Lexus GS - Used Car

Review

Lexus GS F, front quarter
Lexus GS F, profile
Lexus GS F, front, action
Lexus GS F, rear quarter
Lexus GS F, rear, action
Lexus GS 300h, interior
Lexus GS 300h, boot

ONE of the first companies to roll out hybrid versions of all its cars was Lexus - the luxury arm of Toyota.

And the mid-range GS - a competitor for the BMW 5-series and the Audi A6 - comes much better equipped than either of them straight out of the box.

The models built between 2012 and 2018 adopted the rather ugly grille of the rest of the range, but as long as they have the all important full service history, age and mileage don't seem to matter too much.

The company prides itself on the build quality of its cars and I know two Lexus owners who have covered starship mileages without a murmur of a problem.

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

So while the Lexus may not be quite as good to drive, it's better value than the competition secondhand and still a stonking good car. It also stands out from the car park crowd like few others.

There are no diesel engines in the rangebecause the company has concentrated on the hybrid petrol/electric route. So all the choices offer good performance but only the hybrids will save some money.

All have a continuously variable automatic gearbox as standard (CVT) and the only pure petrol model after 2014 was a 2.5-litre with 206bhp.

These sold in small numbers and are rare on the secondhand market.

The petrol/electric hybrids start with the 300h, which has a 2.5-litre engine plus a battery pack and electric motor producing a total of 223bhp.

Its capable of covering the 0 to 60 miles an hour sprint in 8.9 seconds, but its main claims to fame are 60 miles per gallon economy and very low 109 grammes per kilometre CO2 emissions.

Top models also have a hybrid powertrain, this time with a 3.5-litre V6 at its heart, helped by an electric motor.

Total power is 340bhp and it covers the 60mph sprint in a very quick 5.7 seconds while also managing 46mpg and emissions of 141g/km.

Both hybrid models can be driven gently on electric power alone up to about 20 miles an hour, so as long as there's power in the battery, that's the way the take most stop/start traffic.

Above that speed, the car combines petrol and electric power and they work together completely seamlessly. There are three driving modes: Eco (for those that want to drive in an environmentally friendly way), Normal and Sport.

But rather inert steering doesn't instil cornering confidence, despite the car's very good road holding and few owners are likely to hustle them along a back road.

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

Lexus dealers are well-known for the best service around but they'll be more expensive than independents.

The list of equipment is amazing and the Premier model comes with a fantastic sound system, keyless entry and starting, sumptuous electric heated leather seats with memories, alarm and audio remote controls.

It also has parking sensors, traction control, a DVD player and very good sat nav.

Pay about £12,000 for a '14 14-reg 300h SE, or £28,700 for a '17 17-reg 450h Premier.

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