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2013 Lexus GS 450h

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
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I’ll admit it, I’m spoiled and it may be a problem someday (if I stop doing this gig). Because jumping into another $70,000 car after just having one a few weeks ago and never having to pay for them certainly has its perks.

This week it’s the 2013 Lexus GS 450h, similar to the ES I drove just a few weeks ago, except this rear-wheel-drive model is powered by a 3.5-litre V6 hybrid drivetrain and is slightly sportier… okay, maybe it doesn’t share all that much except the badge and some styling.

Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
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Again my tester is the mid-level model in the Lexus GS 450h lineup. Base price for a GS is $51,900, bump up to the 450h model and the price shoots up to $64,650. Lexus offers two additional packages: the luxury package for $5,100 extra or the Technology package, which contains everything from the Luxury package and more. This package comes in at $12,100… nearly as much as an entire other vehicle.

I’m not sure any of the packages are really “needed” as the base GS 450h comes pretty loaded. My tester is equipped with a ton of features that I initially thought were additions. This includes: heated and cooled front seats, a navigation system, full leather seating, dual-zone climate control and much more.

The extra packages surely do add some value but I question over twelve grand for blind-spot monitoring, night vision, rear climate control and some other features that can be found on lesser vehicles that cost about as much as the package alone. Nevertheless, should be a nice, enjoyable week behind the wheel.

MSRP as tested (including destination): $64,650

For more information on Lexus and the GS visit Lexus Canada

For even more on this car FOLLOW James on Twitter

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
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I don’t remember exactly what I said about the ES when I drove it just a few weeks ago but I’m sure it went something like this: The interior is well laid out, feels solid and of high quality, and everything is in the right place. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately in this case), nothing much really changes here in the GS.

A few added buttons for things like the cooled seats and removed buttons for missing features on my tester, like the power rear sunshade, but otherwise this interior is the same as the ES. What is slightly different is the leather steering wheel instead of wood. I prefer the sportier leather wheel; too bad that if you pick the Luxury or Tech package on the GS you are handed a wooden steering wheel once again… odd.

Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
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Rear seat room is ample and co-workers didn’t complain on our trip to our annual Christmas lunch. The middle seat in the rear is a “hump”, though, so it would only be useful in a pinch for short drives by a short passenger.

Trunk space is ample, but not surprisingly the seats do not fold because of the batteries — this is an issue for some but typically in this price range you can afford to pay for delivery instead of scuffing up your nice car while attempting to shove things into the trunk.

The front passenger compartment is a pleasure to be in, of course. The GS has zero wind noise, where as my ES tester had some, but there is some road noise or humming from the winter tires — could just be a bad tire, though, as otherwise it’s pretty darn silent.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
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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.

Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews

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.

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
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A somewhat short week for me as I head off to vacation land. Despite the cold weather I still managed a very decent 8.2 L/100 km for the week with the GS. I suspect mid-sevens would be easy enough in warmer weather, making this performance luxury machine quite the fuel-sipper indeed. The fact that this car runs at just 1000 rpm at 100km/h must help considerably.

I’ll miss the coddling of leather and effortless power delivery of the GS 450h over the next few weeks I’m sure. That is all from me until the new year. Wishing a merry christmas and happy new year to all my readers.

*Rating out of 5:

2013 Lexus GS 450h
Acceleration Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
Handling Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
Comfort Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
Interior Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
Audio System Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
Gas Mileage Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews
Overall Day by Day Review: 2013 Lexus GS 450h car test drives luxury cars lexus daily car reviews

*Rating based on vehicle’s classification
MSRP as tested (including destination): $64,650

For more information on Lexus and the GS visit Lexus Canada

For even more on this car FOLLOW James on Twitter




About James Bergeron

James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).