$27,615 - $51,117

2016 Lexus GS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Lexus GS was new.


Performance: 8.4

The 2016 Lexus GS 200t comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that test drivers say has good power for city and highway driving. Still, some think that for lively acceleration, it may not be the best choice. The Lexus GS 350 has a V6 engine that reviewers say is potent, and they report that the 2016 Lexus GS F's V8 engine produces exceptionally fast acceleration. The standard eight-speed automatic transmission can hesitate to downshift, reviewers say, but is otherwise responsive. Test drivers are pleased with the 2016 Lexus GS' agile handling and smooth ride. They say the sport-tuned GS F is even more nimble, but its ride is still relatively comfortable.

  • "While the GS 200t wafts away from a stop under light or moderate throttle, trying to jack rabbit away with heavy throttle will only end in frustration. Nail the pedal, and you'll find there's nobody home under 2,000 rpm and nothing really gets interesting until 3,000. If you're expecting a burst of acceleration, it's going to feel like ages before the engine responds. This is turbo lag, and it's ugly." -- Motor Trend
  • "We spent a considerable amount of time behind the wheel of Lexus' 2016 GS 350 sedan and found it to be a competent performance sedan displaying impressive abilities in the areas of acceleration, cornering and braking response." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "In base form, the 2015 Lexus GS 350 provides a good balance of luxurious comfort and sporty performance." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "All it takes is a few miles in the saddle to recognize that the GS is built for people who love to drive." -- AutoTrader (2014)

Acceleration and Power

The Lexus GS 200t is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 241 horsepower. The GS 350 comes with a retuned 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 311 horsepower, and the GS F has a 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, while all-wheel drive models have a six-speed automatic. According to the EPA, the GS 200t earns 22/33 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class.

The Lexus GS 200t's engine is refined and has good power for both city driving and highway passing and merging, some test drivers say. Still, they note that the base engine may not be the best choice for spirited driving. Reviewers say the GS 350’s V6 engine is strong, and they report that the GS F's engine is incredibly powerful and produces rapid acceleration. Test drivers note that its eight-speed automatic transmission is slow to downshift at times in S mode, but performs superbly in S+ mode.

  • "Cruising the streets of Palm Springs, I found the little engine perfectly acceptable, offering smooth, creamy acceleration away from stops with good mid-range grunt for overtaking even-slower drivers. The car got up to freeway speeds quickly enough to eliminate any worry of merging below the speed of traffic. Here, again, it offered enough mid-range power to make a typical overtake. The engine is never particularly loud in the cabin and the noise it makes is inoffensive. It was a relaxed and relaxing driving experience, and perfectly pleasant if you're not in any great hurry to get somewhere." -- Motor Trend
  • "It's on a different plane compared to the GS 350, when speed is what one seeks. True to the F brand promise, the GS F allows almost anyone who can afford it to discover the joys of nitrite-popper acceleration out of a corner or dizzying lateral g loads -- in a progressive, relatively safe fashion. It doesn't hide its charms behind a veil of intimidation." -- AutoWeek
  • "Under the hood, the … V6 is largely unchanged from the previous GS 350's V6, but it's still a gem, delivering its direct-injected thrust with vigor and refinement." -- AutoTrader (2014)

Handling and Braking

Automotive journalists agree that the 2016 Lexus GS has nimble handling, responsive steering and good grip for corning. Reviewers say the GS F, which has an adaptive variable sport-tuned suspension, is even more athletic. The GS F delivers a comfortable ride over road imperfections, and the base GS 200t's ride is even smoother, test drivers report. Steering and throttle response can be adjusted to one of four modes: Eco, Normal, Sport S and Sport S+. All-wheel drive is available.

  • "The GS F presents world-class, flex-free body structure and good suspension tuning, no fancy adaptive shocks required -- kind of what we used to love about BMWs. It requires a bit more steering effort than most cars in the class, and we like that." -- AutoWeek
  • "While we'd say the BMW 5 Series and Cadillac CTS have a bit of an edge on the GS 350, it can certainly hold its own against an AWD Audi A6 or a Jaguar XF. The GS' stiff body, lightweight aluminum control-arm suspension and wide track all contribute to its level cornering and compliant ride." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Take a test-drive and you'll likely be impressed by the GS's sharp handling, which can be further bolstered by the F Sport package for those with a greater penchant for performance." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Nonetheless, even the F Sport retains a pleasantly supple ride on imperfect pavement, though the base GS is more compliant, and the optional non-sport-tuned adaptive dampers make it smoother still." -- AutoTrader (2014)

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