NEW FOR 2014:
– New eight-speed automatic on RWD models
– Standard heated steering wheel on GS 350 RWD and GS 350 AWD
Following last year’s successful redesign, Lexus’ GS luxury sedan returns for 2014 for the most part unchanged. While the GS has always scored major points for refinement, this latest model has true dynamic chops with sharp steering and a composed ride.
Unlike its European rivals, the GS 350 is turbocharger and supercharger-free; power is developed by a smooth 3.5-litre V6 engine that produces 306 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. A new eight-speed automatic is standard for the rear-wheel drive GS 350; the AWD version continues on with a six-speed automatic. In addition, RWD and AWD models now receive a standard heated steering wheel.
Buyers also have the option of a hybrid model – a Lexus signature. The GS 450h pairs a 3.5-litre V6 with the brand’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system; power is routed through a CVT to the rear wheels. Despite being the most parsimonious GS, it’s also the quickest, accelerating to 100 km/h in 5.6 seconds.
All GS 350s have an extensive standard equipment list that includes heated and cooled 10-way power leather seats, a 12-speaker sound system, smart key with push-button start, power sunroof, 18-inch alloy wheels, and xenon headlamps with LED running lights. Bluetooth and USB ports are standard. Navigation is an option on all GS models, and includes a 12.3-inch display for the navigation system; the package includes a heated steering wheel for the GS 450h.
There are several upgrade packages on offer to GS 350 and 450h buyers, which can include the following: adaptive dampers, variable-gear ratio steering, wood and leather-wrapped steering wheel, 18-way power seats, rear heated seats, head-up display, 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system, radar cruise control with pre-collision warning, cross-traffic alert, and a monitoring system which uses eye-tracking technology to alert the driver should they become drowsy.
The F Sport package, available on both GS 350 RWD and AWD models is perhaps the most comprehensive F Sport upgrade in the Lexus lineup. Select it, and your GS will feature 19-inch wheels (RWD models feature staggered-width summer tires), front and rear sport adaptive damping, variable-gear ratio steering, and F Sport-specific exterior and interior accents including 16-way power seats. The rear-drive version also receives active rear-wheel steering.