The 2012 Lexus HS 250h is a well-equipped luxury sedan with high fuel economy, but its appeal is limited.
It's not that roomy inside, the handling isn't very rewarding, and the engine noise is surprisingly obtrusive.
While Lexus doesn't think the Toyota Prius is a competitor, some buyers are likely to cross-shop them anyway.
The Prius gets much better mileage, is larger inside, and its cargo capability is more versatile.
It doesn't have nearly the list of luxury and technology options that the HS does, though, and the same applies to the clean-diesel 2012 Volkswagen Jetta sedan--which gets fuel mileage that's very close to the HS.
The all-new 2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid sedan is also simpler, but is larger, faster, and roomier, and more fuel-efficient.
In the luxury segment, the closest match may be the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which also gets better gas mileage and offers more space inside to boot.
Finally, if your heart is set on a Lexus, consider the CT 200h compact hybrid hatchback, which returns better mileage and is much more rewarding to drive.
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|35 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||43 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||40 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy||51 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy|
|Gas/Electric I4||Gas/Electric I4||Gas V6||Gas/Electric I4||Gas/Electric I4||Gas I4|
|Mid-Size||Compact||Midsize Cars||Midsize||Midsize Cars||Compact Cars|
|4-Door Sedan Hybrid||FWD 4-Door Hybrid||4-Door Sedan FWD||4-Door Sedan LE (Natl)||5-Door HB One (Natl)||4-Door Manual Base|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front-Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4 Door Hatchback||Sedan||4 Door Sedan||Hatchback||4 Door Sedan|
|Continuously variable ratio||Continuously Variable Ratio||Automatic w/manual shift||Continuously Variable||Continuously Variable Ratio||Manual|