1.13.2010

Lexus HS 250h Review


Answers are great. Answers to questions no one is asking aren't.

So I have to know: Did anyone really look at a Toyota Prius and say "I wish Lexus made one of these"?

Because, folks...that's what we've got here. Swap the hatchback from the Prius for a proper trunk in the HS 250h, give the Lexus a more powerful (and less economical) hybrid powerplant, and slather the whole thing in wood, leather and tech.



Presto! The $22,000 base Prius becomes a $36,970 base Lexus HS 250h.

Yes...that's a $15,000 price increase...and no, you don't stand a chance in the world of finding one without options.

In much the same way that it's easier to find a $30,000 Prius on a dealer lot, there are still things to add to your HS 250h that can run the tab to dizzying heights.

The press vehicle added a wide view front monitor and backup monitor. The front works at low speeds and presumably helps keep you from crunching into your garage wall. $700.

LED headlamps with intelligent high beams, adaptive front lighting and headlamp washers. $1,805.

A Mark Levinson audio system with 15 speakers and a 6-disc in-dash DVD changer. This replaces the standard Lexus Premium audio system. $1,580.

A navigation system including XM NavTraffic, XM NavWeather and XM Sports and Stocks, which constantly updates you on your favorite teams and investments...if you pay for a subscription after the 90-day free trial. $2,125.

The tech package. Lane keep assist, dynamic radar cruise control, heads up display, park assist with front and rear sensors (that's in addition to the front and rear cameras), and a pre-collsion system with driver attention monitor. $3,900.

Premium floor mats (I wonder if for extra money, you could upgrade to Mark Levinson floor mats). $265.

Remote engine starter. $375.

And finally, the Preferred Accessory Package (possibly "preferred" because it's the least expensive thing so far)...consisting of a cargo net, trunk mat, wheel locks and rear bumper applique'. $281.

Oh, and $875 for delivery, processing and handling.

You've lost count, haven't you?

That's okay. I've got the window sticker right here.

$48,876.

I said, $48,876.

One thousand, one hundred and 24 dollars shy of 50 grand for a pimped-out Prius.

Oh, yeah...and that lower mileage I mentioned at the beginning...35 city/34 highway. Good enough to make TireKicker's Top Ten Fuel Savers, but way below the Prius' 51/48.

The Green Hollywood types who've been driving Priuses to make a statement (that they hope offsets the Bentleys and Lambos also in their garages) will absolutely love this car. I don't know who else they could possibly sell it to. This is how they're trying:

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