Lexus GS review

Costs & verdict

Lexus GS
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

We like the generous equipment on the entry-level GS 300h Executive Edition, and the BMW 520d SE auto that costs about the same money would need around £2500 of options added to match the Lexus’s kit list. But the BMW offers better fuel economy, is much swifter and more engaging to drive, and avoids the high-revving annoyance of the Lexus’s CVT gearbox. The options missing from the BMW aren’t exactly must-haves, either - it’s the likes of electric lumbar support, reversing camera, adaptive cruise control and lane departure alert.

There’s a caveat for company car drivers, however: while the BMW’s benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax rating is a respectable 19%, the Lexus is even better at just 15%. The GS 450h is only on par with the equally rapid BMW 530d for BIK. It’s the Lexus that wins better customer satisfaction scores than the BMW, though.

The GS F is also good value when new, undercutting the BMW M5 and Mercedes-AMG E63 by several thousand pounds, but the German cars have better gearboxes, more consistent interior quality and better fuel economy, too. Alternatively, the cruder and thirstier but more fun-to-drive Vauxhall VXR8 GTS is much cheaper still.

Lexus GS
Lexus GS
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The Lexus GS is too cramped, expensive and unsettled for its target audience

  • Quiet hybrid drive in town
  • Comfortable ride
  • Low company car tax in cheapest version
  • GS 450h isn’t especially economical
  • CVT gearbox can bring lots of engine noise
  • Small, inflexible boot in hybrids