Review: Lexus GS250 - handsome and beautifully built
Big car, small engine has rarely been a joyous combination. The Lexus GS250 attempts to demonstrate how this has changed. Andy Enright reports:
The Lexus GS 250 is a handsome and beautifully built thing that’s powered by a 206bhp petrol V6 mated to a very slick automatic gearbox with a sequential manual shift function.
The system has been developed to deliver faster shift speeds, earlier torque converter lock-up and downshift throttle blips, so it’s a tad sportier than your everyday slushbox.
The fourth generation GS is a more confident and assertive piece of design than any that have gone before it. While it’s not quite swaggering, it’s not hiding its light under a bushel. The front ‘spindle’ grille is a design touch that will feature on all new Lexus models and combines with deep-set headlights and L-shaped LED daytime running lights.
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The bulging wheel arches give the car a less slab-sided look than its predecessors and emphasis the muscularity of the design. A short front overhang also helps promote an impression of dynamism. Move round to the back and you’ll find a bumper assembly that features a diffuser and aero fins to help control underbody airflow. Glass flake paintwork is also offered, with an almost high-definition look to its metallic finish.
The Lexus GS 250 is an interesting but, ultimately, frustrating car. The basics are so very right. It looks great, it’s well equipped and it benefits from typically meticulous Lexus build quality and after sales care. There’s no doubt it would be a satisfying ownership proposition.
It’s certainly quick enough for most and there aren’t many cars you’d take over the GS for a relaxing long distance drive.
Is that enough? Not really. No matter what sort of spin I put on the subjective aspects of this car, the numbers just don’t stack up. You would have to really want one in order to stomach the ongoing costs and is there this untapped legion of potential customers tapping their heels in anticipation for the next petrol-engined Lexus GS?
This is a hard-fought corner of the market where the difference between the best and the also rans is often one percentage point or so. The same amount of fuel that would power the quicker BMW 520i for 100 miles would see the GS 250 spluttering onto the hard shoulder after 76 miles. Lexus dealers will have an uphill task with this one.
Statistics: Lexus GS 250
Price: £32,995 to £39,995
0-62 mph: 8.6 to
Max speed: 144
Co2 (g/km): 207
Combined mpg: 31.7
Power BHP: 203
Ins. Grp. (1-50): 33 to 34
Length (mm): 4,850
Width (mm): 1,892
Height (mm): 1,455
Weight (kg): 2,170
Warranty (years): 3
Warranty (miles): 60,000
Service int. (miles): 10,000
Boot Cap. (litres): 547