Lexus introduced a brand new hybrid with the 2010 Lexus HS 250h. Besides working on the hybrid engine, Toyota engineers used CAD design to make the most aerodynamic production vehicle available. This design makes the car a bit tall for its width, but that was done to make for the maximum space on the interior.
They carried on with some great green moves like using bioplastics in over 30% of the interior design. That means those cup holders, consoles, door handles and dashes are made out of some part plastic and part biodegradable material. It doesn't mean much to the riders, but when this car is trashed a number of years from now, it will recycle much easier.
The technology is also quite impressive. There is a $3900 technology package that includes a heads-up display, radar based cruise control, parking assistance sensors, a warning system for pre-collision and a lane drift detector called Lane Keep Assist. This doesn't seem like too much for these new high tech items.
My favorite new tech item was, however, the Wide-View Front Monitor. This is absolutely awesome. It gives you a 190 degree look out the front. It can be set to work when the car is going very slowly so you can see when you are nosing out into a street with blocked peripheral vision. For my family it would be the best for pulling into the garage. I can't tell you how many small items have been run over just because we couldn't see them. I also like the thought of being able to see in the front when pulling into a tight parking place.
Although I was feeling quite good about this vehicle, when I got to the price of the floor mats on the invoice, it really set me back. Their floor mat set was $397.00 on the invoice. This is only about 1% of the price of the car, but I really felt it was over the top. You can get top quality Lexus floor mats at a number of aftermarket web sites that are better than what was in the original car. Those mats must have been some kind of high tech or hybrid concoction.
All in all, the Lexus HS 250h is quite a fine vehicle. It is technologically superior to the other hybrids. Their floor mats were my only big complaint. I guess that is insignificant in the scheme of things.