Autoblog Reviews the Lexus GS 450h


Autoblog reviews the Lexus GS 450h

Autoblog recently published a review of the Lexus GS 450h, detailing their impressions of the performance hybrid sedan.  Along with favorable mentions for the silent electric mode capability and interior design, the review raved about the 340 hp V6 hybrid’s performance:

The GS 450h is the world’s first performance luxury hybrid, and we loved its performance. That’s right, love. Why? Because batteries rock. They make things happen right now, and anytime we dabble in acceleration our preferred phrase to begin the proceedings with is “right now.” Acceleration from a stop isn’t cheetah fast – cheetahs take time to get up to speed. This is gazelle fast. When you’re being chased by something with teeth that’s already running 60 mph, you don’t have time to meander up to speed. The GS 450h accelerates like it doesn’t want to be eaten. Instant torque, party of one, your stoplight is ready. And this is in any gear, at any speed.

The review further found the Active Power Stabiilzer Suspension System (APSSS) as rendering corner-carving flat and stable, regarded the steering as fine, and observed that brake feel was surprisingly better after extended use.  Ultimately, Autoblog called the GS 450h the Lexus they would choose if their “budget was limited to $200,000” – with a caveat, namely the IS-F.  (Further details after the jump).

While praising the GS 450h’s performance, Autoblog’s Jonathon Ramsey noted that the traction control was “severely intrusive”, an issue apparently remedied by the deactivation switch:

It was like unlocking an easter egg. That one little dash light transports you from elementary school to graduate school, maybe even postgraduate. Going hard into bends was an invitation to an understeer party, but you can kick the back out with a bit of throttle (if it manages to remain in the right gear) and get it to come around. We didn’t think we’d be doing such things in a Lexus – let alone a hybrid – but yes, we did, and we liked it. When you stand on the gas again and give the transmission something to do, the electric boost gets you going again immediately. If you get carried away with the two-plus tons and the GS detects things going bonkers, the TC snaps on again for last-minute bacon-saving.

After driving the conventional gasoline V8-powered GS 460 for comparison, the Autoblog reviewer preferred the GS 450h, citing faster acceleration and improved transmission response via the hybrid battery boost.  However, the higher price of the GS hybrid and minute surges in electric power were regarded as detracting factors, along with transmission gear shifting behavior (here the review incorrectly states that the GS 460 and 450h have the same transmission, when the former is an 8-speed automatic and the latter a continuously variable transmission with simulated gears). The GS 450h also benefited from a significant boost in fuel economy, and the engine and road noise received mention—being regarded as performance car-like.

[Source: Autoblog]

Comments


Comments


  1. The POWER button works very well in most Lexus vehicles. I love how in my LS, the engine revs faster, and the transmission shifts at a much higher rev even though the pedal is depressed only half way. And my-oh-my the noise…

  2. surprisingly glowing review.

    they were mistaken with the gearbox though, the GSh does not use the same transmission as the 460.

    also I wonder why they didnt get a 2010 model…

  3. Also, Lexus should use the exact same engine for every RWD sedan in its lineup. The 4.6L in the GS shouldn’t be detuned, and neither should the hybrid powertrain in the GS hybrid. If Lexus is so obsessed with gadgets, Lexus should just make better use of the “Power”, “Normal”, and “Snow” modes and the “Sport” to “Comfort” modes if available. Even GM is considering that for its Voltec powertrain (I know… the Cadillac Converj won’t take advantage of the technology.).

  4. @Josh: They had to get the car, test it, then write about it. What you’re reading is a review, not a first look. The latest version of the GSh has been out for only a little while.

  5. @Josh: Also, I’m guessing the mistake about the gearbox is because the GSh’s shift gate represents a normal automatic gearbox’s. The “B” and the “H” were short-lived; even the new RXh has a normal automatic transmission’s shift gate.

  6. Yeah, “B” is replaced by the EV mode IIRC

  7. @Dan: aha… don’t know where I got H from. I thought the B was just a mimicking of downshifting the vehicle.

  8. @WorldofLuxury: B refers to Battery mode, which is analogous to EV mode (also battery only electric) in newer Lexus hybrids.  In a manner of speaking it is kind of like downshifting, in that you cut off gas engine output; however I’m not sure how effective it is at high speed because the electric-only modes are restricted to lower mph IIRC.

  9. WorldofLuxury:@Josh: They had to get the car, test it, then write about it. What you're reading is a review, not a first look. The latest version of the GSh has been out for only a little while.

    well the review is from february and the 2010 GS has been out since september of last year…

  10. @Josh: Dang! HALF A YEAR HAS ALREADY GONE BY?!

  11. emptystreets130

    @WorldofLuxury:

    The engine sitting in the GS460 is not detuned. It’s a the same, different engine founded in the LS. Same family of engine (1UR) but different, lacking the D-4s technology.

  12. @emptystreets130: lol I realize that… wink

  13. Dan:@WorldofLuxury: B refers to Battery mode, which is analogous to EV mode (also battery only electric) in newer Lexus hybrids.  In a manner of speaking it is kind of like downshifting, in that you cut off gas engine output; however I'm not sure how effective it is at high speed because the electric-only modes are restricted to lower mph IIRC.

    No. The B was for braking. It would charge the batteries while slightly slowing the car down.

    http://www.google.com/search?q=lexus+gear+b&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

  14. @Stan: Yes, thx for the link.  I remember originally thinking it was for braking (which the Lexus.com link etc says), just when the 450h came out a number of articles said:

    CNET.com:
    Where the old car had a battery mode on its transmission, the new one does away with that in favor of an EV mode button

    Maybe a misprint/misinterpretation, as yes other materials do state that the B works for downhill driving.

    http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-13746_7-10125037-48.html

  15. by a lot of means
    what am really think about right now with the next generation hybrids (LS/GS/IS/SC)
    to take the high performance tech. that toyota boosted it with a lot of cars as the supra, sc & at least mr-s

  16. Still my favorite Lexus. cool

    (As for the photos—the copyright on the images is 2009, which makes me think Autoblog is just reusing the photos it took for last year’s review.)

  17. @krew: Lexus must have changed a lot of settings in the car’s onboard computer. Remember that commercial advertising the OFF switch for the traction control in the latest GS 460? So yeah… Lexus might have asked AutoBlog to give the GSh another try.