SUM UP (4 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for GS450H in 2013

The previous GS checked out at the end of the 2011 model year. There was no 2012 version. Instead, the all-new, 2013 GS went on sale in January 2012. Once again, this rear-drive/all-wheel-drive luxury sport sedan is available with a choice of a V-6 or a V-6 hybrid powertrain. The V-8 is gone...more

The Lexus GS is back after a one-year hiatus, and the 2013 Lexus GS450h is the exciting new hybrid option. Overall, the GS is still in the process of carving out a new identity for itself, and while it remains to be seen whether Lexus is successful in this regard, the car offers enough features that it would be difficult for customers to be disappointed. After all, the vehicle offers substantial power and performance, while still maintaining superior fuel economy for its class. Lexus has also included a vast array of interior features that make the 2013 Lexus GS450h a worthy vehicle in the midlevel luxury category, on par with its American and European competition.

Exterior

The exterior of the 2013 Lexus GS450h is wide while also managing to look sleek. Lexus offers buyers significant flexibility with regard to cosmetics and appearance, and drivers have the choice between nine different exterior color options. Wheels feature a visually arresting silver aluminum, although the 17-inch size is unlikely to satisfy those looking for a sportier appearance.

Interior & Cargo

Interior styling is one of the main draws of the GS450h, and those who want an especially dramatic interior should consider the optional bamboo trim. The 2013 Lexus GS450h offers ample room for both passengers and cargo. Legroom is a particular area of strength, as front passengers receive 42.3 inches of legroom and rear passengers are treated to 36.8 inches. The rear legroom in particular makes the 2013 Lexus GS450h an excellent choice for families or even those who need to transport large groups of adults, as there is more than enough room in the rear for all but the tallest passengers. Cargo room is adequate, with 13.2 cubic feet of luggage space.

Lexus has also included a vast number of interior features that ensure that the GS450h offers the requisite luxury experience for a vehicle in its category. The driver and passenger seats are both eight-way adjustable. Leather seats come standard and are heated and cooled. Buyers who routinely transport rear passengers would also be wise to consider the optional heated rear seats. The vehicle also comes equipped with power windows and doors, as well as a standard navigation system.

The 2013 Lexus GS450h also comes equipped with a number of entertainment features that should appeal to the technologically astute demographic. Satellite radio and MP3 capability come standard. An LCD screen equipped with a mouse-like control makes for a handsome centerpiece, while families may want to consider the optional DVD-audio system.

Safety

One of the benefits of the 2013 Lexus GS450h is that the car offers premium performance while still giving drivers excellent security protection. There are side and side curtain airbags, in addition to front and knee airbags. Anti-lock brakes are standard, as well as stability and traction control. Some more exclusive safety features include a pre-collision warning and driver-drowsiness monitor. Those who drive frequently at night reap the benefits of the night vision. Any potential anxieties associated with night driving are alleviated by the lane-keep assist and blind spot warning system. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also awarded a Top Safety Pick to the 2013 Lexus GS450h.

Driving Experience

The Lexus GS450h offers the most powerful engine in the GS family, although it should not be confused with a true performance automobile. There is no manual transmission option, as drivers will have to settle for a six-speed, continuously variable automatic transmission. However, the 5.0-liter, V-6 engine is undeniably powerful and offers 338 horsepower. From a standing still, the vehicle is estimated to go from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. The ride is extremely quiet and the tilted steering makes for strong maneuverability.

Drivers have the option of either rear or four-wheel drive, and it appears as though Lexus is committed to marketing the 2013 Lexus GS450h to as wide a demographic as possible. The four-wheel option is sure to appeal to those who live in areas with harsh winters.

One of the difficult issues with a hybrid that is also marketed as a performance automobile is that to some extent, drivers have to choose between performance and fuel economy. Those who elect to test the car’s power are likely to receive poorer fuel economy totals than those who drive it the way they would a less powerful hybrid. The 2013 Lexus GS450h is reported to receive 29/34 mpg city/highway, which is a full 30 percent greater than the totals for the other cars in the GS family. However, customers should take note of the fact that other tests have reported lower fuel economy readings. Additionally, buyers have to weigh whether the high cost of the 2013 Lexus GS450h is worth it.

Key Competitors For The 2013 Lexus GS450h

  • Audi A6
  • BMW 5 Series Hybrid
  • Infiniti M35h
  • Jaguar XF

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