$46,860 - $84,600

2019 Lexus GS Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2019 Lexus GS was new.


Performance: 7.9

The 2019 Lexus GS presents an enjoyable experience for both captain and crew. Spirited drivers will savor its energetic engines and nimble handling. Passengers, meanwhile, are free to sit back and relax, pampered by a smooth, refined ride. Fuel economy is average for the class.

  • "Our time in the V6-powered GS 350 left us with a positive impression of a smart midsize-luxury sedan delivering competent handling, impressive acceleration, a smooth ride and, when equipped with the F-Sport package, thrilling cornering abilities." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Engaging to drive, the car's good handling and taut yet supple ride fare well against German rivals." -- Consumer Reports (2018)
  • "… this is a sedan that strikes a well-considered balance between comfort and performance, and is equally well-suited to daily commute duty or long road trips. Nor is the GS afraid of tight turns – it's actually one of the better cars in this class, and its performance cred can be dialed up a tick on all models by opting for the F Sport package." -- Edmunds (2016)

Acceleration and Power

All three GS trim levels come with a different engine. Each is refined and energetic, with the help of a responsive eight-speed automatic transmission. Even the base engine quickly accelerates without drama.

The base GS 300 has a 241-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. It features a twin-scroll turbocharger, and it gets 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. That's about average for a luxury midsize sedan.

Under the hood of the GS 350 is a 311-horsepower naturally aspirated V6 engine. When this model is upgraded from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive, Lexus swaps out the standard transmission for a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy is estimated at 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.

At the top of the spectrum is the high-performance GS F. It comes with a 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V8, and it’s also paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The GS F gets 16/24 mpg city/highway.

  • "The … V6 has been a longstanding fixture in the GS engine bay, but it's still a gem, delivering direct-injected thrust with vigor and refinement. The 8-speed automatic (rear-drive only) helps the engine stay in its sweet spot during acceleration while also contributing to decent fuel economy." -- Autotrader (2017)
  • "Acceleration [with the V6] is strong and there's plenty of power on hand for effortless passing and merging." -- Consumer Reports (2017)
  • "Cruising the streets of Palm Springs, I found the little [turbo-four] 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 (2016)

Handling and Braking

The GS comes standard with rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is available in GS 350 models. This sedan combines nimble handling with a comfortable ride, blending enjoyment for the driver with a relaxing experience for passengers. Lexus offers its F Sport package in the GS 300 and GS 350. This includes an adaptive variable suspension system, sport front seats, 19-inch split spoke alloy wheels, and a Sport+ mode.

  • "The GS' rigid architecture, lightweight aluminum suspension and wide track all aid in the car's on-road performance, as does the 3-setting Drive Mode (Eco, Normal and Sport) that allows the driver to vary the degree of steering response and throttle input. The F-Sport package opens the door to even better options like Lexus' Dynamic Handling system. If you're comparing apples to apples, we'd place the GS slightly below the BMW 5 Series but on par with the ride and handling abilities of the Audi A6 and Jaguar XF." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The GS 350 serves up a supple, civilized ride. It doesn't totally smother every bump but sails placidly over most road flaws and provides a very relaxed highway cruise. Cabin quiet is normally blissfully serene – this is one of the quietest cars out there – but at wide-open throttle the engine bellows rather loudly. That exhaust note is something Lexus apparently encourages, part of creating a sporty flair. We'd far rather the engine just piled on the power and shut up about it." -- Consumer Reports (2017)
  • "Sure-footed and a reasonably willing partner on a winding road, the GS 200t and 350 have good manners when it comes to handling performance. If that's not enough, the F Sport package elevates its road-holding prowess with variable-ratio and rear-wheel steering systems. The package's larger 19-inch wheels, stiffer suspension and performance-oriented summer tires do degrade comfort a bit, though, but not enough to spoil the experience." -- Edmunds (2016)

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