2017 Lexus GS 450h Review

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent fuel economy for a midsize luxury sedan
  • Comfortable and spacious interior is richly appointed
  • Still reasonably quick and sporty
  • Infotainment interface can frustrate
  • Substantial cost premium over GS 350
  • Backseat doesn't fold
List Price Estimate
$31,068 - $37,404

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Which GS 450h does Edmunds recommend?

Available trim levels for the 2017 Lexus GS 450h number precisely one, greatly simplifying the task of deciding on how to tailor one to your liking. Furthermore, there is only one option package and just a few standalone options available. Go for the Mark Levinson premium audio system if you are discriminating about sound quality.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5
There are two major types of hybrids: those that are designed from the ground up exclusively as hybrids and those that are adaptations of conventional cars. Typically, those in the latter group struggle with managing the additional weight of the hybrid components (particularly the large, heavy battery), suffering degradations in ride quality and handling.

With the GS 450h, Lexus has managed to avoid these common pitfalls. Despite being a hybridized version of a conventional sedan, the GS 450h still rides quite well and handles commendably well. And this isn't some tepid hybrid system either — the GS 450h's elevated fuel economy makes it one of the most fuel-efficient luxury sedans available, and acceleration is still strong. The main downside to this car is the substantial price premium compared to other GS models.

2017 Lexus GS 450h models

The 2017 Lexus GS 450h is available in one well-equipped trim level. Standard features are plentiful, leaving only a handful of options to decide on, chief among them the Mark Levinson premium audio system. Under the hood of the GS 450h is a 3.5-liter V6 mated to a hybridized continuously variable transmission that delivers power to the rear wheels. Bolstered by the battery-fed electric motor, the GS 450h delivers a total output of 338 horsepower, though it's the boost in low-end torque that is most noticeable when, say, driving away from stoplights.

Standard feature highlights include 18-inch wheels, a sunroof, keyless ignition and entry, heated and ventilated power front seats, leather upholstery, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, the Remote Touch infotainment interface, a navigation system, voice controls, smartphone app integration, a 12.3-inch display screen and a 12-speaker sound system. A variety of driver safety aids (blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and the Lexus Safety System+ suite of advanced active safety features) are also included.

Notable options include that 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system we recommend plus heated rear seats and the F Sport package, which includes 19-inch wheels, special exterior and interior styling, a sport-tuned suspension with adaptive dampers, enhanced steering (variable gear-ratio and rear-wheel steering) and sport front seats.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 Lexus GS 450h (3.5L V6; hybrid; CVT automatic).

Driving

3.5
Lexus says the 2017 GS 450h is the quickest GS you can buy, but our tests show it's slightly slower than the standard car. Its handling is intuitive and well balanced, though it lacks the outright grip of F Sport-equipped cars. Still, this is a solid performer with rewarding driving character.

Acceleration

3.0
Acceleration is smooth and uninterrupted with 60 mph arriving in only 6.0 seconds, which is average for a midsize luxury sedan. The GS feels rapid and responsive thanks to abundant torque.

Braking

3.0
Overall braking composure is good, but very savvy drivers will notice that the brake pedal feels a bit inconsistent at low speeds. In our panic-brake test, the GS 450h stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet, which is average for the segment.

Steering

3.0
The Lexus GS 450h goes where you point it for most situations. The steering effort is adjustable, but the feedback is minimal. Overall, the sedan strikes a good balance between everyday usability and available performance in its steering tuning.

Handling

3.0
More capable than it needs to be, the GS 450h will hustle when it's asked but never feels uncomfortable as a result. It offers higher limits than most drivers will explore. Its limits are lower than those of non-hybrid cars in the segment, however.

Drivability

3.5
The GS 450h, because of its abundant torque, is responsive and easy to drive, which is unusual in a CVT-equipped car. It's also very quiet.

