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2019 Lexus GS

$46,860 - $54,355
Price Range (MSRP)
Lexus GS

2019 Lexus GS Review

by Jay Traugott

As one of the more affordable midsize luxury sedans on the market, the GS range has been designed with performance and luxury in mind. What the 2019 Lexus GS manages to offer, which many rival vehicles falter in, is a car that effectively strikes a balance between strong performance capabilities and luxury, in-cabin comfort. There are two powertrain options in the lineup, with the GS 300 and 300 F Sport equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine producing 241 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque - it is only available in rear-wheel-drive and features an eight-speed automatic transmission. The GS 350 and 350 F Sport boast a bigger 3.5-liter V6 engine that yields 311 hp and 280 lb-ft, sent through either an eight-speed auto transmission to the rear wheels or a six-speed auto as an all-wheel-drive. Though the GS range manages to deliver quintessential midsize sedan luxury without too many sacrifices, its subpar infotainment system and non-folding rear seats set it back in comparison to big-name rivals such as the BMW 5 Series. Both the BMW and Lexus' other excellent sedan, the ES, offer the same strong points as the GS but have better tech and practicality.

2019 Lexus GS Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 GS?

Not many adjustments or upgrades have been given to the GS coming into 2019; the luxury sedan only received the Lexus Enform Connect smartphone app and a new optional feature that integrates the Lexus Enform Remote with smartwatch and Amazon Alexa skills.

Pros and Cons

  • Upscale, comfortable and spacious interior
  • Sufficient variety of standard safety features
  • Modest suite of driver aids
  • Good balance of sportiness and luxury-comfort
  • Quality ride
  • Unintuitive infotainment controller
  • Non-folding rear seats limit versatility
  • Subpar acceleration power

GS Exterior

The Lexus GS 300 base model is equipped with 17-inch nine-spoke aluminum wheels while the GS 350 is set on 18-inch five-spoke alloys; the GS F Sport editions upgrades wheel options to 19-inch split-five-spoke rims. The GS range is fitted with LED daytime running lights, Bi-LED headlamps, LED turn signals and rear combination lamps, integrated dual exhaust outlets with lateral fins, heated electrochromic auto-dimming retractable side mirrors with tilt-down function and integrated turn signals, puddle lamps, and a one-touch open/close power moonroof.

2019 Lexus GS Front View
2019 Lexus GS Rear View
2019 Lexus GS Side View
See All 2019 Lexus GS Exterior Photos

Dimensions

At a length of 192.1 inches, the GS is slightly shorter than its two main rivals; similarly, its wheelbase stretching 112.1 inches and width of 72.4 inches is less than both the BMW and Lexus ES. On rear-wheel-drive models, the GS stands 57.3 inches in height and has a ground clearance of 5.1 inches. At 0.6-inches taller, the all-wheel-drive models also have a bit more ground clearance at 5.5 inches. Equipped with the eight-speed auto gearbox the rear-wheel-drive GS 300 models weigh in at 3,805 pounds, while the RWD GS 350 and F Sport variants are slightly lighter at 3,725 lbs. For AWD derivatives on the GS 350 and F Sport, curb weight peaks at 3,891 lbs.

Exterior Colors

There are ten exterior color options for the GS range all-inclusive of the base price, including Eminent White Pearl, Liquid Platinum, Smokey Granite Mica, Obsidian, Matador Red Mica, Nightfall Mica, Atomic Silver, and Caviar. Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0 and Ultra White are exclusively available with the F Sport editions of the GS. Performance-focused drivers will enjoy the GS F Sport in Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0, which complements its aggressive and assertive demeanor. For those who are looking at the standard GS models, we recommend the Smokey Granite Mica, which pairs exceptionally well with the silver exterior accents and exudes the classy side of the luxury sedan.

  • Eminent White Pearl
  • Smoky Granite Mica
  • Liquid Platinum
  • Atomic Silver
  • Obsidian
  • Caviar
  • Matador Red Mica
  • Nightfall Mica
  • Ultra White
  • Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0

GS Performance

Two powertrain options are available across the range: entry-level models are equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that produces 241 hp, while the top-end trims have a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 311 hp. The best performing engine is the latter equipped on the rear-wheel-drive GS 350; it can hit the 60 mph mark in an impressive 5.7 seconds. The all-wheel-drive configuration is only a fraction slower, completing the sprint in 5.8 seconds. With the smaller engine, the base GS 300 in rear-wheel-drive is the slowest, managing the 0-60 mph test in 7 seconds. Competing BMWs make the dash in 6.2 seconds while the Lexus ES clocks a time of 6.8 seconds. The GS 350 impresses in this regard - acceleration from take-off is energetic, although not breathtaking, and the overall performance from base models is on par with competitors, while top-end trims fare quite well in comparison to peers.

