- Spacious and luxurious interior
- Stacks of equipment
- Larger load space than rivals
- GS 300h model offers competitive running costs
- Fiddly multimedia interface
- Dull to drive compared with rivals
- No real wow factor
Now in its fourth generation, the Lexus GS saloon has got its work cut out to win over buyers, especially against class favourites such as the BMW 5 Series, the Audis A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the latest Jaguar XF.
Previous models haven't really cut a dash or captured the hearts of the British public, but Lexus has worked hard to give this latest version proper presence, emphasised further with facelifted models available to order from December 2015.
As such the exterior has been totally redesigned with the front end receiving a more pronounced spindle grille and redesigned headlamps with a separate sweep of day running lights beneath them. Revised rear lights also featured.
All-hybrid line-up from 2014
The Lexus GS was launched with two versions available: the V6 petrol-powered GS 250 and the flagship GS 450h petrol-electric hybrid. For 2014 the 250 was dropped and the GS 300h was introduced as a lower-powered hybrid model.
The lower-powered GS 300h can offer very competitive running costs: in SE trim with the smallest wheels fitted it can average a claimed 60mpg and emits only 109g/km of CO2. Lexus is keen to point out that means low company car tax bills and the GS 300h is aimed very much at the fleet and business market.
Opting for the GS 450h means far greater performance but higher running costs, with average fuel consumption between 45mpg and 46mpg (depending on trim) and CO2 emissions above the 140g/km mark.
Further revisions for 2016
In addition to the revised exterior, Lexus also tweaked the GS’s powertrains for 2016, increasing their efficiency. The latest entry-level GS 300h Executive Edition riding on 17-inch wheels emits as little as 104g/km of CO2, while the range-topping 450h on 19-inch wheels’ emissions are reduced to 132g/km.
Packed with high-tech kit
To try to woo potential buyers Lexus has kitted the car with ground-breaking technology including energy saving air-con that uses sensors to determine if the front passenger seat is occupied or not. If not then the system closes all the vents serving that seat and thus saves energy.
There’s also a truly massive multimedia screen controlled via an unusual mouse-style pad which moves a cursor around the screen. This is a bit hit-and-miss in action and can be quite distracting if you’re trying to select certain functions while driving.
Plenty of interior space
This fourth generation Lexus GS saloon has more interior space for passengers: legroom up front has improved and there is an extra 30mm of headroom for the driver and front seat passenger. Rear passengers will be happy too; knee room in the rear is up by 20mm and there is an increase of 25mm in headroom. Both models get additional boot space compared with the previous generation, too.
The Lexus GS is priced competitively when compared to rivals and comes with stacks of standard kit. Can it outgun the other premium luxury brands in the sector? Read on for the full Lexus GS review.