Pros: Strong, refined drivetrains in both regular and hybrid form; surprisingly nimble handling, particularly with the F Sport package
Cons: Back seat is more cramped than exterior size would suggest; some drivers dislike joystick interface of Lexus Remote Touch system; steep price premium for hybrid model
CG Says: After being redesigned for 2013, the Lexus GS 350 and GS 450h hybrid see several minor updates for 2014. Newly available features include a power trunk opener, rear cross-traffic alert, and Siri Eyes Free Mode for Apple iPhone users, which enables various voice-command functions. Dynamic cruise control is added to the GS 450h’s optional Pre-Collision System, and the rear-wheel-drive GS 350 gets a new 8-speed automatic transmission (AWD versions continue with a 6-speed automatic). The Lexus GS 350 is comfortable, reasonably sporty, and tastefully finished. Its powertrain is smooth and strong, and the brand’s traditionally top-notch customer care appeals as well. Prices are steep, particularly as options are added, but overall the GS 350 holds its own well in the premium-midsize class. It strikes a decent balance between the sporty character of the BMW 5-Series and coddling of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, but the fact that it doesn’t really stand out in any one area might put the GS at a disadvantage among discerning luxury-car buyers. The GS 450h is smooth, quiet, surprisingly fun to drive, and returns excellent fuel economy (more than 30 mpg in our testing). The notion of being luxuriously green comes at a cost: more than $10,000 over the conventional Lexus GS 350, and it’s a chasm that grows wider as you add costly stand-alone and packaged options.