LEXUS says it has changed.
While virtues like quality, reliability,
unparalleled owner satisfaction, customer care, refinement and luxury remain,
every model beginning with the all-new fourth-generation GS just released in
Australia will add driving excitement to the mix, while the BMW 5 Series
competitor also rights its predecessor’s wrongs with a roomier cabin and larger
We’ve always liked the GS in any case, and the styling is certainly
different, but we wonder if the Japanese have achieved their objectives with
the latest iteration.
Model release dates: April 2012 - November 2015
LEXUS’ third-generation luxury midsized sedan kept the styling cues and
proportions of its well-received predecessor, but was a complete redesign
inside and out.
The base GS300’s 183kW/310Nm 3.0-litre V6 petrol drove the rear
wheels via a six-speed automatic sequential gearbox, and represented the
mainstay of the range.
A 208kW/417Nm 4.3-litre V8 – shared with the LS flagship
– was also offered, but that was overshadowed 218kW/368Nm 3.5-litre V6
petrol/electric GS450h hybrid with a CVT transmission that eclipsed the others
for performance while bringing palpably better fuel consumption.
facelift brought minor changes to the series, with the GS430 making way for the
255kW/460Nm 4.6-litre V8 range-topper, boasting more equipment levels and an
eight-speed automatic transmission.
Unfortunately for Lexus, however, the GS
was overlooked by most luxury midsized sedan buyers, on account of its tight
rear legroom and smallish boot, which shrunk even more in the otherwise
intriguing GS450h Hybrid version.
Sales slowed to a trickle, and almost led to
Toyota in Japan pulling the plug on the GS series altogether.