Comfort

4.0
A luxury hybrid with sporting intentions isn't a car we'd expect to sacrifice all else in the name of comfort, but the GS 450h does a nice job of splitting the difference. It's amply comfortable when that's what you want.

Seat comfort

3.5
The heated and ventilated front leather seats are a highlight. Comfort is good even after extended driving. Adjustments are abundant but not always intuitive. There's excellent thigh support, though some drivers might find the seat bottoms a bit flat.

Ride comfort

4.5
An active, adaptive variable suspension (part of the optional F Sport package) helps this GS 450h split the difference between sport sedan and proper Lexus. The ride is generally smooth and controlled with little harshness on rough roads in Normal mode. Sport+ mode is stiff.

Noise & vibration

4.5
There's precious little wind noise, even at high speed, just as you'd expect from Lexus. The powertrain is particularly quiet, and electric mode provides near noise-free motoring below about 25 mph.

Interior

4.5
A large, highly functional interior with very good materials and high assembly quality is slightly offset by a unique but awkward infotainment control setup.

Ease of use

3.5
The highlight and downfall of the GS' otherwise-logical interior is the Remote Touch infotainment interface. It's a novel approach, but it's confusing and inconsistent and demands too much attention.

Getting in/getting out

4.0
In traditional Lexus fashion, the GS is built for real people. The doors are wide, the sills are narrow, and the seats are relatively high. It's very easy to get in and out of.

Roominess

4.5
The GS is a big car, and the interior reflects that. Front passengers will enjoy lots of hip-, leg- and headroom as well as shoulder room. The story is the same in the back unless you are very tall.

Visibility

4.5
There's excellent forward visibility thanks to small pillars and minimal blind spots. Front and rear parking sensors and a rear camera take care of the rest. Fantastic high-beam headlights on the open road.

Quality

4.0
Lexus cars are built to a high standard, and the GS 450h is no exception. The interior materials are stunning, and the controls offer precise feel. Body panels are well matched, and gaps are consistent. It's what we expect at this price.

Utility

3.0
The sedan's useful variety of interior storage options is offset by a small trunk and a backseat that doesn't fold down.

Small-item storage

3.5
Has a useful glovebox, two cupholders ahead of the shifter and a medium-sized center console that opens wide. The front door pockets are decent-sized, but they won't hold a water bottle. The rear door pockets are small but will fit a bottle. The rear center armrest has a storage bin and cupholders.

Cargo space

3.0
Because of the hybrid battery pack, the trunk offers just 13.2 cubic feet of space, which isn't much more than what you get from a typical compact sedan. The rear seatbacks don't fold either.

Child safety seat accommodation

3.5
Has two pairs of LATCH anchors at the bottom and three top-tether anchors along the top. Bottom LATCH anchors are tightly recessed between the seat cushions, though. Rear legroom is generous enough for most rear-facing seats to fit, but tall front occupants might still have to scoot up some.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall3.5 / 5
Driving3.5
Comfort4.0
Interior4.5
Utility3.0

Consumer reviews

There are no consumer reviews for the 2017 Lexus GS 450h.


Features & Specs

MPG
29 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
338 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
29 city / 34 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Hybrid
338 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2017 Lexus GS 450h features & specs

Safety

Our experts like the GS 450h models:

Pre-Collision System
Detects and attempts to avoid front collisions by applying the brakes to assist the driver and reduce the speed of impact.
Lane Departure Alert
Alerts the driver when it detects that the car is deviating close to lane markings.
Intelligent High Beam
Automatically turns the high beams on or off depending on whether it detects oncoming traffic.
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Lexus GS 450h

Used 2017 Lexus GS 450h Overview

The Used 2017 Lexus GS 450h is offered in the following submodels: GS 450h Sedan. Available styles include 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT), and F SPORT 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl gas/electric hybrid CVT).

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Which used 2017 Lexus GS 450hs are available in my area?

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Should I lease or buy a 2017 Lexus GS 450h?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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