Lexus GS 300h
Lexus has pulled out all the stops with its latest entry-level GS. The Executive Edition GS is comprehensively specified, superbly built, and offers heightened levels of refinement.
The Lexus GS 300h is powered by the second-generation Lexus Hybrid Drive. This intelligently combines an advanced 2.5-litre direct-injection petrol engine with a high-output electric motor, while innovative Active Sound Control delivers a sophisticated engine note. The GS 300h is fun to drive, yet achieves 64.2 mpg.
Lexus started by increasing the chassis rigidity, fitting new dampers and engineering a new rear multi-link suspension. They then created a sophisticated aerodynamic concept that moves airflow closer to the vehicle body, to boost dynamic performance and steering precision. The grille is now even larger and protrudes farther forwards with greater visual aggression. Enhancing the car’s class-leading refinement even further, smooth underbody covers and fins on the rear lights increase stability and reduce wind noise.
Equipped with innovative D-4S direct injection and dual VVT-i technology, a highly efficient ‘Atkinson Cycle’ engine is at the heart of the GS 300h (2.5-litre, 4-cylinder) and GS 450h (3.5-litre, V6). Also featuring Start/Stop, these breakthrough powertrains help reduce fuel consumption and emissions even further.
Where Lexus has the upper hand on its rivals in the wake of Dieselgate is its NOX emissions, which are way lower than even the best diesels can offer.
The GS 300h delivers impressive Full-Hybrid performance. You can accelerate from 0-62 mph in just 5.9 seconds (where permitted) while, overall, combined emissions of the GS 300h are just 104 g/km* and fuel consumption is only 46.3 mpg. With sufficient battery charge, EV mode lets you drive at lower speeds over shorter distances using just electric power. EV mode is whisper quiet, emissions-free and consumes no fuel. This is ideal, for instance, when driving in slow-moving traffic or enclosed car parks.
In premium cars such as this, the interior is hugely important, and it’s here that Lexus does not disappoint. The massive 12.3-inch screen is set into a wide sweeping leather dashboard that makes the car feel utterly huge. The analogue clock set into the dash is a classy touch.
The seats are sublime, feeling like what might happen if an armchair manufacturer attempted to make luxury vehicle seating. There’s the decent lateral support that’s so often missing in these luxury barges, but with the sort of comfort that’ll allow you to spend hours behind the wheel without getting a numb butt.