2012 Lexus HS Review
Despite decent fuel economy and good handling, reviewers say there are better choices than the 2012 Lexus HS.
The Lexus HS tries to find a middle ground between good fuel economy and a high-end interior, but test drivers say the HS doesn’t succeed at either one. For an upscale car built solely for hybrid shoppers, test drivers say the Lexus HS falls short because its hybrid powertrain is beat by many rivals. The Chevrolet Volt, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Toyota Prius and Toyota Camry Hybrid all have better fuel economy compared with the Lexus HS. Critics also think the HS has underwhelming performance, even for a hybrid.
Although reviewers like the Lexus HS’ interior because it is comfortable, has intuitive electronics and uses mostly high-end materials, some say repeat Lexus buyers may be disappointed because it doesn’t offer the same level of luxury that Lexus is known for. Many reviewers compare the HS’ interior to the Toyota Prius, not the Lexus IS or ES. They say the HS has good fit and finish, but thin seats and eco-friendly plastics make the cabin look and feel cheaper than a Lexus should.
Auto reviewers say that although the 2012 Lexus HS isn’t a bad upscale hybrid car, you should test drive several competitors before making your decision.
Other Cars to Consider
The Chevrolet Volt is a good option for shoppers looking at the Lexus HS. The Volt uses two electric motors, a lithium-ion battery and a gas engine to produce the highest fuel economy ratings among upscale midsize cars. Despite its excellent fuel economy, the Volt has less combined horsepower than the Lexus HS. The Volt is also more expensive.
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is a good upscale car to consider if you value fuel economy. It doesn’t have the luxury cachet or the good handling that Lexus does, but it has better fuel economy ratings than the Lexus HS. Reviewers say the MKZ Hybrid has a lot going for it compared with the Lexus HS, including more combined horsepower, a lower price and nicer interior.
Lexus HS: The Details
The Lexus HS is available in two trim levels: base and Premium. It is mostly unchanged for 2012, except for a few exterior tweaks. 2012 is the final model year for the Lexus HS, as Lexus has discontinued the hybrid car and stopped producing it. HS cars currently on dealer lots are the last new ones to be sold. See the full list of 2012 Lexus HS specs.
- "In the end, HS is little more than a highly gilded small Toyota that's overpriced for what it delivers." -- Consumer Guide
- "Among the small number of luxury hybrid sedans on the market, the 2012 Lexus HS 250h is one of the few that puts its emphasis on fuel efficiency. While most others in this niche segment are more costly and tend to place performance over fuel economy, the more affordable and compact HS 250h switches those priorities." -- Edmunds
- "We have no problem recommending the Lexus HS 250h because it certainly gets two out of three things exactly right: the cabin experience sets a fine mark for what a luxury pure hybrid can be and the driving is enjoyable. It's only the styling that gives us pause long enough to say that we will let other beholders judge that beauty for themselves." -- Autoblog
- "If the HS250h isn't going to drive any better than the Prius, we'd rather have the mileage-and the lower monthly payment-of a Prius instead." -- Car and Driver