2011 Lexus GS 450h Hybrid: Review Roundup

Lexus GS 450h Hybrid Reviews

photo courtesy of Lexus

The GS 450h is a midsize luxury hybrid sedan. It’s remained largely unchanged since its debut in 2007. All of the reviews below, except for Edmunds, are for the 2010 model, which, minus some trim packages, is the same car as last year. Lexus says that its fourth generation of GS’s are on the horizon. Let’s see what people are saying about the GS 450h.

 Edmunds – 2011 Lexus GS 450h

The GS 450h has a 3.5-liter V6, which produces 292 horsepower. The electric motors turn that up to 340 hp. Edmunds says “With this kind of power on tap, it’s clear that this hybrid is geared more toward increasing performance than reducing fuel consumption.”

The EPA says the 450h gets 23 mpg highway and city. Edmunds says that it “seems like the smart choice between its gas-only powered brethren — at least until you consider the price.” The price is nearly $56,000.

While Edmunds was generally pleased with the luxury packages available, they do say “Our gripes are minor and include less-than-intuitive audio controls and a distracting glare from the highly polished wood trim.” Yes, the wood trim is too shiny.

Performance-wise, Edmunds says that the GS 450h is “well-suited to a variety of driving styles.” Edmunds liked the different driving modes available and called the ride “smooth” and “soft.” They compared it to the Lexus HS 250h and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, but said that while they are cheaper and much more fuel-efficient, neither was as sporty as the GS. They also mentioned the BMW 335d and Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec, both of which provide similar performance and better fuel economy, but they are diesels, not hybrids.


Automobile Magazine – 2010 Lexux GS 450h

Automobile had five staff members comment on the GS 450h. The reviewers agreed that it is commensurate with “the Lexus experience.” They go on to call it “refined, isolated, and comfortable and is a great highway driver.”

Automobile‘s biggest complaint is that the car has too much torque, a problem one called “extremely annoying” because it is difficult to keep the car at a steady speed. Another reviewer says that the GS 450h has “gobs of thrust” and that the throttle is “touchy.” They also call the brakes “extremely touchy.”

About its suspension, one reviewer states that it “absolutely melts away rough pavement in true Lexus fashion.”

Automobile also says “The hybrid system is well enough integrated that it’s often hard to tell what’s working — the engine, the motor, or both.” Overall, they seemed to feel the car was nice but not spectacular, and the low fuel efficiency numbers made it tough to call it a truly “green” vehicle.


Autoblog – Review: Lexus GS450h Uses Electrons for Fun

Autoblog was very warm to the GS 450h. They say that their impression made them wanted to call other car-makers and say “Put batteries in everything, and do it just like this.”

About the interior, Autoblog says that the GS 450h is consistent with its other fleet-mates. They say “A Lexus cabin is a room at the Ritz.” The center console controls are “easier to find and use, and dispels the Mission Control sensation some of other cars in its class evoke.”

They say that ignition is silent, as the GS 450h starts in electric mode, but that once you get it on the road, the noise dampening that Lexus is famous for falls short. There is noticeable driving noise.

They call the acceleration “gazelle fast,”adding “The GS 450h accelerates like it doesn’t want to be eaten. Instant torque, party of one, your stoplight is ready. And this is in any gear, at any speed. Hit gas and there’s no ‘and,’ you just go.” They call the steering “fine,” though not “pinpoint precise”. They aren’t fond of the brakes, either.

They call the traction control “so severely intrusive it could wear an honorific like Master Joykill or King of Pain,” continuing “As soon as [the front wheel] starts squealing the TC shows up and hoses everything down. Power is cut, brakes start dancing, lights start flashing, the rear wheels do a little hop step to get things back in line.” Conversely, they found that the car was very difficult to handle with the TC turned off.

They conclude that the GS 450h has one minor problem and one major problem: ”The surge and the price.” They noticed the extra-sensitive acceleration and, like other reviewers, compared this car with less-costly, similar-performing options in its class.


The Detroit News – The 2010 Lexus GS 450h Is a Performance Hybrid

 The Detroit News calls the GS 450h “one of the most fun Lexus cars to drive,” adding, “It’s all sport on the highway.”

They call the pickup “phenomenal.” About the driving it delivers? The reviewer says “On the open road, it’s library quiet. The steering is crisp. While heavy, the body remains stiff through turns and its adaptive variable suspension holds the car nicely to the road.” The reviewer says that, on the highway, this car is “amazingly quiet and well-mannered.” He also says that the GS 450h weighs 4,000 pounds, which hurts its cornering abilities and overall “sporty” feel.

About the hybrid aspect of this car, The Detroit Newssays “The electric motors seem to act as a boost for the car, pushing it quickly forward and inspiring the driver to push the accelerator a little harder.” They call it “a hybrid for enthusiasts, one that uses electricity for power and not just efficiency.”

About the appearance, the reviewer says “It turns heads for certain.” The interior gets more rave reviews: “The wood and leather create a natural and comfortable environment… The gauges sparkle with watch-like precision.”

The Detroit News concludes: “What more could a driver want?”

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