By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.6
To the Lexus reputation of refined luxury the 2014 GS line adds first-rate dynamic driving performance and eye-catching styling. All-new last year, the GS 350's defining characteristic is enthusiastic motoring, with a robust 3.5-liter V6 of 306 horsepower, rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), a sophisticated blend of compliant ride and assertive handling and numerous advanced technology features, all wrapped up in a distinctive look that stands apart from the mid-size sedan crowd. For the efficiency-minded there's the GS 450h hybrid. The 2014 Lexus GS is in a tough segment with the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but the GS is a real contender for discerning sports-sedan buyers, offering sparkling performance, superb handling and the Lexus tradition of excellence in fit, finish and reliability.
Want a snappy sports sedan with advanced technology, exquisite fit and finish and the peace of mind of known reliability? Visit your Lexus dealer and take a look at the 2014 GS 350.
Maybe you don't like the looks of the GS, or maybe you're more interested in one of the prestigious emblems from the Europeans. Or maybe you think you need a V8. The choices are yours.
The major change for the 2014 Lexus GS is an 8-speed automatic transmission for the rear-wheel-drive version of the GS 350. New technology features include additions to the Blind Spot Monitor and Pre-Collision System, some options changes, a new Ultra-Luxury Package and refinements to various features.
Driving Impressions The 2014 Lexus GS will bring big smiles to driving enthusiasts, with a level of handling response and capabilities that's more commonly associated with those time-honored sports-sedan nameplates. Major contributors...... to this exceptional chassis response include the stiff unit-body construction, wide track dimensions and lightweight aluminum suspension control arms. A 3-way Lexus Drive Mode function, with Eco, Normal and Sport settings, controls the throttle, transmission and steering profiles to suit individual driver preference. The Luxury Package and the F Sport Package options offer specific variably adaptive suspension settings that include the available Lexus Dynamic Handling system with Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Dynamic Rear Steering. These features turn the rear-drive F-Sport model into a real canyon-corner carver. In pure straight-line performance the GS 450h hybrid, with its abundance of low-end torque, is quicker than the GS 350.
LEXUS DRIVE MODE
Offering ECO, Normal and Sport settings, this user-selectable electronic assist can fine-tune the throttle and transmission response in all GS sedans to accommodate owner preferences. The Luxury and F Sport Packages add a Sport+ setting that also modifies the adaptive variable suspension and Vehicle Dynamic Integrated Management systems.
Together, the Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 and the electric motor in the GS 450h can pump out 338 total system horsepower and deliver an EPA fuel-economy rating of 29 mpg city/34 mpg highway. And, it's even quicker in acceleration than the gasoline GS 350. For hybrid fans, it's a winner.
Perhaps edgy on the outside, the 2014 Lexus GS is luxury and technology inside. The attractively shaped instrument panel includes analog Optitron gauges with a color Multi-Information Display and an 8.0-inch color high-resolution central control screen that operates with the second-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) control function. Both front occupants enjoy 10-way power seats, and LED ambient lighting is integrated into the door ornamentation and the RTI surround area. Nice touches and details abound, from "Lexus"-stamped scuff plates on all doorsills to contrast stitching on the upper instrument panel, door panels and shift boot.Exterior
The 2014 GS is not for the shy, as the Lexus L-Finesse design theme results in a pretty boldly styled piece of road-going art. It leads with a striking front-end treatment that is becoming the Lexus corporate face. Fitting its more sporting image, the GS continues with edgy styling and highly defined shapes that include quite distinctive headlights and LED taillights. The GS 350 and 450h are fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels and 225/50 tires, while the GS 350 with the F Sport Package has 19-inch wheels with 235/40 front and 265/35 rear tires of a performance nature.
All 2014 Lexus GS models include leather upholstery, wood/metallic accent trim, a full range of power assists, power moonroof, multifunction steering wheel and energy-saving S-flow automatic climate control. The standard Lexus Premium Audio System has 12 speakers, AM/FM/DVD with HD Radio and WMA/MP3 capability, Bluetooth streaming, 5.1 Surround Sound and numerous other features. Additional standard equipment includes keyless remote/push-button start, Lexus Drive Mode, a rearview camera, the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system (combining the functions of anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control), Safety Connect with Automatic Collision Notification and all the usual and government-mandated safety features.
Options for the 2014 Lexus GS include: a Premium Package with heated and ventilated front seats; a Luxury Package with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), semi-aniline leather upholstery and 18-inch alloy wheels; the Ultra-Luxury Package with a power trunk opener and 19-inch wheels; and the F Sport Package with a 16-way driver's sport seat, custom-tuned AVS, bigger wheels/tires/brakes and Variable Gear Ratio Steering. Both the Ultra-Luxury and F Sport Packages include the Cold-Weather Package. Stand-alone options include an HDD Navigation system, 835-watt Mark Levinson premium audio, Heads-Up Display, Intuitive Park Assist and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.
The 2014 Lexus GS 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 with dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and direct fuel injection; it makes 306 horsepower and 274 lb-ft of torque. In rear-drive models it is matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission and with all-wheel drive it has a 6-speed automatic. The hybrid GS 450h has an Atkinson-cycle version of the 3.5-liter V6, with the Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive that combines the gasoline engine and the electric motor for a total system output of 338 horsepower and, in the bargain, exceptional fuel economy. The GS 350 has EPA fuel-economy ratings of 19 mpg city/29 mpg highway with rear-wheel drive and 19/26 city/highway with all-wheel drive, while the 450h hybrid is EPA-rated at 29/34 mpg, city/highway.
306 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
277 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 mpg (RWD), 19/26 mpg (AWD)
3.5-liter V6 + electric motor and battery pack
286 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
180-horsepower electric motor – 338 net system horsepower
254 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/34 mpg
The base price for the 2014 Lexus GS 350 is just under $48,000 with rear-wheel drive and around $50,000 with all-wheel drive. The hybrid GS 450h is near $60,000 and adding numerous options can push it considerably higher. The GS 350's likely European competitors, the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, tend to have starting prices above that of the GS and are also fairly close to each other in resale values, but the GS 350 is expected to maintain both 3-year and 5-year residuals that are higher than those European sports sedans, thus paying benefits in the long term. Before heading off to the dealer, be sure and check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2014 Lexus GS 350 or 450h.
By Rick on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Expensive...probably best 2013 Lexus available."
Cons: "Tech for sake of tech"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Very good vehicle, but needs more performance. Not a performance car or a true luxury car. The gee wizz techno stuff is hard to operate...must look away from driving too much...would not buy again."
12 people out of 26 found this review helpful
By BL on Monday, February 24, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"Why does Lexus still use galvanized exhausts? I had to have the system replaced after five years. ($ 3,600)Halogen head lights are the standard on luxury cars. I had to replace both front headlights after 5 years at over $500. I used to replace my own bulbs for around $10. I don't see a 500% improvement in lighting. Rear struts were replaced after four years, not cheap; we have never had anyone in the back seat and the car had less than 50,000 miles. Lexus maintenance is very expensive as are the parts. A letter of dealer dissatisfaction was never responded to by the dealer, nor Lexus in the US or Japan. I was much happier with my 2000 Pontiac SSEI. Got over 130,000 miles on it and only did oil changes and a battery. I have had to spend much less on my Tahoe with over 175,000 miles, battery, tires and oil changes. This is my last Lexus."
4 people out of 12 found this review helpful
By Fern on Friday, February 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,600overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "almost everything"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"The only thing I will complain about this car, is the GPS, the worst I have ever had. Other than that the car is the greatest."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful