2010 Lexus HS 250h
2010 Lexus HS 250h. Click image to enlarge

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2010 Lexus HS 250h

Winnipeg, Manitoba – According to Lexus Canada, 60 per cent of luxury car buyers are looking for a hybrid option in the $40,000 range. The motivation is not simply the desire to purchase a luxury vehicle that gets excellent fuel economy, but apparently also reflects a growing consciousness in this segment supporting sustainable technology. Starting at $39,900, the all-new 2010 Lexus HS250h is a response to that demand.

The HS250h is a five-passenger, front-wheel drive sedan that is bigger than the Lexus IS, but smaller than the ES. It shares its platform with the European Toyota Avensis, but exterior styling is consistent with other Lexus vehicles. It is the first Lexus dedicated hybrid vehicle (in other words, there’s no non-hybrid HS available) and it is the first Lexus hybrid that uses a four-cylinder engine as part of the Lexus Hybrid Drive system.

2010 Lexus HS 250h
2010 Lexus HS 250h. Click image to enlarge

In addition to its hybrid powertrain, the HS250h features materials and technologies that contribute to sustainable transportation, such as the use of Ecological (plant-based) plastics which are found in 30 per cent of the interior and trunk; increased volume of recycled plastics; electric power steering; infra-red cut glass (reduces infra-red rays into the cabin by 30 per cent); the use of an Exhaust Heat Recovery system to reduce engine warm-up time; LED tail-lights and available LED headlights. Coefficient of Drag is 0.27, and the HS250h emissions rating is Tier 2, Bin 3.

Three HS250h models are available, starting with the $39,900 Premium model. Leather seating surfaces with power driver and front passenger seats are standard, along with XM satellite radio and USB audio connectivity and 17-inch aluminum wheels.

Additional standard equipment includes 10 airbags, active front head restraints with whiplash protection, dual-zone automatic climate control, electroluminescent instrumentation, LED brake lamps, mirror-mounted turn signals, Lexus smart-key system with push-button start, power moonroof, vehicle stability control, traction control and hill-start assist.

2010 Lexus HS 250h
2010 Lexus HS 250h
2010 Lexus HS 250h. Click image to enlarge

The $41,900 Premium model with Sport Package adds a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, heated seats, sport pedals, a wallet-sized smart card key, and illuminated scuff plates.

Starting at $48,750 the Ultra Premium model features heated and ventilated memory seats with perforated leather, Remote Touch navigation tool, voice activated navigation system with integrated back-up camera,15-speaker Mark Levinson Audio system, auto levelling LED headlamps, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels, power rear sunshade and auto-dimming side-view mirrors with integrated back-up camera.

Lexus expects 15 per cent of HS250h sales to be the Premium version, 50 per cent the Premium Sport Package, and 35 per cent the Ultra Premium.
As with all Lexus and Toyota hybrid vehicles, motive power for the HS250h is a gasoline engine and high-output electric drive motor and starter/generator that operate in conjunction with a storage battery (located behind the rear seat) that is charged by regenerative braking/deceleration. In combination, the HS250h’s 2.4-litre gasoline engine and drive motor can supply 187 net-horsepower. The transmission is an electronically controlled, continuously variable CVT automatic.

Four driving modes are available: Normal, Eco, Power and EV. In Normal mode, the HS250h returns 5.7 L/100 km combined city/highway (5.6 city; 5.9 highway). Eco mode reduces throttle response and air conditioning output, improving fuel economy by up to 7.2 per cent. Power mode provides a more immediate response to the throttle giving a sportier feel to the car, but results in a seven per cent fuel consumption penalty in comparison with Normal mode.

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