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Lexus GS Review

Lexus GS
Lexus GS
Lexus GS
Lexus GS
Lexus GS
Lexus GS
Lexus GS
Lexus GS
Lexus GS
Lexus GS
Lexus GS

1/10

Lexus GS

2/10

Lexus GS

3/10

Lexus GS

4/10

Lexus GS

5/10

Lexus GS

6/10

Lexus GS

7/10

Lexus GS

8/10

Lexus GS

9/10

Lexus GS

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2012
      Body type
      Premium
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Hybrid
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Superb quality, underwhelming to drive

Best bits

  •  Hybrid engine options
  •  Superb build quality
  •  Reliability

Not so great

  • No estate option
  • 250 is sluggish
  • Drive is short on involvement

Read by

Lexus GS front

Overall verdict

Lexus GS front interior

On the inside

Lexus GS frontright exterior

Driving

Lexus GS central console

How much does it cost to run

Lexus GS boot open

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Lexus GS carved out its own niche within the executive sector as an upmarket and somewhat left-field alternative to large saloons like the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class."

Lexus GS front

For those who value quality and refinement, the Lexus ticks a lot of boxes. It's helped by Lexus dealers, who are widely recognised as the best in the business for customer service and this is backed up by top marks in the various customer satisfaction surveys like JD Power. It's no surprise the brand has one of the highest rates of repeat buyers.


The GS launched in 2012 built on the same qualities of the old model but Lexus worked hard to add a dash of style and driver enjoyment to the mix. It didn’t quite hit the mark, which has been the case with the GS throughout its life. What we got instead was a very comfortable, competent cruiser that much prefers to make unruffled progress than be hustled down a country road in the way you can with a BMW 5 Series.


In terms of looks, it's a lot more angular at the front and it's a similar story at the back where the stretched lights make it appear wider. Overall, it has a lot more road presence than its bland predecessors.


The improvements over the generations than went before are most noticeable inside with a far better interior in terms of design and quality. There are less obvious Toyota elements and a far more stylish feel with features like the solid metal controls for the stereo and the analogue clock between the air vents. There's more space than earlier GS models too and it feels much more like a premium car than the older GS generations did. There is also plenty of space for those in the front and Lexus piled in the technology, which is thankfully easier to comprehend and use than some of its later offerings.


As before, Lexus didn’t fit a diesel engine to the GS range, something which will mean many buyers immediately rule it out. Instead, it sticks with standard petrols and a hybrid version. The GS450h is the impressive hybrid and it combines swift performance with low carbon dioxide emissions and decent fuel economy considering its power.


There's also a GS250 powered by a 2.5-litre V6 petrol with more than 200bhp which is significantly cheaper than the hybrid model. Starting prices are fairly high, but all models come highly equipped as standard although entry-level versions don't get sat-nav. You could also GS F that came with a 471PS 5.0-litre V8 petrol motor to give Lexus a rival to the BMW M5. It’s a rare beast, but it can deliver 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and sounds amazing.


However, most buyers will be looking to either the 2.5-litre petrol or hybrid models and they make an intriguing alternative to the main German contenders in this class. Lexus was ahead of the curve with its hybrid offering, so used buyers can take advantage of this now.


If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Lexus ES (2018-) review.


Ready to get your top quality Lexus GS?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Lexus GS

300h 2.5 Executive Edition 4dr CVT

  • 2018
  • 9,587 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Listers Lexus Coventry
  • Warwickshire, CV34LP
Price:£21,990
PCP: £382.81/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 35 Monthly Payments: £382.81, Customer Deposit: £3,298.00, Total Deposit: £3,298.50, Optional Final Payment: £8,874.00, Total Charge For Credit: £3,580.85, Total Amount Payable: £25,570.85, Representative APR: 8.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 8.54%, Excess Mileage Charge: 8ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Lexus GS

300h 2.5 Luxury 4dr CVT

  • 2017
  • 34,619 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Listers Lexus Coventry
  • Warwickshire, CV34LP
Price:£21,490
HP: £577.11/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £577.11, Customer Deposit: £3,223.00, Total Deposit: £3,223.50, Total Charge For Credit: £2,509.46, Total Amount Payable: £23,999.46, Representative APR: 8.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 8.52%

Is the Lexus GS right for you?

Buyers looking for an executive saloon are spoilt for choice, so the Lexus GS has its work cut out to tempt them in with its charms. It used to be the Lexus did enough by offering a hybrid model as an alternative to the diesel engines used in rivals and which dominated company car sales.


As time moved on, so did the GS’s rivals and they began to included hybrid versions, such as the BWM 530e. However, the Lexus’ superb refinement and the way its hybrid drive system works in such a discreet way makes it very appealing for those looking to be a bit cleaner and greener.


As a used car, the GS also appeals for the way it weathers its miles and age with remarkable ease. It’s a testament to Lexus’ build quality that so many GS models still look fresh and shiny after high mileages. They also have a reputation for excellent reliability, which is always a welcome trait in any used car you are considering.


Just don’t go looking for a Lexus GS and expect to find driving Nirvana. It’s more of a laid back cruiser, but never mind.


What’s the best Lexus GS model/engine to choose?

Anyone looking for the Lexus GS F is not going to entertain anything other than this rarity, and we wouldn’t blame them for seeking out this 471PS super saloon.


However, most buyers will seek something a lot gentler on the wallet for running costs. The four-cylinder GS250 is the most affordable way into this Lexus thanks to its four-cylinder petrol engine, though it’s worth bearing in mind it’s also the slowest and least economical by some margin.


At the other end of the scale is the GS450h that is swift and offers BMW 530d rivalling pace coupled to a claimed economy of 45.6mpg. It’s a sound bet, but we’d choose the 300h model as the pick of the bunch for its better fuel efficiency and blend of power, pace and refinement.


There are SE, Luxury and F Sport trims to choose from, with the latter riding on 19-inch alloy wheels that bring an unwanted firmness to the ride quality. So, we’d make for the Luxury model that comes packed with equipment including sat-nav, blind spot detection, and one of the best stereos you would wish for.


What other cars are similar to the Lexus GS?

Look at the Lexus GS and you can see it’s aimed squarely at the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class. Lexus even admits these are the two cars it considered as key competitors when designing the GS. The BMW is the most enjoyable to drive in this sector and offers a broad range of engines, though most will come with a diesel motor. The E-Class errs more towards comfort and also has a fine spread of motors.


The Audi A6 is a big rival to the Lexus, especially for anyone who values Fort Knox levels of built quality. Jaguar’s XF is another key rival and, like all of the GS’s competition, can be had as an estate as well as in saloon form. Lexus never did build a GS estate.


Learn more

Lexus GS front interior

On the inside

Lexus GS frontright exterior

Driving

Lexus GS central console

How much does it cost to run

Lexus GS boot open

Prices, versions and specification