2019 Lexus GS Three Quarter Front Right Side View In Motion
2019 Lexus GS Three Quarter Rear Left Side View
2019 Lexus GS Engine

Engine and Transmission

At the entry point of the range, GS 300 models have a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four engine that develops 241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque via an eight-speed automatic transmission. It can be configured as either rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel drive. The rear-wheel drivetrain performs more efficiently than the all-wheel-drive version, delivering a quieter, smoother ride overall. Acceleration from a standstill in either setup, however, is more than adequate. Both versions sufficiently take on city driving, managing stints between traffic lights as well as higher-speed overtaking on highways effortlessly. The eight-speed automatic transmission does feel a little lazy from time to time, needing encouragement to shift up. When in Manual driving mode, the paddle-shifters offer better reactions from the transmission: the eight-speed-gearbox offers a throttle-blipping function that assists with greater acceleration and more precise shifting, especially when exiting corners.

In GS 350 models, a 3.5-liter V6 engine sends 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque to either the rear wheels via an eight-speed auto transmission or to all four wheels through a six-speed auto. The V6 engine delivers a potent kick while maintaining an ultra-smooth feel. It produces a pleasant, sporty rumble which could make you think you have a performance-sedan on your hands. Despite this, other V6-powered luxury sedans are a step ahead in terms of actual performance-like acceleration and tend to feel more refined. Still, the available six-speed transmission is responsive and delivers adequate power inline with engine output.

  • Engines
    2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.5-liter V6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

All models in the range offer similar handling and driving impressions, save for the F Sport courtesy of its performance-based enhancements. With the standard GS models, ride comfort is soft, effortlessly smooth and poised thanks to the potent engine options and highly capable auto transmissions. The GS 300 and GS 350 maintain a stable ride composure over rougher road surfaces and undulations. It is the adaptive variable suspension in the F Sport that impresses though, affirming the precise balance of sport and luxurious comfort characterized in the GS range.

Steering is responsive and precise; on the open road, the GS cruises effortlessly and sharp turns are taken with ease. The optional four-wheel dynamic rear steering, although quick and precise, is very light and exhibits marginal oversteer at the limits. Brakes in the GS are firm and receptive, but require some anticipation from the driver. The GS models are agile, and cornering is met with an impressive response and a good deal of grip and stability. The cabin is exceptionally well insulated from outside road, tire and wind noise, and the well-cushioned seats are supportive and comfortable.

Activating Sport S mode alters transmission responses for faster gear changes and more dynamic throttle mapping. The Sport S+ mode on F Sport model goes a step further by tightening the suspension and increasing the steering response on those variants equipped with variable gear-ratio steering. In both modes, the transmission's shift points are automatically altered going into and coming out of corners to optimize acceleration. Normal mode optimizes efficiency, so acceleration is less enthusiastic but still adequate.

GS Gas Mileage

The rear-wheel-drive GS 300 is the most fuel-efficient model in the range, with its 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbo engine that achieves EPA estimates of 22/32/26 mpg city/highway/combined. The rear-wheel-drive GS 300 F Sport with the same engine and gearbox earned estimates of 21/30/24 mpg.

For the GS 350 trims, the rear-wheel-drive configuration offers the most economical option with gas mileage estimates of 20/28/23 mpg, while the rear-wheel-drive 350 F Sport fares less efficiently at 19/27/22 mpg. For all-wheel-drive derivatives, the GS 350 and F Sport present identical EPA estimates of 19/26/22 mpg. All models are equipped with a 17.4-gallon fuel tank which strictly takes premium unleaded gas. When full, the most efficient model, namely the rear-wheel-drive GS 300, can travel a maximum range of 452.4 miles before needing to fill up again.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    17.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 22/32 mpg
* 2019 Lexus GS 300 RWD

