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2008 Lexus GS

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2008 Lexus GS Review

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Slotting between the flagship LS 460 and the popular ES 350, the mid-size Lexus GS line occupies an admittedly modest but still notable niche in the sport sedan segment. Intertwining aggressive styling and formidable performance with typical Lexus luxury cues, it gives Toyota's premium division a very credible competitor in an arena most often associated with German offerings, including the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. In addition to offering the only hybrid in this segment, the GS 450h (reviewed separately), the GS lineup consists of three gasoline-powered variants. The rear-drive GS 350 and all-wheel-drive GS 350 AWD share a common 3.5-liter V6 while the rear-drive V8 model moves from its previous GS 430 designation to new GS 460 badging for 2008, to reflect its upgrade to a larger and more powerful engine.

You'll Like This Car If...

Those demanding a vehicle that offers sporting character infused with loads of luxury touches will find the entire GS family, but particularly the new GS 460, more than capable of satisfying their multi-dimensional appetites.

You May Not Like This Car If...

For some, any proper sport sedan still must come with a German pedigree -- or at least with a manual transmission. For those folks, the GS in any guise will likely not pass muster.

What's New for 2008

The biggest news here is that the GS 460 replaces the GS 430 as the top entry in the GS lineup, bringing more power and enhanced luxury. Exterior changes to all models include revamps to the front fascia, wheel design and color choices, while the interiors feature new instrument graphics and accent bits, a broader array of wood trims and UV and infrared-reducing tinted glass.

Driving the GS
Driving Impressions

Well-mannered, well-controlled and admirably quick with either powertrain or drivetrain combination, the GS strikes a very desirable balance of personality traits that should please all but the hardest-core sport-sedan buyers....

... The suspension trades off a bit of fine-edge feel in return for excellent comfort on a daily-driver basis, and the GS 460's optional Power Active Stabilizer system does a first-rate job of keeping body roll in check. Despite a slightly artificial feel, the electronically-boosted variable power steering is both quick and precise. The various supplemental handling assists can be switched off completely by anyone who really does want to press to the edge of the envelope. For those who prefer all-weather security, the GS 350 AWD deserves consideration. Regardless of model, the finely crafted cabin always maintains Lexus levels of isolation from wind and road noise.

Optional Mark Levinson Premium Audio System
Boasting 330 watts of 5.1 Surround Sound power and 14 strategically positioned speakers, the available Mark Levinson audio package delivers an auditory experience that rivals hearing music performed live. It's available with or without the DVD-based Lexus navigation system in any GS model.

Hideaway Controls
Affording an even tidier look to the already business-like cabin of the GS, a concealed panel on the left side of the dash houses a bank of power adjuster switches for several items, including the power mirrors, instrument illumination levels and odometer resets. It remains out of view and out of the way until you need to access it at the push of a button.

2008 Lexus GS Details
Interior

Supple leather, brushed aluminum and bird's-eye maple help define a well-organized, well-isolated and exceptionally comfortable cabin in all GS versions. In a realm where typical Lexus levels of fit and finish abound, revamped white-on-black gauges provide great legibility, basic controls are well-positioned and an array of supplemental function switches hide discretely behind a drop-down panel on the dash until they're called into action. Nicely formed power front buckets are the best seats in the house, but even the "bucketed" rear bench has sufficient head and legroom to handle a pair of adults and the occasional smaller child in the less-hospitable center spot.

Exterior

Embracing the division's L-Finesse styling language, the GS brings a legitimate sense of design passion to its sleekly flowing sheetmetal that arguably qualifies it as the best-looking Lexus sedan. For 2008, that prominent aero flair gets minor tweaking courtesy of an edgier front fascia with a bigger air inlet and new chrome grille surround. A well-proportioned glass area provides good outward visibility while bi-xenon HID headlamps and quick-responding LED taillamps make it easier for you to see and be seen, day or night. All GS models have standard alloy wheels, with the GS 350 having 225/50WR17 performance tires, the GS 350 AWD using the same size but in an all-season run-flat alternative and the GS 460 with 245/40ZR18s.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

True to the division's upscale persona, every GS model comes packed to please even the most discriminating buyer. Beyond stellar powertrains, you'll find leather-covered and heated 10-way power front seats (heated and ventilated in the GS 460), a comprehensive array of power assists, SmartAccess keyless locking and starting, dual-zone climate control with rear air vents, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3/cassette audio, a seven-inch multifunction display screen, an advanced anti-lock brake (ABS) package, driver-switchable Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system and front, front-side, side-curtain and knee airbags. Standard on the GS 460, and optional on the GS 350, are Adaptive Variable suspension and the corner-following Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS).

