From £38,594
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
Mark Tisshaw
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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petrolheadinrussia 25 December 2011

Re: Lexus GS 250 F Sport

You know what? This is an expensive car - and if you park it up next to a suzuki/kizashi you will probably want to drive it rather than the Lexus. Then you realize it is also 4wd and it performs better for normal use..and of course it costs considerably less to buy, maintain and insure. Sorry Lexus.. this is not good enough to make me even bother to look your way

BriMarsh 27 November 2011

Re: Lexus GS 250 F Sport

Autocar wrote:
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.
Ah, sweet music. God bless Lexus. Shame the ugly stick has now got as far a Japan though.

Mr£4worth 27 November 2011

Re: Lexus GS 250 F Sport

Fidji wrote:

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

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.