Shoppers looking for a midsize luxury sedan have more than a few choices these days, but those who also want one that's fuel efficient and fun to drive might want to check out the 2017 Lexus GS 450h. With this model, the Lexus reputation for style and reliability combine with the latest hybrid powertrain and a host of standard features. Together, they deliver both an engaging driving experience and fewer trips to the gas station.
Following a refresh last year, changes for the GS 450h in 2017 are minimal. Probably the biggest news is that the formerly optional Lexus Safety System+ package is now standard equipment. It provides such high-tech aids as forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beam control and lane departure alert with steering assist.
The powertrain for the GS 450h consists of a 286-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 engine that teams up with an electric motor for a total system output of 338 hp and 257 pound-feet of torque. The combo drives the rear wheels through a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT) automatic. Fuel economy is rated by the EPA at 31 mpg combined (29 city/34 highway).
On the road, the GS 450h might not quite reach sports-car levels of performance, but with strong acceleration and well-balanced handling, it's capable of more than most drivers will ever ask of it. But for those who want to squeeze out even more corner-carving ability, the available F Sport package adds stiffer sport-tuned, adaptive suspension, variable gear-ratio steering and larger wheels with performance tires.
The bold exterior styling of the GS 450h follows the pattern set by other GS models, with a low, muscular stance, aggressive grille, and distinctive front and rear fascias. The overall effect is sporty rather than formal. The interior, however, makes it clear that occupants have entered a luxury sedan. Appointments include heated and ventilated leather seats, high-quality trim materials, and a wealth of the latest comfort, convenience and technology features. The driver and front passenger enjoy more than enough room to stretch out, as do those in back, unless they're unusually tall.
The GS 450h is only available in one extremely well-equipped trim level, with standard features such as a navigation system, rearview camera, 10-way power front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and an infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. Buyers who want more luxury can add heated rear seats and a premium Mark Levinson audio system. Those who crave more performance can opt for the F Sport package. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Lexus GS 450h that best meets your needs.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.