While the typical hybrid car is all about maximizing fuel economy, luxury hybrids have a more complicated assignment. They have to appeal to buyers who want brisk acceleration, responsive handling and an elegant interior loaded with goodies.
In most cases, these high-end green machines are often quite enjoyable to drive, but the fuel-efficiency gains over their conventional, gasoline-only counterparts are often quite modest. The 2014 Lexus GS 450h is unique in that it offers the features and performance expected of a midsize luxury sedan while delivering the big fuel economy numbers that many hybrid shoppers expect.
Powering the 2014 Lexus GS 450h is a hybrid powertrain that combines a 3.5-liter gasoline V6, two electric motor/generators and a trunk-mounted battery pack to provide a total system output of 338 horsepower and 254 pound-feet of torque. It is available only in rear-wheel drive.
For most buyers the real draw is the GS 450h's impressive fuel economy. With ratings of 29 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, this Lexus shines as one of the most fuel-efficient models in the luxury segment. The Hybrid GS 450h is also faster to 60 mph than its non-hybrid counterpart.
Despite its rather hefty price tag—nearly $13,000 more than the base GS 350—the GS 450h is loaded up with standard features. Buyers choose from options and packages like:
- Premium: rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated and ventilated front seats, power rear sunshade and 18-inch wheels.
- Luxury: content from the Premium package plus adaptive variable suspension, drive mode select, adaptive front lighting, 18-way power front seats, rear seat climate and stereo controls, Espresso wood trim, perforated semi-aniline upholstery, and LED headlights.
- Navigation: 12.3-inch screen, Lexus Enform