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STYLING | 7 out of 10
a stately, nonoffensive design
Compact and taut...in profile, somewhat reminiscent of the first-generation Lexus IS sport sedan.
the overall look is more subtle than rich
looks like a Toyota Corolla or even, as we first thought, the last-gen Prius jazzed up with the L-Finesse styling language
not a lavish interior, but it's a nice one, with a tech-y, modern feel about it
Among Lexus sedans, the 2012 Lexus HS 250h may be the least sleek and beautiful. Its high cowl and slab sides combine with long front and rear overhangs to give it a chunky, high-ended silhouette that's quite different from the IS sport sedan or the ES 350 mid-size family sedan. But some of the details redeem the design, whether it's the winged headlamps leading to a corner crease trailing back to the waistline or the way the hood line rises to the base of the windshield.
The tail may be the car's crispest, most elegant view, resembling an abbreviated version of the large LS flagship. The angles and curves of the rear pillars neatly lead into that back end, and the small front window sections that extend ahead of the door lines are intriguing.
Nonetheless, the HS 250h manages a drag coefficient of just 0.27, with the grille bars actually a solid surface to guide air over the hood. Extensive covers over the underbody further smooth aerodynamics, as does a diffuser at the rear to separate the airflow as it leaves the car.
Inside the 2012 Lexus HS, the instrument panel design delivers a health dose of futurism. Audio, infotainment, and climate controls are grouped in a center stack that's angled outwards. The navigation system (an optional feature) is housed in a display screen that pops up from the top of the dash, operated by a Remote Touch mouse-style controller mounted in the center console. This is laudably simple and intuitive to operate, though the driver's eyes may be off the road longer to follow the icons on the central display.
The styling of the 2012 Lexus HS 250h isn't as sleek as other models in the Lexus line, but its interior conveys a futuristic luxury.