Lexus GS- Under Appreciated or not Good Enough

Chase C.

Fan
Messages
41
Reaction score
41
My second Lexus was a 2013 GS 350 AWD in Nebula Gray and it is by far the best car I have ever owned. I've had numerous other cars before that, but I simply fell in love with the GS. Great handling platform, great engine (and engine note), and unbeatable reliability. Would I have liked a little more power, sure, but that's what the GS F is for ;). What is beyond me is why I see so few around. I've been seeing many many more, but not nearly at the level of the 5 Series or E Class. I personally feel as if the GS is extremely underrated in the world of midsized luxury sports sedans, but why?
What do you think?
 

GSCT

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
246
Reaction score
326
My second Lexus was a 2013 GS 350 AWD in Nebula Gray and it is by far the best car I have ever owned. I've had numerous other cars before that, but I simply fell in love with the GS. Great handling platform, great engine (and engine note), and unbeatable reliability. Would I have liked a little more power, sure, but that's what the GS F is for ;). What is beyond me is why I see so few around. I've been seeing many many more, but not nearly at the level of the 5 Series or E Class. I personally feel as if the GS is extremely underrated in the world of midsized luxury sports sedans, but why?
What do you think?
The key reason is likely that the buyer in the showroom sees or is shown the ES, which is not only bigger than the GS, but cheaper and as most buyers aren't enthusiasts and really don't care how well their car handles it seems like the ESIs a better deal. The GS is less well known than the 5 Series BMW, the Audi A6, the Mercedes E Class and the Cadillac CTS and this also keeps sales down. However, the good news is that my enthusiast friends I have shown my GS to seem to really like it and comment along the lines that the GS is "their favourite Lexus" and the automotive press loved the car, especially the F Sport, so hopefully it's stature is growing.
 

LexusTechSA

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
371
Reaction score
503
The GS is the most underrated car in the Lexus lineup. I agree with GSCT. The ES steals a lot of sales from the GS.
 

RAL

Expert
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
1,015
Reaction score
1,484
The difference between drivability and the interior appeal of the GS and ES is day and night. For me ... like it may be for many ... it is a matter of affordability. I am just glad to be able to drive a Lexus period. If I could ... I would choose the GS hands down ... because it gives you a balanced measure of both the qualities of luxury and sport.
 

ACEtheOG

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
50
Reaction score
56
The key reason is likely that the buyer in the showroom sees or is shown the ES, which is not only bigger than the GS, but cheaper and as most buyers aren't enthusiasts and really don't care how well their car handles it seems like the ESIs a better deal. The GS is less well known than the 5 Series BMW, the Audi A6, the Mercedes E Class and the Cadillac CTS and this also keeps sales down. However, the good news is that my enthusiast friends I have shown my GS to seem to really like it and comment along the lines that the GS is "their favourite Lexus" and the automotive press loved the car, especially the F Sport, so hopefully it's stature is growing.
I 100% agree with the above. It's not that the GS under apprecaited, it's the ES is such a bargain. To move more GSs, Lexus needs to do a better job at differentiating the GS.
 

krew

Expert
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
3,298
Reaction score
5,192
Lexus will never do it, but I think the brand would benefit from cancelling the ES and building up the GS. Upper management is always talking about how sales volume doesn't matter and how performance and design are the driving force -- I don't see how the ES fits in that picture.

I think the ES has everything to do with the lack of success of the GS.
 

ACEtheOG

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
50
Reaction score
56
Lexus will never do it, but I think the brand would benefit from cancelling the ES and building up the GS. Upper management is always talking about how sales volume doesn't matter and how performance and design are the driving force -- I don't see how the ES fits in that picture.

I think the ES has everything to do with the lack of success of the GS.
We need all that $$$ the ES and RX bring in so we can continue getting IS-Fs, LFAs, RC-Fs and GS-Fs!!!
 

mikeavelli

Connoisseur
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
4,095
Reaction score
7,892
My second Lexus was a 2013 GS 350 AWD in Nebula Gray and it is by far the best car I have ever owned. I've had numerous other cars before that, but I simply fell in love with the GS. Great handling platform, great engine (and engine note), and unbeatable reliability. Would I have liked a little more power, sure, but that's what the GS F is for ;). What is beyond me is why I see so few around. I've been seeing many many more, but not nearly at the level of the 5 Series or E Class. I personally feel as if the GS is extremely underrated in the world of midsized luxury sports sedans, but why?
What do you think?
I've owned a GS 400, 430, 450h and now my wife has a modified GS 350 F-Sport with rear steer. Due to my profession I get to drive a vast array of cars and with no bias I can say the GS F-Sport is currently one of the best driving and best cars at any price point. It just has a soul and character lacking in so many modern cars which maybe faster or bigger. Its funny how the GS got blasted in the past for maybe not being sporty and here we have the sportiest car in class and its "overlooked". Funny how things work.

