Premium midsize car; Built in
  • 4-door sedan
  • longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $27,300 – $46,900*


2014 Lexus GS 350


2014 Lexus GS 350


2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport


2014 Lexus GS 350

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Handling
Cons:
  • Unsettled highway ride
  • Road noise

The Lexus GS is comfortable, reasonably sporty, and tastefully finished. Its powertrains are smooth and strong, and the brand’s traditionally top-notch customer care offers appeal as well. Prices are steep, particularly as options are added, but overall this Lexus GS is a solid improvement over the car it replaced. 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.

Overview

GS was the sportier and more expensive of Lexus’ two premium-midsize cars, the other being the Lexus ES. There were two models, the entry-level GS350, and the gas/electric hybrid version called GS 450h. GS350 competed with the BMW 5-Series, Infiniti M, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Some of the 450h’s like-priced competitors included the ActiveHybrid version of the BMW 5-Series, Infiniti M35, and the gas/electric version of the 2014 Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The 2013 Lexus GS was redesigned with freshened styling and a raft of new features. It was slightly wider and taller than the outgoing model but otherwise largely unchanged in terms of exterior dimensions. Its drivetrains were also unchanged from previous models but Lexus promised better fuel economy.

Lexus offered the GS 350 in a single trim level. It was rather well equipped with standard features such as a power tilt/telescopic steering wheel, leather upholstery, heated front seats, keyless access and starting, sunroof, rearview camera, and a power trunk closer.

A Luxury Package was optional on GS 350. It included an adaptive variable suspension, upgraded interior trim, 18-way power front seats, rear climate and radio controls, and steering-linked headlights. Luxury Package-equipped GS 350s could also be had with heated rear seats and a night-vision camera. A 5.1 surround-sound audio system was standard on all GS models; an uplevel 7.1 audio system was optional. Adaptive cruise control and a navigation system with a 12.3-inch split-screen display were other options. Lexus’ Enform multimedia suite was offered as well, which worked with data-enabled smartphones to provide, among other services, Internet searches, streaming audio, and restaurant reviews and reservations.

An F Sport package was available on rear- or all-wheel-drive GS 350 models. It added a new front bumper and grille, a rear spoiler and lower valance, sport suspension, specific interior trim, and 19-inch wheels. The Lexus Dynamic Handling package that added rear-wheel steering was also available for rear-drive F Sport models.

The GS 450h was also sold in a single trim level. Standard amenities included dual-zone automatic climate control, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats with 10-way power adjustment, driver-seat memory, keyless entry with pushbutton engine start, power sunroof, power rear sunshade, headlight washers, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and an adaptive variable suspension.

Most of the GS 450h’s options were grouped into packages. The Luxury Package included upgraded leather upholstery with 18-way power front seats, a wood/leather steering wheel, passenger-seat memory, rear climate and radio controls, manual side sunshades, and steering-linked adaptive LED headlights. The Luxury Package could also be ordered with heated rear seats and a night-vision camera. Blind-spot alert, lane-departure warning and prevention, driver-fatigue alert, front- and rear-obstacle detection, pre-collision braking with adaptive cruise control, a navigation system, and head-up instrument display were all offered as standalone options.

The GS 350 was powered by a 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive was standard with all-wheel drive optional.

The rear-drive GS 450h paired a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine with a battery-powered electric motor for 338 horsepower total. It was equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that behaved like an automatic. Like other Lexus hybrids, the GS 450h could run on one or both of its power sources and no plug-in charging was needed.

The EPA rated the rear-wheel-drive GS 350 at 19 mpg city/28 highway and the AWD version at 19/26. The EPA estimates for the GS 450h were 29 mpg city/34 mpg highway. Premium-grade gas was required for all GS models.

The 2013 Lexus GS included a standard complement of expected and federally mandated safety features. Blind-spot alert, driver-fatigue alert, forward-collision warning, front and rear obstacle detection system, lane-departure warning, and a head-up display were available.

Yearly Updates

2013 GS
There were several minor updates for the 2014 Lexus GS including a power trunk opener, rear cross-traffic alert, and Siri Eyes Free mode that allowed Apple iPhone users to enable various voice-command functions. Rear-drive GS 350 models now used a 8-speed automatic (AWD versions still used the 6-speed automatic), and dynamic cruise control was added to the GS 450h’s optional Pre-Collision system. The optional night-vision system was discontinued.