GS Interior

Lexus build quality is generally excellent, and the interior of the GS exudes class and refinement through the use of upscale materials in a roomy and comfortable cabin. Driver controls are laid out ergonomically, although the thick center console/armrest can feel intrusive. Seating space is otherwise sufficient, with only the rear seat's legroom being a tad restrictive for taller occupants. Headroom is abundant throughout, and even six-foot passengers are easily accommodated. Seats up front are supportive, comfortable, and are highly adjustable. The back seat is also pleasant, although the middle rear seat is mostly suitable for small children as the slight elevation impedes on headroom for taller occupants. At base level, the front seats in the GS 300 are heated, with added ventilation in the GS 350. Additionally, there are two air conditioning vents in the rear of the center console for the back seat, and the center seat backrest folds down to function as an armrest.

2019 Lexus GS Infotainment System
2019 Lexus GS Driver Seat
2019 Lexus GS Steering Wheel
See All 2019 Lexus GS Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Lexus GS is a five-seater, four-door midsize luxury sedan. Ingress and egress are easy by virtue of the wide opening doors, narrow sills, and comfortably high-set seats. The front and rear cabin offer ample head, shoulder, hip, and legroom, although anyone substantially taller than six foot will struggle to fit in the rear seats behind someone of a similar size with the front seats pushed back. For the driver and front passenger, seats can be widely adjusted for comfort, and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel has a fairly generous range, making it easy for most drivers to find a comfortable seating position ergonomically behind the controls. Visibility is also excellent, especially front-facing and side visibility. Rear three-quarter blind spots are minimized thanks to the conscientiously sculpted rear roof pillar.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

There are five different interior color and material options, as well as various trim and finish combinations: The GS 300 features simulated leather upholstery while the 300 F Sport, 350, and 350 F Sport feature genuine leather upholstery. Black, Chateau, and Flaxen Nuluxe interiors are paired to striated black trim, while the Black and Chateau leather interiors are complemented with Gray Sapele wood and aluminum trim. Flaxen leather is combined with open-pore Brown Walnut finishes. The GS F Sport models boast Flaxen leather, Rioja Red leather, and Black leather with white perforation interior options, all featured with Aguri aluminum trim, along with LFA-inspired instrumentation and aluminum pedals.

GS Trunk and Cargo Space

Trunk capacity in the GS is a little below average for this segment, at 14.3 cubic feet. Its broad trunk mouth opens widely to present a deep floor and enough room for two large suitcases and some smaller loose items. Rear seats do not fold down at all, further limiting versatility; the slender ski pass-through located in the middle of the back seat is not particularly practical. Both the Lexus ES and BMW 5 Series offers a bit more cargo space, although not by much.

Upfront, a decent glovebox can swallow a slender purse while a moderately-sized console sits below the front-center armrest with two cupholders ahead of the gear shifter. Slender door pockets are good for smaller items but not water bottles. In the back, the available door-side pockets can fit bottles, and the rear center armrest folds down to provide access to a small storage compartment and two cupholders.

2019 Lexus GS Rear Passenger Seats
2019 Lexus GS Rear View
2019 Lexus GS Side View
  • Trunk Volume
    18.4 ft³

GS Infotainment and Features

Features

Although aimed at being an affordable midsize sedan, the GS offers abundant interior features that include safety and advanced active driver assists, such as the Lexus Safety System+ suite, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. Other standard features include an analog clock with GPS time zone functionality, an analog instrument cluster with color 4.2-inch multi-information display, a Remote Touch Interface, steering wheel with multimedia, cruise control and multi-information display controls, electrochromic rearview mirror with compass and HomeLink programmable garage door opener, as well as a Memory System to control the driver's seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel. The GS 350 models are equipped with all of the above plus dual-automatic climate control, heated and ventilated front seats, automatic rain-sensing wipers, a power-adjustable steering wheel, and a power rear sunshade. The F Sport editions receive LFA-inspired instrumentation, sport front seats with enhanced bolsters, and a 16-way power-adjustable driver's seat.

