The 2019 Lexus GS brings a performance element with its available V8 option. It delivers handsome looks and good value in a highly competitive segment. Some may find the base engine too weak to power this mid-size luxury sedan and the tech offerings could certainly be better.

Best Value

The 2019 Lexus GS is a mid-size luxury car with room for five. That said, the similar-sized Lexus ES sedan offers better interior space. Rear-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is available on the GS 350 and GS 350 F Sport and standard with the GS F.

We find the standard engine on the GS 300 too weak, so we encourage shoppers to begin their search with the GS 350. Standard GS features include LED headlights, aluminum-alloy wheels, a power moonroof, a power tilt-and-telescopic steering column, a 12-speaker audio system, and a long list of driver-assist features. Here's how we'd build our ideal one:

  • Model:2019 Lexus GS 350
  • Engine:3.5-liter V6
  • Output:311 hp / 280 lb-ft
  • Transmission:Eight-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Rear-wheel drive
  • Fuel Economy:20 City / 28 Hwy
  • Options:None
  • Base Price:$52,120 (including the $1,025 destination charge)
  • Best Value Price:$52,120

Performance

Lexus GS

Base GS 300 models are powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 241 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. As equipped, the GS 300 makes an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 combined. The Lexus GS 350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine making 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. Rear-wheel-drive models have an eight-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive versions come with a six-speed automatic transmission. This model makes 20/28/23 mpg (city/highway/combined). Finally, Lexus equips the GS F, an all-wheel-drive model, with a 5.0-liter V8 engine. This one makes 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque. The EPA rates this model at 16/24/19 mpg.

While the base engine delivers adequate power under normal conditions and the V8 has copious amounts of power at its disposal, we think the middle V6 engine is just right for most shoppers. For this reason, the GS 350 is our pick. We can dream about the GS F, but its price tag adds more than $30,000 to this sedan.

Buyers should take note that the RWD GS 350 works with an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the AWD version works with a six-speed automatic. Both transmissions work beautifully with the V6 engine, switching between cogs almost unnoticeably. We especially like the GS’ connected steering and spot-on handling. Combine these with a very comfortable ride and the GS is a formidable entrant in a segment that includes the BMW 5-Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Style

Not every sedan that has been on the market ages well, but the Lexus GS has. We’re not certain it'll be around for long, but in the meantime it matches well against the competition.

The spindle grille featured on every Lexus product looks great here. We especially like the look in F Sport trim as the grille is garnished with a mesh covering. Lots of detailing, including handsome curves and cut lines which bring attention to the GS’ body. Especially fetching is the rear deck with its strong horizontal themes combined with shapes and squared-off portions.

Inside, the cabin is no less interesting than the exterior. The big, sharp gauges are simple beautiful and the horizontal lines throughout are nicely sculpted. The quality of materials used as well as fit and finish are superb. Lexus is second to none in this department.

The Best and Worst Things

Lexus GSThe best and worst things are the GS’ powertrain offerings. On one hand, you have a fire-breathing V8 engine and all the performance attributes that come with it. On the other hand, the standard four-cylinder engine has to work hard to move this sizable sedan. Thus, the V6 supplies a satisfying middle ground.

Right For? Wrong For?

If you’re inclined to all things luxury sedan, the Lexus GS is a top pick. It looks good, has aged well, and supplies the driving attributes we expect. If you need utility, then this sedan simply can't cut it. Instead, consider the Lexus RX, which is a top-seller for this luxury brand.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 Lexus GS offers good value among competitors, handsome looks, and decent fuel economy. It truly shines in a shrinking mid-size sedan segment, even if its long-term survival is in question.