$9,490 - $12,574

2010 Lexus GS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2010 Lexus GS was new.


Performance: 8.4

The 2010 GS is a capable handler, with precise steering and a smooth ride. In GS350 form, it has all the power most shoppers will need, but still trails most of the large luxury class. In GS460 form, however, it stacks up better against the rest of its class. Some reviewers, however, criticize the lack of a manual transmission option.

  • "Offers a satisfying driving experience owing to its ample power, silky-smooth ride and commendable handling." -- Edmunds
  • "The Lexus approach to high performance isn't grasped by everyone, so it's easy to overlook the genuinely rewarding road manners of the Lexus GS sedan. This car has the calm, intuitive personality we associate with the Lexus brand...All versions of the GS have capability to get you to your destination as quickly as you dare." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Delightful to drive, with a quiet and velvety power delivery." -- Car and Driver
  • "The GS has reflexes sharper than any Navy jet jockey's." -- Popular Mechanics

Acceleration and Power

The 2010 Lexus GS is available with a choice of two engines. Reviewers say both are smooth and quiet, but only one is truly powerful.

The Lexus GS350 carries a 3.5-liter V6 engine, which makes 303 horsepower. It offers plenty of power for most everyday needs, but in a class full of powerful cars, it's just average.

The Lexus GS460, on the other hand, has a 4.6-liter V8 engine making 342 horsepower. It's more formiddable competition for the sport sedans common in this price range, but still, reviewers say that the 2010 Lexus GS460  isn't a truly sporty car. There is no manual transmission offered -- which keeps the car off the shopping lists of some driving enthusiasts. 350 models come with a six-speed automatic, which can be shifted manually. 460 models come with the only eight-speed automatic on the market, which is also shiftable. The EPA rates the 350 for 19/26 mpg and the 460 for 17/24 mpg.

Those looking for a sport sedan they can shift themselves might want to test drive the BMW 5-Series instead.

  • "4.6-liter V8 engine gives GS 460 lots of go. Lexus quotes 5.4 seconds 0-60 mph, which feels credible to us. The 8-speed automatic transmission changes gears frequently, but it's smooth overall and a good match to the engine." -- Consumer Guide
  • "V8 engine provides ample power whether commuting or driving more aggressively." -- Edmunds
  • "In our opinion, the GS 350 is more enjoyable to drive than its up-market siblings. The V6 is responsive and just plain fast. The gear changes of both the six-speed automatic transmission are virtually undetectable. The GS is not the sort of car that encourages manual shifting, but it is a performance car, and the feeling of acceleration is a large part of its appeal." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The most powerful V6-powered sedan in its class." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Smooth and quiet, as expected from Lexus." -- Road and Track
  • "The V6 is whisper quiet and super smooth." -- The Family Car

Handling and Braking

Reviewers may not be sure that the 2010 Lexus GS has enough power to qualify as a true sport sedan, but they're almost unanimous in saying that it has the sharp handling many associate with that term.

The GS features a sophisticated electronically-assisted steering system. Auto writers are usually not a fan of electrically-assisted steering, but the critics say that Lexus has gotten this one right. The system matches wheel angle to speed at which the driver is turning the car and offsets any delay in response, even helping to recover from skids and adjust for wind resistance. In rear-wheel-drive cars, it's impressive. With the available all-wheel-drive system, it's near the top of its class. Many reviewers, however, complain of touchy brakes.

  • "A nearly perfect compromise between sport sedan response and touring sedan comfort. The standard adaptive suspension offers a plush ride in Comfort mode, while the Sport setting noticeably firms up the damping." -- Edmunds
  • "The steering, although accurate, is a bit numb." -- The Family Car
  • "The suspension configuration delivers optimal suspension geometry for good handling, while gas-charged dampers and coil springs promote a resilient, long-legged ride." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Firmer and sportier than one might expect. Its new electronically controlled suspension allows quick moves while retaining the car's composure and a good ride on poor roads." -- MSN
  • "When the road gets narrow and twisty, the GS is eager to keep pace with its European counterparts." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • AWD "adds an extra degree of surefootedness in inclement weather, and it also improves the car's handling on dry pavement." -- Forbes
  • "Stopping control is strong but to some testers, the pedal action is either too mushy or too sensitive." -- Consumer Guide

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