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Used 2014 Lexus GS 350 Sedan Review

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2014 Lexus GS 350 Sedan

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Lexus GS 350 Sedan

  • A Edmunds Rating
  • Sharp handling, generous standard features and an impeccably crafted cabin make the 2014 Lexus GS 350 a top contender among midsize luxury sport sedans.

  • Pros

    Capable handling with refined ride comfort; high-quality interior; cutting-edge safety and entertainment technology.

  • Cons

    Electronics interface can be distracting to use.

  • What's New for 2014

    On the 2014 Lexus GS 350, rear-wheel-drive sedans get an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Other additions this year include a full-color readout for the optional head-up display, rear cross-traffic alerts for the optional blind-spot monitoring system and an optional power trunk opener. The debut of Siri Eyes Free provides enhanced voice control functionality for Apple users, while the night vision system has been discontinued.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 Lexus GS 350 Sedan

What's New for 2014

On the 2014 Lexus GS 350, rear-wheel-drive sedans get an eight-speed automatic transmission with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Other additions this year include a full-color readout for the optional head-up display, rear cross-traffic alerts for the optional blind-spot monitoring system and an optional power trunk opener. The debut of Siri Eyes Free provides enhanced voice control functionality for Apple users, while the night vision system has been discontinued.

Introduction

Lexus cars run the scale of luxury attributes -- refined, composed, serene -- but few have ever been called athletic. The 2014 Lexus GS 350 reshapes that perception. With sharp handling and steering, the latest GS is every bit as capable as rival German-brand luxury sport sedans on a winding road.

Wait, what? A fun-to-drive Lexus GS? Yep. Of course, this wasn't always the case for the GS, but a full redesign last year ushered in a variety of mechanical changes that make this car feel lighter and more nimble when you're driving at a brisk clip. There's even an optional F Sport package that kicks up the car's performance another notch.

During our 12-month Lexus GS 350 long-term test, we observed that its athletic handling abilities don't come at the expense of traditional Lexus strengths. The GS is still easy to drive and maintains the brand's reputation for high-quality materials and excellent build quality. The interior is one of the classiest you'll find, and the backseat is sufficiently roomy for a pair of adults. Of course, a comprehensive set of standard and optional features awaits you as well.

The 2014 Lexus GS 350 is better equipped than ever to run with the likes of the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Each of these cars has its own particular set of strengths, but even in this illustrious group of luxury sport sedans, the GS 350 remains worthy of serious consideration.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Lexus GS 350 is a midsize luxury sport sedan offered in a single, well-appointed trim level. The related GS 450h hybrid is reviewed separately.

Standard equipment includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic xenon headlights, a sunroof, auto-dimming mirrors, keyless ignition/entry, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and eight-way power front seats with power lumbar adjustment and driver memory settings. Standard electronics features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, Siri Eyes Free voice command integration (for iPhone users), an 8-inch display, a rearview camera, the Lexus Remote Touch interface and a 12-speaker surround-sound audio system with a CD player, satellite radio, HD radio and a USB/iPod interface.

From here, you can add the Premium package with heated and ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers and a power rear sunshade. On top of this the Luxury package adds adaptive headlights, LED foglamps, adaptive suspension dampers, upgraded leather and trim, a 14-way power driver seat (with four-way lumbar), passenger memory settings, rear climate and audio controls and manual rear side window sunshades. A Cold Weather package includes a heated steering wheel, a heavy-duty heater, headlight washers and a wiper de-icer. A bundled version of this package with the Luxury package also includes heated rear seats.

The F Sport package offers the most performance bite, adding 19-inch wheels with summer tires, special steering and suspension tuning, larger front brakes, a rear spoiler, a 12-way power sport driver seat and unique interior and exterior styling treatments.

An optional navigation system includes a 12.3-inch display, voice recognition and Lexus Enform smartphone-connected apps and services. There's also a premium Mark Levinson 17-speaker surround-sound audio system. Other options include 18-inch wheels, blind-spot detection with rear-cross traffic alert, a head-up display, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, dynamic rear steering and adaptive cruise control (with a collision mitigation system).

Powertrains and Performance

The 2014 Lexus GS 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 306 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. Rear-wheel-drive models are only available with an eight-speed automatic transmission that's new this year. All-wheel-drive models carry over a six-speed automatic.

In prior Edmunds testing, a rear-drive GS 350 with the old six-speed automatic accelerated from zero to 60 mph in a respectable 5.8 seconds. We've yet to test this year's car with the eight-speed auto, but it's likely to be a tenth of a second or two quicker.

The EPA estimates fuel economy at 23 mpg combined (19 mpg city/29 mpg highway), while the all-wheel-drive version rates a bit less at 21 mpg combined (19 mpg city/26 mpg highway).