I cannot say enough positive things about the GS 350. Even the base model drives fantastic. I have yet to drive the 450h F-sport but I really want to and the GS F is literally a DREAM CAR of mine.

In regards to the ES, I agree for most consumers it's the logical choice who might want more space and a cheaper car but its no GS and Lexus has distinctly created two cars. You cannot confuse the two after spending 5 minutes in both. GS sales also were up last year so maybe word is getting around :)
 

flipside909

Follower
Moderator
Messages
157
Reaction score
137
I feel the GS should be the volume sedan of choice. With having an Avalon and the ES sharing the wheelbase of the current Avalon, there is too much redundancy. Keep Avalon, axe ES and GS will do a lot better.

Plus GS should be offered in more engines than just the same carryover 10 year old 2GR-FSE. If I was in product planning, the current 4th gen GS would be structured exactly like this:

GS 200t - 2.0L I-4, 8AR-FTS Turbo, 250 hp minimum (for Europe/Asia)
GS 300h - 2.5L I-4 Hybrid, 2AR-FXE, 230 hp minimum
GS 350t - 3.5L V6 Turbo, 2GR-FTE, 350 hp minimum
GS F - 5.0L V8 Turbo, 2UR-GTE - 560+ hp minimum.

I feel the GS F got shafted of its true potential. The 2UR-GSE and AAE80 were directly transplanted from the RC F to save on costs for certification in all the markets and to dodge the gas guzzler tax here in the USA.
 

mikeavelli

Connoisseur
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
4,095
Reaction score
7,892
I guess I don't feel that Lexus needs to follow the German model and axe the ES, especially with the Germans now offering a ton of FWD cars in the same price range. The GS will never be a volume car and I'm fine with that. The GS has mostly been about incremental improvements outside of the GS 400 at the time and the GS 450h which was the first luxury RWD sport hybrid.

Currently I'm driving a 450hp or so 2014 BMW 650 M-sport...outside of some initial turbo lag, the engine is more than enough without being scary fast. The GS with an engine in this HP range is going to be delightful IMO.....

Contrarily I was speaking with some friends that own a Jaguar dealership and the 2016 F-type V-8 gets AWD standard here. Why? Seems with 550hp the RWD car was just too much of a handful. Every employee except one crashed their F-type lol. For ME I prefer RWD with less hp, I don't need more power than awd to keep me safe and to make it heavier and less pure.
 

Chase C.

Fan
Messages
41
Reaction score
41
I think that the 4.6 L V8 should've stayed in the GS lineup as an option, as I think that drew a piece of the market. Actually, I think the GS F should really be the GS 500, or at least drop the 5.0 Liter into the regular platform GS and call it the GS 500, and put a new F engine in the GS F. Don't get me wrong I love the GS F, and can't wait to see how it drives.
 

krew

Expert
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
3,298
Reaction score
5,192
GS 200t - 2.0L I-4, 8AR-FTS Turbo, 250 hp minimum (for Europe/Asia)
GS 300h - 2.5L I-4 Hybrid, 2AR-FXE, 230 hp minimum
GS 350t - 3.5L V6 Turbo, 2GR-FTE, 350 hp minimum
GS F - 5.0L V8 Turbo, 2UR-GTE - 560+ hp minimum.
Every RWD Lexus should have this engine selection, though I'm still a fan of the GS 450h.
 

krew

Expert
Staff member
Administrator
Messages
3,298
Reaction score
5,192
Currently I'm driving a 450hp or so 2014 BMW 650 M-sport...outside of some initial turbo lag, the engine is more than enough without being scary fast. The GS with an engine in this HP range is going to be delightful IMO.....

