by Tony West and Sommer Thornton
Lexus upgrades their very successful GS 350 sedan with charm and more safety technology. The Lexus GS 350 has climbed to the top of the heap since its 2012 redesign because of its efficient high performance. And Lexus continues to build on this platform for 2014, giving the GS 350 some added flair and technology to compliment its athletic performance.
Sexy Exterior Still Loyal
Lexus did a great job keeping that unique GS swag and adding a few touches for 2014-so the 2014 GS 350 is new again. The 2014 Lexus GS 350 sedan is lower and a little wider for a more aggressive stance. The spindle grilles was slightly swagged out with an inverted trapezoid design. And the new GS 350 has cool arrowhead LED daytime running lights, HID headlamps, and LED tail lamps. The 2014 GS also has dual exhausts with a lateral fin.
The Lexus GS 350 is a car that never goes out of style. I got a lot of compliments from people asking what new Lexus had come out, not realizing the redesigned GS 350 was in its second year. This year, nine exterior colors are offered from ultra white and liquid platinum, to cooler fire agate pearl, deep sea mica, and rivera red. The 2014 GS 350 also comes standard with 17 inch alloy wheels and 18 inch wheels are optional.
The Lexus GS 350 is lighter due to its frame made with steel and aluminum components. The new chassis is more rigid so steering, cornering, and handling is more precise. The new GS 350 also has keyless entry and a push button start.
Unique Road Character
The GS 350’s best attribute is no doubt its road character. A 3.5 liter V6 boast 306 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. The 24-valve DOHC engine has continuously variable valve timing with intelligence and a 6,600 rpm redline. And the GS 350 has an electronic throttle control system with intelligence. The GS 350 has a subtle yet incredibly athletic performance. Acceleration is direct and powerful going from 0-60 in 5.7 seconds. And with a top speed of 142 mph, the GS has a coefficient drag of just .27 and a combined EPA of 21 mpgs.
The Lexus GS 350 has a standard 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Manual mode in the GS is exhilarating with sequential shift. An 8-speed automatic transmission is optional with the rear-wheel drive model. Active Torque Control all-wheel drive creates ideal handling and traction in any road condition. The sporty transmission easily adapted to snow, mud, and eased over potholes by varying torque balance. The GS 350 has three adjustable drive modes: normal for everyday driving and relaxed road conditions; eco mode that allows for low fuel consumption by adjusting seat heating and climate control while giving efficient driving tips; sport mode that aids acceleration response by adjusting transmission and steering; and the optional sport+ mode that enhances handling, throttle response, and suspension.
Optimal Safety Tech Beats the Competition
Some haters say the new GS is too cautious to be a turbo whip. But for those who’d likely use the GS 350 for everyday driving, safety technology can make the ride even more adventurous. Variable Gear Ratio Steering prevents oversteer and understeering. And the standard Electronic Throttle Control has a very useful “snow” mode that prevents tires from spinning out in deep snow.
The GS 350 also has double wishbone front suspension and multilink rear suspension. Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS) is impeccable in the GS 350 making it very agile and responses prompt. AVS auto adjusts damping to road conditions.
The Vehicle Integrated Management System manages the dynamics of the GS 350 including the ABS, Brake Assist, electronic brakeforce distribution, electronic power steering, and the vehicle stability control. Vehicle stability control helps controls steering in case I have to swerve. And Dynamic Rear Steering keeps the rear wheels at the proper angle.
The 2014 GS 350 also comes with Intuitive Park Assist and a rearview camera. The GS also has Adaptive Cruise Control. Safety Connect includes Automatic Collision Notification. Homelink is also available.
Luxury Driver Focused Interior
The Lexus GS 350 interior has technology for enhanced comfort and a more adventurous ride. The GS leather wrapped interior has standard push button start, a moon roof, and LED ambient lighting. Interior color options include black flaxen, light gray, or cabernet red with contrast stitching and matte dark brown walnut trim.
The GS 350 also has heated driver and passenger seats, leather wrapped heated steering wheel, and leather wrapped instrument panel. Drivers use an Opitron instrument panel with TFT multi information display.
The popular remote touch interface uses an 8 inch hi resolution screen. Dual zone climate control and heated and ventilated front seats are optional. The GS 350 has a standard 12 speaker surround sound system with HD radio, a DVD player, and Sirius XM satellite radio. The Heads up Display is optional. Very cool is the standard smog sensor and air filter.
The Cold Weather package adds the heated steering wheel along with headlamp washers and water repellant front glass. The Premium Package adds heated and ventilated front seats, power rear sunshades, and rain sensing wipers. For $6,000 more buyers can get the Luxury Package that includes LED fog lamps, 18 inch wheels, Semi Aniline leather interior with espresso wood trim, rear climate and audio controls, rear sunshade, sport+ mode, adaptive variable suspension and adaptive front lighting. Another $2,000 gets customers the Mark Levinson 17 speaker surround sound system and a 12.3 inch screen with NavTraffic, NavWeather, and more.
The 2014 Lexus GS 350 is a pleasure to drive. The standard interior and safety features with the thrilling powertrain make the 49k GS 350 a worthwhile buy. The 2014 GS 350 is sporty, sexy, and spacious. Fully loaded, the GS costs $62,000, which is a little cringe-worthy. That’s more than the E-Class Mercedes Benz, or an Audi A6. Even against the $60k Cadillac XTS or the BMW 5 Series, I can’t say the GS 350 would hold its own. Yet the GS 350 has a ton of add-on features below 55k that will keep is as a top seller in the turbo sedan segment.