Infotainment

The GS is equipped with a somewhat outdated infotainment system, with no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto functionality and a joy-stick-like control interface. This is supposed to control the entertainment and the navigation system but is a surprisingly unintuitive method and distracting to use. The native voice control system is also overly pedantic, relying on limited and concise commands which often need to be rephrased. The standard infotainment setup of the GS 300 comprises of an eight-inch multimedia display paired to a Lexus' Remote Touch interface and a 12-speaker, 5.1 surround-sound system. The system is inclusive of navigation capability, subscription-free traffic and weather updates via the HD radio, Siri Eyes Free, voice command, and Bluetooth smartphone connectivity. The media hub holds dual USB ports and an auxiliary input for smartphone charging and connectivity. The GS 350 models receive a 12.3-inch high-resolution display and Lexus navigation system.

GS Problems and Reliability

Reliability for the Lexus GS has continuously improved since its first release, receiving fewer complaints over the years, and none recently. As a result, J.D. Power has allocated the 2019 Lexus GS with a better than most predicted reliability rating of four and a half out of five. The 2019 GS has also not been subject to any safety recalls by the NHTSA.

Lexus offers the GS models with a four-year/50,000-mile basic warranty with one-year/12,000-mile wheel alignment and balancing coverage. The powertrain is covered by a six-year/70,000-mile warranty, and rust-through coverage is given for six-years regardless of mileage. A four-year/unlimited mile roadside assistance plan is also included.

GS Safety

The IIHS ran the Lexus GS through three crash test evaluations in which it earned a top score of good for each. The IIHS also notes that the standard pre-collision system onboard the GS provides a basic level of front crash prevention. The NHTSA has not evaluated any model of the Lexus GS for safety since 2011. A modest list of standard safety features is included from the base level, however.

Key Safety Features

The GS range is equipped with Lexus' Safety System+ as standard, comprised of a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, lane departure warning with steering assist, and lane-keep assist. Both GS 300 and the GS 350 models are equipped with a rearview backup camera, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Enform Service Connect packages are included and complimentary for the first ten years of ownership, providing access to Lexus Enform response centers at any time. Additionally, this enables the GS alert capability for specific factory recommended maintenance, while simultaneously alerting a preferred Lexus retailer. Optional safety features include parking sensors, a head-up display, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Lexus GS a good car?

At its market price point, and with a modest level of base vehicle features, the GS is a good midsize luxury sedan to consider in this segment. It offers an effective balance between sporty appeal and luxury-comfort and allows buyers to lean more toward either element with the selection of various additional packages as well as the optional performance-oriented F Sport models. Both the base 300 and 350 offer comprehensive features and driver aids and maintain an excellent overall build quality. According to JD Power, this is a superbly reliable vehicle and along with good safety rankings and a variety of advanced driver-assist features, places the GS ahead of many rivals in this class. Hindered only by its dated and clumsy infotainment system, the GS delivers adequately in every crucial area expected from a luxury sedan. The GS caters to multiple tastes too, as the rear-wheel-drive models offer sportier dynamics for more energetic drivers, while the all-wheel-drive models are available for those who want extra traction for rougher weather conditions.

What's the Price of the 2019 Lexus GS?

The rear-wheel-drive GS 300 is the most affordable option in the range, with a starting MSRP of $46,860. Along with the rear-wheel-drive GS 300 F Sport, which costs $51,450, the 300 is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbo engine mated to an eight-speed auto gearbox. The GS 350 selection has a 3.5-liter V6 engine installed, and the rear-wheel-drive model is priced at $51,245. Models configured with the all-wheel-drivetrains cost a little less, at $50,915. The F Sport edition of the GS 350 in rear-wheel-drive has an MSRP of $52,610 while the all-wheel-drive model is listed at $54,355. All prices are excluding tax, licensing, registration, individual dealership incentives, and Lexus' delivery, processing and handling fee of $1,025.

2019 Lexus GS Models

The 2019 Lexus GS range consists of two trim options, namely the GS 300 and GS 350. There are two variants within the GS 300 trim level, only available in the rear-wheel-drive configuration: the base GS 300 and the F Sport variant. Similarly, four options are available in the GS 350 range: the rear- and all-wheel-drive base 350, and the F Sport variants thereof.

The GS 300 is the base variant in the range powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It is configured exclusively as rear-wheel-drive and fitted with 17-inch alloy wheels as standard. The F Sport rendition of the GS 300 has the same underpinnings but receives more aggressive front and rear styling, and a rear trunk lid spoiler. It sits on 19-inch alloy wheels with performance tires and boasts sport-tuned adaptive suspension and more prominent front brakes. On the inside, the F Sport has an LFA-inspired instrumentation cluster, heated and ventilated front seats, a 16-way power-adjustable driver seat, automatic wipers, and a power rear sunshade.

