Most luxury shoppers aren't looking to compromise fuel efficiency for high-powered performance. Thankfully, the 2010 Lexus GS 450h is a luxury hybrid that refuses to compromise. Despite offering the best fuel efficiency numbers of any luxury vehicle for the 2010 model year, the GS hybrid competes ably against the powerful gas engines of such notable competitors as the BMW 5 Series.
The EPA estimates fuel figures for the 2010 Lexus GS 450h at 22 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway (23 mpg combined). Browse the fuel ratings for other large luxury vehicles, and you'll find that the Lexus hybrid is the only sedan that earns more than 20 mpg in the city.
Just as impressive, is the fact that the Lexus GS 450h comes with a V-6 engine and electric motor combo that musters more horsepower than the base gasoline engines of its leading competitors. The 3.5-liter V-6 outputs 340 horsepower and jumps from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds - a figure many V-8 engines can't even match.
Staying true to the Lexus nameplate's heritage, the 450h also delivers a supremely opulent and comfortable interior. Upper-crust materials such as wood trim and plush leather can be found throughout. Seating is well bolstered and provides ample support for long drives. However, headroom is a bit on the scarce side, which may leave larger-than-average passengers feeling a little cramped.
Trunk size may also give eco-conscious drivers something to quibble about. The Lexus hybrid's battery is stored below the trunk, which reduces total space to 12.7 cubic feet.
If you can get past these reduced proportions, however, you'll likely find the GS 450h to be a top contender in your search for a fuel-efficient luxury sedan. Adding to the hybrid's appeal is a healthy array of available safety features. With a total of eight airbags (including two front knee airbags), the Lexus GS 450h has more airbags than any other luxury model.
Other available safety features include traction control, an antilock braking system, vehicle stability control and an advanced pre-collision safety system. Lexus Safety Connect - the Japanese automaker's version of OnStar - is also available.
With a base MSRP of $57,450, drivers will need to pay a bit more for the luxury of hybrid technology. Top competitors such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 are around $10,000 cheaper. Still, for those looking for a performance-oriented luxury sedan that offers best-in-class fuel consumption, the 2010 Lexus GS 450h is an enticing option.