The Lexus GS sedan has been around for quite a while, seeing its first U.S. sales in 1993. Built to compete against the likes of BMW’s 5 Series, the GS is segmented between Lexus’ popular IS sedan and the high-rolling LS premium sedan. Now in its fourth generation, the front-engine, rear-drive sedan is better looking and sportier than ever before. But how does it compete?

I recently spent a week getting to know a Nebula Gray GS 350 F Sport around my familiar stomping ground of Central Florida. A short-ish road trip provided an even greater range of roads and conditions in which to put the GS through its paces. Make no bones about it, this is no boy-racer track car, but it’s no luxo party barge either.

Like all GS 350 sedans, my tester came powered by the ubiquitous 3.5-liter V-6, that in this case, makes 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. New for 2014 is an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. The F Sport package adds extra adornments that liven up the GS’ appearance, larger wheels and tires, performance-oriented shocks, and larger brakes.

The interior was loaded down with nearly every desirable techno-functionality that makes driving more convenient. A massive, 12.3-inch infotainment screen lives deep in the center dashboard complete with Lexus’ Enform software, satellite radio, heated and cooled front seats, and leather everything.

So jump on down for the full run-down of the 2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport including video and photos.

  • 2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    eight-speed auto
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • MPG(Cty):
  • MPG(Hwy):
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    3.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.7 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    144 mph
  • Layout:
    Front-engine, Rear-Drive
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

TopSpeed Garage


2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven Exterior
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2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven Exterior
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2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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The massive lower front fascia includes ductwork for cooling the 14-inch, vented rotors that hide behind the 19-inch alloy wheels.

Fitted with the F Sport package, the GS 350 looks the part of an aggressive sports sedan. The Spindle grille, large wheels, and chrome accents make this Lexus come across like a grown-up with a wild side. The Darth Vader grille theme is carried rearward via the more aggressive rocker panels to the swooping lower fascia that surrounds the chrome-tipped exhaust pipes.

Functionality isn’t lost in the design either. The massive lower front fascia includes ductwork for cooling the 14-inch, vented rotors that hide behind the 19-inch alloy wheels. The bi-xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights are instantly recognizable at night and generously light the way when the sun goes down.

A large moonroof helps add to the airiness of the cabin, along with the tall side windows. The tall, yet slanted, windshield provides plenty of visibility and the thin A-pillars don’t distract from the experience.


2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven Interior
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2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven Interior
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2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven High Resolution Interior
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Rear legroom is ample but not quite limo-like.

Things inside the GS 350 are typical Lexus. Perforated leather covers the seats and gear shifter while traditional leather is found along the dashboard, center console, and door panels. Fit and finish are top-notch, those some of the plastics feel a bit low-budget. The cabin’s overall feel is luxurious without being overstated.

Room for front passengers is more than ample. The driver is treated to a 16-way power seat with all the standard adjustments, plus a width adjustment for the side bolsters. Like the Lexus IS 350 F Sport I previously tested, I took issue with the door panel armrest that’s not extended far enough outward to hold my elbow. The issue mostly got annoying after several hours of driving, but it was still a problem on shorter trips.

Rear passengers are treated to plenty of room as well. Rear legroom is ample but not quite limo-like. The folding center armrest provides extra cup holders plus a comfy place to lean on. Headroom shouldn’t be a problem even for those over six-feet.

The Enform infotainment system works well at showing information without being overloading. I prefer the split-screen view with the map and audio visible together. Voice commands work well at recognizing my inputs like adding a destination or voice dialing a contact.


2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven Drivetrain
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Slip the transmission into manual mode induces flappy paddle gearbox fun.

Like its IS 350 little brother, the GS 350 comes powered with the 3.5-liter V-6 backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. The V-6 pumps out a respectable 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque while sending power to the rear wheels, just as the auto gods intended. Zero to 60 mph comes in a decently quick 5.7 seconds on its way to a top speed of more than 130 mph.

Adding to the fun are paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel. Slip the transmission into manual mode induces flappy-paddle gearbox fun. The GS 350 F Sport also includes the variable drive mode selection knob, which gives the choice of Eco, Normal, Sport and Sport+ settings.

