Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

CNHI News Service Originals

September 4, 2012

Lexus GS 450h shows hybrid cars can be thrilling, too GS450hExt.jpg


The matte wood finish in my test car made it one of the classiest interiors I've seen in several years, more like a piece of fine furniture than a typical plastic-filled automobile cabin.

And if technology is your thing, the GS delivers, too.

It has the biggest multimedia display screen of any car on the market today — more than a foot diagonally — that gives you access to apps similar to what you would expect in a smartphone.

In fact, some of the apps are very familiar to iPhone and Android users. Bing, iHeartRadio, OpenTable, Pandora, Yelp and other apps let you do everything from stream music to make dinner reservations and buy movie tickets from the on-screen menus.

Other available features include a heads-up display that projects your speed and navigation information onto the windshield, a Mark Levinson audio system, a backup camera, and sensors that make it easier to park.

As a whole, the GS hybrid has a strong "wow" factor, something the mid-size Lexus lineup has lacked for a while. It's a car luxury buyers can consider not only from the logical, practical side, but also from the emotional side.


Derek Price is an automotive columnist for CNHI News Service. Contact him at carcolumn@yahoo.com.

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