Roadshow Video Reviews
2009 Lexus GS450hIt's a hybrid luxury car with a lot of promise, but you should wait for the 2010 model.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:09 >> Now the Lexus GS Hybrid is now the GS 450H. The gas engine car, rear wheel drive is the GS460H. So note there's 2 different displacements within the line depending on whether you've got the Hybrid power train or not. This GS hybrid comes largely loaded. Your options are relatively clean in terms of tech. It's a Levinson in package. That means you'll get the DVD based touch screen nav system we have here, a 14 speaker Levinson audio system that has all kinds of decoding technology for surround sound built in; 14 speakers, 330 some odd watts and its one of the better sounding rigs out there on the road. You also get some rather odd tech anomalies in this car. Considering it's an 09 why in the hell is there no live traffic information, but there isn't, that's odd and as I mentioned DVD based, not hard drive, that's pretty stale too! The rear view camera while very sharp has no trajectory information; it doesn't show where you're going or how far away things are. You've just got to watch the bumper and make sure it doesn't kiss that thing behind ya. And the codagra is this: Yep that's a cassette slot kids. Here's how those work in case you've never seen 1 before. That said operating this system is really satisfying as is looking at it. It's one of the best in terms of the way the screen is laid out, the way the buttons are logically placed and labeled. You're not gonna scratch your head in this car figuring out how to get to a function either one that you use all the time or one that you don't use that often which is much of an issue. Bluetooth hands free is standard on every GS, this one included. iPod adaptor not on the option list, that's a little backwards as well. You do have an aux jack but it's hidden way back in here more of a feel than a sight thing. I've always loved this little smothers box over here where they ditch a lot of the ancillary controls in this 007ish drop down. And notably on the instrument panel you lose a tachometer in this car which is kind of odd and instead pick up that power meter showing kilowatts of draw being put into the power train electrically or if you're down in the blue part regeneration going on putting juice back in the battery pack. You've got some controls here that alter the way the vehicle drives hidden underneath this sliding arm rest. This one here is your suspension adjustment. You can ride in normal mode or sport to firm things up. Now here is a hybrid power train mode switch that will take you either to the power mode which gets the most umph and torque out of this thing or a more delicate snow mode so it de-emphasizes torque and doesn't get too much wheel spin. The interesting thing about the power mode is the GS has always used hybrid technology [ background music ] to almost be more performance oriented than economy oriented. It gets better mileage than the V8 gas car but not stunningly so. ^M00:02:46 [ Music ] ^M00:02:51 >> Now the 2009 is rated at 22 city, 25 highway and we saw 23 miles per gallon real world. So overall the GS hybrid package works well whether you want better economy, better performance or if you're buying this car you're getting both. The power steering is electric, not hydraulic and compared to say a BMW 5 series is very assisted. But Lexus has never made apologies for being aimed at a less car macho crowd. But given that luxury mission I found the ride of our 450H kind of hard and taught. I would have liked a little more compliance. I'm not gonna grind this car through canon roads very often so make it more supple during the 99% of the time I'm just driving to get somewhere and of course putting the car in sport mode didn't make things any more plush. Bottom line is this car is generally very well done in a 2007 kind of way. The technology in the cabin mars an otherwise nice luxury ride that lives in that important space well below 6 figures but definitely in the realm of serious cars. A GS hybrid is gonna run you in the low 57s with destination. There's really 1 tech option it's the Levinson package to get the better audio, the touch screen navigation system; that's about 3800 bucks. XM radio alacarte for 400. What would I do? I'd wait till 2010 and hope for a better tech package overall. ^M00:04:19 [ Music ]