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Lexus GS250 2012 Review

The Lexus GS250 styling is faster and edgier.

The more autonomy that Toyota grants its luxury arm Lexus the better.

Lexus is getting better with every outing but it needs to be allowed to develop a character that is totally its own, without any influence from head office. The result will be cars that are more appealing, more aspirational and that justify the extra cost that is put on them in the eyes of the public.

DESIGN

The styling is faster and edgier. Looking around the interior of the car for the first time the materials and craftsmanship shout Toyota, more so that the actual design and layout. That's not a bad thing but it's a two-edged sword because Lexus needs to cuts these ties.

ENGINE

The 2.5-litre V6 in the new GS 250 features the latest direct injection techniques, with 154kW of power at 6400 revs and 253Nm of torque at 4800 revs. It's the same engine as in the smaller IS 250, but has been adapted for its new role with exhaust and acoustic improvements that deliver more power.

The V6 is hooked up to a 6-speed auto in this model, complete with steering wheel mounted paddle gear shifters. Although its a larger heavier vehicle the GS 250 still accelerates from 0-100km/h in a creditable 8.6 seconds. At the same time it offers claimed fuel economy of 9.3 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 215 grams/km.

PRICE

We drove the entry Luxury and mid-range F-Sport models, priced at $77,400 and $85,400 a piece. Although the Luxury is very good its the F-Sport that shines as the one to get, even though it's $8000 more.

The centre drive mode control features economy and sports settings, with an extra sport + setting in the F Sport. This model along with the range topping Sports Luxury also get Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS).

INTERIOR

The interior is a giant step forward, modern and uncluttered with clean lines that feature a sports watch style analogue clock as the centre piece. The computer screen is huge and it's good to see digital radio making its way into these cars too, with a wider range of stations and crystal clear reception.

SAFETY

Yet to be crash tested but with 10 airbags and an arsenal of electronic safety systems it is sure to score highly. Gets ABS brakes, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control. Both cars that we drove also had the blind spot awareness warning, which flashes a warning in your exterior mirrrors if there is a car that you can't see.

DRIVING

Smooth and quiet as you would expect from a Lexus. Not overly powerful but kick it into action and the note from the engine and exhaust is satisfying. Deciding between this and the more powerful GS 350 is purely a matter of cost (the 350 is 14 grand more).

Rated at 9.3 litres/100km we were getting an exceptional 7.9 after 600km. The 2.5-litre V6 is more than adquate for the job, providing you're not a demanding driver, delivering an excellent combination of power and economy.

The satnav offers SUNA traffic updates but sadly, unlike Toyota, it does not yet offer speed camera warnings.

VERDICT

Grows on you, especially the better looking F-Sport model.

Lexus GS 350 Luxury
Price: from $77,400
Body: Four-door sedan
Engine: 2.5-litre V6, 154kW/253Nm
Transmission: 6 speed automatic
Thirst: 9.3L/100km, 215 g/km CO2

Pricing Guides

$31,988
Based on 12 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$26,999
Highest Price
$35,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
GS250 F Sport 2.5L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $22,550 – 27,830 2012 Lexus GS 2012 GS250 F Sport Pricing and Specs
GS450h Hybrid 3.5L, Hyb/PULP, CVT AUTO $26,070 – 32,120 2012 Lexus GS 2012 GS450h Hybrid Pricing and Specs
GS450h Hybrid F Sport 3.5L, Hyb/ULP, CVT AUTO $26,510 – 32,780 2012 Lexus GS 2012 GS450h Hybrid F Sport Pricing and Specs
GS450h Hybrid Luxury 3.5L, Hyb/ULP, CVT AUTO $23,650 – 29,260 2012 Lexus GS 2012 GS450h Hybrid Luxury Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide

$21,999

Lowest price, based on 4 car listings in the last 6 months

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