Her and His Reviews

April 2013

2013 Lexus GS 450h 4DR Sedan

There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

Price: $71,407 with $13K of add-ons. Price: It had a base price of $58,950, and what you get standard for that price is truly dazzling. Our test car had MSRP of $71,407.
This newly designed model with its 3.5 liter V-6 with direct fuel injection and dual variable valve timing is a combination of power and luxury and efficiency. With a rugged 338 horsepower, this GS hybrid model has surge from the get-go. Granted, it weighs in at 400 pounds more than its “GS” counterpart, but still there is a surge and pick up to be noticed, with the compensating additional 32 horses. Handling is responsive and graceful. First of course, is the 3.5 liter V-6 with direct fuel injection and dual variable valve timing and an electric drive motor that comes with Lexus Hybrid Drive. This hybrid power system puts out a healthy 338 horsepower, and mileage is rated at 29/34 with a 31 miles per gallon combined city/highway rating. It moves, too, hitting 60 in about 5.5 or 5.6 seconds.
Fuel Economy
31 city and 34 highway; one of the highest fuel efficient cars in its class. See above. Mileage is quite respectable.

And while we are talking numbers, kudos to Lexus for giving fair, reachable mileage numbers with this car. That hasn't been the case with certain manufacturers we could name. We easily achieved the estimates provided, and in fact, exceeded the expected 29 mpg in the city by at least two or three mpg routinely. Annual fuel cost is $1,850 based on 15,000 miles of driving at $3.80 per gallon. The federal government estimates that new owners will save $2,350 in gasoline costs over five years.
The Car
Lexus has taken an aggressive page out of Toyota's first to market hybrid playbook, by having one of the most expansive luxury hybrid line-ups. The GS, both the base model, let alone the upgrade we test drive, are impeccable machines. It is a true pleasure to drive.

Seating is softer and more spacious than the previous mode. As is luggage and cargo space in the trunk. Touch point scream high quality and the most prestigious materials, as the steering wheel is made of bamboo – soft and smooth. Sitting in the driver's seat, you are greeted by a stylish, almost beautiful cabin that has wood and leather trim – and attractive stitching throughout.
I've written reams on how Lexus has transformed itself in recent years, and the GS has almost single-handedly changed many car writers' attitudes about the brand's performance image. The image is no mirage; one drive will tell you Lexus means business about claiming high stakes in the performance game. Add Lexus' legendary reliability, quiet and luxury and you've got a car that can't be beat very easily in the performance luxury sedan market. Don't look for any flaws. You won't find them. Don't even bother.
This GS h has all the safety features to be expected. From Brake Assist to 4 wheel Disc Brakes, Electronic Stability Control, Traction Control, l and ABS to all the latest in air bags – Passenger, Side and Rear head, Side Air Bag and Rear Body. Even an Emergency Trunk Release.

The Lane Assist is a wonderful safety feature, along with the departure warning signal and Blind Spot Monitor, all assisting the driver when encroaching or nearing something thing signals a warning. The pre-collision system is great so you never pull to close – the sound alerts you immediately. Safety Connect includes automatic collision notification, roadside assistance and stolen vehicle location – a “Lifeline help button” for the road.
It's a Lexus. What do you expect? It has the normal stuff--and more. Of course you get a host of front, rear and side mounted airbags and curtain airbags, along with a Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system that includes stability control, ABS, traction control and brake assist. Then there's Safety Connect, that allows you to get automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location and roadside assistance when you need it.

Options on our car included a blind spot monitor, heads up display, lane keep assist and departure warning system, special split nine spoke alloy wheels, and a pre-collision system that is comprised of brake, driver attention monitor which picks up if your eyes are closing, and lots of other features as well. Optioned out, our GS450h had a final price of $71,407. And worth every penny. I rest my case.
State of the art through and through. Let's cut to the chase – in this vehicle Connectivity is King. There is little one cannot do. With the Lexus infotainment system “Enform”, System, it's like being on your tablet, pad or laptopā??only in the car. Using Bing (I am not the biggest fan) and voice activated apps, your social channels, local traffic, making reservations, and getting updates from the financial markets are simple. Really.

