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.
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.
Still an awesome car with tremendous depreciation. MSRP in Aug. 2014: $59,850, CPO price when I bought in Dec. 2015, 19k miles: $39,900 +tax., today's trade value with 26,000 miles: $26-$29k. Daggone! I guess I should have waited and bought it @ 3 years old ...lol! Research by me has revealed that the GS depreciates more rapidly than all other Lexus models except the weird little hatchback.
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.
Update: I've had the car for two years. I'm still loving it. I have no complaints and have had no problems with it.
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 detents 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...
Update at 44k, about the same. Summer tires lasted an amazing 45k so alignment is easy on tire wear. Still biggest day to day issue is drive line works too much like a 4 cylinder engine and since the transmission does not like down-shifting moving through traffic requires planning much like an old turbo design, no power for a while. Car really doesn't need eight gears and this motor. Since car is not agile or happy on a really tight mountain road and is more of a GT type sports car, thus better to have a motor with good torque and six gears especially since gas mileage is on the low end. Sun roof has developed a rattle in turbulence and front end a squeaks like an old Chevy needing a chassis lube but likely the dealer will fix these issues.
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