2008 Lexus GS Hybrid

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2008 Lexus GS Hybrid Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Lexus GS Hybrid was new.

The GS 450 Hybrid is an environmentally friendly luxury sedan that also delivers exceptional performance, attractive styling and a wealth of technological comfort and safety features. However, headroom may be restrictive for taller folks, and the hybrid powertrain adds substantial cost to the vehicle.  If you're in the market for a large luxury sedan, you should also consider the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes E-Class sedans, and if you are looking for a hybrid, take a look at our list of available Hybrid Vehicles.

9.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.9
Performance: 8.7
Interior: 8.0
Safety: 9.4
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent blend of performance and handling, coupled with good fuel economy
  • Well-executed luxury interior and sleek exterior styling
  • Outstanding optional Mark Levinson® Premium Surround Sound Audio System
  • Very competitive set of standard high-tech, useful safety features
  • For taller occupants, front seat headroom and rear seat legroom may be restrictive
  • Hybrid powertrain adds substantial cost to the purchase price versus non-hybrids
  • Voice activation navigation system can be complicated

2008 Lexus GS Hybrid Overview

The 2008 Lexus GS 450 Hybrid fuses eco-friendly power and fuel economy with luxury sports sedan performance and lots of technology. The 2008 model was declared a "Best in Class" winner for both lowest fuel cost and for retained value by IntelliChoice. Forbes calls the GS 450 Hybrid "a luxury sedan with an environmental heart that powers through turns and breaks new ground at the same time." The Washington Post adds, "It is a pleasant example of dual personality, a happy mixture of 'better' and 'best.'"

On balance, most test drivers admire the 2008 Lexus GS450 Hybrid for its smooth, powerful acceleration, both from a stop and during highway passing, noting that the technology in the car is impressive from almost every angle. Automobile Magazine calls the GS 450 Hybrid "a technological tour de force." Car and Driver compliments the Hybrid's "uptown interior, user-friendly secondary controls," and delivery on the "performance-hybrid promise." The Chicago Sun Times concludes that the GS 450 Hybrid offers "a good blend of power, performance, luxury and environmental efficiency."

The GS 450 Hybrid's luxury and performance is reflected in its price, which auto writers generally find somewhat high. However, BusinessWeek notes that "one of the other ways in which the GS 450h differs from most hybrids is that its sticker price is not exponentially larger than that of the fuel-injected base model," adding that "Lexus has been very clever about the way the car is priced. The GS 450h not only comes with the hybrid power plant at that price but includes a lot of gear that costs extra on the GS 430."  In fact, some reviewers' note that the luxury and performance found in the SG450 Hybrid makes it a viable alternative to the V8-equipped Lexus GS430. The Washington Post consider it a "wonderful toy" and say "it's a buy."

With gas prices setting records in 2008, the cost equation of the 450h is changing weekly.  It remains the most fuel-efficient option in its class, and the functional cost of that hybrid premium decreases as the price of gas rises.  As an environmentally-friendly luxury sedan, the 450h may have arrived at its moment.

The GS 450 Hybrid comes in one trim option, the 3.5-liter V6 with an electric-drive motor and rear-wheel drive.

IntelliChoice the 2008 Lexus hybrid model a value rating of "Excellent" for its predicted five-year cost of ownership compared to other vehicles in its class.

To check out the Best Lexus Deals researched by US News click here.

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