2014 Lexus GS 350 Long Term Wrap-up
After eight months' service and nearly 17,000 miles, our 2014 Lexus GS350 long term vehicle has ended its run in the KBB long term fleet. Its stint underscored not only what a great luxury 4-door sedan this is, but also that there are smoking deals to be had by shopping the Certified Pre-Owned programs offered by Lexus and other luxury car dealers.
Rather than take a vehicle fresh from the manufacturer, we opted for a GS350 from the Lexus press fleet. Unlike a one-owner used car, the GS had seen its share of different drivers and test scenarios. After the standard CPO process that includes a 161-point inspection and a 36-month/100,000 mile warranty, the car was delivered to us with 4,540 miles on the odometer. A top of the line model, it stickered at $58,794, about $12,000 more than the $47,700 base price. Among the add-ons was a $6,680 luxury package with all the bells and whistles from heated/cooled seats to a rear power sunshade. We estimated at the time of delivery, that with the vehicle's KBB Fair Purchase Price, a similarly equipped CPO model could be had for $49,421 nearly $10,000 less than the new price.
Trouble-free from the start
The Lexus GS350, equipped with a 308-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 mated to a silky smooth 8-speed automatic, proved to be an effortless cruiser and a great companion on a number of road trips ranging from runs to places like Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. The time spent with the GS was virtually trouble free, we had the car serviced at 10,000 miles under warranty, and again at 15,000 miles, this time the cost was just $132.43 for routine oil change, fluids topped off and a key fob battery replacement.
In addition to being comfortable and quick, the rear-drive GS350 quickly became a staff favorite for its smooth ride, precise steering and great brakes. One staffer commented that "this car has chauffeur-quality brakes. It's a cinch to come to a perfect, clean stop. It's also easy to get a good driving position thanks to the large range of adjustments for the seats and steering column." Another noted that "The ride is so smooth in this car, that it almost lulls me to the point of falling asleep-not good when you are the driver, but great if you are a passenger."
The GS is a car you don't have to think about, all the controls are intuitive, its comfortable quiet and yet at the same time, strikingly handsome. The styling engenders pride of ownership-anyone looks good getting out of this car.
The bottom line
Over the course of our test, we covered 16,646 miles and put 599 gallons of fuel in the tank averaging 27.7 mpg, which is just over 1 mpg shy of the car's 29 mpg highway rating. Much of the Lexus GS350's duty was spent on freeway driving and trips, so it's not surprising that our mileage came in well above the combined 23 mpg figure and much higher than the 19 mpg city rating.
But better than the fuel economy is the depreciation hit on the car since it was meant to simulate a CPO purchase. At the end of our stint with 21,186 miles on the odometer, the KBB trade-in value of our test car, which we would rate as being in excellent condition, is $39,412, while the private party going rate is $42,267. At retail, the $7,154 difference works to about 14 percent depreciation or roughly 42 cents per mile, which is better than average. New or pre-owned, the 2014 Lexus GS350 is a smart buy.
See Past Reports of our Long-Term 2014 Lexus GS 350...