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 Sam on Tuesday, October 14, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,300overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Roomy. Good suspension, Handling, Interior, Finish"
Cons: "NAV, Controls, Poor range"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I switched to 2013 GS AWD from 2008 GS. The Good: Being tall (6'3") the difference is noticeable; More room in the front and back. Excelent suspension; Luxurious interior and finish. Very comfy seats; Decent acceleration and smooth transmission; Improved dashboard. Now the Bad: Terrible NAV - late for exits, voice commands are useless, no traffic info (my portable 4 year old $90 TomTom does better job); Small Fuel Tank - range about 320mi; Difficult Radio Controls. Radio shuts down when engine is off - no accessory mode; Front seat automatically goes all the way back when driver removes the seatbelt - someone seating in the rear can get very uncomfortable; Rear seat do not fold forward, only small opening. Console controls are cluttered - too many buttons. I would place GS just behind 5 series BMW but way ahead of E-series Benz or A6 Audi. BMW is just fun to drive (I lease one) - handling, acceleration, suspension, simplicity of controls. However, Lexus' quality is unmatched and it has most room in the front."
2 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By MT on Saturday, September 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Renovated Radio system, overall look"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Test drove it and I was immediately sold. Tried to remove any doubt by test driving the Acura TL and the new Infinity Q50, absolutely no comparison. If you to want mix sport luxury with value for you money, this is the way to go."
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Mike on Wednesday, September 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"First, let me say, I've owned Mercedes, BMW, and Volvo ranging from sport versions to S-Classes. Of all the cars I've owned this is absolutely the most fun to drive. The fit and finish is flawless. It is a shockingly quiet car even at full speed :) It's looks are personal but definitely attention grabbing. Everyone that I have had as a passenger has commented on how beautiful the car is. I have the F-Sport, so performance is better than most, so much so that I very very rarely have to push the car to its limit to get what I need out of it. It's so nice to always know you have reserve. It is stable at high speed and it's turning radius is just unbelieveable. The steering could/should be a bit tighter but he feel and reaction time is good. Did I mention it's very reliable? I drive ALOT and with 55,000 miles on the car, I have not had a single issue, inside or out. I expect to drive it another 55,000 miles before I think about it. I cannot recommend this car more! It is definitely the best value for the money! I upgraded the radio and interior when i purchased it in 2012 and it has become my second home."
3 people out of 6 found this review helpful