GS 450h 2009 Update

2009-lexus-gs-450h-photo.jpgThe 2009 Lexus GS was recently named US News Best Car for the Money in the luxury car class. Its hybrid counterpart, the new 2009 Lexus GS 450H pairs a 3.5 liter V6 engine with an electric motor to deliver 340-hp. Largely unchanged from the previous 2008 Lexus GS 450h, the 2009 boasts an unmatched safety and reliability rating. It requires no plug-in charging, and like Toyota hybrids, it can utilize one or both of its power sources depending on the driving demands.

Unlike the ultra gas-conscious Toyota Prius, the GS 450H gets has EPA rating of 22/25 mpg; however it offers the same superior performance tuning and drivability that you would expect from any BMW, Mercedes-Benz, or Infiniti without draining your wallet at the pump. The added benefit of zero-to-60 in a meager 5.2 seconds isn’t anything to complain about either.

Called a “luxury sedan with an environmental heart,” by Forbes magazine, the GS 450H offers features like an unparalleled 14-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, adaptive xenon headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, keyless ignition/entry, back-up camera, 18-in wheels, heated and cooled front seats with driver memory settings, and satellite radio.

Safety features include antilock brakes, traction control, stability control and a total of 10 airbags. Lexus’ Pre-Collision System and Lexus Link are optional, but come highly recommended as added safety benefits. Pre-Collision uses a radar sensor to detect objects in front of the car, while a computer tracks the oncoming vehicle speed and steering angle. The Pre-Collision System immediately activates the seatbelt pre-tensioners and engages full power if a collision is inevitable.

Undeniably, the culmination of luxury, fuel-economy, and outstanding performance is something to be desired, but with a handsome price tag. Starting just below $60,000, the genuine wood, rich leather seating, aluminum trim, along with rear-wheel drive and dashboard touch screen provide drivers and passengers with an outstanding driving experience. The GS 450H easily seats five, but more comfortably seats four due to the elevated rear center cushion.

Some test drivers comment that the electrically-assisted steering is too light, taking away from that ultimate driving experience. They also found the brakes of the regenerative braking system to be a bit touchy. However, the previously criticized 9-cubic ft. trunk of the 2008 Lexus GS 450H has been upgraded to a modestly better 11-cubic feet in this years model.

Overall, the 2009 Lexus GS 450 Hybrid provides outstanding performance, safety, luxury, and fuel-economy when compared to other hybrid models in the same price range. Whether you’re looking for a mid-size luxury vehicle or a more fuel efficient sedan, the 2009 Lexus GS 450H is definitely worth a test drive.

Here is a great “in the garage” review by AutoBlogGreen.

Post a Response