2014 Lexus GS 350 Consumer Review: Great Chassis Terrible electro

2014 Lexus GS 350 - Consumer Review

Average Consumer Rating

8 Total Reviews

Base Sedan (3.5L V6 8-speed Automatic)

40 of 88 people found this review helpful
Great Chassis Terrible electronics
By techtroop on


2014 Lexus GS 350 4dr Sedan (3.5L 6cyl 8A)


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.

Best Features

  • Resale value

Worst Features

  • Navigation
  • Purchase cost
  • Fuel economy

Recommend (40) (48)

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Comments (3) Post a Comment
By jlsexton
on 07/29/14 16:33 PM (PDT)

Shame, Lexus GS, reviewed so poorly, I was considering it to replace my 06 Avalon limited BUT I'll now look elsewhere. BMW 535I, AUDI A6, maybe even a Hyundai EQUUS.

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By rog26
on 11/13/14 07:34 AM (PST)

Your review is highly biased and your tone is not neutral - you seem frustrated. 1. It looks like you bought the 50k+ car without even a test drive to see if you liked the seat or not or if it worked with your iPod or not. 2. If things are not clear to you (like how to do a radio preset), you didn't even try to figure out or read the manual or just google it! 3. Every car manufacturer has its own system - you'll need to learn it - don't expect it to be same as your previous car. 4. Car beeps - you can turn that off in setting! 5. Media player jumps - did you uncheck the "RANDOM" button in the system? 6. Road noise - check your tires? Either it came with 'SPORT' or low profile tires which are inherently noisy or you've damaged your tires (on a railroad crossing that you didn't bother to slow down maybe?) Good luck - next time when you buy - check the car out first.

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By brannwry
on 11/28/14 17:17 PM (PST)

At the end of August, 2014, I purchased a GS350 AWD with luxury package. I was trading a 2001 530i, stick, which I loved, but wanted a car that was easier to drive but still had a modicum of sport sedan in it. I found that in the GS line of Lexus. When I test drove the BMW 528i to compare it with the GS, I felt (and my wife agreed) that BMW had lost the BMW spirit in the 5 line. In addition, the GS has much more comfortable seats than the Bimmer. BTW I tested 10 cars before deciding on the GS, and I drove the finalists more than once each. I did not test drive the Audi A6 because I owned an A4 from '98 to '02, and overall did not like that car. Thus Audi was not in the running for me. The GS handles very well, has plenty of torque throughout its arc, and feels like a real sport sedan whether in the Eco, Normal, or Sport mode. It is a pleasure and fun to drive. The electronics interface is very hard to learn, but Lexus still has basic commands on the dash, i.e., "Radio and Media" so a new owner can fall back on those if need be. A new owner can always call a product specialist or salesperson to ask HOW something works. I find, too, that having learned the functions I most want to use, I am comfortable with the tech. Nevertheless I hope Lexus improves this aspect for later buyers. Any friend or neighbor who rides with me and my wife in this car usually remarks that this is a really lux car. They also comment on what a great ride it has. It was hard for me to leave the BMW family, but I really found this car was a better overall sports sedan in the mid-size category. I recommend that anyone who likes to really enjoy driving test drive this car and more than once. I like mine every time I drive it!

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