The new Lexus GS arrives on UK roads this summer, and as part of the build up the UK’s top motoring journalists and reviewers were given the chance to drive the car for the first time.
Here’s a roundup of their impressions from at our launch event in Germany and Austria, and links to the reviews published so far.
Hilton Holloway’s review for Autocar commented on the GS450h Hybrid’s combination of performance and comfort:
“The best thing about the GS450h is its vivid performance when both the engine and the electric motor are at maximum output. The smoothness of the V6 and the sheer wallop of the electric motor is distinct from the familiar nature of the high-performance turbodiesel. It’s more like a race-bred powertrain than even the most refined oil-burner.
“Not only does it provide a refreshing alternative to a default-choice diesel-power German executive car, but the performance at full throttle is very impressive indeed. The super-smooth drivetrain and electric assist add to the luxury flavour.
“You might also consider the real-world ‘greenness’ of the extremely low level of pollutants leaving the exhaust pipe… This Lexus makes a clear case for the individualist private buyer who appreciates the occasional burst of race-track pace.”
Damion Smy remarked on the GS450h’s efficiency in his Auto Express review:
“The good news is that the hybrid powertrain is genuinely clean, with CO2 emissions cut from 179g/km to 141g/km and fuel economy improved by 23 per cent to 45.6mpg.
“The F-Sport model also gets rear-wheel steering. This aids both high-speed stability and parking in tight spaces around town. Add in adaptive dampers and you have all the makings of a genuine sports saloon. Yet this is still a luxury car with a comfortable ride.”
Writing for MotorAuthority, Anthony Ingram commented on the car’s interior and driver-focused character:
“The old GS was rarely out of its depth at highway speeds, so most of the new car’s improvements can actually be appreciated when the going gets twisty. Our F Sport car was loaded with technology to improve cornering, including Variable Gear Ratio Steering, Dynamic Rear Steering, and Adaptive Variable Suspension.
“Combined, they conspire to make the F Sport feel nimble and responsive around Austria’s twisty Alpine roads. Even selecting Sport mode–accompanied by a red glow from the instruments and the hybrid drive indicator being replaced by a tachometer–fails to upset the ride quality, but adds a useful extra dose of steering feel and firmer suspension.
“With a new head-up display projected onto the windscreen, you’ll not need to take your eyes off the road to determine your speed or view satellite-navigation directions. In fact, you’ll barely ever use the normal dials, so easy is it to take a quick glance at the HUD.
“Thankfully, it’s not just the front seat passengers that get to enjoy the interior. The GS is now suitable for four full-size adults, with more-than-adequate leg- and head-room in the back. The trunk over 50 percent bigger too.
“If you’re looking for that perfect mix of performance, luxury and fuel efficiency, you’ve just found it.”