Contrarily I was speaking with some friends that own a Jaguar dealership and the 2016 F-type V-8 gets AWD standard here. Why? Seems with 550hp the RWD car was just too much of a handful. Every employee except one crashed their F-type lol. For ME I prefer RWD with less hp, I don't need more power than awd to keep me safe and to make it heavier and less pure.
I'm not very interested in horsepower bragging rights, and it's for reasons like this -- still, it's tough to talk around this point without sounding like a Lexus apologist.
 

ACEtheOG

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
50
Reaction score
56
I guess I don't feel that Lexus needs to follow the German model and axe the ES, especially with the Germans now offering a ton of FWD cars in the same price range. The GS will never be a volume car and I'm fine with that. The GS has mostly been about incremental improvements outside of the GS 400 at the time and the GS 450h which was the first luxury RWD sport hybrid.

Currently I'm driving a 450hp or so 2014 BMW 650 M-sport...outside of some initial turbo lag, the engine is more than enough without being scary fast. The GS with an engine in this HP range is going to be delightful IMO.....

Contrarily I was speaking with some friends that own a Jaguar dealership and the 2016 F-type V-8 gets AWD standard here. Why? Seems with 550hp the RWD car was just too much of a handful. Every employee except one crashed their F-type lol. For ME I prefer RWD with less hp, I don't need more power than awd to keep me safe and to make it heavier and less pure.
GS 200t - 2.0L I-4, 8AR-FTS Turbo, 250 hp minimum (for Europe/Asia)
GS 300h - 2.5L I-4 Hybrid, 2AR-FXE, 230 hp minimum
GS 350t - 3.5L V6 Turbo, 2GR-FTE, 350 hp minimum
GS F - 5.0L V8 Turbo, 2UR-GTE - 560+ hp minimum.
I'm not very interested in horsepower bragging rights, and it's for reasons like this -- still, it's tough to talk around this point without sounding like a Lexus apologist.
I completely agree. Unfortunately the vast majority of luxury car consumers are not enthusiasts, they aren't concerned about the feel, the emotion, it's all *stick* measuring for the majority of buyers. The GS-F will be a great car without a doubt in my mind, but people in this market will see the E63 (I love the E63S estate wagon) or M5 and be lured away by the monster hp and torque numbers. AMG and M Division are established performance marques, Lexus F is the challenger in this arena and they keep bringing knives to a gun fight. They need to beat the Germans at everything - just like they did in '89.

I believe the 400-450hp is the sweet spot but there is no denying the feeling of putting down 500+hp (when I'm good, the lady lets me drive the C63AMGBS ;)). The RC-F motor would've been a great stop gap between the 450h and a fire breathing 550+hp GS-F.
 

mikeavelli

Connoisseur
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
4,095
Reaction score
7,892
still, it's tough to talk around this point without sounding like a Lexus apologist.
Shhhhh we all have been called that privately on you know where :D

I think that the 4.6 L V8 should've stayed in the GS lineup as an option, as I think that drew a piece of the market. Actually, I think the GS F should really be the GS 500, or at least drop the 5.0 Liter into the regular platform GS and call it the GS 500, and put a new F engine in the GS F. Don't get me wrong I love the GS F, and can't wait to see how it drives.
The 4.6 at 386hp just doesn't have the guts anymore. To me its adequate in the LS and I don't think it would make the GS that much faster (though the LS throttle response is just relaxed compared to the GS/IS).

Whats funny is Jaguar makes a base 5.0 V-8 with 385hp. No one really complains about that :D

I completely agree. Unfortunately the vast majority of luxury car consumers are not enthusiasts, they aren't concerned about the feel, the emotion, it's all *stick* measuring for the majority of buyers. The GS-F will be a great car without a doubt in my mind, but people in this market will see the E63 (I love the E63S estate wagon) or M5 and be lured away by the monster hp and torque numbers. AMG and M Division are established performance marques, Lexus F is the challenger in this arena and they keep bringing knives to a gun fight. They need to beat the Germans at everything - just like they did in '89.

I believe the 400-450hp is the sweet spot but there is no denying the feeling of putting down 500+hp (when I'm good, the lady lets me drive the C63AMGBS ;)). The RC-F motor would've been a great stop gap between the 450h and a fire breathing 550+hp GS-F.
Great post! Speaking of the E63 Estate wagon, we actually have one as a project car here at Vossen. Stock it was a monster and the AWD made it far less scary (I've logged quite a few miles in a RennTech 2013 CLS63 ). I recently attended the GTS AMG driving event hosted by AMG and drove all the new AMG cars. They are all AWD have more power and are scary fast but I miss the RWD versions which were more dangerous and more engaging to me. I actually couldn't believe how much I liked the GLA45, quite the surprise.

