When I first heard that Lexus was bringing out a compact luxury hybrid vehicle, I assumed that they would just take a Prius, change a few body panels, put in an upscale leather interior and some option packages and charge a lot of money for it. Boy, was I wrong. Aside from the impressive 50 miles per gallon, there was little else about the Prius that impressed me. But the new Lexus HS250h is another story.
The larger Lexus hybrids, like the RX450h and the GS450h, were designed to keep their performance levels up, and they use a V6 to make V8-like power, so there is only a small improvement in gas mileage. But this new model is designed with a greener footprint in mind, so gas mileage was set at the forefront and the resulting 35 mpg city and 34 mpg highway is testament to that. Those numbers were spot on in my driving experience. The computer on my test car showed 34.5 miles per gallon over the 1,200 miles since the last reset.
More: 2010 Lexus HS250h Premium: First Drive