All GS 350 models are equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. Rear-wheeled configurations use an eight-speed automatic transmission while AWD versions have a six-speed auto gearbox. The base versions of the GS 350 are kitted out with a modest list of standard vehicle features, most notably the distinctive 18-inch alloy wheels and ambient LED cabin lighting. RWD models get heated and ventilated power-adjustable front seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel and a power rear sunshade are standard, which are optional features on the AWD version. F Sport editions of the GS 350 receive the same adjustments as the GS 300 F Sport, but the rear-wheel-drive F Sport has an added limited-slip differential and four-wheel-steering as an optional extra.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
GS 300
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$46,860
GS 350
3.5-liter V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
Rear-Wheel Drive
$50,915
GS 300 F Sport
2.0-liter Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
$51,450
GS 350 F Sport
3.5-liter V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
$52,610
See All 2019 Lexus GS Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

Available for the rear-wheel-drive GS 300 models is the $1,400 Premium Package, which is comprised of a power rear sunshade, intermittent rain-sensing windshield wipers and heated and ventilated front seats. This package costs $1,760 when added to the all-wheel-drive GS 350, and includes leather-trimmed upholstery. Available for the GS 300 and standard on the GS 350, is the $1,735 Navigation Package which consists of a Navigation System with 12.3-in high-resolution split-screen multimedia display, Lexus Enform App Suite, and Lexus Enform Destination Assist with one-year subscription. The all-wheel-drive 350 models can equip a Cold Weather Package for $290, which adds a windshield wiper de-icer, headlamp washers, and water-repellent front-door glass. Some noteworthy individual options include the $1,380 Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound Audio System, the $500 Intuitive Parking Assist, and a $400 power open/close trunk.

What Lexus GS Model Should I Buy?

If you're looking for optimal efficiency, with the comfort and luxury benefits that come with the GS, then the base rear-wheel-drive GS 300 would be your best buy. Its powertrain setup is the most fuel-efficient of the range, and still comes standard with essential features such as a power moonroof, heated and power-adjustable front seats, driver-seat memory settings and an automatic climate control system.

Should performance be your priority, opt for the RWD GS 350 F Sport. It delivers the fastest speeds and highest power outputs as well as having the sportier aesthetic. It also boasts more progressive vehicle features as standard.

Check out other Lexus GS Styles?

2019 Lexus GS Comparisons

2019 Lexus GS
2019 Lexus GS

2019 Lexus GS vs BMW 5 Series Sedan

Overall, the GS and the BMW 5 Series have relatively similar economy numbers, although with 24/34/29 mpg the base BMW 530i betters the entry-level rear-wheel-drive GS 300's 22/32/26 mpg. The BMW 530i is the most affordable trim option in the 5 Series lineup, which comes within $1,000 of the fully-loaded GS model. Pricing of each 5 Series trim increases exponentially, making the GS significantly more affordable. Despite this, the pricier BMW offers a more refined and efficient 3.0-liter six-cylinder turbo engine with superior performance. Technology in the 5 Series puts the GS' to shame, including wireless Apple CarPlay and a high level of device integration. It also delivers far greater infotainment and tech feature quality overall. The 5 Series dominates in pretty much all other luxury sedan aspects and is the obvious choice when compared to the GS, despite its exorbitant price tag.

See BMW 5 Series Sedan Review

2019 Lexus GS vs Lexus ES

There are not too many differences between the ES and GS models other than the better handling and sportier driving dynamics offered by the GS range. Both Lexus models have the F Sport renditions available, and both are equipped with the aging 3.0-liter V6 engine; the GS range does, however, offer the more fuel-efficient and more refined 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. The ES lineup is slightly more affordable than the GS lineup, while still maintaining a good range of standard vehicle and safety features, along with advanced driver-assist elements. The ES also has a slightly larger trunk and a somewhat more spacious interior. With a better balance of performance-feel and luxury-comfort, we'd opt for the GS over its ES sibling.

See Lexus ES Review

Lexus GS Popular Comparisons

2019 Lexus GS Video Review