Sporting edge sharpens luxury Lexus Business Car Manager

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LEXUS GS GS 450h Luxury E-CVT Continuosuly Variable

Sporting edge sharpens luxury Lexus

Lexus GS 450h F Sport E-CVT

Car review by Sam Hardy

What is it?

The start of something new, Lexus says. The fourth-generation GS is meant to herald a new dawn of interesting to look at, great to drive cars as Lexus wants to move on from its image of producing very reliable and well-equipped models and inject some excitement.

So the latest Lexus GS, a business car rival in the BMW 5 Series executive car class, is all-new: it s wider and taller and has a re-designed body. The interior has been heavily revised with a vast new central digital display, while the engine range even has a 207bhp 2.5-litre V6 for the entry-level GS 250. The only other model is the GS 450h hybrid which comes with an updated 338bhp 3.5-litre V6 and electric motor combo.

It s available in M Sport-style F Sport trim with lots of handling gizmos aimed at making it fun to drive. There s no diesel, but Lexus is planning an entry-level petrol hybrid which is said to compete with the BMW 520d on emissions and fuel economy.

That s not for a while though in the meantime the GS range has arrived in Lexus showrooms with the GS 250 costing from £32,995 and the GS 450h from £44,995, which we ve tested in F Sport trim.

What s hot

 It certainly looks more distinctive at the front with LED running lights…

 …and a dramatic new grille. F Sport versions get a racy bodykit and 19-inch alloysInside the cabin has taken a big step forward. There are high-quality leathers…

…metals and even bamboo. A Maserati-style clock finishes things off nicely

 The centre screen is huge and can be upgraded to 12.3-inches

Equipment levels are still extremely generous with standard satnav and parking cameras and a very sophisticated air-con system

There s more space inside and the hybrid batteries have been repositioned so the boot is 60 percent bigger

LEXUS GS GS 450h Luxury E-CVT Continuosuly Variable

 The hybrid engine is fast: it can do 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds but

 …it also returns 47.8mpg (up from 36.7mpg) and 137g/km (down from 179g/km)

So if you want one as a company car then the company car tax is just 19% for the GS 450h Luxury E-CVT in 2012/13

 Adaptive suspension makes for a smooth ride and the new chassis offers greater stability while the steering has more weight

The F Sport has four-wheel steering and a variable steering rack and feels very agile indeed

It s still a great high-speed cruiser, the engine settling to a hush on the motorway, the big seats soothing away the miles

Safety kit includes lane departure warning, adaptive cruise and collision mitigation

 The optional Mark Levinson stereo is incredible

Lexus dealers treat you like absolute royalty

LEXUS GS GS 450h Luxury E-CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS GS GS 450h Luxury E-CVT Continuosuly Variable
LEXUS GS GS 450h Luxury E-CVT Continuosuly Variable

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