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The base price is $34k, but their tester was $45k!

a summary:

Being that the brand's parent company builds the Prius, the industry benchmark for hybrids in terms of both fuel efficiency and popularity, Lexus has, on the one hand, a much deeper well of hybrid expertise from which to draw than its competition. On the other hand, it has the toughest act to follow in the third-generation Prius. In the minds of many, a true Lexus hybrid should be everything Toyota's magic bean is and more – it should be the perfect Prius.

Funny thing, the HS 250h is not. Lexus hasn't built an upmarket version of the Prius with the HS 250h. Perhaps realizing that after three generations creating about as perfect a parallel hybrid as there is, Lexus up and decided that its own luxury hybrid should have a different mission. Unfortunately, after a week spent behind the wheel of a 2010 HS 250h Premium, we're not still not sure what that mission is.

Finally there's EV mode, which as its name suggests allows the vehicle to be driven solely on electricity for short distances. In our experience, "short distances" meant from one driveway to the next... while coasting. Nearly any application of the throttle will pop the car out of EV mode

That said, the HS 250h will outrace a Prius to 60 miles per hour, 8.4 seconds to 9.8 seconds. It also offers four modes of powertrain pleasure: Normal, Power, Eco and EV. We're assuming Lexus recorded its Prius-beating 0-60 mph time using Power mode, which makes the HS 250h feel only as lively and responsive as a very heavy Corolla. Power mode should instead be called Normal because that's what it best approximates, and Normal and Eco mode should be called Eco and Numb. In actual Eco mode, the throttle behaves like a body part pumped full of Novocain. It's all in the name of increasing MPGs, but firmly pressing the gas pedal and getting back disproportionately less power is a disconcerting sensation that, for the most part, left Eco mode off the table for us.

The HS 250h manages a score of 35 mpg city, 34 highway and 35 combined. That's about a 15 mpg deficit on top of asking $10,000 more for a car that some had hoped would be the perfect Prius.

Here's what it looks like:
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