2020 Lexus GS 350 F Sport Review: Few Updates But Still Solid

2020 Lexus GS 350
In Our Editorial Opinion:
The 2020 Lexus GS 350 F Sport with all-wheel drive offers a comfortable and sure footed ride without sacrificing too much performance. While the interior is dated, the infotainment system sometimes frustrating, it's impossible to ignore the car's overall quality and Lexus' track record for reliability. Maybe Lexus feels if it ain't broke don't fix it, and when it comes to the GS 350, we can see why.
Exterior Styling
Interior Layout
Driving Dynamics
Safety & Tech Features
Everyday Functionality
Ride & Handling
Luxurious Interior
Rear Legroom
Infotainment Mouse Controller

Even though the Lexus GS 350 is needing a complete overhaul, shoppers shouldn’t dismiss the luxury sedan. The GS 350 had all the kinks worked out years ago and could be one of the most dependable, trouble-free models one the market. You get Lexus’ reliability, plus a car that still offers plenty of technology and all-weather capability. This week, we have been driving the 2020 Lexus GS 350 with all-wheel drive and in F Sport trim.

Lexus GS 350: What’s New For 2020?

The GS 350 carries over from 2019 and is unchanged for 2020.

Features & Options: Tech & Safety

The 2020 Lexus GS 350 F Sport with all-wheel drive ($54,505) comes with a multitude of standard features like LED headlights; a sunroof; dual-zone automatic climate control; heated and ventilated front seats; and leather upholstery. You also get a navigation system, 12.3-inch display screen, and a 12-speaker sound system. 

The Lexus Safety System+ of advanced driving aids includes adaptive cruise control; lane departure warning; blind-spot monitor; pre-collision warning with pedestrian detection; and automatic emergency braking.

2020 Lexus GS 350
2020 Lexus GS 350.

Features & Options: F Sport Treatments

The F Sport trim gets a few extra goodies for driving enthusiasts with more aggressive styling; 19-inch wheels with all-season tires; sport-tuned adaptive suspension; and bigger front brakes. It also comes with variable ratio steering, an F Sport power-adjustable front seat, and S+ Drive mode. 

Our GS 350 tester came with the optional Triple Beam LED headlights; 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system; heads-up display; heated steering wheel; and the all-weather package.

How Much Is The 2020 Lexus GS 350?

Total MSRP for our test vehicle, including destination: $61,684. By comparison, the 2020 Lexus GS 350 starts at $51,065.

It’s easy for the options to add up quickly on a GS 350. However, depending on local incentives and inventory in your area*, you may be able to save a little extra to offset some of that cost.

2020 Lexus GS 350 interior layout.
2020 Lexus GS 350 interior layout.

Interior Highlights: Still Comfortable

The cabin of the GS 350 is getting dated, lacking the wow factor of newer rivals, but it’s still comfortable and inviting. It comes with the typical Lexus quality, and the fit and finish is what you would expect for this class: excellent. Inside are padded leather panels, wood trim, and lots of soft-touch materials throughout. We were able to adjust the 18-way heated and cooled front driver’s seat to the perfect driving position.

We made liberal use of the heated seats and heated steering wheel this week with the freezing temperatures in Denver. The heated steering wheel button was easy to find just to the left. We didn’t have to hunt for it like in some luxury sedans.

Interior Highlights: Some Frustration

The 12.3-inch split screen display sits in the middle of the dash and allows the driver to easily view and control up to three systems via a triple split screen. Lexus still uses a mouse-like controller just to the right of the gear shift to control the infotainment system. We have used the controller enough now that we are starting to get used to it, but it remains one of our least favorite things about Lexus in general.  

Inside the GS 3530, Apple iPhone users will have compatibility with Siri Eyes Free. The system allows you to make calls, pick songs from iTunes, and receive turn-by-turn directions via Apple Maps.

2020 Lexus GS 350 07

2020 Lexus GS 350: Engine & Powertrain

Our GS 350 F-Sport was powered by a 3.5-liter V6, producing 311 horsepower and 280 lb-ft. of torque. The engine comes mated to a six-speed automatic.

Is The 2020 Lexus GS 350 All-Wheel Drive? 

While rear-wheel drive is standard, the 2020 Lexus GS 350 offers all-wheel drive. The system has an electronically-controlled center differential which provides a 30:70 torque split (rear-wheel bias). Depending on the conditions and the level of traction needed, the system can split torque to as much as 50:50, front and rear.

What Is The Gas Mileage of The Lexus GS 350?

EPA fuel mileage estimates come in at 19/26 city/highway and 21 combined for the all-wheel drive model. Rear-wheel drive variants, by contrast, are 20/28 city/highway and 23 combined.

2020 Lexus GS 350 01

Driving Dynamics: Steady & Stable

The GS 350’s 3.5-liter V6 is crisp, and offered up ample power and responsiveness in all the different driving situations we encountered this week. We didn’t have snow to contend with, but the luxury sedan did offer stable footing on the dirt roads in the mountains west of Denver. Luxury sedan buyers should opt for all-wheel drive if they are concerned about traction when the weather gets bad.  

The F-Sport suspension is tighter than the standard GS 350 and ensures a sportier driving experience. It’s still a comfortable cruiser on the highway, however, and the firmer footing doesn’t adversely affect ride quality. The F Sport handles the curves with ease and gives the driver a feeling of confidence, especially if you need to make quick maneuvers in traffic. We had fun pushing the GS 350 around the mountain corners near Denver this week.

2020 Lexus GS 350 05

Driving Dynamics: Sometimes Clunky

We drove the GS 350 rear-drive model a few years ago, but think the all-wheel drive F Sport, with its older six-speed transmission, is less quick. Driving modes of Eco, Normal, and Sport are available, each providing a different level of feel for the GS 350. However, we opted for Normal mode most of the time. The six-speed gearbox is sometimes too quick to upshift (and downshift also) in the other modes, so we used the steering wheel paddle shifters to give us more control. Our advice is to simply keep it in Normal mode. 

The heads-up display allowed us to keep our eyes on the road, and visibility is good all around for the driver. The lane departure alert and lane keep assist isn’t too obtrusive as we tend to hug the outside line closely in the blind mountain curves. 

Conclusion: Hard To Go Wrong

The 2020 Lexus GS 350 F Sport is a highly-capable performer for driving enthusiasts, and offers all-weather capability for those who live in cold climates. The F Sport suspension is firm but still provides a refined and comfortable ride.

The GS 350 comes with Lexus’ tack record for reliability, so you shouldn’t have the car in the shop for multiple recalls. It comes standard with the latest high-tech safety equipment and convenience technology too. Even though it’s older when compared to others on the market, it’s still hard to go wrong with this luxury sedan.

Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. All of his firsthand reviews are archived on our test drives page. Follow Denis on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy

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