An Unlikely Star in the Lexus Stable Think about Lexus for a second. Odds are your gray matter is busy regurgitating images of the company's middle-aged RX crossover or possibly the midsize ES sedan. As the volume movers for Toyota's luxury fleet, the two are the default ambassadors for everything with an italicized L pinned to the grille, and that's a damned shame. As the 2013 GS450h is so willing to point out, Lexus engineers are busily crafting models that offer drivers more than a safe luxury choice. As the master of fuel-sipping battery propulsion, Lexus has brought the impressive width of Toyota hybrid engineering to bear on the GS450h. The result is a vehicle that manages to sneak its hybridness by you with buttery acceleration, stone quiet operation and brakes that don't feel like you're trying walk around the house in Velcro socks. The drivetrain doesn't feel the need to beat you over the head with its battery pack or announce to the neighborhood that you're saving the world one whispery mile at a time. Both driver and passengers get to enjoy a luxury car that just so happens to be a hybrid instead of the other way around. There's no denying just how striking the GS has become outside. For all the ridicule Lexus endured for its new Predator-maw corporate look, the design snatches eyeballs quicker than a cross Master Pai Mei. Up front, the nose manages to look fresh without straying into garishness, though Lexus designers are walking a fine line here. While the LED daytime running lamps are a bit derivative, we love the complex and sculpted lower valance. Like other hardware in the Lexus toolbox, the GS gives you plenty to look at head on. Look closely and you can see one of the few hybrid badges tucked just below the rear door and ahead of the back wheel. Shift to the machine's side, and the GS offers a familiar profile. Attractive forked-spoke 18-inch wheels do a smart job of filling the fender wells, and the contoured lower sill adds a little bit of drama to an otherwise safe broadside. Look closely and you can see one of the few hybrid badges tucked just below the rear door and ahead of the back wheel. We can cope with advertising on this scale, especially in a segment that's been known to employ gaudy vinyl graphics on more than one occasion. Around back, the 2013 GS450h boasts a set of aggressive LED taillamps joined by a tasteful chrome strip. The lights join a gently arched trunk deck that gives the sedan's tail some personality, and the hidden exhaust outlet goes a long way toward cleaning up the machine's derrière. Miraculously, Lexus managed to resist the temptation to slap another hybrid badge on the trunk lid, a feat worthy of copious applause. The GS delivers an impressive amount of space, with rear passengers enjoying a bit more leg room than in a 5 Series. Step indoors, and the …
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|MPG||29 City / 34 Hwy|
|Transmission||2-spd CVT w/OD|
|Power||286 @ 6000 rpm|
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