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#12

in 2011 Upscale Midsize Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $20,451 - $21,444
Original MSRP: $36,330 - $39,100
MPG: 35 City / 34 Hwy
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2011 Lexus HS Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Inside, reviewers say that the HS doesn't feel exactly like a Lexus. Fit and finish is, as always, impeccable. It feels luxurious, with easy-to-use electronics and soft-touch surfaces. But it has a noticeably different character than other Lexus cars, with thin seats and some visible plastics, though they are made of a plant-derived material. It also allows more wind and road noise than some luxury buyers are accustomed to, because sound-dampening materials are so heavy that their generous use would rob the car of some of its fuel economy. Many reviewers like the cabin - but long-time Lexus owners won't recognize much in it.

  • "Numerous soft-touch interior surfaces and a two-tone color scheme mark the HS as a luxury car, but the overall look is more subtle than rich." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The list of features that come standard on the HS is long, but not much longer than that of a reasonably well-optioned Prius." -- Car and Driver
  • "The aim is efficiency, but it comes at some sacrifice to the impression of luxury." -- Motor Trend
  • "It's also the first vehicle in the world to use ecological plastics for the interior; some 30 percent of its cabin and luggage area is covered with this plant-derived carbon-neutral material, and it looks and feels just like standard trim." -- Road and Track
  • "Any seat in the house is a nice one to have." -- Autoblog

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Seating:

The seats of the HS are unique. Rather than the thick, heavily-padded leather thrones in other Lexus vehicles, the HS uses thinner seats. Most reviewers find them comfortable for the long haul, though taller drivers might want to pay close attention to seat comfort during the test drive, as some find the seats too small. The unusual thin seat frames give the HS a surprising amount of rear-seat space. Even though the car's exterior dimensions make it seem a little small, reviewers say its rear seats are genuinely comfortable for adults.

  • "Seats offer a comfortably snug fit. Headroom is fine, but drivers over six feet tall may find legroom tight and their right knee hitting the dash protrusion." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The interior is a comfy enough place. Up-front room is good. The front seatbacks and rear headliner are scalloped to increase rear cabin room, which is fine for six-footers." -- Motor Trend
  • "The thin, shaped front seatbacks leave plenty of room in back for real, human-sized men." -- Autoblog
  • "The base textured leather upholstery feels more like leatherette and makes the upgraded semi-aniline leather a worthwhile upgrade." -- Car and Driver

Interior Features:

The dashboard of the HS will be more familiar to Prius owners than to owners of other Lexus cars. It borrows its high center console and center-mounted shifter from Toyota's hybrid. An optional head-up display, also borrowed from the Prius, allows the driver to adjust climate, entertainment and other settings without looking down at the center stack.

Reviewers are particularly fond of the HS' remote-touch controller. Most luxury car builders now use a single user-interface to control many climate and entertainment functions through their navigation screens. Some, like BMW's iDrive or Mercedes' COMAND interface, can be maddeningly difficult to learn. Most auto writers say, however, that the Lexus system is remarkably intuitive. It resembles a computer mouse, and uses a menu structure that most PC users will find easy to master. Most settings can also be adjusted with voice commands. Lexus says the HS has been programmed with an advanced voice-command system that recognizes casual speech, allowing the driver to adjust settings easily without learning a clipped language of commands the car understands. The few auto writers who've tested the speech recognition software seem to agree that it works well.

  • "Color combos are slick, especially the high-contrast cream leather with black carpeting, but there remains a certain sense of thin-skinned cheapness to the materials that reveal the car's light-weight-over-substance priority set." -- Car and Driver
  • "There's a large, mid-level protrusion from the dash that holds the audio and climate controls, and while it looks a bit odd, it places those controls within easy reach. The optional navigation system adds a screen that flips up from the top of the dash and a joystick controller at the back edge of the protrusion; both are easy to use." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The materials choices aren't as dazzling as they are in upper-crust Lexus models, but everything is of high quality and fits together nicely." -- Motor Trend
  • "I did get to use the HS's new remote-touch controller, a mouse-like device on the protruding center console that will soon make its way onto all Lexus models with navigation. It's simple to use, and allows the driver to complete multiple tasks without digging too deeply into menus." -- Road and Track

Cargo:

Virtually all hybrid sedans store their batteries in space between the trunk and rear seats. This arrangement promotes handling balance, helping to offset the weight of the engine in the front of the car. It inhibits cargo space, however, forcing designers to build a smaller trunk than they might otherwise, and making folding seatbacks impossible. The HS is no exception. At just over 12 cubic feet its trunk is large for a hybrid, but still trails other entry-level luxury sedans -- and with no folding seatbacks, the space can't be expanded.

  • "With the batteries located between the rear seatback and trunk, the cargo area is surprisingly small and lacks the accessibility of the Prius's hatchback. (To be fair, the HS has the largest access slot of any Lexus sedan.)" -- Car and Driver
  • "In the passenger compartment, a decent-size glovebox, small console box, two covered cupholders, two small bins (three if there's no navigation system), and small map pockets with cupholders make for slightly better-than-average small-item storage." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The trunk is roomy, too. At 12.1 cubic feet, it can swallow more than any other Lexus hybrid (beating the LS 600h by 0.5 cubic feet), which means four and their golf clubs should go nicely. " -- Autoblog
Used car average prices are provided by ClearBook™, a TrueCar™ product