The Lexus GS 450h Combines Comfort & Efficiency With Elegance & Aggression

The Lexus GS 450h is a hybrid that has all the elegance and aggression of its petrol counterparts. We took a test drive of the new luxurious Sedan and were well and truly blown away.

First Impressions – Exterior
At a quick first glance, the Lexus GS 450h looks like your standard luxury Lexus, you know the one you’re used to seeing your wealthy family friends drive? They’re normally lawyers or doctors more often than not.

On closer inspection though, there appears to be something different to this particular Lexus. Something a little unnerving that you can’t quite put your finger on, but in a good way. It’s not the striking Riviera Red exterior that cries out elegance, it’s something else, something subtle but something that leaves you with the impression that this Lexus is up to no good.

Some simple design changes to the front grill really leaves you with this feeling that this Lexus is a bad boy, it oozes aggression and seduction and you better be prepared for something a little unexpected!

This wasn’t supposed to be the case of course. We expected the comfort and luxury that comes with the Lexus name. But, when we learned this Lexus was a Hybrid, we tried to lower our expectations because somethings gotta give right? Wrong!

lexus gs-450h

First Impressions – Interior
Upon entering the car, you can’t help feel like you’ve stepped into your own shoes 20 years from now. It kinda feels good though, the wooden trim and the perforated leather interior makes you feel like you’ve just left the country club after reading a few leather bound books and are on your way home to sip an old fashioned in your loafers.

Turning on the ignition is a bit of an anti climax and we did have to double check the engine was actually on a few times, but this is to be expected for a Hybrid. The driver memory system is pretty cool though and makes up for the lack of engine noise.

The steering wheel and seats automatically adjust themselves to your comfort preference on entry making you feel like this car is has something exciting prepared for you and is providing you with a sense of security.

lexus gs-450h interior

The Ride
On the road, the drive is smooth, calm and effortless. The blind spot monitor is a super convenient option and makes life so much easier on the highway. The steering is a little delicate, but personal preference can decide if this is a good or bad thing.

The 3.5 liter V8 engine and electric Drive motor with Lexus Hybrid Drive is basically translated as ‘this car has a bad boy button’ to people like you and me. However, the difference isn’t all that much, and we mean that in a way that suggests the ECO mode is pretty impressive in terms of providing you with that sporty, aggressive drive.

It reaches 0-60 in just over 4 seconds in this mode and in terms of fuel economy, 31 MPG means that we don’t see why you’d feel obliged to hit that bad boy button? Petrol heads would perhaps have a different opinion, but the GS 450h really does give you the best of both worlds.

gs-450h rear

The Comfort
There are a whole host of cool convenient and comfortable features for the car. It’s naturally comfortable as a Lexus always will be but the most impressive for us was the air conditioned centre console that kept our bottles of water surprisingly chilled on a very hot day. The Mark Levinson Premium, 17-speaker surround sound audio system really packs a punch, adding to that aggressive yet sophisticated experience.

What Turns Us On
The hybrid drivetrain is the standout feature of the Lexus GS450h. Economy wise, its great value with an estimated annual fuel cost of just $1800.

What Turns Us Off
The Lexus remote touch cabin controller, a rectangular joystick was a pain in the backside to use. It was too responsive and a few times it was easier to just go old school and use the unsafe buttons on the dashboard. Something as easy as stopping the navigation system also proved difficult

Lasting Impression
With an impressive fuel economy for a car of this class along with an aggressive look and a comfortable ride that has a real kick you really can get the best of both worlds with the 2014 Lexus GS 450h.

Written by Lewis Shaw

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