Unlike its airy corporate cousin, the Toyota Prius, the 2010 Lexus HS 250h struggles to find enough room for its full five occupants—or even the front two, for that matter. The HS 250h also suffers from a decidedly un-Lexus-like level of cabin noise, particularly from the droning four-cylinder gasoline engine.
Although the 2010 Lexus HS 250h has seat belts for five occupants, it doesn’t quite have the capacity to seat them all comfortably. On the positive side, Popular Mechanics reviewers find that “the seats are extremely comfortable for long journeys,” but that statement should come with a disclaimer—tall drivers beware. ConsumerGuide reports that the Lexus HS 250h’s front seats “offer a comfortably snug fit,” as “drivers over six feet tall may find legroom tight and their right knee hitting the dash protrusion.” As a Lexus, the HS 250h does get “ten-way power leather seats [as] standard,” according to Cars.com, but the rather cramped quarters remain.
The rear bench seat suffers from the same problem, according to TheCarConnection.com’s research; ConsumerGuide reports that “headroom is sufficient only for those up to about 5’11,” and overall “the seat itself isn’t wide enough for three adults.”
Passengers may find space at a premium inside the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, but reviewers observe plenty of cargo space in the trunk and respectable in-cabin storage. Edmunds credits “ongoing improvements to hybrid component packaging” with allowing the Lexus HS 250h to have “a normal-size trunk with more than 12 cubic feet of cargo space.” Not only is the trunk decent-sized, but Car and Driver says the Lexus HS 250h “has the largest access slot of any Lexus sedan.” Despite the generous volume of the trunk, ConsumerGuide is still disappointed by the fact that “the battery pack…prevents having a fold-down rear seatback,” which limits the trunk’s overall utility. Inside the passenger cabin, ConsumerGuide also reports that the Lexus HS 250h offers “a decent-size glovebox, small console box, two covered cupholders, [and] two small bins.”
Lexus would never let itself reduce costs by cutting corners with interior materials quality, and the 2010 Lexus HS 250h easily meets the materials expectations set by its price tag. Jalopnik observes that “high quality materials reside throughout, with 30 percent of materials derived from plant-based sources,” which is very much in keeping with this hybrid’s environmentally friendly theme. Edmunds calls this the “new Lexus message: in the future, luxury has to be responsible and careful with finite resources.” While the Lexus HS 250h’s materials are decidedly upscale, drivers expecting to be swaddled in opulence might be in for a bit of a surprise—ConsumerGuide characterizes the “overall look [as] more subtle than rich,” though that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
What is most certainly a bad thing is the amount of engine noise that invades the HS 250h’s cabin and assaults the ears of its occupants. Every review surveyed by TheCarConnection.com mentions the unexpectedly high levels of engine noise, prompting Automobile Magazine reviewers to ask “when was the last time you hear a four-cylinder thrum in a Lexus? (Hint: never.).” Car and Driver reviewers could do without the “powertrain’s pitiful drone,” and they complain of “a fair amount of tire noise and low-level reverberations from road impacts.” Edmunds comes to the defense of the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, reporting that “when used in urban settings…the new Lexus is remarkably smooth and quiet,” but with a Lexus badge on the front drivers should expect a quiet ride at highway speeds as well.