From £31,594
Those who still crave a genuinely good-to-drive saloon with a part-time sporty edge – and a V6 petrol engine under the bonnet – should add the new Lexus GS 250 F Sport to their shopping list

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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19 November 2011

This Lexus GS 250 F Sport shows the manufacturer likes to do things a bit differently. While most rivals to the new GS offer a four-cylinder diesel engine at the range's entry point, Lexus has equipped the base GS 250 with a normally-aspirated 2.5-litre V6 petrol engine.

The model sits alongside the staple GS 450h hybrid in the all-new model's line-up, with sales of the two expected to be split 50:50.

What’s it like?

Our first sample of the new GS came in the F Sport version, which gets some BMW M Sport-style visual upgrades plus an Adaptive Variable Suspension system, which helps turn the new GS into a much greater dynamic proposition that its predecessor.

The ride is supple and composed when driven at low speeds in Normal model. It can be a bit fidgety at higher speeds and more abrasive surfaces, but select the driver-focused Sport S + mode and body control is much improved and it makes the GS 250 a rewarding car when you want to push on and attack corners.

The steering is also nicely weighted and provides decent feel if a little light, although again this can be rectified by selecting the Sport S+ mode which adds an extra 10 per cent of weight the to the electric system.

Perhaps the real highlight of this car is the engine. It's got a suitably rorty exhaust note and revs nicely throughout its powerband. But while the engine is the high, the six-speed automatic it is mated to is the biggest disappointment.

It's fine for gentle driving around town or long-distance cruises, but somewhat blunts progress for those wanting to have some fun. Its biggest problem is holding the gear too long and causing an uncomfortable sounding strain on the engine. It's better when manually controlled with the steering wheel-mounted paddles, however.

Should I buy one?

It feels genuinely refreshing to drive a naturally aspirated V6 petrol engine in a car in the GS's class, especially at the range’s entry point.

While Lexus may suffer in the market with no diesel as the decision to offer no engine smaller than this one will prevent many potential sales, those who still crave a genuinely good-to-drive saloon with a part-time sporty edge - and a V6 petrol engine under the bonnet - should add the new GS to their shopping list.

Lexus GS 250 F Sport

Price: £36,000 (est); Top speed: 143mph; 0-62mph: 8.6sec; Economy: 31.7mpg (combined); CO2: 207g/km; Kerb weight: 1700kg (est); Engine: V6, 2499cc, petrol; Power: 207bhp at 6400rpm; Torque: 187lb ft at 4800rpm; Gearbox: 6-spd auto

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Comments
12

DKW

23 November 2011

[quote Autocar]But while the engine is the high, the six-speed automatic it is mated to is the biggest disappointment. It's fine for gentle driving around town or long-distance cruises, but somewhat blunts progress for those wanting to have some fun[/quote] Shame, but frankly not likely to be a problem for most prospective customers. Engine sounds good, but I wanted to know if it still suffers from the need for revs that the previous 2.5 has, which I feel is incompatible with relaxed Lexus driving. Torque figure is lower than before, which doesn't bode well.

Fal

23 November 2011

[quote DKW]Torque figure is lower than before, which doesn't bode well.[/quote]

I wouldn't worry about that. It's a little Autocar error (there are lot of them these days).

The real torque figure is around 185 lb ft.

Even then 207 bhp in a car with 1700kg+ to carry around will be pretty slow. That 0-62 time seems very optimistic

DKW

23 November 2011

[quote Fal]That 0-62 time seems very optimistic[/quote] Quite possible with an 8 speed auto, but as it's a 6 speeder I agree it's optomistic. Perhaps the ratios suit a good 0-62 time.

23 November 2011

I like it. I want one.More than a 5 series. Irrational.

23 November 2011

I agree the performance seems almost too good for the power and torque available. However the car is an appealing design, and because it isnt one of the German default choices will no doubt sell in small numbers to people who dont want to follow the hurd, just not to company car drivers!

23 November 2011

[quote jamesf1]

I like it. I want one.More than a 5 series. Irrational.

[/quote]

Not at all.

Projected price is a little stiff (but I guess the equipment levels will make up for that) but overall it is an attractive package that if fitted with a diesel engine would give the establishment a run for their money.

Personally, I'd quite like one fitted with a manual box!

 

 

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

24 November 2011

TBH Id have it as is - but with a better auto box. I think cars of this type suit auto better, although Ive always prefered manual. Recently though, I am finding pressing the clutch increasingly tiresome. I think Im getting old - a comfy auto barge really appeals.

24 November 2011

[quote jamesf1]Recently though, I am finding pressing the clutch increasingly tiresome. I think Im getting old - a comfy auto barge really appeals[/quote]

I am currently looking at a IS250 - main reason I am fed up with a manual now - my journey to work involves so much stop start traffic that the manual just makes the journey worse!

I don't get to drive my cars round tracks, nice b roads etc anymore - its motorway or stop start traffic which a auto is perfect for.

24 November 2011

Looks like an interesting car. The best Lexus I have seen in a while.

27 November 2011

[quote Fidji]

Looks like an interesting car. The best Lexus I have seen in a while.

[/quote] I'm glad it exists, but pretty it isn't. The contrived front angles and BMW 5 series bum make it less attractive than before. Does the fuel read out have to show litres consumed or can you opt for proper MPG. I never understood why Mazda snub the UK market with litre read outs that mean nothing over here.

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