Fuel Efficient: 2013 Lexus GS 450h

by Mike Hunter

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales

Technology meets performance in this sports sedan by Lexus. The “gold standard” in the new automobile industry is combining speed and performance with fuel efficiency and eco-performance. Lexus is engineering such a vehicle with the GS 450h hybrid sports sedan.

The Atkinson Cycle 60° V6, aluminum block and heads, direct and port fuel injection engine boasts an acceleration of 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and claims a 31-mpg in combined city and highway driving. These are impressive numbers that, through the technology of this certified Super Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV II) due to the re-design of the gasoline engine and the electric motor, garner attention. Stiffer suspension and improved steering and a tighter structure make handling a notable improvement for 2013 as well, making this sedan a sporty option for those seeking both performance and environmental consciousness. The system is driver-adjustable to include Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport Plus settings, and, besides the suspension, it also controls steering effort, throttle response and stability control intervention.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales

No longer a sluggish, eco-friendly sedan, the Lexus GS 450h excited with its new styling for the second-generation GS models that give curb appeal and make heads turn. A more contemporary interior design with sport seats, fewer controls and simplified, user-friendly technologies equip this model. Bamboo accents and the usual Lexus high-quality materials bring a new level of luxury to this line. Navigation, one-touch remote entertainment, Bluetooth technologies and a larger central display are notable upgrades that move this hybrid to meet the Mercedes E Class and the Infiniti in luxury.

While the fuel economy is an impressive technological difference this year (the 2012 was 23 mpg combined), this hybrid is priced about $11,000 more than the gasoline engine GS 350 with comparable features. Like most hybrids, this vehicle, while fuel-efficient, will not realize a cost savings unless the owner keeps the vehicle for more than 19 years. Improvements are evident, however, since the 2012 model had an estimated 57-year span to equate cost savings. Most would agree the Lexus is not the brand to look to for economic relief, so engineers have succeeded from an environmental standpoint and designers have surpassed expectations to make the GS 450h a competitor in its class.

2013 GS 450h Hybrid
City MPG 29
Hwy MPG 34
0-60 MPH 5.6 sec
Transmission Electronically Controlled Continuously Variable
MSRP $58,950

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