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2014 Lexus GS 350 include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear side-impact airbags, front knee airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. Safety Connect, a traditional telematics service with automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle locator and emergency assistance button, is also standard. A rearview camera is standard, while front and rear parking sensors are optional.

Adding the optional adaptive cruise control includes a pre-collision system that detects impending collisions and responds by tensioning the seatbelts and activating brake assist.

In Edmunds brake testing, a GS 350 with the F Sport package stopped from 60 mph in a short 112 feet.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the GS 350 the best possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side impact and roof strength tests. Its seat and head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

In Lexus tradition, the GS 350 features a finely crafted interior marked by soft leather, deft stitching and rich wood and aluminum trim. As befits this caliber of luxury sport sedan, the firm front seats cradle and cosset in equal measure, limited only by the degree of power adjustments you choose.

The GS 350's Remote Touch multimedia controller, a small mouselike device adjacent to the gear selector, is more problematic. It makes sense conceptually, but cursor control with the Remote Touch controller is wobbly and imprecise, and making audio or navigation selections is even harder when you're on the move. Further complicating the process is the lack of a physical "back" button and the fact that all the icons are the same color. That said, we do like the impressively large 12-inch display that comes with the optional navigation system as well as the optional Mark Levinson audio system, which sounds fantastic.

Lexus opened up more headroom and rear passenger space when it redesigned the GS 350 last year, making it more competitive with established competitors. The seating position for the driver is ideal, particularly with the upgraded seats. In back, two average-sized adults should be pretty comfortable, though the BMW 5 Series is roomier still. The GS's trunk provides 14.3 cubic feet for golf clubs and luggage, which is an average figure for this class. The rear seats don't fold down.

Driving Impressions

We've yet to drive the 2014 Lexus GS 350 with the new eight-speed automatic, but that transmission should be a welcome addition. The GS 350 is one of the few cars in this segment that still has a naturally aspirated V6 engine and, in contrast to competitors with turbocharged or supercharged engines, you need to rev fairly high to get the most out of it. The all-wheel-drive model's six-speed auto is somewhat of a liability in this regard, but the eight-speed auto's extra gears should allow drivers of the rear-drive GS to access the V6's power with minimal effort.

Otherwise, we're very fond of the way the GS 350 drives. Around turns, the GS feels alert, planted to the road and ready to change direction on a whim -- characteristics that are amplified when the car is equipped with the F Sport package and options like variable-ratio steering and rear-wheel steering. The GS is also well suited as a long-distance companion thanks to its compliant ride quality and low levels of wind and road noise. That said, GS 350 sedans with the F Sport package ride more firmly, and the summer-rated tires are a bit more audible.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 5 reviews) Write a Review


Great for clear weather only.

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Lexus GS 350

If you live where you have snow, consider AWD version only. I got stuck on several occasions.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

F sport love

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Lexus GS 350

I recently purchased a 2014 CPO Lexus GS350 F Sport AWD. I wanted an AWD car that was supremely comfortable, reasonably quick, fair on gas, fun to drive and unique. The GS is all that and more. Having owned previous luxury marques such as Acura, Infiniti and a Lexus ES I didn't even bother cross shopping the Cadillac CTS, BMW 5 series, the Audi A6 or the Mercedes E350. Although fine automobiles in their own right my #1 criteria when shopping for any vehicle is reliability and low cost of ownership....and they fall short in that category. That is why I own a Toyota Tundra and not a Ford F150 or a Chevy Silverado, and also a Honda Civic and not a Ford Focus or Dodge Dart. The GS is undoubtedly the nicest vehicle I have ever owned. The 2014 has the toned down spindle grill (compared to the 2016 and other new Lexus'), a high quality interior, great handling and the most comfortable seats I have ever had in a car. The engine is quick to respond, the shifts are crisp without being jarring and the suspension offers great handling while providing a comfortable ride. The steering is fairly precise but a little on the heavy side. There is a sound enhancer under the hood that sends a sweet melody into the cabin when you nail the accelerator. Reminds me of a V8. The Lexus premium audio system is superb. It sounds as good or better than the Mark Levinson system that was in our ES and much better than Acura's ELS or Infiniti's Bose. The huge infotainment screen is top notch as are the gauge readouts. Some have complained about the mouse-like controller for all the functions but after a few minutes of getting familiar I find it quite intuitive. Gas mileage is decent at around 27 hwy / 21 city. Our previous car was a 2014 Accord Touring Hybrid. Loved the 45mpg when gas was $4 a gallon but at today's prices 27mpg is not an issue. I do have a couple complaints with the car, although minor. The first is the road noise from the tires. I can't for the life of me figure out why Lexus builds such an outstanding car and then put on those sorry Bridgestone Potenza EL400s. The entire Potenza line of tires are horrible. Doing a little research I have found that the cure for these noisy, hard riding tires are the PIRELLI CINTURATO P7 ALL SEASON PLUS tires. The reviews for these tires are off the charts for any sports sedan. Even better than the much lauded Michelin MXV4s. I can't wait for the Potenzas to wear out so I can order a set of the Pirellis. The other complaint I have is with the apparent thin paint. My car is Obsidian black and being a CPO Lexus they repaired all the stone chips before selling the car. At only 19,000 miles when I purchased it there are at least 8-10 small repairs on the hood. My Tundra is a silver 2010 with 70k miles and has maybe 3 chips. My '05 Civic has 4 or 5. I owned an Obsidian black Infiniti for 50k miles and it had maybe 3 or 4. I test drove and bought the Lexus on a rainy day so I didn't actually notice the chip repairs until it's first hand washing. Being somewhat OCD about my cars I was a little upset. I hope the repairs were the result of an over zealous paint technician trying to cover up every slight imperfection and not an indication that there is an ongoing problem with the paint. Only time will tell. Besides those 2 complaints I love this car. We are planning a 3 week tour of the western states and can't imagine a better vehicle to take on vacation and enjoy the driving experience at the same time. Other than those 2 minor complaints I am certain this car will provide years of satisfied driving.