Optional Equipment

The GS options list is fairly short, with the key elements being the DVD-based voice-activated navigation system and rear backup camera, a 330-watt Mark Levinson Premium Sound System that includes the navigation package items and the Pre-Collision System (PCS) with Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. Other single items of note include Lexus Link, Intuitive Parking Assist, all-season run-flat tires, rain sensing wipers and headlamp washers and a power rear sunshade. The GS 460 also offers the computer-controlled Active Power Stabilizer Suspension System, while the GS 350 can be fitted with the GS 460's Adaptive Variable Suspension, ventilated front seats and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Under the Hood

Two impressive engines impart a definite enthusiast flavor to the GS. Both are technology-rich exercises made of weight-saving aluminum and fitted with continuously-variable valve timing that optimizes responsiveness and efficiency across the entire operating range. The 3.5-liter V6 in the GS 350 and GS 350 AWD turns out an impressive 303 horsepower and 274 pound-feet of torque, enough to send either car sprinting from zero to 60 mph in under six seconds when backed by the six-speed multi-mode sequential automatic. The new 4.6-liter V8 ups those output figures to 342 and 339, respectively. Teamed with an equally smooth and sophisticated eight-speed automatic, it allows the GS 460 to complete that benchmark sprint in less than 5.5 ticks. The sole caveat: Manual-style gear changes still must be made using the conventional console lever, as neither transmission offers steering-wheel-mounted shift buttons or paddles.

3.5-liter V6
303 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
274 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27(RWD), 18/25(AWD)

4.6-liter V8
342 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
339 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24

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2008 Lexus GS Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 253 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.4/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

surprisingly good mpg

By on Monday, June 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 140,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "quiet, performance, luxury"

Cons: "more head room would be welcomed"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my 08 GS350 3 years ago with 88k miles. I have not had a single repair. I take my car to Toyota for maintenance. The Toyota dealer has significantly lower rates. I currently have 140k trouble free miles. I love the power of my gs350. It is far better than my last Lexus (05 es330). However, when i avoid using the power I am rewarded with awesome mpg. I routine average 25-26 mpg in mixed driving. The highway mpg is surprising. According to my calculations, I averaged 34.9 mpg (car mpg indicator higher) on a recent trip from TX to FL and back. I used some hypermiling techniques. I inflated the tires from 32 to 44 psi, used a/c sparingly, and traveled at 65 mph. I plan to keep this car a long time. A friend of mine has 250k on his gs. The only repair he experienced was trannie replacement about 200k miles."

firmest ride of 3 owned GS models

By on Sunday, January 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great look, smooth performance and build quality"

Cons: "ride not as nice on rough surfaces"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have owned 2001 GS, 2006 GS and my current 2011 GS (CPO 30000 miles)All great cars except the 2011 has a much firmer ride. Still very smooth on smooth surfaces but it is not so smooth on lessor surfaces."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Best luxury car on the market.

By on Sunday, October 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handling, sound system, quiet ride, firm but comfy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Handles like a big car but has the spunk of a small sporty car. Excellent gas mileage which was an unexpected surprise."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

Hybirds is the new fast

By on Sunday, October 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Luxury and performance"

Cons: "Run flat tires"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Beautiful red metallic looks like candy apple. 297 hp gas and 43 hp electric total 340hp and 24mph in town and up to 33 on highway. 2011 GS450h. 0-60 5.1. Quarter 13.9. Otherwise everything is perfect. Would of liked the navigation system to be upgraded to current standards. Great service at dealerships."

4 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Love this car, amazing performance and precision s

By on Saturday, September 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun to drive, reliable"

Cons: "floor mats get dirty quickly"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"have owned this car for 6 years and never had one ounce of trouble with it! Will never drive anything but a Lexus again!"

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Best care I ever owned

By on Sunday, July 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 238,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Who would have thought I could drive this car for over 230,000 miles and it still runs like it did on day 1? Great car!"

19 people out of 26 found this review helpful

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