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2015 Lexus GS Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Lexus GS Hybrid was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.2

Test drivers say the 2015 Lexus GS Hybrid delivers both strong acceleration and impressive fuel economy. They also appreciate its comfortable ride and poised handling.

  • "The hybrid-powered 2015 Lexus GS 450h is one such car that can stretch a gallon of gasoline but still manage to provide some driving excitement, too." -- Edmunds
  • "… the GS 450h hybrid amplifies fuel-economy figures without any appreciable loss in performance." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The 2015 Lexus GS 450h has a 3.5-liter V6 engine and two electric motors that produce a total of 338 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard. According to the EPA, the 2015 GS Hybrid gets 29/34 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for an upscale midsize car.

Reviewers note that the GS 450h delivers ample power, adding that it accelerates faster than the non-hybrid GS 350 while achieving superior fuel economy.

  • "For fans of both performance and fuel economy, the GS 450h hybrid's Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 and electric motor is a win-win. Pumping out a system total 338 horsepower, it accelerates faster than the gasoline-only GS 350, yet returns an impressive 29 mpg city/34 mpg highway." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Together, the electric motors and 3.5-liter V6 gas engine produce a hearty 338 horsepower, which is plenty to keep more spirited drivers entertained." -- 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

Handling and Braking

The rear-wheel drive 2015 Lexus GS Hybrid has an adaptive suspension system, which can automatically adjust suspension stiffness based on the pavement surface and your driving style. The new-for-2015 available F Sport package adds a sport-tuned suspension, larger brakes, larger wheels and four-wheel steering. Automotive journalists write that the GS Hybrid has a comfortable ride and composed handling, though they add that it isn’t quite as nimble as the non-hybrid GS because of the extra weight it carries. Some critics don’t think the GS Hybrid’s regenerative brakes operate as smoothly as regular brakes, but most are pleased with them.

  • "The hybrid GS sedan's standard adaptive suspension continually adapts to road and driving conditions to provide the best ride and handling possible." -- Edmunds (2014)
  • 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. … 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." -- Autoblog (2013)

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