Menu
Share
Share this story
Close X
 
Switch to Desktop Site

A handsome – and highly evolved – hybrid car

The Lexus GS450h brings potent luxury with less guilt. Worth two Priuses plus a few thousand gallons of gas? You decide.

George Clooney, need a limo? We shouldn't presume that an elegant actor with a green streak would go in for this handsome and highly evolved hybrid (actually, he's partial to tiny all-electrics). Still, he's the sort of black-tie guy who comes to mind when you're gliding around in a Lexus GS450h.

Despite its low-emissions rating, this $60,000, rear-wheel-drive sedan might leave an eco-conscious car-lover torn. A seamless electric-drive system assists a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 292 h.p. all by itself. The 339 combined h.p. – and tremendous torque – sling this 4,100 lb. car from 0 to 60 in a sports-car-quick 5.2 seconds, Lexus says (our launches didn't involve a stopwatch). By going (mostly) easy on the throttle, we nursed out 27 m.p.g. – remarkable for this car, if not a number that will excite fans of the technology. This road-mastering machine answered every ergonomic need. Quibbles: When "shifting" the quiet, continuously variable automatic, we wished for a tachometer rather than a kilowatt gauge. And we laughed when we popped the trunk (battery packs don't leave room for much Louis Vuitton). Verdict: Lovely. Potent luxury, less guilt. Worth two Priuses plus a few thousand gallons of gas? You and Mr. Clooney can decide for yourselves.

About these ads

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.