Need some help getting the core understanding of how it works? Though not hard to master, everyone needs some coaching when trying a new technology platform. The greatest thing about the dealerships experience (and there are many at a Lexus dealership) is to get an overview of how Enform works, simply talk to the Vehicle Technology Specialist. This is the go-to person at the dealership that can take their time with you and talk you through the customization that YOU need. Use the human resources that are available to you through Lexus, so you know how to use this wonderful system.
Let's give a shout-out to the Lexus Enform System. If you order navigation (and given the ease and intuitiveness of it, we urge that you do), you'll also be able to get the Lexus Enform Application Suite, and by using your mobile phone, you'll have access to a pretty comprehensive and easy to use information management and connectivity setup.

Using Bing or other systems that are run through voice activation apps, you'll be able to do things like order movie tickets or make dinner reservations, along with a host of other things, including using the Internet. Getting to internet radio outlets like iHeartRadio is a snap too. You can also use Facebook, look for business reviews including restaurants on Yelp, check out the latest stock reports and traffic and get weather reports and a lot of other things too. Those who read Automobile Journal know that we've always given high praise to the system that Lexus uses for remote control of a touch screen.

It operates in basically the same way that a computer mouse operates, along with the attendant chimes and sounds that are part of operating a personal computer. That practically ensures that everyone who gets behind the wheel will already have exposure to how to operate the system, thanks to the huge number of people who have computers at home. However, we wish that the displays used with the audio system were less intimidating. Seeing what looks like scroll after scroll of numbers and station call letters, and still other audio-related information on a second split screen next to it is way too intimidating and people who aren't into the minutiae of data provided and the technological flash of it all will likely be instantly turned off. But we will say that after you calm yourself–if you dislike such systems–and just work with it a bit, it really is pretty intuitive, and the ease of operation with the controller add to the experience overall.
Aesthetics & Styling
Fasinting – some folks don't like the new design of Lexus. I don't know who they are, but I would say they may protest now, but t apple doesn't fall that far from the treeā?¦suggesting, they will be converts soon enough. The new quote stylish and aggressively postured grill is superb. Turn away the loyal Lexus lover? I don't think so. Grab some competitor's prospects? Indeed. The exterior has a real bling and glam look that is alluring to both women and men. LED headlights wrap and showcase this machine to all who approach it.

Step inside and you're sold! With all the accolades that Lexus continues to get and garner, this brand is reaching new heights and it's no wonder. A highly recommended vehicle and a Women-Droivers.com favorite.
Way, way cool in my book. The GS is a sexy, understated, slinky performance car which will hold up quite well years from now when other more radical luxury cars will look dated. Loved it big time!

The styling on the newest GS models is contemporary, but in an understated, elegant way. The profile is muscular, with its semi-fastback roofline and muscular looking tires that certainly help convey the message that this car is smokin' hot, never mind that its a hybrid. The spindle grille is now a familiar Lexus trademark, and combined with the headlamp design, conveys a futuristic, muscular, glamorous look to those who see it head-on.

But it's inside where the Lexus theme reaches its height. Absolutely gorgeous, unvarnished bamboo wood graces the steering wheel, door panels and dash, and it, along with the horizontal sweep of the dashboard and the tasteful application of both chrome and aluminum, suggests an airy, contemporary flair. There's nothing stuffy or fuddy-duddy about it at all. It's quite youthful.

Inside you'll find perforated semi-aniline leather trimmed seats, with a driver memory system, heated and ventilated 10 way adjustable power front seats, a heated steering wheel, windshield wiper de-icer, high capacity heater, a premium audio system, power rear sunshade, a power tilt and telescopic steering wheel system with automatic tilt away moonroof, and countless other goodies.
4Basic 4 year, 50,000 miles Free Maintenance; Drive train 8 year, 100,000 miles; Roadside 4 year, Unlimited miles; Rust 6 year, Unlimited miles. Basic 4 year / 50,000 miles Free Maintenance, Drivetrain 8 year / 100,000 miles, Roadside 4 year / Unlimited miles, Rust 6 year / Unlimited miles