I remember thinking how cool it would be if Lexus did at least offer something similar in regards to the power plant (and the GTS which was an AMAZING drive on the road and track). I also left super impressed once again with the AMG brand with how they hosted the event.

BTW Ace, that E63 Wagon now has stage two RennTech turbos and we are aiming for 900hp and 1,000lbs of torque...so basically that destroys all my talk of being modest and happy with 450-500hp :D. Let me know if you are ever in Miami :)
 

Chase C.

Fan
Messages
41
Reaction score
41
Actually I've just realized something; when I first started looking into Lexus, I was never shown the GS and at the time I knew nothing of the brand, but I was shown the ES instead. Everyone is correct here in saying it's a bargain and that's why. Honestly, Lexus as a brand would do better killing the ES off, but Lexus as a company will almost undoubtedly suffer. It's actually kind of interesting where the ES is positioned in the market, as there's really nothing that competes with it.
 

mikeavelli

Connoisseur
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
4,095
Reaction score
7,892
Actually I've just realized something; when I first started looking into Lexus, I was never shown the GS and at the time I knew nothing of the brand, but I was shown the ES instead. Everyone is correct here in saying it's a bargain and that's why. Honestly, Lexus as a brand would do better killing the ES off, but Lexus as a company will almost undoubtedly suffer. It's actually kind of interesting where the ES is positioned in the market, as there's really nothing that competes with it.
Chase one of my complaints from the outside looking in is salesmen look for the easy sale and a white/beige leather ES is the default sedan for these guys. Its not just Lexus salesmen, most are not car enthusiasts at all, its a job to them and they look at it as such. Contrarily the rare car salesman who is an enthusiast will find all sorts of ways to upsell to a GS.

My first Lexus was an ES 300 (manual) but I quickly fell in love with RWD and never looked back...
 

ACEtheOG

Admirer
Founding Member
Messages
50
Reaction score
56
Great post! Speaking of the E63 Estate wagon, we actually have one as a project car here at Vossen. Stock it was a monster and the AWD made it far less scary (I've logged quite a few miles in a RennTech 2013 CLS63 ). I recently attended the GTS AMG driving event hosted by AMG and drove all the new AMG cars. They are all AWD have more power and are scary fast but I miss the RWD versions which were more dangerous and more engaging to me. I actually couldn't believe how much I liked the GLA45, quite the surprise.

I remember thinking how cool it would be if Lexus did at least offer something similar in regards to the power plant (and the GTS which was an AMAZING drive on the road and track). I also left super impressed once again with the AMG brand with how they hosted the event.

BTW Ace, that E63 Wagon now has stage two RennTech turbos and we are aiming for 900hp and 1,000lbs of torque...so basically that destroys all my talk of being modest and happy with 450-500hp :D. Let me know if you are ever in Miami :)
I bet those RennTech cars are monsters! I think AMG just decided to give people the most stock hp but make them awd cause they didn't want to end up killing all of their customers :D. I'm an AMG noob, first one I drove was a '09 C63 and I remember thinking the chassis wasn't doing a good job dealing with all the power. Since then, every model I've gotten my greedy mits on has been comfortable, powerful and beautiful. Mercedes AMG has done a great job putting out great products at a furious pace. The choice coming out of Affalterbach is crazy! Like you i couldn't believe how much I liked the CLA45AMG - keep the revs up and it is quick!

I follow you guys on Instagram. Amazing work. If I'm ever in the area, I will definitely let you know!

Chase one of my complaints from the outside looking in is salesmen look for the easy sale and a white/beige leather ES is the default sedan for these guys. Its not just Lexus salesmen, most are not car enthusiasts at all, its a job to them and they look at it as such. Contrarily the rare car salesman who is an enthusiast will find all sorts of ways to upsell to a GS.
I see this every time I'm at the dealership. People walk in and they're automatically shown the ES and RX. At my dealer, they have the IS, ES and RX in multiple trim levels in the showroom all right by the entrance. All the other models are usually displayed in one trim level if that. NX numbers are going to be monster because it will be an easy sell.

If the buyer has any sense for driving pleasure and $$$ was not an issue (it always is) all it takes is for the sales person to schedule a back to back test drive of the ES and GS.
 
Top