$44,368 - $47,748

2018 Lexus GS Hybrid Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

The 2018 Lexus GS Hybrid has faster off-the-line acceleration and better fuel economy than its nonhybrid siblings (the GS 300 and GS 350), but for some, these gains are trivial when you factor in the GS 450h's significantly higher starting price. Handling is easygoing and comfortable.

  • "All things considered, the Lexus GS 450h provides a wide range of capabilities that should appeal to drivers and passengers alike." -- Edmunds
  • "At the heart of the lineup are the V6-powered GS 350 and the more eco-friendly yet still fun-to-drive 2017 Lexus GS 450h hybrid." -- Kelley Blue Book

Acceleration and Power

The GS 450h has a combined output of 338 horsepower, which is more power than its gas-only counterpart delivers. Components of the hybrid powertrain include a 3.5-liter V6 engine, two electric motors, and a CVT (a type of automatic transmission). The system is smooth, both under acceleration and when switching between power sources. Most critics say the hybrid feels brisker than the nonhybrid GS 350.

Fuel economy is estimated at 29 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. That's above average for a luxury midsize car, and better than the GS 350's 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway, but it's not very good for a hybrid.

  • "Who says performance and fuel economy can't live in harmony? In the 2017 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 rating, yet accelerates the hybrid sedan faster than its gasoline-only counterpart." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "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 (2017)

Handling and Braking

The GS Hybrid is a rear-wheel-drive sedan. A Drive Mode selector lets you adjust elements like throttle and suspension to match your mood, with settings that include Eco, Normal, Sport, Sport S+, Snow, and EV. On the highway, the GS is smooth, quiet, and comfortable.

  • "The ride is generally smooth and controlled with little harshness on rough roads. … A bit of road noise emanates from the large (and optional) summer performance tires, but it stops short of being bothersome. And there's precious little wind noise, even at elevated highway speeds." -- Edmunds
  • "This is a long car, so it seems less at home in tight corners, but body roll is kept nicely in check, especially with the F Sport's sport-tuned adaptive dampers and rear-steering feature. Nonetheless, even the F Sport retains a pleasantly supple ride on imperfect pavement, although the base model is more compliant. The optional non-sport-tuned adaptive dampers make it smoother still. Road and wind noise are virtually nonexistent." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "The GS's stiff structure, lightweight aluminum suspension and wide track all contribute to its level cornering and compliant ride." -- Kelley Blue Book (2017)

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