Lexus GS450h (2013) long-term test review | Road Testing Reviews | Car…

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Lexus GS 450h

Lexus GS450h (2013) test review

By the CAR road-test

Long Term Tests

18 2014 07:00

Month running a Lexus GS450h how does petrol compare to

In this green-obsessed age it feels odd to be for not driving enough, especially your car is a whooshy hybrid. But being nine months old my Lexus GS450h still broken 5000 miles, the of a few long overseas assignments have seen it left in airport car parks, and the arrival of a which means I don’t as much when I am in the UK.

So it isn’t on the miles at the rate you’d of a big exec saloon, but it has still enough to make its fuel representative. And with a hybrid, what everyone wants to about. The claims are always – 46.3mpg for the GS – but the official testing always seems to favour which then fall short of those claims their conventional rivals in use. Having young Tom on ought to help here: I everywhere like a policeman though the Lexus’s general encourages this. I’m so far from the of adhesion that we were into summer before I off the excellent Yokohama winters and onto the original Bridgestones.

– those numbers. Over 11 tanks the Lexus has recorded a of 32.7mpg and a worst of 28.3mpg, for an of 31.2mpg. It means this car is almost exactly two-thirds of its efficiency, which isn’t bad for a Looking back at the figures for my GS hybrid in 2006, I got 26.8mpg a claimed 35.8, so worse in terms, but actually closer to the claimed figure. I lived in London at the time: I wonder if city traffic that the hybrid system to function is better for hybrid economy moderate but constant motion?

So the isn’t stellar, but if I was …-set on a performance petrol saloon, I’d be with those figures. I find the Lexus a financial to fuel, and I think the range, often exceeds 400 miles, is For some, this combination of and costs will be perfect. But if I was a direct replacement for the Lexus I think I’d still be looking for a

Month seven running a GS450h — is the Lexus any fun to

A couple of fast drives to avoiding the Festival of Speed (it is possible) reminded me that for all its tech and luxo interior, the GS450h is also a 341bhp, performance saloon. One trip was in convoy with a mate’s new Audi RS4 wagon and another a Ford GT40, but the GS never outgunned: it’s capable of in 5.9sec but feels faster.

I use the Sports-plus setting but it gives tight, effective damping losing much steady-state comfort, and a crisp throttle that brings the hybrid impressive combined torque in but also highlights how spongy the pedal is when you switch to Eco mode. It also makes the panel glow red (grrrr!) and up a rev counter.

I switched the traction off for the first time, but it doesn’t appropriate in the Lexus. Even so, the GS impressive drifts as we left the car park. Don’t tell March.

Month six running a GS450h — driving a Model S makes our GS feel

Your new car is probably left to go out about its business of getting you free of interference from its If you have another car or two, probably quite different and unlikely to make comparisons. Our don’t have that Not being based at CAR HQ, I don’t cars with the frequency of of the other Bens here, but my is still exposed to that revealing of tests – being immediately after a direct – on a fairly frequent basis. why magazine group tests are so Stepping from one car to another – with a plane ride in – makes each car’s and failures leap out at you.

The didn’t fare well at by comparison with my elegant, fine-riding and special-feeling Mercedes-Benz Then it was pretty unlucky to be my transport to for a trip to Germany to the Tesla Model S which, of your views on its price and is the only vaguely comparable car makes the hybrid Lexus unrefined and old-tech. It’s of course, but its drivetrain refinement is now second-to-one. The Tesla’s vast, touchscreen is also easily the interface in the car world; the Lexus’s is the worst (see last report).

But the vast ranks of cream-coloured and 5-series taxis at Munich reminded me of where Lexus always win: exclusivity. great appeal in simply not another German exec

Next, I’m off to Italy to drive the new Ghibli. A Maserati rivaling a big Who’d have guessed? But by being an anti-BMW, they the more individualistic buyer, are many failings and need chip a few per cent from and E-class sales to be a hit.

shining qualities or rough will the Ghibli reveal in my when I’m back? If I was to engage in national stereotypes I could guess, but I’m trying to keep an mind.

Month five a Lexus GS450h — agree the cabin controls are

Some fascinating feedback you on the Lexus GS450h. One reader, loyal enough to Lexus to be on his GS hybrid, and having forked out at £44,995 for his new one, remains enough to describe the mouse-operated screen as ‘a dog of a control’. He shares my with the wiper controls though sagely points out by not needing to be within reach, the can be very deeply recessed and always visible in sunlight. He got 41.5mpg out of a tank, so I ought to be harder.

I am, however, warming to the not least for its ability to render an journey enjoyable with its seat comfort, the isolation by its fine ride and exceptional refinement, and its excellent audio. The quality means it displaces the C-class wagon on long unless we can’t fit our two-month gear into the curtailed

As I write this I’m about to the Lexus at Heathrow while I’m in Korea (really). I hope be back, but if you spot a dusty GS in the T5 car park, please call the Office.

