If you’re thinking of buying a luxury saloon car soon, you might have considered the BMW 5 Series. Or even the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. But one model that is hoping to make inroads in the luxury car market is the Lexus GS Saloon.

I’ll be honest. Previous iterations of the Lexus GS haven’t inspired the motoring public to spend their money on this model! But the latest incarnation has bucked that unfortunate trend. So, is the latest generation Lexus GS worth the money?

In today’s review, I’ll be giving you a rundown of the model and what you can expect from it. Here is what you need to know:

 61 Reviewed: The Lexus GS Saloon

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Models built from 2014 onwards are all hybrid

The fourth-generation model, which is the current one, started production back in 2012. When it first came out, you could choose from either a V6 petrol engine or a V6 hybrid unit. But since 2014, both engines are now hybrid.

In the Lexus GS 300h, you get a 2.5-litre four-cylinder hybrid engine. It offers 223 brake horsepower as standard and will get you to 60 mph from a standing start in 8.9 seconds. It has low CO2 emissions of just 109 g/km.

Meanwhile, the GS 450h offers 340 brake horsepower as standard from its 3.5-litre V6 hybrid power plant. It has a 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds, and the CO2 emissions are just 141 g/km.

If you are thinking of opting for an older model from Inchcape Lexus, it’s likely you might end up with a non-hybrid model.

The GS 250, for example, stopped getting made after 2013. It came with a 2.5-litre V6 that boasted 206 brake horsepower, with a 0-60 mph time of 8.3 seconds. The only trouble was; emissions were sky high at 207 g/km. You can see why Lexus has taken the step of producing only hybrid models for the GS Saloon!

Performance

Looking at the above specs, the Lexus GS 450h is undoubtedly the best model to go for if you’re a speed demon. But if you’re willing to sacrifice a little bit of engine power and 0-60 mph time, the GS 300h is a better bet.

The latter is also a hit with company car drivers, as it means you end up paying less tax on the vehicle. With the Lexus GS, there are three driving modes: Eco, Normal and Sport. Selecting one of those options changes the way your engine performs.

One downside to the Lexus GS isn’t the engines they use, but rather the transmissions. In particular, the automatic gearboxes. That’s because they are CVT or “continuously variable” transmissions.

They might annoy some drivers because they hold their gears at high engine revs. You might think that you could get around this problem by getting a six-speed manual with the Lexus GS instead. But the bad news is that the GS range only comes with automatic gearboxes!

Handling

The handling characteristics of the Lexus GS are similar to those of the BMW 5 Series. It grips to the road well, especially during hard cornering. Some drivers might find the steering doesn’t give as much feedback as they’d like. But that is a matter of opinion rather than a fact.

It’s an agile vehicle. And if you go for the fourth generation, you’ll notice a significant improvement in handling over the previous generations.

Trim levels

The Lexus GS comes in four trim levels: SE, Luxury, F Sport, and Premier.

SE is the base model and offers plenty of luxuries as standard. You’ll get front and rear parking sensors and automatic windscreen wipers and Xenon headlights. Other standard features include cruise control, DAB digital radio and Bluetooth. It also comes with 17-inch alloys.

 60 Reviewed: The Lexus GS Saloon

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Luxury is the next model up. You get 18-inch alloys, satellite navigation and auto-dimming mirrors. They also come with a blind spot monitoring system, and the other features included in the SE trim level.

F Sport is the trim level of choice for those seeking a sportier saloon. Upgrades include 19-inch alloy wheels, boot spoiler and sporty bumpers. The front grille also has a unique “F Sport” mesh design. Bi-Xenon headlights, adaptive lights and sports interior also come as standard. The 450h model also comes with a “Dynamic Handling” package intended to improve the ride.

Premier is the range topper. You get 18-inch alloys just like on the “Luxury” trim level. But you also get better leather interior. As well as LED fog lights and 18-way electric seat adjustment with memory functions! A 17-speaker audio system comes as standard. And, on the 300h, you also get a colour HUD (head-up display).

You can get various options for a new Lexus GS, depending on which model you get. For example, the Premier’s audio system is an option for the Luxury and F Sport trim levels. And the SE can enjoy heated and ventilated seats, as well as sat-nav for an extra cost.

Cabin space

The cabin area inside the Lexus GS is quite roomy. Because it’s a mid-size luxury saloon, you’ll have no problem seating five adults in comfort.

The rear passengers can enjoy an extra 20mm of knee space thanks to improvements over the previous generation. And if you’re over six feet tall, you won’t smack your head on the roof every time you go over a bump in the road!

In the boot, you are treated to ample space thanks to the way the hybrid battery is fitted. For example, the GS 450h has around 465 litres of space in the boot. While the GS 300h gets 451 litres.

Safety

As standard, the car comes with ten airbags across all trim levels. You also get ABS, traction control and stability control too. On the Premier trim level, you get a pre-collision warning system. It tightens the seatbelts and starts braking if it detects an imminent crash.

The Lexus GS is as safe as it is luxurious. One can even buy a plethora of safety options for the car such as blind-spot monitors and adaptive front lighting. If you want to buy a luxurious, safe and affordable car, the Lexus GS will be hard to beat!

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