2011 Lexus HS 250h Hybrid: Review Roundup

Lexus HS 250h Reviews
photo courtesy of Lexus

The Lexus HS 250h is a hybrid luxury compact sedan which many people have dubbed Lexus’s answer to the Prius. While it boasts a similar chassis shape and is in the Prius’s class, it is its own car. The 2011 model is unchanged from the 2010 model, so the reviews below cover both years. Let’s see what folks are saying about it.

Edmunds – 2011 Lexus HS 250h

Edmunds says that the HS 250h “truly deliver[s] admirable fuel economy numbers,” as well as “all of the luxury trappings you’d expect from a Lexus.”

The reviewer also says it offers “significantly better performance than a Prius.” Edmunds calls it “quick,” as it accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds. The downside, they say, is that fuel economy is 35 MPG, which doesn’t touch Prius’s 50 MPG.

The drivetrain is powered by a 2.4-liter inline-4 that works in concert with two electric motor/generators, producing 187 horsepower. Edmunds assessment is that this car “won’t impress spirited drivers as much as frugal owners.” They add “Transitions between gasoline and electric propulsion are seamless and smooth, though throttle response is a bit leisurely.”   Continue reading “2011 Lexus HS 250h Hybrid: Review Roundup”

2011 Mercedes E350 BlueTEC Diesel: Review Roundup

Mercedes E350 Bluetec Diesel reviews
photo courtesy of Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes’s E350 BlueTEC attempts to revive diesel cars in America, with the German automaker’s trademark mix of luxury and performance. Let’s break down what’s been said about the E350.

 

MotorTrend – First Test: 2011 Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec

MotorTrend says “the E350 Bluetec is not a blast to drive, period,” adding “In fact, the driving experience is actually quite dull.” They say that the motor noise is quite loud, compared to other modern diesels, although the cabin does a good job at dampening the noise. The shifts are quiet, as well.

Regarding performance, MotorTrend says: “Acceleration is lackluster, with the 210-horsepower, 400-pound-foot turbocharged 3.0-liter V-6 needing 7.5 seconds to get the 4167-pound sedan to 60 mph and 15.6 seconds to get it through the quarter mile. The brakes… are fairly middle of the road as well, with 60-0 mph requiring 128 feet. Handling? That’s middling too.” Continue reading “2011 Mercedes E350 BlueTEC Diesel: Review Roundup”

2011 Lexus LS 600h L Hybrid: Review Roundup

Lexus LS Hybrid Review RoundupThe Lexus 600h L hybrid car is Lexus’s attempt at cornering the luxury full-size sedan market and it’s a hybrid to boot. Let’s see what the automotive press had to say about it.

MotorTrend – 2011 Lexus LS 600h L First Test (March 2011)

Many reviewers note the extremity of the noiseless, vibrationless ride that this car offers. MotorTrend speaks of Lexus’s “single-minded pursuit of isolating passengers from the outside world.” They continue: “The automaker says the car is one of the quietest automobiles ever built, and we have no reason to doubt that claim.”

But MotorTrend wasn’t impressed by the powertrain. It lacks the speed and power of its competitors, yet doesn’t deliver enough fuel efficiency to really compensate for that. The reviewer says: “The L in the LS 600h L stands for Lagging, as in lagging behind the competition.” The 600h L delivered 20 MPG in combined city/highway driving during testing. Continue reading “2011 Lexus LS 600h L Hybrid: Review Roundup”

2011 BMW 335d Diesel Sedan: Review Roundup

BMW 335d Diesel Review RoundupThe BMW 335d is a diesel-burning luxury mid-size sedan. Originally released in 2009, this car has garnered breathless reviews. It’s apparently a lot of fun to drive. Unfortunately, 2011 will be the last production year for this car, as BMW makes way for its next generation of the 3-series. Apart from a new Sport package and better stereo equipment, the car has remained the same since 2009. All the reviews mentioned are for 2009, except for Automobile’s, which covers 2010.

MotorTrend – First Drive: 2009 BMW 335d (October 2008)

MotorTrend is practically panting when its review starts: “Prepare to have your prejudices shattered and your perceptions altered. Prepare to relearn everything you thought you knew about performance cars. Prepare to drive the 2009 BMW 335d.”

What drives every red-blooded reviewer crazy is the 335d’s engine, which MotorTrend describes as “a twin-turbo, 3.0L straight-six that delivers 265 hp… and a thumping 425 lb-ft of torque between 1750 and 2250 rpm.” It’s paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, going from 0 to 60 mph in six seconds. And, because it’s a diesel, fuel efficiency is 23 mpg city and 36 mpg on the highway. Continue reading “2011 BMW 335d Diesel Sedan: Review Roundup”