Interior and conclusion

Lexus engineers challenged themselves to develop a more spacious interior environment for the new GS while leaving exterior dimensions virtually unchanged. They certainly succeeded – the new model offers noticeably more legroom at the rear when compared to its predecessor while the luggage area is longer and wider than previously. Access to the boot has also improved tremendously thanks to a wider boot lid aperture.

Up front, the driving environment is dominated by the generously sized centrally mounted 12.5-inch display screen that is large enough to support simultaneous, split-screen viewing of a large map display, plus audio, climate or other vehicle information. The GS’s Remote Touch Interface (RTI) operating system is improved over earlier ones in the RX and CT but the cursor for the menus and functions is still a tad hard to control while the main menu itself is far from intuitive to navigate. Sitting below the main display screen on the dashboard is the first application of an analogue clock in a Lexus that looks far better than the nasty and cheap looking seven-segment LCD digital clock in other Lexus models. The instruments though, can do with more thought in their design – they look too similar to the IS’s.

New to the GS is an energy-saving auto climate control system called S-Flow that uses an occupant-detection system to focus airflow only to the front area where passengers are actually seated. Perceived quality and luxury levels are exceptionally high for a Lexus and the executive saloon class, only the Audi A6 surpasses the GS when it comes to cabin ambience and overall quality. Unlike its predecessor, the new model uses little Toyota switchgear, which only minor ones like the cruise control stalk shared with Toyota models – the soft touch feel of the exposed surfaces, convincing looking aluminium trim of the F sport model tested here and the new bespoke switchgear certainly makes the GS’s cabin feel and look special when compared to those in other Lexus models. Further lifting cabin ambience are white LED ambient lighting that line the centre console, door cards etc.

Safety is high on the GS’s agenda – it comes standard with up to ten SRS airbags while active safety aids like a blind spot monitor is standard fit. The GS’s blind spot monitor though, can be further improved – the warning light is placed right smack within the wing mirrors, which makes them hardly noticeable, especially when vehicles reflected on the mirrors have their headlights on. Warning lights on the side of the wing mirror housings like Audi’s blind spot monitoring system are more obvious and hence work better.

The new GS is certainly a giant step forward over its seven-year old predecessor. With significant improvements in most key areas, the GS is surely a credible threat to its highly capable German competitors.

 

In Summary

We Like

Superbly executed interior, well equipped, sharp and accurate steering, improved dynamics over its predecessor, sporty engine note

We Don't

Looks heavy from certain angles, unintuitive Remote Touch Interface (RTI) operating system, engine lacks low end and mid-range urge

Verdict

The new GS is a major step forward over its predecessor in many key areas including ride and handling, performance and interior.

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Engine

Engine Capacity 3456cc
Engine Type V 6
Compression Ratio 11.8:1
Bore x Stroke (94.0 x 83.0)mm
Power 316bhp @ 6400rpm
Torque 378Nm @ 4800rpm
Power to Weight 191.5 bhp per ton

Performance

Acceleration 6s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 235 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 10.3 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 6 -speed Auto
Drive Type FR

Measurements

Body Type Sedan
Dimension
(L x W x H)
(4850 x 1590 x 1455) mm
Wheelbase 2850 mm
Kerb Weight 1650 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 66 L

Brakes