2012 Lexus HS 250h vs. Its Competition

2012 Lexus HS 250h 4-door Sedan Angular Front Exterior View
John Voelcker John Voelcker Senior Editor

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.

2012 Lexus HS 250h 4-door Sedan Angular Front Exterior View2012 Lexus HS 250hBrowse Used Listings2012 Lexus CT 200h2012 Lexus CT 200hBrowse Used Listings2012 Lincoln MKZ 4-door Sedan Hybrid FWD Angular Front Exterior View2012 Lincoln MKZBrowse Used Listings2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid2012 Toyota Camry HybridBrowse Used ListingsThe 2012 Toyota Prius. Image: Toyota2012 Toyota PriusBrowse Used Listings2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2012 Volkswagen Jetta SedanBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
7.6
The 2012 Lexus HS 250h offers lots of technology along with its high gas mileage, but it's not engaging to drive, nor is its level of luxury particularly spectacular.
7.8
The 2012 Lexus CT 200h is a surprisingly stylish, fun, and unexpected car, blending Lexus levels of refinement with superb hybrid gas mileage. It's the sole compact luxury hybrid hatch, but it offers good value and a new way of driving green.
8.0
The 2012 Lincoln MKZ has supple leather and wood trim for luxury-car street cred, and hybrid flower power to appeal to greens.
The 2012 Toyota Camry is the most fuel-efficient way to transport the family in a traditional-looking, comfortable four-door sedan.
7.6
The 2012 Toyota Prius remains the highest-mileage car offered in the U.S., and it's a practical and capacious mid-size hatchback with room for five
7.8
The 2012 VW Jetta delivers a better driving feel and more back-seat room than many other compact sedans; skip the cost-cutter base versions in favor of the TDI or the GLI for a distinctive choice in the compact class.
MSRP From     
$37,030$29,120$34,755$25,990$23,015$15,515
Gas Mileage     
35 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy43 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy40 MPG City / 39 MPG Hwy51 MPG City / 48 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas/Electric I4Gas/Electric I4Gas/Electric I4Gas/Electric I4Gas/Electric I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
Mid-SizeCompactMidsize CarsMidsizeMidsize CarsCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan HybridFWD 4-Door Hybrid4-Door Sedan Hybrid FWD4-Door Sedan LE (GS)5-Door HB One (SE)4-Door Manual Base
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront-Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/A4N/AN/AN/A4
Body Style     
4 Door Sedan4 Door HatchbackSedan4 Door SedanHatchback4 Door Sedan
Transmission     
Continuously variable ratioContinuously Variable RatioContinuously Variable RatioContinuously VariableContinuously Variable RatioManual