Lexus luxury at a

bargain price

Lexus GS 450h, static
Lexus GS 450h, front
Lexus GS 450h, action
Lexus GS 450h, rear
Lexus GS 450h, static rear
Lexus GS 450h, interior
Lexus GS450h, rear

THE Lexus GS has long been a real alternative to the likes of the BMW 5 and the Audi A6 but it comes much better equipped than either straight out of the box.

The models built between 2005 and 2011 are now well down in price, but as long as they have the all important full service history, they can still be excellent buys if you fancy a little pampering luxury for the same price as a new supermini.

Almost everything comes as standard - of which more later - unlike the Audi or BMW, which both have an extras list as long as your arm.

The Lexus may not be quite as good to drive, but it's still a stonking good car and, like all the others in the company's range, comes with the kind of reliability others can only dream of.

It also stands out from the crowd in the car park like very little else.

There are no diesel enginesbecause the company has preferred to go down the hybrid petrol/electric route so all the choices offer good performance but only the hybrid will save some money.

All have an automatic gearbox as standard and pure petrol power comes in either 275bhp 4.3 V8 or 3.0-litre V6 with 242bhp.

The V8 gets to 62 miles an hour in just 5.9 seconds while the slightly smaller offering will do the same benchmark in seven.

A 4.6-litre V8 was introduced in 2008 and produced 342bhp but most sensible and affordable option is the 450h Hybrid.

This combines a 3.5-litre V6 with an electric motor to produce 341bhp, giving zero to 62 in 5.9 seconds but also capable of 36mpg.

All three engines were updated throughout the six years so make sure you get the one you want. Lexus dealers are well-known for the best service around but they'll be more expensive than independents.

On more demanding A and B roads, the steering is not very informative but road holding is surprisingly good.

The ride is comfortable most of the time and the cossetting comfort of the interior, plus the reading room hush, make it very easy to live with.

V8 and hybrid models have adaptive suspension with sport settings but this worsens the ride and is not really needed.


Price: Pay about £9,700 for an '09 09-reg SE, or £14,100 for an '11 11-reg SE

Mechanical: 341bhp, 3,456cc, 6cyl petrol engine plus electric motor driving rear wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 155mph

0-62mph: 5.7 seconds

Combined MPG: 36

Insurance Group: 41

C02 emissions: 179g/km


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