A few weeks back, I had the chance to spend some time with a 2010 Lexus GS 450h, which stands as one of my favorite models in the lineup. Now, having reviewed the 2009 model last year, my main focus this time around was trying out some new photography techniques, but I did want to share some quick impressions on the latest edition of Lexus’ hybrid sports sedan.
While essentially the same as the 2009 model, the GSh did get a couple design changes in 2010, the most obvious being the new front grille:
I can’t lie, I’m absolutely crazy about this grille — just love it. The gradient pattern looks like it was dreamed up by a mathematician, and fits perfectly within the overall design. Still, I don’t know how well the extra chrome fits with the Smoky Granite Mica exterior.
On the other hand, I’m not as thrilled by the new, simpler wheel design:
If I had to guess, I would say the change had something to do with how difficult the older wheels were to clean, but the previous design is one of my favorites, and I’m sad to see it go.
The interior is getting that refined patina that comes with age — remember the GS design is now six years old:
There’s a fine line between simple and simplistic, and the GS interior straddles it — the overall design has a classic feel, with some very nice sharp lines, but the buttons and switches are in need of an upgrade.
One thing that sticks with me: driving the GS at night is a real highlight. There’s something about the the way the pinpoint LEDs light up the cabin, with the Mark Levinson stereo on, cruising slowly with one hand on the wheel — it’s a special experience.
There was one new issue that came up as a new parent — trunk space. There was just barely enough room in the trunk for the daily baby stuff, and on an overnight trip, my wife and I had to pack our bags in the backseat, thereby eliminating the possibility of personally owning a GSh anytime soon.
With the next-generation GS currently being shown at meetings with U.S. dealers, 2011 is likely the last year for the third-generation GS, a model that has aged extremely well and set the tone for Lexus’ L-Finesse design language. I had a great time photographing this car, and I’m looking forward to sharing the results — please look for galleries over the next couple days.
(Special thanks to Lexus Canada for providing this vehicle for review.)