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.
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.
I traded an 06 Acura RL which I adored but got in the low 20's mpgs and was looking for a good size tech laden high mileage car. I never fancied myself a "Lexus" guy but after test driving it, felt it had excellent "non Lexus" driving characteristics and incredible mileage for a 3700 pound luxo/sport (albeit for a hybrid) car. And with the December to Remember cash incentives from mother Lexus, the price became "reasonable." Have had the car since Jan 3 and have 4500 miles on it and am consistently getting high 36 mpg's. And with gas up $0.60 cents since January its been a big help! Also have two Prius's and this HS is no Prius! Prius is great but no comparison for a long drive.
When we felt we deserved a lot more bells and whistles and were watching the fuel prices start the most recent climb we researched the available Luxury Hybrids. Kathy wanted a higher seating position than the '99 Solara, BlueTooth/Nav/Heated Seats and she found it all. My working for a Lexus store didn't stop her from looking at the Prius, Altima and Lincoln Hybrids but she determined that the Premium HS suited her best. Now that she regularly exceeds the posted 35 MPG by 2 or 3 it confirmed her decision. A high point of her day is getting asked for a ride by various co-workers and showing off the cooled seats and verbal commands. That the dealer washes it every week is an added bonus!
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.