6 of 7 people found this review helpful

Excellent ride!

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Lexus GS 350

This car is amazing. I test drove BMW, Mercedes, and Cadillac. My second favorite was the Cadillac CTS. However, while those cars had great strengths, they were also burdened by heavy weaknesses. The Lexus GS 350, on the other hand, is the total package. The infotainment system takes some getting used to, but that's about the only weakness. The car handles great, has a smooth, powerful engine, and is quiet at speed. I like the styling, but of course, that's highly subjective. It has a wonderful interior with all of the features one could desire. If you're shopping in this category, the GS deserves a strong look.



3 of 6 people found this review helpful

Great buy

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Lexus GS 350

I have been wanting a lexus for over 12 years and i always bought reliable cheap cars. back in 2011 I bought the new ford explorer limited and i loved that car especially with all the options it had, but once i got rid of that car and leased my GS I knew I made the right choice. This car runs smooth, it feels like luxury when you drive it. The exterior looks sporty, it accelerates quickly, the brakes work perfect especially the way I brake I am a woman driver. LOL The only thing i would improve upon is the electronics. The sound quality for the stereo is lame and the radio looks cheap. I love the larger navigation screen but it takes a few times to get used to the mouse. Enform is great



39 of 84 people found this review helpful

Great chassis terrible electronics

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Lexus GS 350

Leased this car after Hyundai Genesis as I wanted a more engaging chassis & I certainly got strong capable handling. Ride, handling power mostly very satisfactory. On the drive-line I would caution that the engine drives like a 4 cylinder in many ways. Acceleration is a function of waiting for 1-2 downshifts all the time as the torgue is limited. Standing start acceleration is impressive but is not that easily accessible while driving without 2 downshift and the transmission is sluggish on downloads leading to some frustration and then over-reaction by the car. I HATE the terrible 1990 technology in the dash and much worse than the Hyundai. iPod integration, NAV performance and route management, radio presets are so poorly done on the Lexus that it limits their value. Most everything is many extra clicks to do anything and then still works badly. Steering wheel controls poor. Phone integration is very poor with address book sync meaning phone numbers only so business contact list with addresses do not show up in the NAV. (Address book entries must be done manually) Voice recognition is no better than cars from 2000. Nav system reports no such address on a number of occasions and then my Android phone takes me right there. I then click with the Lexus NAV at the address I've now arrived at and it reports the correct address it just won't navigate to it! There are many odd design choices like the car beeps when you get out if the headlights are on and set to auto or the sun-roof is in vent position. Older iPod shows up as USB & then says no songs so I had to buy a new iPod. Front seat drink holder block controls, or silly joystick takes up much of center console, or small hard to use glove box that can break items as you close the door. Sun roof is noisy and has no smart controls like Genesis did, so in vent position to open you must close vent with one control and the switch to 2nd sun roof control to open but no click dentents so you have to hold the control for 3-4 seconds vs a click like the door windows have for auto-open etc. Nothing horrible, just older kludgy designs in many places compared to other car companies. Great driving car, but you won't get much value out of the technology. Look carefully at drive line behavior, partial throttle downshifts etc, and NAV system / how the radio works. After 39k Pure city mileage is about 17, mixed about 19, pure freeway 25-30, does not seem to matter how I drive super gentle or brisk...



Talk About The 2014 GS 350

2014 Lexus GS 350 Discussions See all Started By

magnolia13
magnolia13
07-17-2016
Money factor for 2014 Lexus GS 350. 18000 miles. located in CT. 3 year lease, 15k per year. thanks....


stever
stever
01-30-2014
To discuss the latest lease details for the current model, please join us in the 2015 Lexus GS 350 Lease Questions forum....


Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com
02-14-2013
2013 Lexus GS 350 F Sport Suspension Walkaround...



Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 19
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
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