2014 Lexus GS Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Lexus GS Hybrid was new.


Performance: 8.0

Test drivers agree that the 2014 Lexus GS Hybrid delivers a pleasant driving experience with a hint of sportiness. They appreciate its strong powertrain and standard adaptive suspension system, which they say provides both agile handling and a smooth ride. Some critics think the GS Hybrid’s regenerative brakes perform very well, though others say they don’t feel as smooth as conventional brakes.

  • "The GS is a pleasure to experience on the open road, with capable handling and a refined and quiet ride quality." -- Edmunds
  • "No matter the model, GS has a sporty, satisfying exhaust note during acceleration but is nearly silent at cruise." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "The model that most impressed me was the GS450h. Equipped with a hybrid system that mates an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V-6 with an electric motor, the GS450h produces a combined 338 hp." -- Road and Track (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2014 Lexus GS Hybrid has a 3.5-liter V6 engine and two electric motors that combine to produce 338 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. The GS Hybrid gets an EPA-estimated 29/34 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for a luxury large car.

Critics say the GS Hybrid is surprisingly quick for the class. They also write that the GS Hybrid’s powertrain is very smooth and quiet.

  • "As expected of a hybrid luxury sedan, the 2014 Lexus GS 450h goes about its business silently and efficiently, wrapping its occupants in a cocoon of serenity. What might surprise you is that the GS 450h also boasts surprisingly swift acceleration." -- Edmunds
  • "The highlight of the GS 450h is its efficient hybrid powertrain. … Even with the additional 400-pound mass of its hybrid system, the GS 450h is actually slightly quicker than the less powerful GS 350." -- Left Lane News
  • "While not exactly as powerful as its competitors' V-8 offerings, the hybrid setup's additional low-end torque should help the GS450h achieve 60 mph about a tenth quicker than the GS350." -- Car and Driver (2013)
  • "While boasting a zero-to-60-mph time of 5.6 seconds (according to Lexus), the GS450h gets an amazing 29/34 mpg, and 31 mpg combined." -- Road and Track (2013)

Handling and Braking

Test drivers agree that the GS Hybrid’s standard adaptive suspension provides a comfortable ride and capable handling. Still, reviewers say the GS Hybrid isn’t quite as nimble as the non-hybrid model because of the extra weight it carries. While some critics like the GS Hybrid’s brake pedal feel, some write that the GS Hybrid’s regenerative brakes don’t feel as smooth as regular brakes.

  • "The hybrid GS sedan's standard adaptive suspension continually adapts to road and driving conditions to provide the best ride and handling possible." -- Edmunds
  • "It also demands fewer tradeoffs, with regenerative brakes that are far easier to modulate than before -- they still don't feel as natural as conventional brakes, but they're not bad for regenerative brakes." -- Automobile Magazine (2013)
  • "Braking is incredibly good, however, a complaint I often have in hybrid models. Most owners won't even notice the regenerative brakes." -- Cars.com (2013)
  • "Turning to matters of greater importance, our initial impression was that the GS 450h felt a lot heavier than the standard GS. Indeed, at 4,190 pounds there's nearly 400 more pounds of Lexus in the hybrid. When we did punch up the Sport-Plus mode to try and make the car feel smaller, it helped, but there was still no confusing the hybrid for the standard GS. Good thing most owners aren't going to have both cars parked side-by-side in their driveway." -- Autoblog (2013)

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