28k miles. Very nice car, but the into gas miles are not close to want Lexus states. On flat surface drive it might get 30 to 31 miles. With slight hills in area around 25 mpg. On the freeway at 60-62 mph will get over 40 mpg!! But bought the car mainly for in town driving. Wife does not like to drive because she can't see front end because of the way the hood is shaped :]. I have no problem. Seats a a little narrow for those of us over 230 lbs.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love my hybrid! one year

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus HS 250h

I've had my Lexus HS250h for a year now. 23k miles. Getting 38 MPG! Very comfortable! I'm 5'2" so I'm grateful to find a car that "fits". Interior and exterior are wearing well. Performance has been fine. If you're looking for a sports car acceleration experience, this isn't it - it is a nice, hybrid ride though. Has enough pep to get you out of trouble if you need it (and you can always use the power mode). Brakes well and handles well. Very quiet. No problem to date. Great pick! Very happy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Amazing luxury for the fuel

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus HS 250h

Yes, 37,000 for a car that does not possibly "perform" like a luxury car sedan can be a bit strange. BUT, listen, you're just not going to get excellent fuel economy in a car that has a sportscar like drive. I guess the BMW 3series is the gold standard in this class for the car that's a fun driving experience and I guess it is. BUT, try driving in a "fun" way in that and appreciate your 20mpg and exhaust that is not as ecofriendly as it can be. This car is one of only about 14 to receive the EPA highest rating for environmental impact. Car drives pretty good, handling is great. Quiet drive, but does have some weird winding noise when breaking -- you get used to it.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

A versatile automobile

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Lexus HS 250h

At first when I bought this thing I hated it,coming from a Lexus GS 350. The power was comparatively anemic and the understeer,forget about it. However after a few weeks I adapted to the understeer and was able to make the car work for me. In fact I've adapted to this car so well that a I've actually hadd a few passengers tell me that the car felt rather sporty. The HS 250 certainly has some advantages over a long wheelbase V-6 like the GS 350 its a more compact car so it has a much tighter turning radius. Front wheel drive steering isn't as sharp as rear wheel drive but it allows the driver to be a little lazier in high speed turns,you simply wait for the car to be ready.

Talk About The 2011 HS 250h

2011 Lexus HS 250h Discussions See all Started By

I notice that no on ehas posted here for a while- is there any info on the leases for march- also have you heard anythign about the 2011 Lexus CT? I don't think the CT will work for me, it appears to ...

Gas Mileage


  • 35
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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