All-new and hoping for a higher profile.
The GS has been a bit of a lost middle child in the Lexus lineup. However, an all-new GS, which arrived in early 2012 as a 2013 model, attempts to turn the tables. The car has been completely redesigned, and the new styling is controversial — atypical for Lexus. The V-8 GS460 is gone, but the GS350’s 3.5-liter V-6 returns with fractionally improved horsepower and torque figures that enable a competitive 5.7-second 0-to-60-mph time. All-wheel drive is available, and there is a new GS350 F Sport model that adds a measure of aggressiveness, although its powertrain is unchanged. Instead, the F Sport features the Lexus Dynamic Handling System, with active dampers, four-wheel steering, and a variable steering ratio (available in other GS models as well). With or without it, the new GS is more agile and more predictable than its predecessor. The GS has never been lacking in the tech department, but the new car takes things much further, with an eight-inch LCD (twelve-inch with nav) and a mouselike controller. The Lexus Enform system provides connectivity through compatible smart phones. The most technologically advanced GS, though, is the Hybrid. Whereas the previous GS450h was a strong performer but wasn’t stellar in the fuel-economy department, the new one gives up a bit of performance but promises 30-percent-better gas mileage.
new for 2013
The previous GS checked out at the end of the 2011 model year. There was no 2012 version. Instead, the all-new, 2013 GS went on sale in January 2012. Once again, this rear-wheel-drive/all-wheel-drive luxury-sport sedan is available with a choice of a V-6 or a V-6 hybrid powertrain. The V-8 is gone.
Front, knee, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS; and stability and traction control are standard. Precollision warning and a driver-drowsiness monitor are included with active cruise control. Night vision, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, and a blind-spot warning system are available. Safety Connect includes collision response and a one-year subscription.
Hybrid fuel economy
High degree of connectivity
No V-8 available
F Sport could be sportier
Base Price Range: $47,795–$59,845
DRIVE: Rear-wheel, 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: GS350, GS350 AWD, GS350 F Sport, GS450h
BODY STYLE: Sedan, 5-passenger
ENGINES: 3.5L V-6, 306 hp, 277 lb-ft
5.0L V-6/electric hybrid, 338 hp
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed automatic, continuously variable
PASSENGER VOLUME: N/A
CARGO SPACE: (GS350/GS450h) 14.3/13.2 cu ft