Price: $74,414 (as tested)
Engine: 3.5-literV-6 with Electric Drive Motor with Lexus Hybrid Drive
Transmission: Electronically Controlled Variable Transmission w/ Intelligence (ECTV-i)
Power: 338hp combined rating, 254 lb-ft of torque
The “h” stands for hybrid, by the way.
A little bit ago, I reviewed the Lexus IS F. It was fun, sporty and more or less what I expected from one of Lexus’ performance models. When the 2013 Lexus GS450h pulled into the lot, I was ready to review a hybrid that was sure to give me great gas mileage, and outstandingly mediocre performance. But to my surprise, its actually the most powerful member of the GS lineup, which is a lineup that features the F Sport version of the GS350. But does that power add up in Lexus’ new hybrid?
Even though it is the most powerful, it is still the slowest, probably due to its weight (4,147 lbs). However, I never expected this car to be quick, I expected it to give me a luxurious, smooth and comfortable ride. And it did all three of those things quite well.
Sit down and relax, because the GS450h has some of the most comfortable seating I have ever experienced. The 18-way adjustable seats greeted me like I was a king, and the odd adjustable butterfly headrests contoured to perfectly cushion my head. While I reviewed this car living in Florida, I am sure that the folks up north would appreciate the wooden heated steering wheel, which also added to the comfort effect. It was the little things that impressed me with this car, but most of it was featured in the Luxury Package, such as the sunshades, the aforementioned steering wheel and 18-way adjustable seats, three-zone automatic climate control, extendable lower cushions, side bolsters, and much more. With a $7,405 price tag, the Luxury Package almost seems like a must.
On the road the GS450h was flawless as a luxury sedan. It wasn’t overly powerful, or under powered. Instead, it was incredible. It glided along the road like it was a hot knife through butter, and it offered one of the quietest rides I’ve had in a luxury sedan. Road noise was almost completely eliminated. If you feel like driving a bit more on the wild side, switch the car to sport mode, and a tachometer will pop up in the cluster, and you will be giving a little extra boost in the car’s acceleration. More importantly, this is a hybrid, and it does exactly what hybrids are supposed to do: have great gas mileage. With 29/34 mpg, our car barely used any gas during the week we had it and we drove the hell out of it.
With its classy interior, extraordinarily comfortable ride and stylish exterior, the 2013 Lexus GS450h is an excellent luxury hybrid. While you may be mislead by its power specifications on a sheet, those who are buying a car like this are not looking for a sports car. Instead they are looking for a luxury sedan that has great gas mileage, which defines this car perfectly.