SUM UP (4 Stars)

By Automobile Magazine

What's New for GS350 in 2014

After introducing a new GS for the 2013 model year, Lexus makes several changes for 2014, the most notable being a new eight-speed automatic for rear-wheel drive GS 350s. Also included are flush mounted intuitive park assist sensors, full-color display added to optional head-up display, blind-spot monitors adds cross traffic alert and power folding mirrors, and the night view system has been discontinued. The hybrid GS 450h’s CVT has been revised and now provides eight steps (rather than six from last year)...
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Vehicle Overview

The Lexus GS is a sporting luxury sedan that fits above the ES but below the flagship LS in the automaker’s lineup. It blends luxury and performance, and comes with a V-6 or hybrid V-6 powertrain.

Summary

The Lexus GS comes with a 3.5-liter V-6 that makes 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. The rear-drive GS 350 gets a new eight-speed transmission with paddle shifters for 2014, but the all-wheel-drive version retains the same six-speed automatic. The EPA ratings for the RWD are 19/29 mpg city/highway, and the AWD are 19/26 mpg. More efficiency-conscious buyers, who don’t want to sacrifice drivability and comfort, can opt to get a GS 450h, which supplements the 3.5-liter V-6 with an electric motor and a CVT for a net 338 hp. Unlike the previous hybrid, the 2014 delivers significantly better mileage at an EPA-estimated 29/34 mpg, but is only available in RWD trim. The difference in driving experience was summed up by an editor in an Editor’s Notebook review: “You're aware that you're driving a hybrid, but you're not annoyed by it . . . the brake pedal and accelerator inputs are far more natural in feel and response than they've been in previous Toyota and Lexus hybrid models.”

The most notable features of the 2014 Lexus GS: optional navigation adds a 12.3-inch display, full-color head-up display, lane-keep assist, dynamic cruise control, and the F Sport RWD adds dynamic rear steering (four-wheel steering).

The 2014 Lexus GS has not been crash tested by the NHSTA. They car was considered a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS for 2013, but has not yet been tested in the small front overlap category, so it has not yet met the criteria for 2014.

What We Think

We’ve had the opportunity to sample several nicely equipped GS sedans, and in an Editor’s Notebook review of a GS 450h one editor noted, “This was my first time behind the wheel of any new-for-2013 GS, and I was duly impressed with the interior the first moment I stepped inside. The instrument panel was handsome and trimmed neatly in stitched leather; the blonde wood trim attractive; the seats supportive and infinitely adjustable; and controls - especially the Remote Touch commander - logically arranged.”

In an Editor’s Notebook review of a 2013 GS 350 AWD, one editor said, “The new GS shouts a very different message. Its styling is now as polarizing as it was generic and noncommittal. The interior sets a similarly aggressive tone and broadcasts its desire for younger buyers with a huge infotainment screen. The quick, surprisingly heavy steering likewise seems tuned to tell you instantly that this is a different sort of Lexus. I did not get a chance to take this all-wheel-drive model to its limit, but found the F Sport version we had in our office earlier offered commendably flat handling.” We were impressed by the no-compromises driving experience of the hybrid, where you don’t have to sacrifice performance in the name of economy. We enjoyed the hybrid, but one editor pointed out, “The Infiniti M35h is nearly $6k less expensive, offers an equally fabulous interior, and an impressively powerful hybrid drivetrain to boot.”

You’ll Like

  • V-6 or hybrid, both deliver healthy performance
  • 12-inch infotainment screen
  • Updated exterior styling

You Won’t Like

  • Hybrid can get pricey
  • V-8 option long gone
  • Eight-speed automatic only on RWD GS 350

Rating

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