Month 4 running a GS450h — the Lexus GS as a family’s car

For the first month of his my new son Tom was one of the very few people so loyal to that he’d never in anything else. I hadn’t to give the GS450h the honour of his first four-wheeled experience. car though it is, Tom’s half-German and his ride should have in the family Benz, but for dull reasons he was chauffeured home in the And I was too tired to shift his ISOFIX into another car for a month

I can’t imagine many GS have newborn children, but it a decent baby-carrier. Odd how your on a car alters: the rear mesh suddenly assume huge the advanced, nano-particle moisturising and air-con seems a good in city traffic, the generous space is great for getting the in and out and for mum when she’s entertaining there, as are the seat comfort, and audio controls. And I thought safety for the very first there’s no Euro NCAP but there are rear side and airbags and the car’s size and of build are reassuring. The only is the battery-bearing boot: 82 litres on a non-hybrid GS, its lack of depth it struggles with Tom’s own conveyances.

Month 3 running a GS450h — gripes the over-complicated infotainment

Lexus GS 450h

I worry I’m getting stupider, or I’m just not bright enough to own a GS450h in the first place. For me, in the driver’s seat with the open, the ignition on and a free is one of the joys of getting a new car, and I expect to be able to get the most out of so complex without some time. That said, new cars have human/machine of such Apple-like simplicity you’ll have most of it out on the drive home from the

Not so with the Lexus. I spent the hour with the manual nearly 2000 miles I still find the controls and often infuriating. It’s the fault of the ‘mouse’ controller: as noted before, it’s for the right-handed and the patch of screen aiming for is often small, you to spend more time at the screen than feels But it’s also the way the functions are rather than model on an iPhone, the Lexus takes a JVC video camera as its HMI benchmark, and the style of the 948-page manual deepens the confusion.

Example? the sat-nav voice requires you to the nav and go into the main set-up then back to nav: six in total, plus time carefully positioning the cursor the mouse between each. In my it’s done with one of a button on the wheel. There are tasks I would expect to safely while driving I’ve found too distracting and had to pull over to complete.

me? I’m aware that this is a subjective subject, and I’d be glad to the views of Lexus owners. you read CAR and are therefore smarter the average driver, but are you smart for this Lexus?

Month 2 a Lexus GS450h — our brush with Lexus service

These long-term are meant to replicate what like to own a car, and your with your dealer is a big of that. Trouble is, we only run cars for six months or a year and just don’t need the in that time. But the dealership is a big deal for Lexus: it aims to its premium rivals here, so it was to put it to an early test by booking the in for a swap to winter tyres.

And the was mighty impressive: the same host’ (hello, Louise) who the phone sorted the entire in one call: no waiting for the service to come back from tea-break. The tyres were in a few days despite it being season and the cost was a very £760 fitted. The summers bagged for me to store at home: my choice of winter-tyre scheme as it you buying a second set of rims, as makers require you to do, and I have the to store them alongside a worth of other half-used If you live in a flat you might differently. Only downside was a drive to the nearest dealership in Wells, low-volume Lexus not the coverage of a brand like But the tea was very nice.

Month 1 running a Lexus — the Lexus arrives

So my Mercedes-Benz CLS250 CDI has gone, to be by this, a Meteor Blue GS450h in top-spec Premier (and anything that above ‘Luxury’ had better be right?). Two reasons for running First, I had the original hybrid GS for a in ’06 and liked it a great deal: not for the congestion-charge exemption that my new one no enjoys, but also for the obsessive-compulsive quality, which marked it out its premium rivals. I remember clearly how the cabin felt, than how the car looked or sounded: the leather, the tight panel and the even damping and resistance of handle and knob. It was perfectly this car has much to live up

It’s also a direct for the car it replaces. The Lexus lists at £425 more than a Sport. Pretty much all you want comes as standard on the specified GS, though any colour than solid black is a £610. LED lamps, a sunroof and a coolbox (!) are the only other Mine has only the paint, but at the of writing it’s due to have tyres fitted by the dealer at a £760.

And both GS and CLS represent a take on modern luxury assuaging your environmental with a novelty drivetrain. The 2.1-litre diesel in my Merc just 201bhp but claimed This Lexus makes and knocks 1.6sec off the Merc’s time, but its fuel claim is impressive for a big car at 46.3mpg.

But aren’t hybrids’ fuel always hopelessly optimistic? My old GS 35.8mpg but averaged 26.8 a year and 12,000 miles; this new one will do in real use be instructive. (We drive these vehicles for your benefit, reader; what kind, people we are.)


It’s too to dish up any definitive judgments on the GS – fuel claims, which can until I’ve done a representative mileage – but here are early impressions. The first is I’m unexcited by the styling: it doesn’t to have the presence or appeal hope for from a 50-grand This will suit Lexus buyers very they choose one because don’t want one of the usual suspects. And you can have a Sport-trimmed GS one-inch-bigger 19in rims and aggressive styling. But even the ‘bold’ new Lexus trapezoidal this car is a little too under-the-radar for me.

serious, potentially, is the huge display (good), operated by a and your left hand bad, on first acquaintance, if you’re right-handed). I can’t how this is preferable to the touch-screen the old had and almost every other offers. You have to look to find the mouse, then the screen for the cursor, then guide it to the often frustratingly patch of screen you have to I’ve dutifully read the and lived with it for nearly 800 but I’m still struggling. And still, be told, missing the Merc.

Lexus GS 450h
Lexus GS 450h
Lexus GS 450h
Lexus GS 450h

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