GS Hybrid

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2019 Lexus GS Hybrid Overview

The Lexus GS competes in the same sphere as other midsize luxury sport sedans like the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, INFINITI Q70, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. But rather than offering a high-output engine, Lexus gives you a performance option in the GS Hybrid model. Since the Lexus GS line as a whole has received incremental updates since 2016, 2019 brings no notable changes to the GS Hybrid.

You’ll need a keen eye to distinguish the GS Hybrid from its gasoline-only counterpart. The only exterior details that give it away are front and rear Lexus badges with subtle blue accents and a lack of exposed exhaust tips. Other than that, the hybrid adopts the GS line’s universal qualities, which include a sleek, muscular body and plenty of high-tech details. Much like any other GS, you can order the GS Hybrid in standard form or in the evocative F Sport trim, which comes with aggressive front and rear fascias, a rear spoiler, a rear diffuser, and a sinister interior.

All GS Hybrids wear a GS 450h badge on the decklid, denoting a 3.5-liter V6, electric motor, and nickel-metal hydride battery that put out a combined 338 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) drives the rear wheels. Compared to the non-hybrid's 6-second run, the GS 450h runs from 0-to-60 in 5.6 seconds. At the same time, fuel economy rises to 29 mpg city, 34 highway, and 31 combined, versus 22, 26, and 32 on the most efficient non-hybrid GS. You also get a standard Drive Mode Select feature with Eco, Normal, and Sport S modes. Versions equipped with F Sport receive an additional Sport S + mode, uprated brakes, enhanced seats, an adaptive-variable suspension, and dynamic rear steering that turns the rear wheels ever so slightly to improve cornering and decrease the car’s turning radius.

The GS Hybrid gives you plenty of standard features, including keyless access and start, authentic leather upholstery, a power rear sunshade, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, heated and cooled front seats, LED headlights and taillights, driver-side memory, a 12-speaker premium surround sound system, auto-dimming and power-folding outside mirrors, 10-way adjustable front seats, and a 12.3-inch infotainment system. Options consist of nicer triple-beam LED headlights, a power open and close trunk, a heated steering wheel, a Mark Levinson premium surround sound system, navigation, and a head-up display (HUD).

As far as safety content, every GS Hybrid benefits from a reversing camera and the Lexus Safety System + suite. The latter bundles forward-collision warning, blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control that works at all speeds, automatic high beams, lane-keeping assist, and lane-departure alert with steering assist. The only safety option available is automated parking assist. Crash-testing data is incomplete for the Lexus GS line as a whole, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) was pleased with its moderate front overlap, side, and roof strength performance.

The Lexus GS Hybrid is an interesting alternative to competitors mid-spec options, particularly the BMW 540i and Mercedes-Benz E 43 AMG. While it can’t quite match them in outright performance, it distinguishes itself with far superior fuel economy.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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