Fleet News

Lexus GS450h SE-L

Lexus

Review

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Did you know that if you own a Lexus, at some dealers you can wander along on any Saturday morning and have your car cleaned for free?

I didn’t until I visited Lexus Leicester recently to see the manufacturer’s national corporate and remarketing manager Andy Simpson, because despite having now run two Lexuses (Lexi?) for three months each (an IS before this GS), I’ve never needed to go anywhere near a dealership.

This experience is in common with many Lexus customers, apparently.

Because the leasing company will often deliver the car to your door and Lexus operates a pick-up-and-deliver service, many customers never cross the slick threshold.

As a result, Lexus is looking to introduce a “leasing charter” to work in partnership with leasing companies, to ensure drivers can get the full Lexus experience.

And part of the Lexus experience is that you won’t have to visit a dealer because rarely anything goes wrong – so the firm is a victim of its own success in that regard.

There are currently just over 50 Lexus centres around the UK, which is about a third as many as BMW, which means they are more spread out. My closest in Leicester is 35 miles away, withNottingham or Cambridge a 45-mile trip.

But it’s worth the journey because they are very nicely done. Surprisingly calming and, unsurprisingly, super-efficient.

While there, ask for a guided tour. To avoid you appearing slightly strange by asking to see them, I’ll give you my assessment of the technicians’ toilets and changing room: I was most impressed.

No Page Three model posters or last week’s sandwiches in sight. Instead, all gleaming metal surfaces and cool dark tiles.

If Lexus can tame mechanics like this, I’d be happy with them working on my car.

Not that they would need to, because Lexuses don’t go wrong, and ours has worked like clockwork apart from, ironically, the clock.

Say you get out of the car at 6.34pm, and get back in it the next morning at 7.46am, the clock will still say 6.34, and takes about five minutes to update to the current time. Apparently, it’s a software problem that is easily remedied.

One of the foibles of living with a large hybrid saloon car is getting used to the appalling bootspace. The battery takes up at least half of it.

And as I like to keep my golf clubs close to hand in case the chance of an impromptu round appeals, that’s the boot pretty much full all of the time. Any other baggage finds its way on to the back seats.

But at least it looks at home in my golf club, sitting among the Range Rovers and BMWs, and silently swooping through the car park on electric power makes me feel rather superior.

If only I could keep it running on electric power all the time. I could take it on the course – making it the world’s most luxurious golf buggy.

Fact file

Price: £46,818 (£47,368 as tested)
Mileage: 14,700
CO2 emissions (g/km): 186
Company car tax (40% taxpayer): £322 per month
Insurance group: 18
Combined mpg: 35.8
Test mpg: 28.6
CAP Monitor RV: £15,000/32%
Contract hire rate: £981
Expenditure to date: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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