2016 Lexus GS 450h Review

GS 450h

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2016 Lexus GS 450h Overview

If you're in the market for a midsize luxury sedan and want one that'll treat both you and the environment well, check out Lexus' GS 450h. Part of the popular GS line, the 450h is the range-topping hybrid version of Lexus' excellent midsize luxury sport sedan.

Available in 2 trims, Base and F SPORT, the GS 450h boasts impressive fuel economy of 29 mpg city/34 highway/31 combined. Both versions pack a raucous 3.5-liter 6-cylinder engine under the hood, sending 338 hp to the rear wheels by way of a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Those numbers come with the help of the GS 450h's 228-volt nickel-metal hydride battery, which, according to Lexus, not only helps improve fuel economy, but also gives the hybrid powertrain the approximate power of a 4.5-liter engine. That's good for a 0-to-60 time of 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 137 mph. Not too shabby for a 5-person sedan with a cavernous 15.9-cubic-foot trunk.

Underpinning those impressive performance stats are an independent double-wishbone front suspension and an independent multilink rear suspension, allowing for excellent performance and a smooth ride. Lexus has fitted the GS 450h with an electronic power steering system that allows for quick and precise wheel placement while also providing enough driver feedback to give the sedan the feel of a serious gasoline-powered car.

Jump into the Base and you'll find yourself in a world of luxury. Perforated leather seats, a power moonroof, 10-way power front seats, and dual-zone automatic climate control are all standard fare on the Base, as are selectable driving modes, a 12.3-inch color touchscreen with navigation, auto-dimming mirrors, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, push-button start/stop, and Lexus' Enform infotainment system. On the safety front, 4-wheel antilock brakes, a backup camera, traction control, electronic stability control, and a blindspot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert are all standard. If you're looking for an even more pampered ride, you can add a Mark Levinson 15-speaker premium sound system, a power trunk, and park assist.

With the GS 450h F SPORT, Lexus has created a truly interesting beast (and we mean that in a good way). Not often is a hybrid turned into a sporty performance model--at least not when the hybrid system is meant to increase fuel efficiency--but Lexus has done just that with the GS 450h. The first thing you'll notice about the F SPORT is a much meaner and more aggressive look compared to the normal GS 450h. That design isn't meant to just look intimidating—it's meant to warn of the monster lurking within. Add that F SPORT badge and you'll get all sorts of performance goodies, like 19-inch alloy wheels, 14-inch ventilated front brakes, an adaptive suspension, sport-bolstered front seats, and, of course, aluminum sport pedals. Also standard on the F SPORT is Lexus' Dynamic Handling system, which gives the car 4-wheel steering--at high speeds the wheels turn together for better handling, while at low speeds the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front wheels to provide greater maneuverability in tight spaces. A Mark Levinson 15-speaker premium audio system is also an option on the F Sport, as are a power trunk, park assist, and a color heads-up display.

All in all, the Lexus GS 450h is an excellent choice for buyers in the midsize luxury sedan market who want a reliable, economic car that looks awesome inside and out and has some serious performance abilities as well.


Zach is a gearhead and travel junkie who loves to check out cars wherever he goes. Having lived abroad in Germany and Russia, he has grown particularly fond of European cars, but has found nothing able to top his love for his first car: a 2001 Toyota Tacoma.

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