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#4

in 2009 Luxury Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $25,517 - $25,517
Original MSRP: $56,550 - $56,550
MPG: 22 City / 25 Hwy
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2009 Lexus GS Hybrid Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

Lexus builds some of the most luxurious interiors in the automotive industry. The 2009 GS 450h puts all of the marque's coachbuilding skill on display. A few writers call this the best interior in its class. Those who have complaints, however, are taller testers. The cabin's proportions don't accommodate above-average drivers well. A minority opinion says the cabin's technology doesn't hold up well against newer competitors.

  • "Lexus has done this right," with its "handsome interior." -- Forbes
  • "Typical of Lexus, the GS450h excels in small details. Damped lids ease open to reveal small nooks, hinged panels enhance the usefulness of door pockets, variable-transparency glass covers the instruments to keep them legible in all ambient light conditions, and a kilowatt meter replaces the tach - not particularly useful, but along with the hybrid monitor's graphic display in the center-dash screen, it undoubtedly reinforces the owner's decision to go the gas-electric route." -- Car and Driver
  • "The cabin is definitely classic Lexus, with lots of leather and real wood -- nothing fake here -- and plenty of amenities....I'd say there are probably more luxury features on the GS 450h than on a comparably equipped [BMW] 5 Series." -- Detroit News

Seating

The seats of the 450h are supportive and well-cushioned, with plenty of adjustments to suit most drivers. But taller people will be constricted a little up front, and too much for comfort in the back seat.

  • "Comfort level is top-notch, with accommodating leather seats, substantial headroom and legroom up front for average-size occupants." -- Forbes
  • "Nicely formed and supportive power front seats." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Six-footers get ample legroom. Even riders of average height will be cramped for headroom. Seats are all-day comfortable." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Though spacious enough for five passengers, it accommodates four more comfortably as the elevated rear center cushion makes for a tighter fit in the middle position." -- Edmunds

Interior Features

The GS 450 Hybrid features well-designed cabin electronics that aren't overly complicated to operate and an attractive cabin with sumptuous materials and industry-leading build quality. Its standard audio system is appropriate to the price range of the car, but an available Mark Levinson premium audio system is extraordinary. Where the car falls short is in cargo space. Hybrid batteries rob trunk space, giving the 450h a trunk appropriate to a small sports coupe, not a large sedan. A minority opinion, however, says the cabin tech is out of date.

  • "Genuine wood and aluminum trim complements the rich leather seating surfaces, and it's all put together with flawless fit and finish. However, the highly polished wood can reflect glare annoyingly at times, and the control-oriented drop-down dash panel to the left of the steering wheel can get in the way of the driver's exit if left open." -- Edmunds
  • "Lexus-typical cabin decor blends high-grade plastics and leather. Other trim bits are genuine wood, but the reddish color used to stain those pieces makes them look fake." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The first thing we noticed when the 2009 Lexus GS 450h appeared in our garage was that the cabin tech hadn't been updated from the initial GS model launch in 2005. Lexus had a really good navigation and stereo system back then, but times have changed and the competition has far outstripped these simple components." -- CNET
  • "The well-positioned basic controls are supplemented by a drop-down panel on the dash that hides switchgear for less-used functions until they're needed." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • The optional 14-speaker, 330-watt Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System is "impressive as much for its excellent sound quality as it is for its broad range of 3-letter functions: from its ability to play MP3 and WMA-encoded CDs to its ASP (automatic sound leveling) and DSP (digital sound processing)." -- CNET
  • Lexus's voice controlled navigation system is "infinitely simpler to use than BMWs iDrive or the Mercedes COMAND system." -- Car and Driver

Cargo

The GS 450 Hybrid offers only 7.5 cubic feet of cargo space. The industry standard for a large luxury car is nearly double that, but for a hybrid car that isn't unusual. The hybrid system's batteries are housed in the trunk, like they are in most similar cars. 

  • "Dual-mode battery packaging demands also slice the GS 450h's trunk capacity to little more than half that of the gasoline-powered GS 460." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Trunk space is much tighter than other GS models at only 7.5 cubic feet, owing to the placement of the hybrid battery pack." -- Edmunds
  • "The trunklid swings on noninvasive strut-type hinges, but its small opening makes for awkward loading. There's no folding rear seatback, just a slim pass-through. The hybrid's battery is behind the rear seats, further reducing trunk room and eliminating the pass-through. Cabin's small-item storage is limited." - Consumer Guide

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