Where most saloon car ranges begin with a modest 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel to co-opt the fleet-car-buying vote, the smallest engine in the new Lexus GS range is a 2.5-litre petrol V6 with 207bhp. Which actually isn't that modest. Or diesel.
The facts: 0-62mph in 8.6secs, 207g/km, a combined average of 31.7mpg and a starting price of £36k. Which sounds middle-of-the- road, until you clock the BMW 525d SE (218bhp, 7.0 to 62mph, 126g/km, 56.5mpg and £35k), and the numbers just look mean.
Admittedly, this GS is better to drive than the old version by some distance, and if you do a lot of schlepping on A-roads and M-ways, this is a fine car: comfy, long-legged, quiet and full of quality kit in a much-improved and pleasant interior. However, go faster, and the 6spd auto is hesitant, the steering vague and the mpg heads south like a dropped rock.
Lexus staunchly refuses to go down the diesel route, and the GS isn't a bad car - but in the face of competition from cars that are demonstrably better to drive, you'll have to be very anti-BMW Five (or Mercedes E250CDI, for that matter) to give it serious thought.
2499cc, 207bhp, 181lb ft, 31.7mpg, 207g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 8.6secs, 143mph, 1730kg
Not a bad car by any means, but out-pointed by fast, frugal diesels from the German manufacturers