It was an interesting week to say the least. By the time the Lexus pick-up team arrived to retrieve their prototype, I was clear that I would likely measure all hybrid vehicle test drives by this first one. This was not my first hybrid test ride, nor do I hope it is my last, but I found myself more attached than I wanted to be as I saw its sleek yet short silver body reflect brilliantly for the last time. Yes, I am waxing (or waning perhaps) poetic for a car . . .
I come by it naturally as my father had a love for cool cars and gadgets – the Lexus HS 250h hybrid presented a satisfying blend of both.
A few of the ergonomic and gadget-type features that I loved had little to do with the hybrid or eco-factor. However, a couple of things in particular stuck with me and I suspect will be incorporated to some degree in most hybrid cars – or they should be for at least one model generation:
1. The in-dash computer screen showing the live-action drivetrain and energy consumption value screens was highly educational and helpful in retraining driving habits to conserve fuel. I know Toyota does this, but I’m not sure if all of them include this nifty, informative feature.
2. The gauge that replaces the normal RPM gauge also helps to moderate driving to accommodate a more fuel conservative approach to acceleration from a light or dead stop.
It became somewhat of a personal game to see the green light come on the dashboard ‘EV’ indicating I was, for the time the light was green, not burning fuel or emitting carbon dioxide.
As you can see/read from my posts, I’m not well-versed in the technical side of hybrid vehicles, nor do I really want to be. I want to have a comfortable, safe ride that offers a better deal for the environment than many cars available today. The Lexus 250h may not be the most efficient of the new eco-tech cars coming out, but it is a great transitional vehicle that is likely to be dependable as it is backed up by a major car producer. I’m all for these wonderful new independent companies that are emerging with fresh ideas, but for now, I think many folks just need a low-stress vehicle to cross the bridge as new companies and technologies emerge on the far, but not too distant horizon.
BTW, my average mileage was 30.9 MPG. It only made it to the open highway once and I probably had the air conditioning on the ENTIRE time, so I have no doubt I could’ve done better. I was told the vehicle can get into the high 40s, but I didn’t get there in 5 days.
The number one question out of everyone’s mouth was, ”How much?” I didn’t know at first and we all tried guessing. I would’ve guessed between $45 – 50k. I was impressed when I found out it was just under $35k for the base model, which I believe has most of the bells and whistles I got to play with.
Look for this fun eco-ride by the end of next summer . . .
eat. blog. be merry!