Lexus GS 250

29 Jun, 2012 6:00pm Damion Smy

The entry-level V6 petrol version of the new Lexus GS has quality, kit and a thirst


This GS 250 is the best Lexus GS we’ve driven yet. It doesn’t feel like a big car that’s had a small engine fitted just to be economical. It’s quick, refined and good to drive, plus well equipped. But it’s destined to remain a rare sight on UK roads – for the same cash you can get better, more efficient petrol or diesel BMWs or Audis.

Lexus’ stubborn refusal to offer a diesel GS means the cheapest way into ownership is with this 2.5-litre petrol model.

Priced from £32,995, the GS 250 is much cheaper than the £44,995 GS 450h hybrid, but it doesn’t feel basic. It gets 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, while inside there’s the same leather and high-quality surfaces as in the GS 450h – and a vast digital dashboard, too. 

The 206bhp V6 engine is smooth and well matched to its six-speed automatic gearbox, which offers quick changes via the steering wheel paddles.

Floor the throttle and it’s not as fast as the 338bhp GS 450h, but the car is still responsive. It will go from 0-62mph in 8.6 seconds, and offers decent punch for overtaking. Around corners, the GS 250 feels much more playful than the GS 450h, and the lack of hybrid components means it’s 190kg lighter. It’s a much more agile car, and more fun as a result.

Still, the GS 250 always leans towards comfort – you can play with three different driving modes, but it remains subtle even in its stiffest setting.

The big drawback is running costs. The Lexus might have a ‘small’ petrol engine, but it’s no match for diesel rivals or even petrol versions of BMW and Audi executive cars. A similarly priced 530i emits 177g/km of CO2 compared to the GS’s huge 207g/km. The BMW is faster, too. 

Lexus expects this model to make up two-thirds of GS sales in the UK, but it needs an economical small hybrid engine if it wants to steal customers from rival prestige brands. And we’ll have to wait until next year for that.

Disqus - noscript

Lexus make the right choice to refuse any diesel in this class.
The GS250 will be a far more reliable and refined car than any other diesel one in this class.
A diesel engine is so much irrelevant in term of human health, ....The GS 450 is so much more accomplished in terms of fuel efficiency, not to mention the refinement.....
Definetely, diesel is related to middle age.
It is so sad to see so many 520 diesel or a6 tdi.... Even Jag had no choice...welcome the new classic XF 2.2 D!

Lexus may not have the best car in the sector, for the price you can objectively buy better Audis or BMW's, however the fact it isnt the traditional German choice will find it a few buyers, it will also prove to be far better equipped, far more reliable, and have dealers that actually look after you and dont take you for granted.

Have owned the car for the last couple of weeks. Thirsty, but the rest is head and shoulders above the germans. The only real reason to buy a 5 series is that you can not afford a GS

Key specs

  • Price: £35,995
  • Engine: 2.5-litre V6
  • Power/torque: 206bhp/252Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive
  • 0-62mph: 8.6 seconds
  • Top speed: 142mph
  • Economy/CO2: 31.7mpg/207g/km
  • Equipment: Leather trim, climate control, reversing camera