Vicky Parrott
20 July 2011

What is it?

A surprise arrival from Lexus. Originally this naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre V6 GS wasn’t intended for our shores but with very positive feedback from various internal sources at Lexus the decision was made that it would enter Britain’s large exec market in June next year as a rival for the likes of the BMW 523i and Mercedes E250 CGI.

What’s it like?

Well it seems that the positive feedback was all pretty accurate because this is a really well-judged exec. Perhaps due to the huge reduction in capacity and the exclusion of the weighty hybrid system, as well as the 18-inch alloys that our test car came with, the 250 rides with noticeably less patter at low speeds and yet retains the same decent body control.

Our test car came with the adaptive dampers that automatically shuffle between nine different settings depending on driving style and road conditions, and the driver can select more sporting settings that will keep the car in the firmer ranges of the damper movement. And they do the job very well. The slightly desensitised and light, if nicely granular steering means that this is not as focused-feeling as the BMW but it’s not far off the same sort of serene, flowing sensation that Mercedes specialises in, and the excellent low-speed refinement only goes to emphasise that sensation too.

Without the rear-wheel steer that the new optional dynamic handling package (as found on the new Lexus GS 450h), it feels a little blunter on turn-in, the six-speed torque converter auto is not as quick as the various double-clutch systems available elsewhere but regardless this is a car that offers a well-balanced compromise for the class it targets.

Read about the Lexus GS 450h

Should I buy one?

Difficult to say until the official figures are out and with minor finishing touches still to be made before the car goes into production, but there’s no doubt that this is a decent car to drive and a step up on the old GS.

Lexus GS250

Price: £32,000 (est); Top speed: 140mph (est); 0-62mph: 8.3sec (est); Economy: 35mpg (est); Co2: 180g/km (est); Kerb weight: 1700kg (est); Engine type: 2499cc, V6, petrol; Power: 200bhp (est); Torque: 190lb ft (est); Gearbox: 6-spd auto

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Comments
9

Re: Lexus GS 250

3 years 13 weeks ago

Autocar wrote:

What is it?

A surprise arrival from Lexus. Originally this naturally-aspirated 2.5-litre V6 GS wasn’t intended for our shores but with very positive feedback from various internal sources at Lexus the decision was made that it would enter Britain’s large exec market in June next year as a rival for the likes of the BMW 523i and Mercedes E250 CGI.

What’s it like?

Well it seems that the positive feedback was all pretty accurate because this is a really well-judged ex...Read the full article

I've never been in a GS, but it always gave me the impression that it was capable. I once had a serious "dice" with one on the A303, nothing sinister, but I probably had the more natural performance car, but the GS proved a capable machine & I bet he was enjoying a quieter journey than me in my BMW 135. A new GS is all very well, but come on how about giving a bit of soul to the IS, and quite what the new CT does for the brand is beyond me.

DKW

Re: Lexus GS 250

3 years 13 weeks ago

The LS430 I sat in was quite striking for its lack of atmosphere (IS/RX were better). However the chunky interior in this GS looks promising - if it gives the interior any 'feel' they will have made real progress. Sounds promising.

Re: Lexus GS 250

3 years 13 weeks ago

"Granular?"

"Granular steering"?

What are you trying to say, Vicky? That it feels gritty and coarse, as if there's sand in the steering column bearings?

1. of, like, containing, or resembling a granule or granules 2. having a grainy or granulated surface

DKW

Re: Lexus GS 250

3 years 13 weeks ago

Submariner Redux wrote:

"Granular?"

"Granular steering"?

What are you trying to say, Vicky? That it feels gritty and coarse, as if there's sand in the steering column bearings?

1. of, like, containing, or resembling a granule or granules 2. having a grainy or granulated surface
I also wondered what on Earth that would feel like

Re: Lexus GS 250

3 years 13 weeks ago

Should have took it out the wrapper first!

Re: Lexus GS 250

3 years 13 weeks ago

The hybrid has rapid acceleration

Re: Lexus GS 250

3 years 13 weeks ago

DKW wrote:

What are you trying to say, Vicky? That it feels gritty and coarse, as if there's sand in the steering column bearings?

1. of, like, containing, or resembling a granule or granules 2. having a grainy or granulated surface

It's got 'Stiction'...

Re: Lexus GS 250

3 years 13 weeks ago

I would imagine what is meant by "granular" is probably better described as "grainy", steering with texture and feel rather than a dead feeling helm.

I can't help thinking, as good as this car may be, it will only ever be for people who want something other than the usual suspects. A 2.5 petrol is never going to be the obvious choice and to get anything close to volume they still need a diesel.

With the hybrid version they have a USP, with this set up they don't have that luxury unless the final product is either exceptionally well sorted or particularly pretty.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

Re: Lexus GS 250

3 years 13 weeks ago

I don't know why they have covered it up as they have been mail shotting in magazines for the last month for people to drive it with an undisguised one bumper and all…bizarre…I wouldnt get too excited thouh it is an LFA grafted onto a saloon body look…but not as nice.

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Our Verdict

The Lexus GS has been injected with a few ounces of sportiness, making it a left-field contender in the mid-size exec category

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