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How reliable are the GS450h? 

I’ve been looking on auto trader and some reasonable ones on there for around £7,000 with 50,000 miles on them for a 2009 reg. 

I test drove a 2018 GS300 and a 2017 GS450h the other day and I have to say they would make for an excellent commuting vehicle - I was interested to know what difference there is between let’s say a 2012 GS450H compared to a 2009 GS450H (other than the obvious being aesthetic) - is there better suspension etc?

Also how reliable are these cars and how comfortable would people feel getting them to say 200k? - I’ve seen a 2012 reg GS450H with 79,000 on the clock for £12,990. 

Also, on this caliber of vehicle, does specification make a lot of difference between Luxury, premier and F-Sport? 

All views would be greatly welcomed. 

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Most trouble-free - 2012+ non-F-sport. Worry about:

-The hybrid Battery - probably a nonissue given the warranty on these

-The electronic brake module - the brushed DC motor may wear through its commutator eventually, causing a nonstart issue and the famous (albeit very rare),sudden "no brakes" event, also the hydraulic accumulator sphere is non-replaceable... or at least not sold as a spare

-The transmission's auxiliary oil pump bearings (annoying disassembly of the wire harness, cheap parts-wise)

-The hybrid inverter if it's a 3rd gen (2006-2011) - RHD inverters are still plentyful, but there isn't much that you can do to prevent IPM solder layers degradation. 4th gen uses a different design.

2012+ f-sport uses front rotors with alu hats. The rotors are not sold separately from the hats, and the whole assembly is very pricey, compared to the non-F-sport version. Might also not fit 17''s (not sure about this). On the other hand, lighter rotating mass = better...

Suspension - AVS shocks tend to leak and are relatively expensive (not really IMO, but still) to replace. I view this as a benefit - you replace shocks before they're still "working" with severely degraded damping characteristics. Everything else is very sturdy, but expensive to replace if it goes wrong. No bushings sold separately (very few exceptions), alloy control arms, alloy knuckles (with pressed in bushings & heim joints at the rear)... No good aftermarket "OEM replacement" parts whatsoever - it's either polyurethane or "sports" stuff (adjustable length control arms with uniballs - I'd avoid).

Overall - VERY reliable vehicles, but can get very expensive if they go wrong. Don't buy one thinking it'll be cheap to run and/or maintain properly... or fix, if need be. Same goes for every car in this segment.


Mods, I think we need a master thread, given the amount of threads popping up on the subject(s).

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The series III GS450h (2006-2011) owners have reported issues with hybrid batteries and transmission oil pumps. Not in huge numbers but more troublesome than any other Toyota/Lexus hybrid.

No such issues reported with the series IV GS450 (2012-2019) - possibly just because of the age of the vehicles, but probably because of improvements made.

Personally if you can afford a series IV then I'd go with that. A much better chassis and more modern interior too.

On the series IV the F Sport has 4 wheel steer and variable gear steering - as these vehicles age they are just extra things that could go wrong. The Luxury grade is well spec'd.


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Funnily enough, mine is going in for a replacement transmission oil pump in a few weeks.  The technician said it was a little noisy and would probably last a while yet, but the warranty company agreed to change it anyway.

For reference, mine has 98,000 miles on it, which is perhaps higher than a majority of the Mk4 GS's out there.

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