The midsize luxury sedan market has for years been dominated by the Europeans however there have been many attempts by the American and Japanese luxury marques to dethrone them. The 4th Generation Lexus GS first introduced in 2012 is probably the most dynamic and engaging GS ever built.
First introduced in 1993, the Lexus Gran Sedan has help shaped Lexus’ history in the midsize luxury sport sedan market. For model year 1998, the 2nd Generation GS became first Lexus that has won over the hearts of enthusiasts thanks to the 300 HP 1UZ-FE V8 powered GS 400. A 0-60 time of 5.7 seconds, it was fastest automatic sedan in the world for a short period of time and achieved the 1998 Motor Trend Import Car of the Year award. The 3rd Generation GS came out for model year 2006 kicking off the L-Finesse design language for Lexus. This sleek and sexy bodied GS although beautiful, was not as engaging or exciting to drive like the 2nd Generation. I know first-hand as I owned a 2007 GS 350 for a short period of time. I later replaced that GS with a 2009 IS F.
I recently visited Plano, Texas, the future home of Toyota North America. I had a chance to check out a 2015 Lexus GS 350 F SPORT in a very rare Deep Sea Mica with Flaxen leather interior. Something about the dark blue with contrasting orange yellow interior complimented by the F SPORT’s 19″ dark graphite wheels make it stand out. Most 4th Generation GS in F SPORT trim are built in the typical Nebula Gray, Obsidian, Liquid Platinum and of course Ultra White. It was the perfect sedan to cruise up and down the DFW Metroplex and the super smooth tollways in North Dallas.
I’ve owned many Lexus vehicle and have driven almost ever single model including the LFA. I have to admit, outside of the LFA, the GS 350 F SPORT is probably one of the best driving Lexus models to date. I’m not saying that because i’m a huge Lexus fan and owner, it’s because Lexus has done a lot to make the 4th generation the most dynamic. Starting with he chassis, it’s the most rigid featuring laser welds throughout the body. Lightweight aluminum control arms with KYB dampers give the GS a very smooth ride even on the harshest Texas pavement. On the highways and tollways, the suspension is very firm and planted and even more so when SPORT S+ drive mode is selected. The AVS (Adaptive Variable Suspension) system in SPORT S+ helps stiffen up dampening while simultaneously giving better steering feel and more responsive throttle feel. The GS 350 F SPORT has probably the best seats Lexus has ever offered, even more so than the LFA. Thanks to a 16-way adjustable power sport seat. They’re also heated and auto ventilated, perfect for the continuously changing Texas climate.
Driver’s visibility is best thanks to a low cowl height and optimal seating position.
What’s new for 2015:
The best stuff:
It’s been about a year since I visited Legacy West in Plano, Texas, the future home of Toyota Motor North America. A lot has changed in just that years time. A lot of the surrounding properties are being built up with new business parks, hotels and plenty of new housing tracts as far as the eye can see. In Plano, specifically the Legacy West area, it reminds me of central Orange County, specifically the cities of Irvine and Tustin where large parcels of farmland is now the site of housing tracts and corporate business parks.
BASE MSRP: $48,600
F SPORT Package: $$4,825