2013 Lexus GS 450h review: Green lightning

With luxury appointments, high-tech cabin electronics, speed, handling, and good fuel economy, the new GS 450h hits too many high points to count.

2013 Lexus GS 450h
Wayne Cunningham/CNET

It may not be quite as green as the Tesla Model S , but I was gratified to see the range-o-meter showing over 500 miles as I cruised the Lexus GS 450h up and down California freeways. And I was surprised how well it got down and dirty on some curvy mountain roads.

The GS 450h manages to show how technology can make a car get decent fuel economy while also turning in great driving performance. It's no track-day car, but Lexus' new focus on handling lets it eat up the turns. Thank you, adaptive-suspension technology.

Lexus' hybrid system remains an economical performer, and its presence in the GS shows how it can be adapted to different uses. I also think Lexus could wring more performance out of it, both in acceleration and fuel economy. However, lack of competition lets Lexus rest on its laurels, for the time being.

And it does not stop with the performance tech. Lexus' new Enform app integration shows excellent promise, and will evolve continually even in existing cars. Lexus could improve its navigation system with more refined-looking maps, but that is a fairly small critique considering the general usefulness of the cabin electronics. The Mark Levinson audio system makes for some tasty icing on this cake.

Check out our review of the 2013 Lexus GS 450h .

About the author

Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET. Prior to the Car Tech beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine. He's also the author of "Vaporware," a novel that's available as a Nook e-book.

 

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