The 2013 Lexus GS Hybrid doesn't have enough ratings to earn a Valid Total Car Score. But it does have a part-bamboo steering wheel. It's all part of this premium hybrid sedan's green credentials, since bamboo is tough and grows in a sustainable manner.
The 2013 model year sees the GS now entering its fourth generation. There's no longer any V8-powered version, so the 450h represents the most powerful car of the range. It's a kind of "muscle with mindfulness" approach rather than a "friend of the Earth" statement. Lexus claims improvements in fuel efficiency of around 35 percent over the outgoing equivalent.
Acceleration is a respectable 5.6 seconds and top speed is 134 mph. Reviewers have found that the lightness of the electric steering, the odd feel of the regenerative brakes and the less-than-precise feel of the low-rolling resistance tires (all necessary equipment for hybrids) tend to detract from any driving pleasure that might be had. But they like the usual Lexus attributes of excellent build quality and fine technology, finding this new generation an overall improvement over the previous one, which wasn't bad to begin with.
The five-seat 2013 Lexus GS450h midsize luxury sedan is the hybrid variant within a wider GS range. It's also a top-end model that comes with an adjustable and adaptive suspension as standard.
A 3.5-liter V6 converts gasoline to 286 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque, while an electric motor brings the pony count up to 388. This goes to the rear wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Standard equipment includes climate control, 10-way/power-adjustable/heated/ventilated front seats, Bluetooth, satellite radio, iPod integration, a power moonroof, a power rear sunshade, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Options include 18-inch alloys, voice-activated navigation, leather upholstery, a high-end Mark Levinson audio system, plus adaptive headlamps.
Standard safety equipment includes 10 airbags (two of those are for the front occupants' knees), whiplash-reducing front seats, traction and stability controls, plus ABS with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist. Among the optional safety features are night vision, head-up display, blind spot and lane departure alerts, and an infrared camera to monitor the driver's eyes that will then set off an alarm if an impending accident is being sensed.
EPA estimates for the 2013 Lexus GS450h are 29 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 31 mpg combined.
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