Text and Photos by Cor Steenstra
The Lexus GS450h has been a personal favorite since I first drove the car shortly after it was introduced on the US market. I felt it was time for an update, not only for the obvious face lift the GS had received, nor for the inevitable fact that it is bound to be replaced anytime soon, but mainly for the sheer fact that it still is such a sheer pleasure.
The GS450 in its Hybrid version is still a dynamic looking car with a rather timeless design. It also does not clearly fit the constraints of a typical hybrid. It is not a goat-wool-sock-green-tree-hugger type of car at all. In fact, it is a car for the people who like to have fun in a car, people who like to show a little status, and people who also want to do all of the above with at least the thought that they care about the environment.
Starting up the Lexus is still excellent in that it is totally devoid of noise, in fact so much so that it has become a sport for me to try and drive the car as long as possible purely on the electric engine. It is such a pleasure to just glide away, make my usual u-turn locally, drive downhill, through the gates, to the traffic light, left turn, up the main road… The furthest I have come doing all of this pure on electric power has been the second set of traffic lights, having to turn left onto another main causeway.
Don’t get me wrong, that is barely 2 miles, but I have not had a car yet that has invited me to actually try and do that, make it fun to do that. What is the fun in a Prius I ask you. I have not had one single drive in one that has brought me anything close to fun. Instead I am looking at the average consumption and keep on being bewildered that “that is all” it can do. Still so much less of a fuel efficiency than the Civic 5door Diesel we had in Europe in 2007.
No.., the Lexus GS450h makes it a pleasure to drive, to conserve, to have fun. It does not portray me as a geek, presents enough status and sportiness, and heck it floats when in electric mode..