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Two Lexus vehicles have received accolades at the prestigious Drive Car of the Year Awards held in Sydney.

Lexus IS250 won Best Luxury Car under $60,000 and GS450h received an Award of Excellence for Fuel Economy.

The inaugural Drive Car of the Year Awards were a collaboration between, the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

Every current passenger car model on the Australian market was eligible for Drive's awards.

Lexus IS defeated the Alfa Romeo 159 JTS, Holden Calais V V6 and Volkswagen Passat, to claim the prize as the best luxury car in the price bracket.

All finalists in the awards were tested over six days and nights against the following criteria:

  • Under the bonnet

  • How it drives

  • Price, quality, and equipment

  • Comfort and practicality

  • Safety

Judges awarded Lexus IS250 the top prize in the Best Luxury Car under $60,000 category in recognition of its impressive array of vehicle safety systems including world-first twin-chamber airbag technology, and outstanding driving performance.

IS250 has eight airbags as standard, including a new twin-chamber SRS front passenger's airbag and driver and front passenger's SRS knee airbags.

Lexus Australia divisional manager Scott Grant said IS250 had been the star in the Lexus range since its launch in November 2005.

"In that short time, it has reached well over the 3000 sales mark and is our highest-performing model in the range at year to date," said Mr Grant.

"Given its fantastic price point, at under $60,000, we have seen the Australian public embrace this vehicle and reap the rewards of 13 world-first technologies.

"Sophisticated engineering and manufacturing techniques have always allowed Lexus to establish a value advantage - and this vehicle is a shining example."

The Drive judging panel recognised GS450h, the first hybrid released in the Lexus range, for its outstanding fuel economy and performance.

Fuel consumption for GS450h is 7.9L/100km*.

GS450h has created a synergy between fuel economy, low emissions, quietness and high performance.

It introduces a completely new set of hybrid characteristics, resulting in seamless acceleration unlike any current hybrid system.

GS450h is the world's first volume-production rear-drive hybrid.

It has 22 per cent more power than the most powerful model in the Lexus range.

IS250's recommended retail price starts at $53,890** and GS450h's recommended retail price starts at $121,990**.

**Recommended retail prices exclude dealer delivery, government and statutory charges, and optional extras.
*Fuel consumption will vary depending on driving conditions/style, vehicle conditions and options/accessories. Source of fuel consumption data: ADR81/01 combined cycle.

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Lexus Australia corporate manager John Roca (right) accepts the Drive award for Best Luxury Car under $60,000 for the IS250 from Julie Coffey, general manager,
Lexus IS250 has won the Best Luxury Car Award under $60,000 at the Drive Car of the Year Awards. Pictured is IS250 Prestige.