Breadcrumbs

Lexus GS 450h

Car details navigation

Lexus G450h
6/10

Overall
verdict

The Lexus GS450h is a nice little hybrid sidestep. Yes it can run on electric power and yes this is a ‘proper’ hybrid, but if you start thrashing it the car will use the batteries and electric drive to increase performance (particularly from rest with instant-torque from the Synergy Drive). So what Greenies peg as a step in the right direction, petrolheads also think is a good thing.

Additional Info

What is it?

The GS450h was always pretty rapid. Now it's more distinctly vigorous. All cars get adaptive variable suspension, but the F-Sport goes one better with Lexus Dynamic Handling, featuring dynamic rear steering, a variable-ratio steering rack and electric power steering. Translation? The rear wheels steer in the opposite direction to the fronts under 50mph for that nimble feeling, in the same direction at higher speed for stability, and the electric steering changes ratio and weight depending on demand. It's good. More distinct than before, easily more dynamic. But complex and not - understandably - with all that much natural fluency.

Driving

The Lexus becomes even more attractive for comfort lovers in 450h form. The brakes regenerate energy to charge the batteries and allow sublime soft-stops in town, and the engine will switch off if you've got sufficient charge and allow full EV running. It doesn't last long, but there's nothing better than avoiding the internal combustion engine if you want to be the smoothest limo in town.

On the inside

The 450h gets a new version of the Lexus Hybrid Drive, a 3.5-litre Atkinson cycle V6 petrol in tandem with an electric motor to give 338bhp or, depending on demand, either running solo. Nickel-Metal Hydride batteries take care of the energy storage, and a six-speed sequential shift E-CVT manages the transfer to the rear wheels. It adds up to a respectably fast saloon, and an especially fast hybrid: 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds and limited to 155mph.

Owning

We like the two-fingered salute to the idea that ‘green' has to be righteous and dull, but the GS 450h isn't a cool-looking thing.

Now share it...

Latest road tests

6/10 Lexus GS 450h F-Sport driven
February 2012

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.