2010 Lexus HS250h
New: HS could stand for Homely Sedan. This hybrid four-door is the answer to a question we've never heard asked: why can't I have a four-cylinder, hybrid luxury car that's neither pretty nor particularly luxurious? Then again, if your Prius is too proletarian, there's nowhere else to go.
Noteworthy: The HS sports Lexus's first four-cylinder - the drive-line is similar to the Camry Hybrid's, but it seems to be programmed better, giving more linear power delivery and better brake feel. Its chassis comes partly from the European-market Toyota Avensis, which donates its awkward, tall and narrow proportions. Despite nice touches like French-stitched dash materials and an impressive array of electronic driver-assistance systems, the HS comes across as somewhat downmarket. The four-cylinder drone doesn't help, but at least it returns an EPA-estimated 35 mpg combined. That's just 1 mpg better than a Volkswagen Jetta TDI - but the Lexus has a Prius-esque smugness factor that the Vee Dub will never match.
On sale: Now
Base price: $35,075
Specs: 2.4L I-4/electric hybrid, 187 hp (combined), 138 lb-ft; front-wheel drive