Absurdly popular, the Toyota Corolla is not one of GoodCarBadCar.net’s favourite cars. Corollas are vanilla, and not the scrumptuous Cows kind of vanilla many hold dear. There’s nothing exciting about the Corolla; nothing attractive or enticing.
Imagine if the Corolla’s price suddenly doubled. All too quickly, the Corolla becomes an overpriced compact. Perhaps a gain in fuel efficiency would make up for some of the cost increase, as would the enjoyment of added features. However, for some reason, with increased costs came – for some reason – liberally spattered ugliness and a painful driving experience where dull styling and emotionless dynamics once resided.
True, the 2011 Lexus HS250h isn’t just a Corolla hybrid with adjusted styling and a higher price. Yet, in Lexus’s lineup, the HS250h sits in an equivalent position. Rather than tempting buyers with terrific design or next-generation technology or otherworldly efficiency, Lexus wants to market the HS250h to you on the merit of its second h, the h which stands for hybrid. It’s a luxury car, and it’s a hybrid, they say. Want ye more? Yes, we do want more, because the HS250h is a very poor luxury car and at just 34 highway miles per gallon, not a very good hybrid.
Alternatives: Infiniti G25, Lexus IS250, acting like your body possesses at least half an ounce of testosterone and enough brain matter to form financially reasonable conclusions.
Base USD/CAD Price: $34,650 / $39,900
Improvements Required: Act as though the HS250h never happened. If Lexus wants hybrids in the smaller luxury car sector, stick with the CT200h and make available a hybrid version of the rear-wheel drive Lexus IS sports sedan.
Historical Significance: With the HS, Toyota thought they could apply the same fortunes to Lexus as the parent company received from the Prius. Available exclusively as a gas-electric hybrid, the HS250h became the fourth hybrid Lexus brought to market. The 2011 Lexus CT200h is more suited to grabbing the luxury car buyer who yearns for the environmentally-friendly image.