Engines

longitudinal front-engine/rear- or all-wheel drive

The 2013 GS 350 was powered by a 306-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional. In 2014, the rear-drive GS 350 switched to an 8-speed automatic. The rear-wheel drive GS 450h paired a 3.5-liter V6 gas engine with a battery-powered electric motor for 338 horsepower total. It came equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that behaved like an automatic.

dohc V61
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/211
Engine HP 306
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 277
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
6-speed automatic
8-speed automatic
19/28
19/29
19.7

dohc V6/electric2
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.5/211
Engine HP 338
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 254
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
CVT automatic

29/34

30.6

1. GS 350. With all-wheel drive the EPA estimated fuel economy was 19/26. 2. GS 450h. Combined gas/electric torque not available.

Road Test

Any GS 350 feels strong from a stop, and has more than adequate power for highway merging and passing. The 6-speed automatic transmission is very smooth. While the GS 450h delivers a nice fuel-economy bump over the conventional GS 350, it’s really designed to be a performance model. In this regard, the hybrid is indeed faster than its conventional sibling, aided by the slick CVT. The electric motor provides near-instantaneous response to throttle inputs, making highway passing and merging a breeze.

In Consumer Guide testing, an AWD GS 350 averaged 19.7 mpg. That’s not a bad result for an all-wheel drive sedan, but it’s not chart-topping either. In the GS 450h we averaged a respectable 30.6 mpg. All GS models require premium-grade gasoline.

All GS models have an active but mostly smooth ride. Small bumps heard more than felt, though larger road imperfections do make their way into the cabin. The hybrid might do a slightly better job at smothering bumps on account of its heavier curb weight. Even so, the ride never becomes uncomfortably harsh. Some testers complained that the car never quite feels completely settled at highway speed.

GS is nimble with minimal cornering lean and good grip. Steering is quick and accurate. Some testers complain that the steering is a bit too quick with the suspension set in its Sport or Sport+ setting. The available dynamic handling package for F Sport-equipped models makes the car feel racier with improved maneuverability. The GS 450h’s brakes feel good, with little of the regenerative sponginess you would expect from a hybrid car.

Less isolation than Lexus and class norms, but GS remains reasonably hushed under most circumstances. Wind rush is well controlled, but tire thrum and bump noise are noticeable on some surfaces. All models have a sporty, satisfying exhaust note during acceleration and are virtually silent at cruise.

The gauges are large and clearly marked. All models tested had the available navigation system with Lexus’ Remote Touch Interface. It and most audio functions are governed by a computer mouse-like controller mounted on the console. It is fairly intuitive to use, but like other systems that control so many functions, acclimation is required. The Enform infotainment system works in conjunction with a data-plan-enabled smartphone to provide Internet Radio, restaurant reviews/reservations, movie listings, and Microsoft Bing search capability. Again, with acclimation, the system works fairly well. The climate-control system relies mostly on buttons that are clearly marked but mounted a bit low on the dashboard. The buttons that activate the heating and ventilation of the front seats are located far forward on the console and can be awkward to reach when the cupholders are in use.

The interior is tastefully trimmed in high-grade materials. Selecting black leather with dark wood for the interior lends a sporty flair one doesn’t usually associate with the Lexus brand. The 450h’s available Bamboo wood trim is very well executed, but its appearance may be too bold for the traditional Lexus customer.

The the front seats six-footers have ample legroom and adequate headroom, which is a big improvement from the previous-generation GS. The seats are very comfortable, and the standard power tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel helps fine tune the driving position.

Rear-seat legroom is class competitive, but not generous. Headroom and foot space feel cramped, even for those under 6-feet tall. Said six-footers will be most comfortable if the front seats are not pushed all the way back. Entry and exit are straightforward.

Trunk space is not particularly generous, especially in the hybrid, but the cargo hold is wide and easily accessed. The trunk lid’s sickle-style hinges are uncovered, but they are placed far outboard so they shouldn’t pose many problems with crushing cargo. Interior small-item storage is good, with a reasonably sized (albeit a bit shallow) center console, glovebox, and door pockets.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2013 GS 350 with AWD

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 8
80%
Fuel Economy - 5
50%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 7
70%
Quietness - 7
70%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 6
60%

Total: 62

Specifications

4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
112.2 190.7 72.4 57.3
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.3 17.4 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.0 37.8 42.3 36.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2013 Not tested 4-door sedan

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Front Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - N/A
N/A0%
Rear Passenger Injury - N/A
N/A0%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

None
Description:

Recall History

2013 GS 350
Description: Certain 2013 model Lexus GS 350 vehicles made between June 8, 2012 and December 26, 2012 may have a switch in the braking system that can fail. A failed switch may not be able to properly sense the amount of pressure that the driver is applying to the brake pedal. It may also apply the vehicle’s brakes without driver input and without activating the vehicle’s brake lights.
2013 GS 350
Description: Certain 2013 model Lexus GS 350 vehicles made between December 12, 2011 and February 7, 2012 may have have an issue with the variable-gear-ratio steering system that can cause the steering wheel to become off center.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.