The Lexus HS Hybrid Sedan once again exemplifies the quality and excellence we've come to expect from the Lexus line. As the first luxury hybrid sedan in the world, the HS provides drivers with a 4 cylinder Atkinson cycle engine in its sixth generation use of hybrid technology; this sedan is rated at a combined EPA of 35 miles per gallon, making it the most fuel efficient luxury car on the market today. In terms of marrying luxury and performance, the Lexus HS Hybrid Sedan has hit some, but not all, of the high points of both.
Its hybrid engine does not detract from the indulgent aspects of the HS, which stands for 'harmonious sedan'. Even though it is the most economical car produced by Lexus, and is the smallest to boot, this vehicle still has the performance of a modern sedan. You can feel the torque rising when you accelerate, but the gear shifting leave a bit to be desired by those seeking the growling pitch of the engine. The only issues most drivers seem to have with this precarious balance are the fact that the performance of this sedan just doesn't provide much in the way of excitement; a lot of drivers enjoy the feel and sound of a geared transmission signaling changes. With the hybrid engine, the seamless flow of a variable transmission just doesn't provide that spark of energy associated with pressing the pedal to the floorboards. Furthermore, because of the slight humming noise within the cabin of the HS, the constant reminder that one is driving a car less built for performance than economy and efficiency can detract from the delight a driver might otherwise feel.
From a purely luxury standpoint, the Lexus HS Hybrid Sedan doesn't quite offer the same amount of luxury their other sedans give drivers. The comfort level isn't as high, due not only to the buzzing in the cabin from the electric motor, but also the physical aspects of the interior. The seats are on a higher elevation than one would expect from such a low-profiled car; passengers in the front of the vehicle are left with hair grazing the ceiling and those riding in the back get the feeling of being closed in. Non-luxury Toyota models offer more in the sense of spaciousness in the cabin than the Lexus Hybrid Sedan. The interior design, however, is composed of materials in the same high standards of good taste that Lexus owners have come to love and appreciate. Where the indulgence seems to be focused in this sedan is the features it offers; while the list of 'standard' features is compelling in and of itself, the optional ones are simply heavenly for those with a taste for the high-tech.