As one would suspect, Normal works best for daily driving with shifts happening smoothly and throttle tip-in managed appropriately. Eco mode softens the car further for greater fuel economy. Twisty roads beg for Sport mode where the steering tighten up, the throttle is more edgy, and the transmission stays in a lower gear. Sport+ adds an exponent to the quantity of fun. Turn the traction control off and the tail will happily move sideways through a corner. The GS feels remarkably balanced.

When not hammering down a back country road, the GS smooths out and becomes a wonderful highway cruiser. Its eight-speed auto makes good use of the V-6’s low-end torque, keeping the revs low and extraneous noise down. Fuel consumption at a moderate highway pace averages 29 mpg. Around town, expect to see a less exciting 19 mpg, with a combined average of 23 mpg.

Driving Impressions

2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven Interior
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Curves are handled with ease as the larger 19-inch wheels and 235/40 front and 265/35 rear summer tires hold the road well.

Overall, the GS 350 F Sport seems to combine the best of the luxury and sporting world together in a single sedan. The GS is large enough not to feel small yet small enough not to feel oversized. Once behind the wheel, the sedan shrinks, making it drive smaller than it is. Blind-spot monitoring and large windows help keep track of neighboring traffic so changing lanes is never a nervous task.

Curves are handled with ease as the larger 19-inch wheels and 235/40 front and 265/35 rear summer tires hold the road well. Sport mode increases the steering’s feel when loaded up in a corner and makes on-center feel a tad twitchy compared to the smooth-riding Normal mode.

Make no mistake about it, this Lexus is no M5 or AMG fighter. Its 306-horsepower V-6 moves the car just fine, but won’t lay down lap times like the Germans. Perhaps someday Lexus will expand its F-brand to vehicles beyond the RC F and upcoming IS F. Remember, there’s no replacement for displacement.


2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven Exterior
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The way it sits, my tester showed a base sticker price of $47,700 without options. Add the $700 Blind Spot Monitoring package, the $1,735 Navigation package, the $500 Park Assist feature, and the $6,130 F Sport package, plus a $910 destination charge, and the total rises to $57,675.


BMW 5 Series

2014 BMW 5-Series High Resolution Exterior
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The BMW 5 Series has long been the stalwart of the category. Its sweet lineup of engines offer buyers the choice of a decent price or outright performance, with some wiggle room in between. Technology is also a BMW strong suit, with BMW’s iDrive function being better than in years past.

Options under the BMW’s hood include everything from a four-cylinder diesel to a 450-horsepower, twin-turbo V-8. The volume engine is the twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder making 300 horsepower.

Pricing for the BMW 5 Series starts at just over $50,000 and ends up kissing the $70,000 mark for the top-trim model and a few options.

Audi A6

2014 - 2015 Audi A6 Exterior
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While the BMW and Lexus are great cars, the Audi takes home the prize of best interior. Long loved for its affinity for great cabins, Audi’s A6 is no exception. Fit and finish are top-notch and NVH levels are nearly zero. A Google Maps-powered GPS provides directions and a large center TFT display gives all the vital stats on the car.

Under the hood (and in front of the front axle) lies two engine options: the base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and the 3.0-liter supercharged V-6. The four-cylinder makes a respectable 220 horsepower but the V-6 is the performance engine of choice, making 310 ponies.

Pricing for the A6 starts at $42,200 and rises to over $60,000 for the top-trim package.


2014 Lexus GS 350 F Sport - Driven High Resolution Exterior
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The Lexus GS 350 F Sport proved to be a do-it-all sedan with the prowess of a nimbler car in the corners and the softness of a cruiser on the highways. The GS is an enjoyable car on the interstate with comfort and serenity, save for tire thump on broken pavement and stubby door armrests. Fuel consumption isn’t the best, but that’s a moot point when considering the car’s as-tested sticker price is closing on $60k. Comfortable back seats are great for hauling two passengers around for extended distances, but three would be a crowd for any trip.

Overall, the GS is a respectable sedan with tons of features the luxury car-buying crowd is after. Sure, it won’t keep up with the performance versions of the Germans, but the usual Lexus crowd likely won’t care.

  • Leave it
    • * Enform system looks outdated
    • * Door armrest is too shallow for comfort
    • * Starts to get pricy with options
What do you think?
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