2014 Lexus GS 450

Green machine

8 Exterior
9 Interior
9 Performance
9 Fuel Economy
7 Value
8.4

Who remembers the Green Machine Big Wheel from the 80s? I had one as a kid and it was the source of hours of endless fun. Why bring this up, if not to date to myself with obscure references from the past? My tester this week is another sort of green machine, and like the big wheel, it provided me with plenty of enjoyment.

The 2014 Lexus GS 450h is a luxury hybrid sedan that tries to be all things to all people. It’s full of luxury (with the Lexus name that’s to be expected), but it’s also a hybrid, so some attention has to be paid to fuel economy. However, it also tries to cater to the sports sedan crowd.

And, believe it or not, it succeeds in all regards!

2014 Lexus GS 450h

The GS 450h is the hybrid version of Lexus’ GS 350 sport sedan. So they take a performance sports sedan and add hybrid technology to it.

On looks, the GS 450h looks every bit like a luxury performance sedan and nothing like a hybrid (and that’s a good thing).

On looks, the GS 450h looks every bit like a luxury performance sedan and nothing like a hybrid (and that’s a good thing). With Toyota’s Prius being in the family, there could be concern of sharing looks, but that’s not the case here at all.

Instead, the GS 450h has a rather aggressive exterior. The angular grille is fairly typical of Lexus, but is highlighted by LED running lights and bi-Xenon head lamps. With only 5.5 inches of ground clearance, the lower profile sports up the GS 450h. The 9-spoke alloy wheels further add sportiness to the appearance. The GS 450h seems to lose some of its styling and looks as it heads toward the back, lacking style on the side panels, and a rather uninspiring back end. But that does not diminish from the overall sex appeal of this hybrid.

2014 Lexus GS 450h

The Lexus GS 450h is one of the most attractive hybrids on the road today.

Behind the wheel, the GS 450h shakes its hybrid labeling with impressive output and sport handling. It features a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that is assisted by a trunk-mounted battery pack and a pair of electric motors. All of these systems work congruently to produce an impressive 338 horsepower.

The GS 450h does have a continuously variable transmission, but despite my issues with CVTs generally, this one works well, and is actually quiet. The drive performance is aided further by an adaptive variable suspension, an ultra-lightweight boost converter and three different drive modes to select from (including sport and sport +). All of this adds up to a rear-wheel car that is spry, sporty and downright fun to drive.

The Lexus GS 450h is one of the most attractive hybrids on the road today.

Inside, there’s everything you expect from a Lexus. The interior is full of high quality materials. The heated and cooled seats are ultra-soft and extremely comfortable. With 10 memory settings there’s sure to be a setting that will suit anyone. The back seat is comfortable for even full-size adults. Legroom and headroom are ample for all passengers.

2014 Lexus GS 450h

Road noise is minimal (expected from a hybrid). The entertainment technology is fantastic. A 12-inch touchscreen powers the infotainment system. A Mark Levinson audio package was a nice add-on to my tester (at a price of $1,350). Even the white LED accent lighting adds to the fine, luxurious feel of the interior of the GS 450h.

Because it’s a hybrid (which I think I’ve mentioned a time or two already), fuel economy is a major difference between the 450 and the 350. And this hybrid does not disappoint. Considering the significant power output, I was surprised to see that I averaged 31 mpg. This fuel sipper has an EPA rating of 34 highway and 29 city. This type of fuel saving justifies the sedan’s higher price tag.

Who knew a hybrid could be this much fun to drive?

There is only one trim offered for the GS 450h and the starting price is $59,600. With a few extras added on, like the luxury package with moon roof, heated mirrors, and 19-inch all-season tires, my tester had a final price of $68,670.

This green machine gives a specific buyer everything they could possibly want, combining sporty performance, ample power and hybrid fuel savings. Who knew a hybrid could be this much fun to drive?


Photo Credit: Lexus

Written By
More from Jimmy Dinsmore

2015 Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe: More powerful, more efficient than ever

Three little letters bring so much excitement to the already exhilarating Mercedes-Benz...
Read More