The Lexus GS will never be in as much demand as its rivals, the BMW 5 Series or Audi A6. Isn’t that one of its key strengths? For every dozen well-paid middle managers who adore having a premium German saloon on their driveway, there are one or two who are made to feel special by choosing something a bit different.
They must be a committed bunch, however, given that they have a choice between petrol or hybrid powertrains only, which rules out the must-have-a-diesel set. The fourth generation GS range starts with a GS250 V6 petrol with 207bhp and rises to the GS450h V6 petrol-electric hybrid with 341bhp.
The GS has proved these customers don’t have to sacrifice any quality or refinement by not going German. Compared with its predecessor, this GS has added a dash of style and road presence and noticeable improvements inside and out enhance that premium perception, such as the metal controls for the stereo, analogue clock and 12.3in colour screen centred in the dashboard. Equipment levels are high too, with sat-nav standard on all but the cheapest GS250 SE and all models featuring dual-zone climate control, electrically adjusted and heated leather front seats, keyless entry and xenon headlamps.
AM tested the GS450h and found it a very relaxing, serene drive with plenty of performance on tap when required.
It is an ideal commuter car, yet despite the hybrid tag this is no solution for the frugal or eco-minded, as it is capable of driving less than a mile in full electric mode at speeds less than 25mph.
Engines 2.5-litre V6 207bhp; 3.5-litre V6 hybrid 288bhp
Performance 0-62mph 5.9-8.6 secs, top speed 144-155mph
Transmission 6sp auto, E-CVT
Efficiency 31.7-46.3mpg, 141-207g/km CO2
RV 3yr/30k 35.4-38.3%
Rivals Audi A6, BMW 5 Series,