Like any Lexus, the 2012 HS 250h offers a good array of standard features. But the options list is a wonder to behold, with an impressive number of high-tech features that will gladden the heart of gadget fiends and luxury lovers alike. Lexus says its all-LED headlamps are the first in the segment, and come packaged together with Intelligent High Beam, Adaptive Front Lighting, and washers for the lamps themselves. Then there's a new heads-up display, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, front- and rear-view monitors, Lane-Keeping Assist--which not only alerts drivers who drift out of their lane but also applies a steering correction--and Intuitive Park Assist.
The optional multi-speaker 330-Watt audio surround-sound system comes from Mark Levinson, and XM Satellite radio is included even on standard models, as is Bluetooth connectivity and a USB port.
A further option is the "Enform with Safety Connect" system. This pairs subscription-based safety and information services, including roadside assistance and crash notification with an enhanced navigation system that includes XM real-time traffic and weather data, as well as sports and stock information delivered to your car. Access is via voice commands or through the fixed Remote Touch mouse-like controller on the console, which requires drivers to take their eyes off the road to maneuver a cursor on the central display screen.
The challenge for buyers may be the cost of multiple options. While the starting price of the 2012 HS 250h is about $37,000, but adding in those high-tech options may require specifying several bundles of packaged features that can add more than $10,000 to the total. A fully loaded HS 250h Premium model approaches $50,000.