2014 Lexus GS 350 Sedan 4dr Sedan AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
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 Turanza EL400s. The entire Potenza/Turanza 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 Michelins. I can't wait for these tires 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.
Update 8/16/2016 Although I have only driven the car about 3,000 miles in the last 8 months we are leaving for Florida soon and will quickly add 2,500 miles. So far the car has been great. I have found that the comfortable 16 way driver's seat becomes a little uncomfortable after a couple hours of seat time. There are no lateral springs on the bottom cushion, just a layer of foam in a steel pan. I purchased a thin memory foam pad that I use on long trips. I was able to repair all stone chips with a razor blade to shave off all the high points. I then used a Porter Cable DA polisher to remove all the car wash scratches that came with the car. It is standing tall and I love driving it. I can't imagine a better road car than the Lexus GS 350. It's the perfect blend of luxury, comfort and performance. My one suggestion is not to buy new. Even though it's a Lexus the depreciation is pretty bad the first 2 years. Either buy a Certified pre owned or if you have to have new, lease.
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.