There is little doubt that Lexus stands as one of the premier Japanese luxury automakers, and can boast a long list of successful cars, crossovers and SUVs. However, even with the best of intentions, not every car can be a smashing success, and in this case, the HS250h was such an example. The HS was not Lexus’ first foray into selling a hybrid car, but while prior Lexus hybrids were built to offer hybrid technology as an added level of performance with decent fuel economy, the HS250h took a different tact. This was a straight up hybrid, no different from a plain Jane Prius.
The HS250h debuted as a 2010, and sold 10,663 cars in the US, far short of Lexus expectations. If that wasn’t bad enough, 2011 saw sales go into a free fall, dropping to 2,864 cars, a staggering 73 percent drop. In a report from Inside Line, Lexus halted production of the HS250h in January 2012. And no wonder, with a paltry 591 cars sold as of the end of April. With no action on the dealer showroom floor, Lexus never even attempted a hail Mary to revive the HS, and let the car quietly die.
The funny thing is, I actually liked the HS250h. The Garage reviewed one shortly after its introduction. I got what the HS was meant to be, and found it to be a handsome, comfortable car. Lexus is about to roll out the all-new ES series, which will have a hybrid version, but when asked, the ES hybrid is not a replacement for the HS. I say why not-the HS failed as a premium hybrid sedan, and with the ES Hybrid, an HS replacement would only cannibalize sales.