For 2015, the Lexus GS 350 luxury sedan and 450h hybrid performance sedan manage to combine legendary build quality and comfort with a sporting side not commonly associated with Lexus’ big cars. A coupe-like silhouette and a wide variety of trims, including all-wheel drive and the performance-oriented F-Sport, make the GS sedan an easy choice to live with.
You'll Like The 2015 Lexus GS 350 If...
Are you split between the desire for a well-heeled sports sedan and a comfortable luxury cruiser? Lexus’ GS 350 and 450h sedans for 2015 are sufficiently adept in both schools, with performance and luxury packages that allow buyers to further move the needle in either direction.
You May Not Like The 2015 Lexus GS 350 If...
The GS’ V6 engine doesn’t satisfy in the way some rival V8 and turbocharged V6s do, and the car’s handling, while adept, doesn’t rise to the level of a BMW or Cadillac. Understanding that styling is subjective, we think some may find the GS’ profile a bit generic.
For 2015, the Lexus GS 350 luxury sedan receives a new multimedia system with 12.3-inch screen that can be divided into three sections displaying audio, navigation and climate control. Available in limited numbers, the Crafted Line is based on the GS 350 F Sport and boasts exclusive features and a set of Tumi duffel bags.
Although slightly edgy on the outside, Lexus’ 2015 GS luxury sedan is all about comfort on the inside. The attractively shaped instrument panel includes analog Optitron gauges with a color Multi-Information Display and an 8- or 12.3-inch color high-resolution central-control screen that operates with the 2nd-generation Remote Touch Interface (RTI) control function. Both front occupants enjoy 10-way power seats, and LED ambient lighting is integrated into the door ornamentation and the RTI surround area. Nice touches and details abound, from “Lexus”-stamped scuff plates on all doorsills to contrast stitching on the upper instrument panel, door panels and shift boot.
The Lexus GS luxury performance sedan for 2015 is not for the shy, as the Lexus L-Finesse design theme results in a boldly styled piece of road-going art. It leads with a striking front-end treatment that is becoming the Lexus corporate face. Fitting its more sporting image, the GS continues with edgy styling and highly defined shapes that include distinctive headlights and LED taillights. The GS 350 and 450h are fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels, while the F Sport Package adds 19-inch wheels. Rich and varied paint options are a pleasant departure from the ubiquitous sea of silver, white and black.
With its impressive level of handling, acceleration and braking response, the performance-oriented Lexus GS 350 for 2015 suddenly finds itself on equal footing with a number of time-honored sports-sedan nameplates. Contributing to the GS’s prowess is its stiff unit-body construction, lightweight aluminum control-arm suspension and wide track. Lexus’ 3-way Drive Mode has settings for Eco, Normal and Sport, allowing the driver to dial in varying degrees of power steering assist and throttle response. Of course, true enthusiast drivers will likely opt for the F-Sport package that offers a more aggressive wheel and tire package, as well as variable adaptive suspension settings such as the available Lexus Dynamic Handling system with Variable Gear Ratio Steering and Dynamic Rear Steering. When so equipped, the GS goes from soft-riding luxury sedan to Nurburgring-worthy competitor. And, for sheer straight-line performance, the GS 450h hybrid can actually outrun its gasoline-only counterpart.
The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) for the 2015 Lexus GS 350 starts just a shade under $50,000, with AWD versions starting closer to $52,000. The hybrid GS 450h starts just a few hundred dollars over the $60,000 mark and adding numerous options can push it considerably higher. The Crafted Line GS 350 F Sport, limited to 875 models total, begins just under $56,000 for RWD and slightly over $58,000 for AWD. The GS 350’s likely European competitors, the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, tend to have starting prices above that of the GS and are also fairly close to each other in resale values, but the GS 350 is expected to maintain both 3-year and 5-year residuals that are higher than those European sports sedans, thus paying benefits in the long term. Before heading off to the dealer, be sure and check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are actually paying for the 2015 Lexus GS 350 or 450h.
All 2015 Lexus GS models include leather upholstery, wood/metallic accent trim, a full range of power assists, power moonroof, multifunction steering wheel and energy-saving S-flow automatic climate control. The standard Lexus Premium Audio System has 12 speakers, AM/FM/DVD with HD Radio and WMA/MP3 capability, Bluetooth streaming, 5.1 Surround Sound and numerous other features. Additional standard equipment includes Navigation (GS 350), keyless remote/push-button start, Lexus Drive Mode, a rearview camera, the Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management system (combining the functions of anti-lock brakes, traction control and stability control), Safety Connect with Automatic Collision Notification and all the usual and government-mandated safety features.
Options for the 2015 Lexus GS include a Premium Package with heated and ventilated front seats; a Luxury Package with Adaptive Variable Suspension (AVS), rear audio and climate controls and semi-aniline leather upholstery; a Cold Weather Package with heated steering wheel; and the F Sport Package with a 16-way driver’s sport seat, custom-tuned AVS, bigger wheels/tires/brakes and Variable Gear Ratio Steering. Stand-alone options include an HDD Navigation system, power trunk release, Dynamic Rear Steering, 835-watt Mark Levinson premium audio, Head-Up Display, Blind Spot Monitor, Pre Collision Warning, Intuitive Park Assist and Lane Keep Assist with Lane Departure Warning.
LEXUS DRIVE MODE
The GS is all about control and with separate throttle and transmission settings for Eco, Normal and Sport, the driver has the final say as to how the GS should perform. Order either the F-Sport or Luxury package and a Sport+ mode brings additional control over the adaptive suspension and VDIM systems.
For fans of both performance and fuel economy, the GS 450h hybrid’s Atkinson-cycle 3.5-liter V6 and electric motor is a win-win. Pumping out a system total 338 horsepower, it accelerates faster than the gasoline-only GS 350, yet returns an impressive 29 mpg city/34 mpg highway.
Under the Hood
The 2015 Lexus GS 350 has a 3.5-liter V6 with dual variable valve timing with intelligence (VVT-i) and direct fuel injection; it makes 306 horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. In rear-wheel-drive (RWD) models it is matched with an 8-speed automatic transmission and with all-wheel drive (AWD) it has a 6-speed automatic. The hybrid GS 450h employs an Atkinson-cycle version of the 3.5-liter V6, with the Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive that combines the gasoline engine and the electric motor for a total system output of 338 horsepower and, in the bargain, exceptional fuel economy.
306 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
277 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 mpg (RWD), 19/26 mpg (AWD)
3.5-liter V6 + electric motor and battery pack
286 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
180-horsepower electric motor – 338 net system horsepower
254 lb-ft of torque @ 4,600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/34 mpg
In the 2015 GS 350 and 450h luxury-performance sedans, Lexus has created a 4-door luxury car with a coupe-like appearance, a long list of impressive luxury attributes and a healthy dose of performance and technology features. The GS 350’s refined V6 engine delivers an impressive blend of power and economy, while the GS 450h hybrid amplifies fuel-economy figures without any appreciable loss in performance. Positioned against such stalwarts as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6 and Cadillac CTS, the GS rises to the task without missing a beat. From its sophisticated yet user-friendly in-cabin technology to its hushed ride and impeccable build quality, the 2015 Lexus GS 350 and 450h redefine what a luxury-performance sedan can be.