From £31,594
No doubt that this is a decent car to drive and a step up on the old GS

Our Verdict

The Lexus GS is unusual in the part of the market in not offering a diesel option

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

  • First Drive

    Lexus GS300h first drive review

    New hybrid plugs the gap in the current GS range as a credible alternative to frugal German diesel execs; but GS300h fails to offer any driver engagement
  • First Drive

    Lexus GS 450h Luxury

    Efficient, quiet and luxurious, the Lexus GS offers a refreshing alternative to a default-choice diesel-power German executive car

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

Join the debate

Comments
9

23 July 2011

[quote Autocar]

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

[/quote] 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

23 July 2011

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.

23 July 2011

"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

23 July 2011

[quote Submariner Redux]

"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
[/quote] I also wondered what on Earth that would feel like

23 July 2011

Should have took it out the wrapper first!

23 July 2011

The hybrid has rapid acceleration

25 July 2011

[quote DKW]

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

[/quote]

It's got 'Stiction'...

25 July 2011

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........

25 July 2011

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.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    27 April 2015
    The original S-Max was a game changer – your only option if you wanted a fun, seven-seat MPV. The new model aims to be the same, only better.
  • First Drive
    24 April 2015
    Space and practicality has never been an issue for the Seat Leon ST, and thanks to a Cupra 280 engine it's now fast, too - but does it gel as a package?
  • First Drive
    24 April 2015
    Ariel's third model is the best yet - in fact, it's one of the best driving experiences we've ever had
  • Car review
    23 April 2015
    Mazda's Skyactiv tech revolution transforms its cheapest model
  • The new Espace is a seven seater and described by the company as a 'crossover'.
    First Drive
    23 April 2015
    Renault replaces its classic flagship MPV with a new take on the seven-seat utility vehicle, but it's not for sale in the UK