Browse over 9,000 car reviews

Sorry, there are no cars that match your search

Lexus GS450h practically drives itself

Lexus has installed active cruise control into the GS450h Hybrid allowing it to scan the road and react to any moving objects.

Picture this. You're driving along the motorway.

The Lexus you are travelling in purrs, whisper quiet.

It looks good, too, good enough to draw admiring glances.

Up ahead the storm clouds gather and it is not long before the first drops of rain spot the windscreen. The wipers come on automatically.

The kilometres rush by and as darkness begins to fall, the car's xenon lights flick on automatically, dipping briefly before coming to rest.

There's still a long way to go, but not wanting to get a speeding ticket, you wisely decide to engage cruise control.

A digital readout tells you the car's speed is locked to 110km/h and that's where it will stay, unless you are forced to brake for a slow moving vehicle.

You have programmed your destination into the car's on-board satellite navigation system, so there's no need to worry about when to turn off or, for that matter, finding the street the 'satnav' will tell you.

Ahead a car decides it has had enough of life in the slow lane and suddenly moves out into the lane ahead. Before you have time to react the car does it for you, slowing to match the speed of the vehicle ahead.

A couple of minutes later the vehicle returns to the left hand lane and your car's speed climbs automatically back to 110km/h.

It's called active cruise control and it is made possible by the in-built radar that scans the road ahead and reacts if any objects move into its path.

To while away the hours you turn on the 5.1 Mark Levinson sound system. It's got 14" speakers and sounds better than the hi-fi set up in the lounge room at home.

Although the “rels” live almost 800km away, you will probably make it on one tank of fuel. That's because this car is an energy-efficient hybrid and runs on a combination of petrol and electricity, storing the energy normally lost during braking.

But it's not like any hybrid that you have driven before, because this car really gets up and goes, with a combined output of 254kW.

The drive train consists of a 3.5-litre V6 and a 650-volt electric motor. The latter produces 147kW alone.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels through a state-of-the-art continuously variable automatic transmission that doubles as a six-speed manual.

The dash from 0-100km/h takes 5.9 seconds and it uses just 7.9 litres/100km.

If your route takes you over dirt roads, you can switch from sport to comfort setting using the electronically modulated suspension system.

In the unlikely event of an accident, the car is fitted with pre-collision lock down system along with 10 airbags.

Parking is a snack too, with front and rear distance sensors and a rear view camera.

It doesn't get much better than the Lexus GS450h. It's a wonder the car isn't able to park itself. But then Lexus's flagship LS 600hL can lay claim to that feat.

The GS450h is priced from $124,900 and Lexus has just released an updated model.