December 13, 2012
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It has been very cold here in the nation’s capital lately; this is the worst case scenario for a hybrid. In fact, until today where it finally hit a high of +5 degrees celsius, I haven’t seen my tester run in EV mode at all despite some stop-and-go traffic.
Luckily, the way the hybrid system works, it does use the electric motors to propel the car as well as use the gas engine, so despite not running in full electric mode and never actually shutting the engine down I’m still achieving reasonable fuel economy.
The 3.5L V6 engine in the GS 450h is powerful enough by itself, and with the addition of the electric drive, the extra torque and horsepower do make this one very quick car that accelerates effortlessly. And unlike the Lexus ES, the GS can turn as well as the suspension is tuned a little further towards sport than comfort.
That doesn’t mean the GS is not comfortable; on the contrary, on the highway it still feels like it floats a little and large bumps and potholes or “steel plates” in construction areas are barely noticeable.
The GS is a big sedan with small mirrors, so I do find the blind spot area to be a little worrisome at times. The headlights are fantastic, of course, being xenon headlamps and, as I mentioned yesterday, wind and road noise are nearly zero. The GS is a joy to drive around town and on the highway. The more I drive it the more it makes me feel special — I guess there is something about luxury cars that just makes you feel better and relaxed.