While the sporty add-ons of F Sport trim may suggest a fun drive, the handling is nothing to write home about. Sure, it’s safe, grippy and the car can be placed precisely, but there’s no fun to be had here. Even though the ride errs on the side of firm, even in it’s comfiest suspension setting, it never feels overly agile and there’s no feedback channelling through the front tyres.
As for the interior, there’s a lot to like but plenty to dislike, too. Material quality is, for the most part, good and the seats are both comfortable and supportive. Unfortunately, it just can’t match the overall ambiance of an Audi or the cohesiveness of a BMW's cabin.
To make matters worse, the infotainment system is one of the most frustrating to use of any manufacturer. Although you get a big screen in the centre of the dash and another display in front of the driver, the joystick control makes selecting the icon you want tricky. As for entering addresses into the sat-nav, the air often turns a vivid shade of blue.
To its credit, the Lexus does at least come with a very high level of standard specification. Unlike the German rivals, you probably won’t find yourself delving too deeply into the options list.
Should I buy one?
We can certainly see the appeal of the GS450h. The powertrain is refined, offers decent performance and can be fairly frugal in the right situation. However, the GS isn’t as fun as a 535d, as classy inside as an Audi A6 3.0 TDI 272 or as cheap to run.
Factor in the irritatingly tricky to use infotainment system, a boot that’s smaller than rivals' and rear seat accommodation that lags behind the class best, and we’d still suggest a BMW 5 Series is your best bet.
Lexus GS450h F Sport
Location Essex; On sale Now; Price £49,995; Engine V6, 3456cc, petrol, hybrid; Power 340bhp (combined) Torque 260Ib ft at 4500rpm (engine) 203Ib ft (electric motor) Gearbox CVT automatic Kerb weight 1920kg; Top speed 155mph; 0-62mph 5.9sec; Economy 45.6mpg (combined); CO2/tax band 145g/km, 26%