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2016 Lexus GS Hybrid Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Lexus GS Hybrid was new.


Performance: 8.5

Auto writers say the 2016 Lexus GS Hybrid has a strong engine that provides brisk acceleration, as well as outstanding fuel economy estimates. They also like its smooth ride and composed 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 (2015)
  • "… the GS 450h hybrid amplifies fuel-economy figures without any appreciable loss in performance." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Lexus GS 450h comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine and two electric motors that together make 338 horsepower. A continuously variable transmission, which acts like an automatic, is standard. According to the EPA, the 2016 GS Hybrid earns 29/34 mpg city/highway, which is superb for the class.

Test drivers report that the GS 450h's engine delivers plenty of power. It also produces quicker acceleration than the gas-only GS model, they add, while earning better fuel economy.

  • "Who says performance and environmentalism can't go hand in hand? In the 2016 Lexus GS 450h, an Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 is teamed with an electric motor for a combined 338 horsepower. The combo delivers an impressive 31-mpg combined, yet accelerates the hybrid sedan faster than its gasoline-only counterpart." -- 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 (2015)
  • "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 (2015)

Handling and Braking

Reviewers commend the GS Hybrid for its comfortable ride and poised handling. Still, they point out that, due to its extra weight, it isn't quite as agile as the non-hybrid GS. While most auto writers are pleased with the GS 450h's regenerative brakes, others note that they aren't 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 (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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