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2011 Lexus GS 450h Overview
The 2011 Lexus GS 450h stands alone in the midsize luxury sedan class, because it's the only one with a hybrid platform. Whether that makes it a good choice for buyers at this price point depends on what they expect a luxury hybrid sedan to provide.
If it's added power, then the 2011 GS 450h provides that, with its 3.5-liter V6 and electric motor assistance taking it from 0-60 mph in just over 5 seconds. Compare that to its non-hybrid counterpart, the GS 460, which has a V8 and does so in about 5.5 seconds, depending on the driver.
Fuel economy is better than most V8-powered luxury sedans, too, with a 22/25 mpg city/highway split that's closer to sedans with a V6 that don't provide as much acceleration. It's also better than the Lexus GS 460 in that regard. In fact, reviewers note that the power on tap feels like a V8 because of the seamless transition between electric and gas power.
The cabin doesn't give much hint of the benefits that the 2011 Lexus GS 450h's hybrid platform provides outside of an electric power meter that replaces the tachometer. It shares the same heated and ventilated leather front seats and dual-zone climate control with its non-hybrid cousin. Passengers benefit from a standard 10-speaker system and optional power rear sunshield. To let more light in, the driver can use the moonroof.
Drivers will likely enjoy the back-up camera's assistance with parallel parking, as well as the adaptive suspension. In Sport mode, it provides a firm ride with precise feel, while Comfort is suited for making long highway miles pass glide by. An available hard-drive navigation system affords the driver voice activation and traffic information overlays.
Rear seat passengers may feel like they are a bit cramped, a fact endemic to all Lexus GS models and exacerbated by the addition of the hybrid system. The fit and finish of interior pieces are good, but two rear occupants may feel somewhat uncomfortable over long trips. Trunk size is also an issue thanks to the hybrid system, offering just 11 cubic feet of storage space.
There are a number of safety features that come standard in the 2011 Lexus GS 450h. On the exterior, high-intensity-discharge headlights are mounted to motors allowing them to turn as the car does. All 2011 Lexus and Toyota models come with a brake override system to prevent unintended acceleration issues and also get an electronic stability system and antilock brakes. Side-impact and side curtain airbags are standard, while prospective buyers can also opt for an adaptive cruise control system with sensors to detect potential collisions.
Not a lot separates the Lexus GS 450h hybrid from its GS 460 cousin, although the available power from the hybrid powertrain combines with the adaptive suspension to make it feel more agile and taut than some V8 luxury sport sedans. Whether or not buyers will choose the 2011 GS 450h likely depends on how they feel about hybrid systems, and whether or not they truly need their trunk space.
by John Curran
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Looking for a Used GS 450h in your area?CarGurus has 196 nationwide GS 450h listings starting at $17,980.