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2008 Lexus GS 450h Overview
The 2008 Lexus GS 450h offers drivers the best of both worlds -- a (relatively) fuel-efficient gas/electric hybrid engine (designated by the discreet lower-case "h" in the car's name) combined with a high-end luxury sedan that doesn't skimp on the leather, wood trim, and other upscale appointments, as well as innovative technologies and sporty styling. Of course, all this comes at a price, but that should be expected when you're talking about the world's fastest hybrid.
Outside, the GS 450h displays clean, fluid exterior lines, with slingshot-shaped windows, blue-finish headlights, and dual stainless-steel exhaust pipes. But the real story lies under the shapely hood, since that's where the hybrid engine resides. At speeds up to 15 miles per hour, the GS 450h runs silently on its high-output electric-drive motor, but step on the gas pedal and the 297-horsepower, 3.5-liter gas-powered V6 engine kicks in, driving the car from 0 to 60 in just over 5 seconds (on premium fuel, just for the record).
Thanks to its hybrid engine, the GS 450h ekes out a mile-per-gallon rating of 22 in the city and 25 on the highway, according to Lexus. That's not spectacular when compared to other hybrids, but quite respectable for a luxury sedan.
For 2008, Lexus made a few minor updates to the GS 450h, including some additional hybrid exterior badging and a new exterior color, Black Opal, available only with the Lexus hybrid. Beyond that, the GS 450h comes well-equipped with a wide range of standard features, including a choice of interior wood trim (depending on the interior color), push-button start, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather-trimmed heated seats, and a moonroof.
The GS 450h gets high marks from drivers and reviewers for its performance, fuel-efficient engine, safety features, and luxury appointments, though some note that legroom and headroom can be tight for taller passengers.