- Striking aesthetics
- Impressive hybrid engines
- Comfortable ride
- Not as spacious as rivals
- Poor gearboxes
- Not as fun to drive as a 5-series
Refined, comfortable executive saloon
The Lexus GS is the Japanese manufacturer’s flagship executive saloon, designed to compete with its more popular German rivals. The BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E-Class, and Audi A6 might have better sales figures than the GS, but the Lexus is still one of the best cars in the class. It features a smooth, refined ride, striking looks, and innovative engine technology, to make a pretty special car. Hybrid technology is also on offer for eco-friendly buyers, and it’s one of the most impressive systems on offer in the class. If you’re looking for a comfortable stylish executive saloon, you should seriously consider the Lexus GS.
Stylish, classy cabin, but not as plush as German rivals
As with all Lexus’, the interior of the GS is a contemporary, well-built affair, with plush materials used throughout. It’s not the spacious, nor the most flexible however, though the generous equipment list is sure to win a lot of fans.
When you step into the GS you’ll be immediately struck by the quality. The dashboard design is contemporary, well-built, and ergonomic, so it won’t take you too long to get used to the controls. Material quality is impressive, with soft-touch materials used throughout, though it still doesn’t feel quite as plush as the Audi A6, or the Mercedes E-Class. Some of the controls do look a little dated as well, though the huge touchscreen is a striking centrepiece.
Storage space in the GS isn’t quite as impressive as in some of its rivals. The rear seats may be plush, but there’s not enough headroom for taller passengers, and the middle seat is almost unuseable for adults. The 450 litre boot capacity isn’t the biggest in the class either, though Lexus claim that there’s enough room for four sets of golf clubs. If you have particularly large loads you’ll be disappointed to learn that the rear seats don’t fold down, which is unusual for a car of this class.
Equipment levels in the GS are thankfully generous. Even the entry-level Executive trim comes with heated, and cooled leather seats, three-zone climate control, sat-nav, and a 17-speaker sound system. Few buyers will need more than the entry-level trim, though the F Sport trim adds sporty exterior trim, which only adds to the GS’s striking aesthetics.
All in all the interior of the GS is impressive, but not class-leading. The cabin is undoubtedly good quality, but it’s not quite as plush as its German rivals. The GS isn’t the most spacious either, though the generous equipment list does make the GS exceptionally good value for money.
Comfortable and refined ride
Executive saloons should be comfortable above all else, though the BMW 5 Series has proved that cars in this class can also be great to drive. The Lexus GS isn’t quite as impressive as the BMW, but it’s still a pretty engaging drive. Lexus’ Dynamic Handling system contributes to the sharp agile steering, high levels of grip, and well-managed body roll. You can comfortably throw the GS into a high-speed bend, but it won’t leave a smile on your face like a 5 Series would.
Suspension and Chassis
Ride refinement is one area in which the GS really excels. The adaptive variable suspension system irons out all but the worst of British roads, with potholes and loose surfaces well dealt with. Lexus spent a lot of time perfecting the GS, with over a million miles of testing, and it’s pretty clear when you get behind the wheel. There’s also very little in the way of road and wind noise, so much so that it’s almost silent when you cruise at motorway speeds.
Gearbox options in the GS come in two guises. Both transmissions are automatics, with entry-level models getting a CVT style automatic, and higher spec GSs getting an eight-speed DSG style auto. The former isn’t the finest available, as it revs the engine a little too hard at times. The eight-speed isn’t the best either, as it is slow to react when you need a quick burst of acceleration for overtaking.
No diesel on offer, but two exceptional hybrids feature
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Lexus, you’ve got the one two options: petrol, or petrol-hybrid. It’s strange that diesel isn’t included in the lineup, but with recent controversy over diesel emissions, it’s likely that this will become more common in the future, and both hybrids are amongst the best in the class.
Petrolheads will be pretty pleased with the GS range, especially with the petrol-powered 5.0 litre V8 GSF, which produces 471bhp, and features a 0-62mph time of less than 5 seconds. The 450h 3.5 litre petrol-hybrid engine is also a great, more affordable option, as it still produces 340bhp, and will accelerate from 0-62mph in an impressive 5.9 seconds. Lexus has proved with this model that hybrid technology doesn’t have to be boring. The 450h is a shining example of what sort of engine we can come to expect in the future. With the GS though, you can have it right now.
Eco-friendly buyers will be delighted with the 300h 2.5 litre petrol-hybrid engine. GSs equipped with this engine produce just 109g/km of CO2 emissions. That really is astonishing for a car in this executive saloon class, especially when you consider that most small family hatchbacks are worse for the environment. It’s sure to be a hit with eco-conscious buyers who don’t want to compromise on luxury. Money-savers should also seriously consider to this model, as it can achieve up to an impressive 60.1mpg. There are few executive saloons that are quite this efficient, and you save plenty of money on fuel, that you can put towards life’s other luxuries.
There might not be a diesel on offer in the GS range, but there’s really no need. Both petrol-hybrid engines are genuinely astounding, so you won’t miss those low end shudders or noisy grunts.
Untested by NCAP, but impressive standard safety kit
It might come as a surprise to learn that the GS hasn’t been tested by NCAP, but there’s really no need to worry, especially when you consider Lexus’ proven safety record, and the plethora of safety kit that the GS comes with. All Lexus’ tested by NCAP achieved the maximum five stars, so it’s pretty safe to assume that the GS would as well. Even entry-level models are equipped with ten airbags, electronic brake assist, hill-hold assist, electronic stability control, and traction control, so there’s plenty of assistance to stop you having an accident in the first place.
Good value for money, if you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Lexus GS represents excellent value for money for buyers. This obviously varies between model to model, but generally speaking fuel efficiency is high throughout the range (with no model achieving less than 44mpg), and thanks to hybrid technology, tax bands are impressively low. When you factor in the fact the GS is cheaper to buy than its rivals, it really does look like an impressively good value car to run day-to-day.
Insurance groups for the GS again depend on which model you choose to go for. The range starts in group 26 for the entry-level 300h Executive, and climb up towards group 48 if you’re tempted by the range-topping thrills of the 5.0 GSF. Whichever model you take the plunge on, you shouldn’t be paying any more than you would for an equivalent rival.
Depreciation is a large factor with the GS, but only if you choose to buy from new. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Lexus GS is a great left-field alternative to the usual big German executive saloons. It’s arguably not as complete a package as its rivals, but the GS offers some of the best hybrid engines on the market. It’s also stylish, features a plush interior, and there’s plenty of safety equipment to keep minds at rest. If you want an executive saloon that stands out from the endless BMWs, Audis, and Mercedes, then the GS is a great option.
Buying a used Lexus GS online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Lexus GS for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used GS. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Lexus GS online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Lexus? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Lexus GS, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used GS, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Carspring Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Lexus to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.