The Lexus GS has done a good job with tackling midsize luxury competitors like the BMW 5 Series, Cadillac CTS and Mercedes E-Class. But when it comes to taking on the high-performance versions of those cars, the Lexus GS F faces an uphill battle. The Lexus GS F certainly has the look, and its high-revving V8 engine is promising, if not quite up to the turbocharged and supercharged engines used by its competitors. Bigger brakes and a suspension with continuously variable dampers round out the package.
Of course, performance isn't all that counts in this segment as luxury plays an important role as well, and here the GS F is well positioned. Lexus interiors tend to feel as solidly built as the pyramids, and the sport-themed trim goes well with the GS' roomy and high-class cabin. Our one complaint is the Remote Touch system, which uses a mouselike controller rather than a dial or a touchscreen to run the infotainment system. It's a novel idea, but it's too attention-consuming to be safely used in a moving car. The GS F has all the right hardware, but this is a difficult class in which to stand out.
Current Lexus GS F
Lexus sells the GS F as a single model with a long list of standard equipment, including heated and ventilated power front seats, a 12-speaker surround-sound stereo with navigation, and a leather-covered interior trimmed with aluminum, carbon fiber and synthetic suede. Options are limited, and we think the one worth having is the upgraded Mark Levinson stereo.
The Lexus GS F's engine comes from the RC F coupe. It's a 5.0-liter V8 that develops 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque. Impressive as these numbers are, they come up short compared to the competition such as the Cadillac CTS-V, which boasts 640 hp and 630 lb-ft. Lexus' claimed 0-60-mph time of 4.5 seconds is quick but, again, not as quick as the competition.
Engine aside, the chassis delivers, especially now that Lexus has added continuously variable suspension damping. The GS F is also equipped with the electronic torque-vectoring rear differential, which is optional on the RC-F. It's a nifty option, though we prefer the mechanical Torsen differential that comes standard in the RC-F.
As for the rest of the package, there's a lot we like, particularly the roomy interior, which looks good with the sport-themed enhancements Lexus has fitted to the GS F. The sport seats have deep bolsters and openings for racing harnesses (though we can't see many GS F owners taking advantage), and the synthetic suede surrounding the instrument panel is a nice touch. The trunk is reasonably sized, but the back seat cannot be folded down to increase cargo space. Our biggest complaint is the mouselike controller for the infotainment system, which is too attention-intensive to be used while driving.
Used Lexus GS F Models
The GS F joined the Lexus GS lineup in 2016. Continuously variable suspension dampers were added for the 2017 model year.
Read the most recent 2018 Lexus GS F review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Lexus GS F page.