Monday, December 3, 2012

Plug & Play

Me:  How do you start this thing?

eCarOne Founder:  You’ll figure it out!

Me:  Is it on?

eCarOne Founder:  You’ll figure it out!

This was the conversation after I got into the 2010 Lexus HS 250h and pushed the start button.  Sure enough, I figured it out…. All I had to do was press the gas pedal and I’m off.  This was the first hybrid I ever drove and I’ll be up front right now and say that it’s not for me.  But then again, I’m not at all a tree hugger nor am I even remotely on the environmentalist side of the spectrum.  Furthermore, I have a two mile daily commute so fuel consumption is not an issue for me.

But then let me be fair to the Lexus and say that you really don’t have to be a tree hugger or an environmentalist to appreciate this car.  I think this car works really well for those who want to save fuel but don’t want to sacrifice quality and luxury.  It’s a Lexus, so there is no sacrifice.

You get everything you’d expect; leather, memory/heated/ventilated seats, great NAV with back-up camera, Bluetooth, USB iPod connection, and everything in between.

What you don’t get is the feel of driving excitement.  For example, when you’re at a stop light, the car shuts off so you’re not feeling it idle.  When you first start the car, nothing happens until you press the gas pedal and start moving at a decent speed then the engine kicks on.  Like I said, it’s not for me but it is in every other aspect a true Lexus.  Once you’re driving this car, it’s all luxury and quality from there and you forget that you’re driving a true work of technological art (i.e. hybrid technology).

Why would you purchase this car instead of say an IS250 Lexus?  They’re both small, sporty, and fun to drive.  However, the HS 250h is a truly economical car to operate. I usually have a car from eCarOne for about a week and during that week I usually use at least 4 or 5 gallons of gasoline.  This time, I didn’t even see the fuel needle move!  I don’t know much about hybrids so I’m not sure how it seems that I didn’t consume any fuel but I’m guessing it has something to do with my short low speed daily commute.

This is where this car really shines…. Since I have a short daily drive, I normally get terrible fuel consumption with any gasoline car (i.e. city driving).  However, with this hybrid I get excellent fuel economy because most of the time I’m at low speeds and thus using more electric and less gas.

I think this car would work very well for someone who either has a very long commute and looking to lower their overall fuel cost, or someone with a very short commute and looking for better MPG.

If you fit into one of these categories, then I strongly urge you to take a look at this Lexus.